We are fortunate to have a dedicated professional staff and a diverse and committed group of volunteer leaders.

Director of Congregational Learning

Ashley Plotnick is blessed to work with the team at Solel.  Ashley holds a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, as well as Master’s degrees in Education and Social Work from Widener University.  Ashley is a trained Spiritual Director through the Morei Derekh program for Jewish Spiritual Direction.  Her undergraduate degree is from Indiana University, with majors in Jewish Studies and Religious Studies, and a minor in Hebrew language.

Ashley was the Hebrew School Principal at Congregation BJBE in Deerfield from 2010-2015.  She has prior experience working with children and adults at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Philadelphia.  Ashley and her husband Seth Schriftman reside in Deerfield with their children, Noah (2009) and Molly (2011).

Ashley believes that Jewish education must address children’s social, emotional, and spiritual needs, while engaging them in and out of the classroom.  She is also passionate about involving adults in Jewish learning, and loves teaching Mussar (character development based on Jewish values) to all ages.  She hopes to share her love of mindfulness practices with the community.  Ashley encourages congregants to reach out to her and share their insights about education at Solel.

Email Ashley or call 847-433-3555
Michael Schneider 2Assistant Director of Education, Youth, & Engagement

Michael Schneider loves Solel – he has a button to prove it! In his role, he assists Ashley with planning and executing the religious school’s daily activities, managing the registration system, and creating the school’s marketing materials. In addition to this, Michael is our designated Mitzvah Coach, which was created to help B’nai Mitzvah students who are looking for ideas for their mitzvah projects. Michael is also Solel’s youth group advisor, where he and a dedicated group of teen board members plan and run events for students across all age groups. Michael oversees our madrichim (teenage teacher assistants), teaches in our 8th-12th grade program, and maintains contact with our alumni through Solel’s College Connection.

Michael holds a graduate degree in Jewish Studies from Gratz College and an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice (he was a Corrections Officer – ask him how life in jail was!) Michael has been a Hebrew School and Religious School Teacher for 10 years, and has been on staff at Solel since 2011. He made the full-time transition to Jewish education after spending most of his career in supply chain and consulting.

Michael lives in Buffalo Grove with his wife, Danielle, and their children Judah and Ezra.

Email Michael or call 847-433-3417

Executive Director

Allan Litwack joined Congregation Solel in 2010. Prior to joining us, he served as executive director at two other congregations in Illinois: Congregation Beth Shalom in Naperville and Northwest Suburban Jewish Congregation in Morton Grove. He possesses strong financial planning skills, along with facility, operations, and people management experience. Allan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education/History from Bradley University and his Master’s of Management degree from DePaul University.Allan is married to Karen Litwack, Director of the Chicago Center for Jewish Genetic Disorders.

Email Allan or call 847-433-3555 (cell phone: 847-571-4349).

Josh Lowitz is a lifelong member of Congregation Solel and was born while the building was being built.  He has served on the board of directors, as an officer, and now as president.  Josh and Ricki Lowitz live in Chicago with their religious school age children, Adele and Harry.  Josh is a business advisor who works with start-ups and growing companies on strategy, and serves on a few corporate and other non-profit boards.  Josh’s father, Donald Lowitz z’l, was president of Congregation Solel from 1977 to 1979 and his mother, Shana Lowitz served on the Religious School Council, as a board vice president, and is an active congregant.

Executive Board 

Josh Lowitz, President
Holly Krakow, Executive Vice President
Ross Erlebacher, Vice President of Administration
Tim Cohen, Vice President of Lifelong Learning
Jerry Wolf, Vice President of Worship
Alice Kohn, Vice President of Social Justice
Susan Kaden, Vice President of Religious School
Gregg Hollander, Vice President of Community
Ken Dickman, Vice President of Finance
David Zirin, Financial Secretary
Avery Cohen, Secretary
Michael Ebner, Immediate Past President