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

Ben JPGBen Fine

Hello! My name is Ben Fine and I am a sophomore at Colby College. Being half Israeli, Judaism and Israel have both played a huge role in my life. For me, Judaism is not only a religion, but also a shared bond and connection with people all around the world and across generations. I am so excited to work with the Waterville Jewish community because it will give me the chance to impart my passion of Hebrew and Israeli culture onto the Jewish teens of Waterville. My goal is to help the students learn new ways of thinking about Judaism, Hebrew, and their connection to Israel.

-1Cara Goldfarb

My name is Cara Goldfarb and I am sophomore from Chappaqua, NY majoring in Environmental Policy. This is my second year as a Waterville Jewish Leadership Initiative fellow and I am thrilled to be tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students and helping to teach Hebrew school. One of the most important lessons that Reform Judaism has taught me is to value and foster a strong community. With this in mind, I look forward to continuing to develop a deep connection with the members of the Beth Israel Congregation and the Colby Hillel.

1002659_10152235570132836_335562812_nSarah Rockford

Hi, my name is Sarah Rockford. I am a senior at Colby studying French and Global Studies. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and was raised in a Conservative Jewish household. A long ways from my Jewish roots in Denver, Colby Hillel has encouraged me to continue to engage with my Jewish heritage by connecting me with a supportive community of students, teachers and a place in the Beth Israel congregation. I am looking forward to working as the student ambassador with the Beth Israel congregation because I want to give back to the people who have so warmly welcomed me into their synagogue. I believe that student membership with Beth Israel is an invaluable learning experience for students as we look forward and think about our role in the community as Jewish adults and college graduates. Under the leadership of Rabbi Isaacs, Colby Hillel and the Beth Israel congregation, is an important connection between the college and the Waterville community, a connection I look forward to fostering this coming year.