Middlebury Hillel Board Members
~Spring 2023~

Isaac Mays-Smith ’24
Isaac just got back from his semester abroad and finds himself right back in the role of co-president as he did last spring. The british bombshell is Majoring in German and History and has three (!) more semesters including this one until he graduates. He loves chess and bucket hats, but has a trying relationship with watermelons. What he doesn’t have a trying relationship with however, is fostering an inclusive, safe, and sometimes even fun environment for people on campus to connect with judaism in whichever way is meaningful to them. He can’t wait to be stuck back in. After all, if you ask him what could be better than eating vegan bratwursts and riding trains for free all semester, he would say: “dank hillel bizzle”.

Jeffrey Bolnick, ’24


Jeffrey (he/him) is a junior Molecular Biology & Biochemistry major from Long Island, NY. Outside of Hillel, he is an SGA junior committee liaison, works in a biology research lab, and works as an EMT. He has skied a grand total of seven times but ironically calls himself an avid skier because why not? He simultaneously is a fierce food critic and has the palate of a six-year old. As such you can almost always find him in Proc eating mac and cheese, chicken tenders, pasta with butter, or a finely-crafted ice cream sundae. He is super pumped for another awesome semester on board, and his second as co-president!

Likes: chocolate, his dog Hank, Rangers hockey, taking joy rides, spontaneity, ping pong, long dinners with friends/family

Dislikes: waking up early, dessert with fruit in it, non-NY bagels



Sammy Conrad-Rooney, ’25


Sammy (he/him) is a sophomore from Massachusetts, and although you might be tempted to ask, “Are you from just outside of Boston,” keep in mind that “just” means two hours. That was a long way of saying that he is a proud lifelong resident of Amherst, MA (make sure to keep the h silent). Sammy has not decided on a major yet, but with each passing day is moving closer to the Department of Sociology, just like how the hands on his watch tick closer to the start of class as he rushes to eat a meal in Proc right before running to Axinn. When not trudging to the FIC from across campus, Sammy enjoys playing Scottish smallpipes (a respectfully quiet type of bagpipe) and the Irish whistle. If that isn’t niche enough, you can tune in to “Trad in Vogue” on the college radio station while he plays a selection Scottish and Irish traditional music. He is excited to continue his journey on Hillel board and achieve his goal of meeting all the Jews on campus. 


Communications Chair

Jonathan Mount, ‘25.5


Jonathan (he/him) is a sophomore Feb from Park City, UT. Although currently undeclared, Jonathan is planning on pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology while also dabbling in some theatre. Jonathan’s favorite building on campus is Bi Hall, and his least favorite building is Ross Dining Hall (sorry not sorry). Jonathan’s favorite activities include all of the standard Feb tropes such as hiking, skiing, and singing. Jonathan is extremely excited to be joining Hillel this year to simultaneously become a better Jew and improve the social media.


FIC Manager, Secretary

Hannah Hayes, ’23


Hannah (she/her) is a senior from Oakland(not San Francisco), CA. She is an avid BTS fan and will always be happy to update you on their activities. Being from Oakland she takes the Warriors very seriously (along with, let’s be honest, about six other sports) and has recently gotten into Formula 1 because, well, the drama is exquisite. Aside from these worthy pursuits, she is a History and Education double major. This has led to her having many strong opinions about historical tv shows that don’t know what they are doing. You can find her around campus working as a coordinator for Language in Motion, dancing with Midd Masti, and playing with her mentees through DREAM. Most importantly, if there are toffee bars in any of the dining halls please alert her immediately.


Co-Meals Chair

Katie Domar Ostrow, ’23


Katie Domar Ostrow (she/her) is just another classic NJG/JOB… or is she? (Don’t worry, she knows that New York bagels and lox are far superior.) She is a senior psychology major/religion minor, and while this is her second semester on the Hillel board as co-meals chair (and unofficial team mom), she has been an active member since day one of her Middlebury career. Food — especially baking — is one of her passions and she loves bringing the community together over home-cooked meals, especially those inspired by her own/others’ Jewish heritage. She is also co-chair of the Mental Health Peer Educators (of which the fantastic Noah is a member as well) and a frequenter of yoga club. If you’re looking for her, there is a 1000% chance that she’s in BiHall (is psych STEM? …) if she’s not in the Jewish Center kitchen. She’s looking forward to continuing cherishing and contributing to the community (more like family!) that first made Midd feel like home to her.


Co-Meals Chair

Charlie Fisch ‘25


Charlie Fisch (they/them) is a freshman from the San Francisco Bay Area (Redwood City to be more specific). They will likely be majoring in Political Science and Chinese due to their disdain for the economics aspect of IP&E. They are also a writer for the Middlebury Campus, a Rohatyn Global Scholar, and a member of club swim (with Sylvi!) Otherwise, you can often spot Charlie and their frog shoes enjoying an excessively long meal at Proc. Charlie grew up cooking with their dad and is excited to bring their home cooking to Hillel. Watch out for honey apple challah! Despite their position as co-meals chair, Charlie has an extremely low tolerance for onion juices (see photo). While their meals may be lacking in alliums, they are very much looking forward to being a part of Hillel this semester!


