Middlebury Hillel Board Members
~Spring 2021~

Leora Segal, ’23

Leora (she/her) is a junior from Westchester, NY (shout out to my fellow Westchester peeps). She will be sure to let you know that she would rather be skiing and/or hiking in Vermont or out West. Needless to say, Leora is very particular about her bagels because NY water is superior. Leora is a neuroscience major/history minor on the pre-dental track and she spends most of her time in BiHall or in the FIC (usually with Julia Levin). Outside of Hillel, Leora is involved with Women in Health Sciences and dabbles in neuroscience research. After injuring her back rowing in high school, she never thought that she would get in a boat ever again. 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 two cats, ski season, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a classic).

Sarah Cohen, ’22


Sarah is a senior 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!



Isaac Mays-Smith, ’24


Isaac (he/him) is a sophomore from London, UK (he says he’s sorry). He is vegan and reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaly wants you to know that. He thinks he’s majoring in German, but when he isn’t thinking about that, or Hillel, or how morally enlightened he thinks he is, you may find him playing chess somewhere random at odd hours, playing the ukulele like the rockstar he is, or putting his thoughtful, albeit pretentious disposition to good use over at Debate Society. He says he’s “well buzzing” to be on board this semester and can’t wait to sink his vegan teeth into reconciliation forms and time-sensitive grocery-store runs.


Community Liaison

Aidan Mattingly,22


Aiden (she/her) is a senior from Dover, NH, via J.O.B.. At least, she moved there halfway through college, and thinks that’s the easiest way to describe the situation. She’s a classics major, and also pre-med, and has come to learn the hard way that sleep is a commodity all the sweeter the less often it is had. Beyond Hillel, she is involved with Middlebury Queers and Allies and the Mock Trial team, and is the acting president of Middlebury’s chapter of J Street. She is passionate about interfaith outreach and engagement and, being herself in the process of converting, ensuring that Hillel is a welcoming space for all Jewish, Jew-ish, and otherwise interested people at Midd. In the event that she has any degree of free time, she enjoys reading a book or running a D&D table for her friends.


Israel Chair

Noah Hochfelder, ‘22.5


Noah is from the far western end of Massachusetts, in the part of the state that no one knows exists. In an alternative dimension he aspires to be Jerry Garcia, but in his corporeal reality he is a senior feb English/Creative Writing major who loves to eat Cherry Garcia. He would love it if you listened to his weekly radio show (4:00 PM on Wednesday’s!!!) or complimented him on his Proctor quesadilla creations. If you want to find a way to his heart, ask him about Bob Dylan or his love of Grape Nuts cereal. Lastly, Noah gets really pumped about all things Hillel, but feels like he needs to confess that his favorite moment of the service is when the dark grape juice comes out. Noah is eager to collaborate with Middlebury’s Jewish community to open up healthy space for students to question their Jewish identity, specifically regarding issues of antisemitism, Zionism, and Israel/Palestine.


Social Media Chair

Josh Rosenstein, ’24


Josh is a sophomore from Westford, MA, which means he tells everyone he’s from JOB, but he’s not actually that close to the city. Not many people expect it, but he is a prospective environmental science major and psychology minor. Josh is a huge sports fan, and you may see him at the soccer fields with Club Soccer, at Ralph Myhre Golf Course when there’s good weather, or at the basketball courts. He also writes for the Middlebury Campus and is a MiddCAM mentor. Josh came to Middlebury already loving the outdoors, but Vermont’s beauty has only solidified that love. Some of his favorite nearby places include Bristol Falls, Lake Dunmore, and the Snow Bowl. Josh can’t decide if his favorite Jewish food is latkes or matzo ball soup, so it will remain a tie for now.


Rituals Chair

Jeffrey Bolnick, ’24


Jeffrey (he/him) is a sophomore Molecular Biology & Biochemistry major from Long Island, NY. He’s a (potential?) premed but honestly has no idea of what he wants to do with his life. Outside of Hillel, Jeffrey is a committee liasion for the SGA Sophomore Committee, treasurer of GlobeMed, and a coach for Oratory Now. He spends most of his time in BiHall or The Grille (especially on Tuesdays for lunch because Dr. Feel Goods are one of the world’s greatest creations). He is super excited to be on board and can’t wait for a fun and exciting year!


FIC Manager, Secretary

Julia Levin, ’24


Julia (she/her) is a sophomore from Westchester, NY (classic Jew moment). She can be found in one of three places: the FIC, Davis Family Library, or the FIC. Julia eats, sleeps, and breathes FIC, and has been known to spend upwards of 6 hours at a time in there. Julia is a math major, and is taking combinatorics AND diff eqs this semester in case she hasn’t told you yet. In addition to her board position, she is also a writer for The Local Noodle, teaches Hebrew school at Havurah, takes ballet, is in the J-Term musical (come see “Company” Jan. 28-31!!), and doesn’t know how to relax in case you couldn’t tell. While she says her dream job is to teach elementary STEM, her real dream job is to be a writer on SNL. She loves being the center of attention and isn’t sorry about it. Being on Hillel board is one of her favorite parts of being a Midd kid, and she looks forward to her weekly time to shine during Adon Olam at Shabbat!


Co-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!)



Co-Meals Chair

Katie Domar Ostrow ‘23


Katie (she/her) is a junior JOB (just outside Boston? That’s SO boring — more like Just an Outstanding Baker! Right? Right…) psychology major who has everyone fooled into thinking she’s a good cook because she’s meals chair, when really she’s just here to raid the fridge after Shabbat dinners. But she does pride herself on her bread-whispering skills and the *frequent* compliments she gets on her salad bar creations at Proc (SHH don’t tell anyone she’s not a Ross girl anymore.) Outside of Hillel, she is a Mental Health Peer Educator, a yogi, a mediocre runner and hiker, and a resident of BiHall — just kidding, everyone knows Dunkin is her real home. Regardless, she is here to make sure you leave EVERY Hillel event with a FULL AND HAPPY TUMMY!


Tzedek Chair

Katie Baker, ’24


Katie Baker (she/her) is a sophomore from beautiful Westport, CT. She loves guinea pigs and dogs and orcas, which is why she is pre-vet (MBBC major)! Katie is also an Italian minor. Mamma mia! She is tzedek chair and she’s just a fun-lovin’ gal. Katie is on the rugby team and she sings with the Paradiddles in her free time. She loves buffalo chicken and judaism.



Social Chair

Samara Scharf ‘22.5


Samara (she/her) is a Senior reg-turned-feb from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY who is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Linguistics. Some common Samara activities include: attempting (but usually failing to complete) NYT crossword puzzles, geeking out about her Fitbit, eating microwave popcorn, and belting her fav songs in the car. She’s low-key obsessed with Jewish t’filah tunes (that’s what 10 years of Jewish sleepaway camp does to a person), so you can count on her to sing them loudly + proudly at Shabbos. She’s hype to plan some fun social stuff for all y’all jewsies!

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.