Waterville Jewish Leadership Initiative

The Waterville Jewish Leadership Initiative empowers 2-3 students each year to invigorate and enrich Jewish life in Waterville.  Students  work with Rabbi Isaacs and Beth Israel Congregation Education Director, Melanie Weiss, as Hebrew School teachers and social entrepreneurs in Waterville.  Students are paid for working on all of the following projects:

1) Teaching Hebrew school with the Beth Israel Congregation (BIC) staff.
2) Curriculum development with the BIC staff that endeavors to make Hebrew school more engaging, substantive, and fun.
3) Participating in advanced Jewish learning with Rabbi Isaacs for 3  1-hour workshops a semester.
4) The creation and execution of one Jewish program for the greater  Waterville  community, that brings new depth and creativity to the local Jewish life.
5) Outreach to new students.

The 2013-2014 Waterville Jewish Leadership Initiative Fellows

sarina My name is Sarina Strohl. I grew up in Queens, New York and am currently in my senior year at Colby College. I am an anthropology major, and plan to travel after graduating. I am fascinated with the ways people construct their identities based on the spaces and times they exist in. I am very connected to my own identity as a biracial woman and hope to find a career working to promote women’s health and well-being.


-1Cara Goldfarb is a freshman at Colby College from Chappaqua, NY. Passionate about helping others, she was involved with a variety of community service related activities at her high school and synagogue. Some of these involvements included tutoring Latin American immigrants from a neighboring town, helping freshman assimilate into high school through her school’s Peer Leadership program, going on four service trips to Nicaragua with the organization Bridges to Community, and tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students. Having had the opportunity to travel with her family as well as with various summer programs, she has developed a love for learning about other cultures. Judaism has taught Cara the importance of building strong communities wherever you may be, and with this lesson she is very excited to join the Waterville Jewish community.



My name is Lyndsey Pecker, and I am a senior with a double major in Government and French from New York City. I love to travel, speak different languages and explore new cultures! I am a past Shabbat coordinator and Hillel president, and this year will also be serving on the Hillel board as the Beth Israel Liaison.  I will be working this year with Rabbi Isaacs on communications, development, and community partnerships.