Middlebury Hillel Board Members

~Spring 2020~


Ben Dohan ‘20.5


Ben is a proud J.O.B. who loves being a part of the Hillel board. He believes Challah is the best kind of bread and sings every single prayer out of tune. Outside of Hillel, Ben is a member of the sailing team and enjoys getting very competitive at trivia night. He is a geography major, and can usually be found in the GIS lab at any given time. Friday nights are his favorite part of the week because Hillel’s wonderful chefs serve up the best food this side of Otter Creek. Ben also promises to only use ritual wine for its intended purpose.


Noah Hochfelder ’22


​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 mere sophomore English major who loves to eat Cherry Garcia. He would love it if you listened to his weekly radio show (8:30 PM on Tuesday’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.


R. Teal Witter ’20


Teal is a proud J.O.B. (Just Outside of Boulder). His favorite spots on campus are Bihall’s roof, Johnson’s roof, the Schar lounge (often incorrectly referred to as 75 Shannon), and the entirety of the Ross complex. While his cooking “creativity” primarily consists of throwing whatever is lying around into his creations, Teal is a connoisseur of fine dining. If you think your cooking is really good, give him a bite (and another and another). Fair warning: Teal often thinks it’s clever to call food he likes “terrible” so that no one else will eat any.

Sustainability Chair

Remi Welbel ’22


Remi is a sophomore from Chicago. She is a neuroscience major and dance minor with a passion for environmental sustainability. Find her at the FIC leading services or actively hugging people. She’s involved in too many things to list here, but feel free to ask her about her endeavors in making vegan Jewish food, environmental activism, advocating for women in STEM and medicine, neuroscience research, and dance. Also, if you see her trying to volunteer for something new, please stop her.

Outreach Chair

Bella Pucker21


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 sophmore feb, and has yet to choose a major, but will likely be headed down the path of Environmental Science. 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 take on her new role as Tzedek Chair for Middlebury’s Hillel!

Israel Chair

Edyth Moldow ’23


Edyth is the only person from Denver, Colorado who does not ski. Despite this extreme fallacy, she does have redeeming qualities, such as an affinity for frosted flakes (just as a concept), the ability to balance a spoon on her nose for 2 minutes, and, most importantly, she has grown up with a love for Jewish and Israeli culture. She plans to study Neuroscience and French here at Middlebury, and can be found doing ballet, singing horrible renditions of the Backstreet Boys top hits, and sitting around in Crossroads in her free time.

Social Media Chair

Nolan Shapiro ’21


Nolan is a proud NJB from the suburbs of Philly (go LM, Beat Radnor!), but now he lives directly in the heart of the city. Unlike the usual Hillel-goers, Nolan is NOT a feb, and he is quite proud of it. Nolan majors in economics but also studies psychology and does not play a varsity sport, so he always clarifies that he is, in fact, not an “econ bro”. He loves East coast skiing and is a HUGE movie guy! Nolan can also speak for hours about his father’s past in politics (did he work for the CIA???) and his mother’s cooking/baking (fun fact: she spent a special order of rugelach to Colin Powell)— so please just ask!!

Rituals Chair

Sarah Cohen ’22


Sarah is a sophomore from Philly. She quickly learned that the only other people from Philly she would meet are the other Jews in Hillel. She’s a biology major, so she spends all her time in Bihall admiring the mountains from Vermont’s largest window. She loves spending time outside, playing the flute, and of course organizing the major holiday events for Hillel!!

FIC Manager, Secretary

Melanie Leider ’23


Melanie Leider is a freshman from JONYC (just outside NYC)… but on the Jersey side (she doesn’t like to talk about it). She is a proud relative (5th cousin once removed) of THE Shelley Winters who Melanie, up until recently, thought was in Titanic. She is in fact not. Mel is an Anthropology major with minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish because apparently one minor is not enough. She enjoys rock climbing, hummus, skiing, collecting tchatchkes, dancing, hugging, and calling her friends bubelah. Melanie loves meeting new people and encouraging Jews and non-Jews alike to come join us for a lovely Friday evening with the Hillel mishpachah.

Community Liason

Griffin Shapiro ’22


Griffin is a sophomore from Maryland, but he’ll probably just say he’s from D.C. if you ask. He’s a physics major, which means that if he’s not at Hillel, he’s probably just up the path in Bi Hall. He also plays rugby and loves to watch all sports, but mostly baseball. His go-to fun fact is that he juggles, so please ask him to prove it with whatever random objects are lying around!

Co-Meals Chair

Leora Segal ’23


Leora is from New Rochelle, New York, and she will be sure to let you know that Westchester is not upstate! Although she loves hanging out in NYC, she would much prefer to be out west #bigskierenergy. She loves long walks, spontaneous dance parties (bonus points for Just Dance), baking, her cats, and consuming large quantities of Hint of Lime Tostitos. She also enjoys making Tiktoks, and she has accepted the fact that she will never be famous. Leora is a freshman reg and plans on studying molecular biology on the pre-med track.

Tzedek Chair

Molly Babbin ’22


Molly is an Aquarius and retired vegan who is always down to take a walk or eat some peanut butter. She is an IGS (Latin America) major from CT and is social justice chair of Hillel. Her current favorite artists are Lady Lamb and Caroline Polachek and she sends you happy vibes!

Academic Chair

Yardena Gerwin ’22


Yardena is a sophomore from New York City. She is an Independent Scholar in Disability Studies and Social Determinants of Health. She loves baking bread (especially sourdough and challah though has yet to combine the two), and listening to podcasts. When back home in the city, she battles it out with retirees for cheap Broadway show tickets and searches for a good bagel with shmear. She is excited to build bridges between our Middlebury Jewish community and the rest of campus!

Co-Meals Chair – Zev York ‘22.5

Social Chair – Samara Scharf ’22

Real People


Associate Chaplain/Rabbi

Rabbi Danielle Stillman


Rabbi Danielle is excited to begin her work as 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.