Middlebury Hillel Board Members
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.
Sammy Conrad-Rooney, ’25
Sammy (he/him) is a freshman 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.
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.
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.
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
Zoe Greenwald, ’25
Zoe is a second-year from Portland, Oregon (west coast best coast). She’s a computer science major and wishes there was a minor in physics because she’s probably going to take enough classes for one if it existed. She’s living in Coffrin with her cat Juniper ‘Juno’ Batman Greenwald, and he is a very adorable little ball of black floof with amber eyes (his claws are very sharp, but he’s a sweetheart once you get to know him). Other than Hillel, Zoe is the president of the new chess club on campus (we meet every Sunday at 4pm in the Coltrane lounge, you should come!), is in the women in computer science club, and spends her free time writing stories and reading. She can’t wait for an exciting semester on board!
Julia Roth, ‘25
Julia (she/her) is a first year from Newton, MA (true JOB, a.k.a. Jew Outside of Boston), potentially majoring in International & Global Studies with a minor in Education Studies. She can usually be found dancing, skiing, or playing guitar/pretending to be Taylor Swift. Her favorite food is bagels, of course, and her favorite games are Bananagrams and Jewish geography. She is excited to be on board this semester and to organize meals for the Jews of Midd!
Rachel Peck ‘25
Rachel (they/them) is a first-year from Cambridge (Old England). Rachel is (joint) majoring in History and Film and when they’re not doing that, playing quidditch, or watching bake-off, or designing meticulously well thought-out posters, they’re pulling strings to make sure that, when you’re chilling with Hillel, you are conclusively not not unhungry. Have no fear; Rachel cooks well for a British person. They say they’re “bare chuffed” to be on board and will do anything short of going vegan to make your time with Hillel the best part of your day.
Tzedek and Academic 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.
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!
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, focusing on pure math because she’s just that talented and smart. In addition to her board position, she is also the Middlebury College Musical Theatre (MCMT) social chair, teaches Hebrew school at Havurah, takes ballet and voice lessons sporadically, is in the MCMT spring musical (come April 7-9!!), 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!
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.
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 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.