Youth Staff

Director of Youth ActivitiesMatt Rissien jpg
Matt Rissien grew up in Overland Park, KS going to the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, a K-12 Jewish day school. He became involved in a number of extra-curricular activities in the Jewish community, eventually becoming president of Kansas City Council BBYO his senior year. He attended the University of Kansas, where he graduated with a major in religious studies with a minor in Judaic studies. Throughout college he was very involved in KU Hillel, Chabad on Campus, student senate and was the spirit chair for Student Union Activities, an organization which puts big programs on campus. He was also the Jewish heritage chair for the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. His Junior year, he created his own student organization which raised money to put on a week of cultural Israel events called Israel Week, which is still around to this day. Upon graduation, he received the Campanille Award; an award given to one individual by the chancellor for outstanding student leadership and achievement.


Before coming to Beth Shalom, Matt worked as a residential fellow at the American Hebrew Academy, a co-ed pluralistic college preparatory Jewish boarding high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. Matt loves being a part of the Beth Shalom community. He teaches Gimel (5th grade) in the CBS Religious School and is an integral part of our staff.

[email protected] - 847-498-4100 x25

Melissa KaplanYouth Advisor
Melissa Kaplan grew up in Deerfield and attended Washington University in St. Louis where she received a degree in Middle and Secondary Education. She currently works in HR in Vernon Hills. Melissa is a USY advisor.

 Alison WeimanYouth Advisor

Alison Weiman grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. She went to college in Binghamton, New York where she studied Spanish, English, International Studies and Business. She graduated from Binghamton University in 2007 Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After all of that, she decided to do the logical thing and become a teacher! Alison is an elementary school teacher as well as a Hebrew teacher in the CBS Religious School for Bet (4th grader) and Gimel (5th grade).

Alison obtained Masters degree in elementary education from National-Louis University. She has taught first through fifth grades in both Wheeling and Schaumburg. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys speaking Spanish to those around her. She was also a youth director in Skokie for Kehillat Shalom. Alison has spent a summer in Israel on a volunteer program in which she taught English at a Jewish and Arab day camp. Alison loves working with all the amazing children and families at CBS as a youth advisor for Nitzanim, Chaverim and Kadima!

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