Samantha Abramson, Executive Director

Milwaukee native Samantha Abramson holds a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with minors in Jewish Studies, Spanish, and English Literature from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  Samantha brings over a decade of experience in nonprofits and museums, including the new Capital Jewish Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Jewish Heritage North Carolina, and Jewish Museum Milwaukee.  Samantha followed this career path because of her passion for connecting multigenerational and youth audiences with history to inspire change for a better tomorrow.

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Sam Goldberg, Director of Education

Originally from Redondo Beach, California, Sam received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University Channel Islands in Communication for Nonprofit Business. In 2019, she graduated from Uppsala University with her Master’s in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Her thesis project took her to Rwanda where she researched the impact nonprofit peace education has had on the young generation. It was this interest in genocide education that brought her to HERC, where she works to engage teachers and students to learn stories from the Holocaust so the world can confidently say ‘Never Again’.

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Peter Zehren, Development Director

Peter spent 10 years working in New York where he earned his Executive Masters in Public Administration before returning to Milwaukee. His experience spans a wide range of areas from doing voices on a children’s radio show to earning a BA in Ballroom Dance. Peter traveled to India as an ambassador representing nonprofits in a cultural exchange. He has held positions as Executive Director, and Vice President at various organizations and brings a strength in nonprofit leadership and development to the team. Peter’s love for building relationships centers around listening to and helping people reach closer to their dreams.

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Sara Sillars, Marketing Manager

After living in Seattle, Sara moved back to her home state of Wisconsin where she lives with her husband and two sons. She received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Grand Canyon University. For over a decade, Sara has been studying, writing, and teaching about the Holocaust. She co-authored the book, Shanghai Deliverance, which was published in 2014. She studied at Yad Vashem in Israel. 

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Michael A. Morris, Community Engagement Manager

Michael A. Morris comes to HERC with both professional and academic experience in the fields of Holocaust history and Jewish history. He has previously worked at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and interned at the Yiddish Book Center and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His two M.A.s are from the George Washington University (Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts) and Stockton University (Holocaust and Genocide Studies). A native of New Jersey, Michael looks forward to exploring Milwaukee and learning about the city’s history while working with the HERC staff to educate the public about the history of the Holocaust. 

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Jennifer Koss, Education Coordinator

Jennifer Koss was raised in Wausau, Wisconsin, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UW-Stevens Point in English Education and German. Jennifer also obtained an Alternative Education license from Concordia University Wisconsin. She taught middle and high school English in Milwaukee for 17 years and looks forward to using her classroom experience to help educators connect to important Holocaust resources.  

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Justin Kane Welch, Executive & Development Assistant

Justin is a Door County native and a United States Navy veteran with a BA in History, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies from UW-Milwaukee, with special interests in ancient religious development and the use of maps to influence perceptions and actions. Justin has previously supported executive and administrative non-profit teams in Sturgeon Bay, WI including We Are HOPE, Inc. and Third Avenue PlayWorks. He strives to convey history as a means of understanding not just the people and events of our world, but the context and import that connects them to our everyday lives.

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