Staff

Dr. Shay Pilnik, Executive Director

Dr. Shay Pilnik earned his Bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in Comparative Literature and Jewish Thought.  He continued his academic training at McGill University in Montreal, where he graduated with an MA in Jewish Studies, specializing in East European Jewish Culture.  In the fall of 2005,  he began a Ph.D. program at the Jewish Theological Seminary in the field of Modern Jewish Studies.  He defended his doctoral dissertation in the spring of 2013, dealing with the commemoration of the Babi Yar Massacre in Soviet Russian and Yiddish literature.  From 2008-2014, he was an adjunct instructor at the Universities of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Oshkosh, lecturing on a variety of topics including modern Jewish history, the Holocaust, and the religions of the world.

Contact Shay: ShayP@MilwaukeeJewish.org or 414-963-2719

 

Brittany Hager McNeely, Director of Education

Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Brittany moved to Milwaukee for graduate school in August 2013 after earning her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in History, focusing her coursework on modern European history. During her last two years in Colorado she volunteered for the Holocaust Memorial Observances of Greeley and Northern Colorado. Soon after arriving in Milwaukee she began working at the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center. She is currently pursuing two master’s degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: a Master of Library & Information Science as well as a Master of Arts in History, where her historical research focuses on antisemitism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Brittany recently returned from Israel where she participated in Yad Vashem’s 10th International Conference on Holocaust Education.

Contact Brittany: BrittanyH@MilwaukeeJewish.org or 414-963-2714

 

 

Kari Altman, Coordinator of Outreach & Public Relations

Kari Altman grew up in the Milwaukee area and graduated from University School of Milwaukee.  She became a licensed Wisconsin educator after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Throughout the years Kari has taught elementary school students in both public and private schools and currently teaches second grade religious school at Congregation Shalom in Fox Point. A dedicated volunteer and community member, Kari has been happy to serve on a number of boards, including those of Congregation Shalom and the Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association, of which she is currently President. Kari also served on the Board of Directors of the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center (HERC) for three years. As of November 2017 Kari began working for HERC as the Coordinator of Outreach & Public Relations. Kari and her husband Michael, proud parents of Jack and Justin, live in Mequon.

Contact Kari: KariA@MilwaukeeJewish.org or 414-963-2716

 

Dr. Dan Haumschild, Holocaust Education Fellow

Dan Haumschild holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University at Buffalo (SUNY).  His research and teaching focuses on the interplay of history, pedagogy, and politics, particularly in communities that have experienced mass violence.  Recent publications include an analysis of memorialization practices in Rwanda and a critique of reparative concepts that drive post-conflict reconciliation.  In addition to his role as the Holocaust Education Fellow for HERC and Cardinal Stritch University, Dan serves as a Lecturer for the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in the Honors College where he offers interdisciplinary courses that revolve around issues related to genocide, civil strife, memory, and narrative.

Contact Dan: DHaumschild@Stritch.edu

 

 

Judy O’Hara, Administrative Assistant

Originally from Northwestern Iowa, Judy has lived in Wisconsin for many years after spending 12 years in the US Marine Corps and the WI Army National Guard.  The military gave Judy the opportunity to visit 17 countries and hopes to visit Israel and Russia in the near future.  Judy enjoys working for HERC and the opportunities it has given her to work with programs that further Holocaust studies.  To round out her life, Judy volunteers at the Ovation Jewish Home Gift Shop and Habitat for Humanity.  In her free time, Judy enjoys learning foreign languages, taking violin lessons, browsing for books, and watching Star Trek: The Original Series.  Life is good – life is happy.

Contact Judy: JudyO@MilwaukeeJewish.org or 414-963-2710

 

 

Sara Sillars, Educator

Sara Sillars, EducatorSara Sillars is a graduate of Grand Canyon University with a Bachelors Degree in Applied Psychology. In 2011 she began co-writing Edie Shafer’s memoir, Shanghai Deliverance, which was self-published in 2014 with Mary Munson Murphy.  She began working part-time for the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center in 2014.  She is a lifelong learner of the Holocaust and continued her studies recently in Israel at Yad Vashem.

Contact Sara: SaraS@MilwaukeeJewish.org