Programming Chairs

Sylvi Teich, ’25.5 


Sylvi (she/her) is not really sure where she calls home – she grew up outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has been living about 20 miles south of the Canadian border in Potsdam, New York, for the past 3-ish years. She’s convinced that in another life she would’ve been a world-class ski jumper (let her know if you hear of any learn-to-ski-jump camps for college students). Sylvi is majoring in German with a likely double minor in Linguistics and Political Science with the hope of going into translation and interpretation after college. Outside of Hillel, Sylvi is the president of German Club, is a peer tutor, and is attempting to learn Finnish. She loves all things winter and on any given day you can find her counting down the days until she can wear sweaters and snow boots again. When not daydreaming about her plans to open a bagel shop in the Austrian Alps, she can be found journaling with her collection of fountain pens, listening to Giant Rooks and AnnenMayKantereit, or going on long walks no matter the weather. Sylvi is very much looking forward to working more with the Jewish community both on and off campus this year!


Evie Happel, ’26


Evie Happel (she/her) is a freshman from Natick, Massachusetts. She does not claim the J.O.B title, even though she lives 30 minutes closer to the city than anyone else who self-identifies as such; gatekeeping and girlbossing all the way. Evie is hoping to be a psychology major and education studies minor. She is currently teaching 3-5 grade Hebrew School at the Havurah, marking about 6 years into following the path of her mother, a celebrity in the northeast Jewish professional community. Evie is so excited to be on the Hillel board as a programming chair and a frequent recipient of the question “Can you lead services this week?” She hopes to see you every Friday night for the time of your life.


Julia Levin ’24


Julia Levin (she/her) is a Junior math major from Westchester, NY. She is also an education studies and French double minor. She even studied abroad in Paris! Julia teaches Hebrew school at Havurah of Addison County. She is also the president of Middlebury College Musical Theater and takes voice lessons and ballet classes! Julia loves coming up with themed events that bring the community together and she’s just a fun-lovin’ gal. Her favorite characters on Pretty Little Liars are Spencer, Jenna Marshall (the galactic threat of the century), and Tippi the Bird. Julia loves mac and cheese and Judaism. She has been known to eat plain, cold, raw flour tortillas.

Caroline Jaffe ’26
Caroline Jaffe (she/her) is a freshman from Charlottesville, VA. She has absolutely no idea what she is going to major in, but is an academic weapon nevertheless! She is involved in College Dems, Feminists Action at Midd, and Midd Runs. When she is not lying on the floor of the FIC, Caroline is probably either skiing or rewatching Downton Abbey. If you think you are obsessed with the Dallas Cowboys or Taylor Swift, you should meet her. Anyway, Caroline is excited for her 2nd semester at Midd and in Hillel!
President Emeritus
Leora Segal, ’23

Leora (she/her) is a senior from Westchester, NY. Needless to say, Leora is very particular about her bagels and pizza. She will be sure to let you know that she would rather be skiing/hiking or chilling on the beach in Delaware. When she is not in the Jewish Center she can be found in BiHall with her nose in a Neuroscience textbook, Lab, the Snow Bowl, or the Middlebury Dental Group Office. Outside of Hillel, Leora is the President of Women in Health Sciences, the Pre-Dental Liaison for the Pre-Health Society, a tour guide, and a teaching assistant. Although she does not meet the traditional height requirement, she is also a coxswain on the Middlebury Crew team. A few things that Leora never stops talking about are Hillel, her many cats, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a classic).

Real People


Interim Associate Chaplain/Rabbi

Rabbi Yitzhak Nates


Yitzhak, or Yitz, became a rabbi, which means teacher, in 2000.  He is a Reconstructionist rabbi, meaning he works on being open to just about everything, as long as people aren’t getting hurt.  His life as a college chaplain began at the end of July, 2022, and he is excited about meeting students, listening to them, taking walks, cheering them on, supporting their inner lives.  Alongside his foundation in Judaism, Yitz is a student of A Course in Miracles, which posits how we are all children of a single holiness, all people are our brothers and sisters, and how viewing this so challenging world as a classroom often proves helpful.  Turning often to the question, ‘what is the lesson, for me, here and now?’  He looks forward to bringing his universal kind of Judaism to our Shabbat practices in particular and Jewish learning in general.  At the same time Yitz is eager to work with all students and staff alike; learning from all — all the different forms of Judaism, religion, non-religion, and spiritualities he encounters.    With an attention currently to the growing number of human beings in our area dealing with food insecurity. 


Associate Chaplain/Rabbi

Rabbi Danielle Stillman

*On leave for the 2022-23 academic year


Rabbi Danielle (she/her) 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.