Middlebury Hillel Board Members
~Spring 2021~

Sophie Lavine, 21.5
Sophie is a senior feb who loves Midd Hillel! Sophie is quite lactose intolerant, but pretends that she isn’t and loves nothing more than her mom’s homemade blintzes and a good everything bagel with cream cheese and lox. She is a mediocre chef, but she tries and succeeds at making a mean chia pudding. She is a very proud DC native, so you may catch her around campus sporting her 51st state shirt. She is studying Psychology and Arabic at Midd, and before arriving to Midd she spent her Febmester in Tel Aviv and she loves to talk about it! ask her anytime! She is excited for all the Hillel has in store this semester!

Sarah Cohen ’22


Sarah is a junior from Philly. She quickly learned that the only other people from Philly she would meet are the other Jews in Hillel. She’s a molecular biology and biochemistry major, so she spends all her time in Bihall admiring the mountains from Vermont’s largest window. She loves spending time hiking, knitting, and playing the flute! Her favorite time of the week is Hillel Friday night dinners where she gets to eat the best food on campus with the best people!



Lila Sternberg-Sher, 21.5


Lila is a Philly girl (Philadelphia born and raised, baby!!) who likes to make it known that she is from the city proper. She is the proud co-parent of a sourdough starter and an avid challah baker. Lila has mastered the perfect Proc bagel-based panini (ask her and she’ll tell you all about it) and she insists that the Midd Bagel is better than any of the bagel shops in Philadelphia (at least the ones near where she lives). As a Linguistics major, she spends time thinking about things like why there are so many mountains near Middlebury named after snakes when she has never seen a snake in or around Middlebury. Her favorite midnight snack is a combination of 5+ different cereals and she has it down to a science. Other things Lila enjoys are long walks with friends, fun patterned socks, and getting 9 hours of sleep.


Community Liaison: 

Bella Pucker21.5


Bella is yet another J.O.B.. If you’d like more specifics, she’s from Newton, affectionately penned “Jewton,” for good reason. She is a Senior Feb majoring in Environmental Studies (so #febby). She likes to say that she loves all Jewish foods, with the exception of gefilte fish (perhaps because she is scarred by the time that she spilled it all over her car–the odor is still very present to this day). She is excited to continue on in her role as Community Liaison for Middlebury’s Hillel!


Israel Chair

Max Shulman-Litwin, ’22


Max is a junior from Los Angeles who loves learning foreign languages and delving into the culture of others. He spends much of his time in the FIC, where he practices Russian and Arabic and hangs out with the rest of the Hillel peeps. Other times, you can catch him rambling about Star Wars or experimenting with new combinations of ingredients at Proct! Importantly, he has a weakness for Jewish sweets, and is not known to refuse a good hamentashen or sufganiyah. Lastly, he adores listening to electronic music, but is still searching for friends at Midd to discuss it with!!


Social Media Chair

Yamit Netter-Sweet, 21.5


Like almost everyone else on board, Yamit is a senior feb and is from Philly. She studies International Global Studies, Arabic and Spanish. She is terribly afraid of hills (and skiing) and has a daily crisis about how she will every be able to graduate as a feb. Like a good Jewish mother, she loves pushing food on people and ensuring that everyone around her is well fed! She isn’t especially good at cooking and absolutely hates following recipes, but enjoys unique creations Challah, Hamentashen, Latkes, Hummus, Kreplach, and more!  


Rituals Chair

Eva Ury, 21.5


Hi, I’m Eva Ury, a Senior Feb. I’m Middlebury Hillel’s Rituals Chair and an Italian major with a minor in religion. My ideal date consists of long walks on the beach and staring deeply into randos eyes.



FIC Manager, Secretary

Julia Levin, ’24


Julia is a freshman from Irvington, NY, which is “just outside of the city.” She actually lives 45 minutes from the city on a good day. Her academic interests include math, French, and education studies. Julia’s hobbies include musical theater, talking about her plans for her future classroom to anyone who will listen, being mediocre at tennis, ballet, and Taylor Swift. She ranks Taylor’s albums (from favorite to least favorite) as such: Speak Now, Red, folklore, Fearless, evermore, Lover, 1989, Reputation, Taylor Swift. She is aware that putting Taylor Swift dead last is a hot take but is not accepting criticism at this time. When Julia is not at Hillel, she can be found alternating between staring out the window and walking in circles in Davis or making TikToks that nobody else finds funny. She is super excited to be a member of the Hillel board!


