Meet the Board

Co-Presidents – Fall 2016

Gabriella Foster ’19 

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Gabby is from Nashua, New Hampshire and is a sophomore here at Colby. When she isn’t hanging out in the Hillel room, you can find her either dancing in Runnals or singing in Bixler with the Colbyettes. She is thrilled to help lead Hillel with her co-president with Alex this upcoming semester. Hillel is one of Gabby’s favorite groups at Colby and she is so excited for another three years of Hillel fun! (P.S. Gabby loves gelato, as is featured in her photo, and is hoping to host a Gelato Fiasco Hillel event before she graduates, possibly even this fall!)



Alex Wolansky ’17

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Hi my name is Alex Wolansky, I am a senior studying Sociology and Economics. I am from Houston, TX but grew up in Bloomington, IL. This past summer I’ve been doing a research project gathering community input on revitalization efforts going on in Downtown Waterville and compiling peoples responses into a report to impact future decisions for these efforts. I’ll be continuing this research this year and will be writing my thesis on these revitalization efforts as well. I will be one of the co-presidents for Hillel this fall and am extremely excited for all of the great programming we have coming up. My favorite Hillel event is Thai and Torah and I love celebrating Purim at Beth Israel.

Executive Board- Spring 2016


Solon Arguello ’17 – Rabbi’s Assistant and Beth Israel Liaison
Former Co-President: Jan 2013 – May 2013
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Hi, my name is Solon Arguello. My role on the board is Beth Israel and Colby Hillel liaison, as well as working for Rabbi Rachel Isaacs as her student assistant. I’m originally from Miami, FL, and have really enjoyed working with Colby Hillel. I have been able to spend a Jan Plan in Tel Aviv, learn Hebrew, and spend Jewish holidays with the Jewish community at Colby, making it feel like home.





Ilana Zyatitsky ’18

Ilana is a sophomore and a government or global studies major and minoring in Russian. Apart from Hillel, she is on the Crew Team and participated in Model UN. She looks forward to being on the Hillel board as being Jewish has always been an important part of her life.




Rachel Bird ’18 –
Hi! I’m a sophomore from Bethesda, Maryland. I’m planning to major in Anthropology and minor in something interesting that I haven’t decided on yet. I volunteer at the Waterville Humane Society, and I enjoy spending too much money at Selah Tea. I’m really excited to be more involved with Hillel this year. My absolute favorite Jewish holiday is Purim, which I like to describe as a sort of drunken version of Halloween. Every year Hillel and the Beth Israel Congregation host a Purim party with delicious food, a Megillah reading, and a hilarious skit that tells the story of Purim (with some comedic license — last year the skit starred Batman!) It’s always fun to have a chance to dress up on goofy costumes, and there are tons of groggers (noisemakers) for everyone, children and college students alike.


Jess Greenwald ’18Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 19.35.55

Jess Greenwald is a sophomore from Denver, Colorado. She is a Classic Civilization major with a minor in Creative Writing. She enjoys trying new recipes for shabbat dinners and will voluntarily eat any challah offered to her. Her favorite Jewish holiday might be Hanukkah because you’re supposed to eat fried food, or maybe Purim, because you’re supposed to wear costumes and drink. Her hobbies include talking about her dog, scarf-collecting, and writing lots of papers for classes.


Noa Gutow- Ellis ’19

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Noa Gutow-Ellis is a first-year & History major from Houston, Texas. Outside of Hillel, she mentors a local third grader through CCAK. She’s passionate about Israel, specifically what we can learn from studying the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict. Noa loves Thai and Torah and weekly Shabbat dinners which both provide opportunities to eat, learn and have meaningful conversations with other Hillel members.




Cara Goldfarb ’17
Former Co-President: Feb 2015 – Dec 2015

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Cara is a junior and an Environmental Policy major from Chappaqua, NY. Apart from her involvement with Hillel, Cara is a Waterville Jewish Leadership Fellow, a COOT Leader (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips), a member of the Oak Student Committee, and the Co-Program Coordinator of the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. In her free time she loves to travel, learn about other cultures, and spend time outdoors.

No matter how busy I am with schoolwork or extracurricular activities, I have always found a place of comfort within the Hillel community at Colby. With such a vibrant group of students and an abundance of great programming, I know that meaningful conversations will never be lacking (and most likely, neither will delicious homemade food). Hillel and its close connection to the Beth Israel Synagogue in Waterville bring a sense of home to Maine, and I could not imagine my Colby experience without them.

Amanda Kirsch ’17

imageAmanda is a junior majoring in Biology from Atlanta, GA. She adores shabbat dinners and other Hillel events that take place regularly in the Colby community. Outside of Hillel, she volunteers weekly cooking and serving meals at the Mid-Maine homeless shelter. Amanda is currently planning on studying abroad in Israel this Spring.

Since it can be a bit difficult maintaining Jewish life outside of a big city when your family is not around, Hillel is a huge help when it comes to keeping Judaism a part of my life. From having regular shabbat dinners, to making easy ways to attend services and keep traditions around holidays, to even having random Jewish-related and bonding activities, I can’t imagine having a Jewish experience at Colby without Hillel.

Chantal Naegali ’18
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My name is Chantal Naegeli and I am from Montclair, New Jersey. I am a sophomore at Colby, and will be double-majoring in Anthropology and in French. Apart from being on the Hillel board, I am also a part of CCAK, Maine Aspiration Tours, and Mediocre A Cappella group. The best part about Hillel is meeting so many cool people, and also the really great food!


Contact the Board

Gabby Foster-

Alex Wolansky-