Meals Chair

Grace Sokolow, ‘24


Grace is a first year from Brookline, Massachusetts, which is basically Boston? Or in the “Boston area”? But if you really pressure her on it, she’ll admit she’s a J.O.B. through and through. When she’s not trying to explain where she’s from, Grace likes to go for long walks, try new recipes, and figure out ways to reuse all the plastic bags she saves (potential ES major here???). She plays ultimate frisbee at Midd and can most likely be found sitting outside of Ross even if she has to wear two pairs of pants, three sweaters, and a hat to do it. Because she’s meals chair, here’s an acrostic poem of some of her favorite foods:

Haymaker Buns

Ice Cream, Ben & Jerry’s of course

Lime, as in Key Lime Pie (she’ll make it for ya some time)

Lots and lots of Black Pepper Tofu

Everything Challah 

Luchen Kugel (with pineapple!)


Tzedek Chair:

Melanie Leider, ’23


Mel is a sophomore from Jersey (no matter how much they hate to admit it) who could not be happier to be a part of the Hillel fam. Following in their dear Jewish grandmother’s footsteps, Mel laughs “too loud” and talks “too much” according to their peers… and they will continue to do so like any good yenta would. As an Anthropology major, Mel loves people, so please come talk to them! Outside of the FIC, you can find Mel volunteering at the Knoll, chilling on the Brooker patio, or basking in the rays on the Batty Beach hill under their favorite tree.


Social Chair:

Leora Segal ’23


Leora is a sophomore History and Neuroscience major from Westchester, New York, but she will be sure to let you know that she would much rather be out west skiing and hiking. Leora loves to bake, knit, and partake in spontaneous dance parties to terrible remixes of classic songs. She is also known to obsess over Broadway and her two cats.


Outreach Chair

Thea Volpp, ’24


Thea is a first year from Philadelphia, but if she’s being honest, she’s more from “right outside of Philly”. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new variations of avocado toast and enjoys a hard jigsaw puzzle. Thea is considering a major in psych and/or neuro as well as a minor in studio art, but likes to change her mind a lot so only time can tell! As the outreach chair Thea is excited to get to know the incoming febs and advertise how wonderful Hillel is. 


Academic Chair

Lindsey is another Philadelphian (big surprise there) and a first year at Middlebury. A potential physics/bio major she would consider herself “pre-med curious”. Lindsey likes to hike, run, and bake and can’t wait to make challah for everyone at Shabbat dinners!



Real People


Associate Chaplain/Rabbi

Rabbi Danielle Stillman


Rabbi Danielle is excited to be the Jewish Chaplain at Middlebury.  She has previously worked as Jewish Chaplain at Lehigh University, Ursinus College, and as a program director at Harvard Hillel.  She holds rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, a Master in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a BA in Religion from Oberlin College.  Danielle has traveled and lived in Israel, India, Nepal, Tibet and a few other fabulous countries.  Her Jewish practice is infused with mindfulness and an emphasis on the Jewish traditions which connect us to the Earth.  She would love to have tea with you to discuss all this and more, so please be in touch!

ira seated with that man


Rabbi Emeritus

Ira Schiffer


Ira Schiffer was the Associate Chaplain/Rabbi at Middlebury College for many years. He and his family arrived in Middlebury in June 2001 after a five-year adventure living in the north of Israel, where Ira was involved with community building and Arab-Jewish coexistence programs. Prior to that, he served congregations in Newark, Delaware and Baltimore, Maryland for a period of nineteen years.

Ira’s rabbinic training was at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; he holds a Master’s degree in the History of Religions from Brown University.

In addition to his work as Hillel Rabbi, Ira worked with the students, faculty and staff of the College in supporting religious life on campus and building bridges of understanding among the diverse groups that make up the Middlebury community.