Lily Solochek is a fourth year rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Lily has a BA in Theatre and in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and has an MA in Jewish Studies from JTS. Lily hopes to someday be congregational rabbi and work in a small town, cultivating communities deeply grounded in Jewish tradition and values that speak to the needs of today’s world. They have a deep love of midrash and niggunim (Jewish melodies), along with hiking, good coffee and feminist science fiction. Lily lives in NYC with their wife Lanni. 

Natalie Louise Shribman is thrilled to be working for the Center for Small Town Jewish Life in Maine this coming school year. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Natalie currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio; and is a fourth year rabbinical student. Before beginning her rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College, she studied at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, earning degrees in Religious Studies and Philosophy.

For the past two years, Natalie has served as the student rabbi for congregations in Columbus, Indiana and Marion, Ohio. Last summer she directed an interfaith day camp in Cincinnati called Kids4Peace; and she became the camp coordinator last school year. Before beginning her work in Maine, Natalie is leading a group of Christian middle school students on an interfaith and civil rights trip to Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Selma, and Huntsville, Alabama. Natalie is looking forward to working alongside Rabbi Erica Asch at Temple Beth El in Augusta, Maine.

Benjy Forester

Originally from the Chicago area, Benjy’s passion for Jewish community and education has taken him around the world and back again. After attending Jewish youth group, camp, and day school, Benjy took his strong Jewish background to WashU in St. Louis where he studied Pyschology-Neuroscience-Philosophy (PNP) and served as President of WashU Hillel. Benjy spent many years working at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, primarily with the Tikvah program for campers with special needs. A Fellow on the inaugural year of the Nachshon Project, a selective program involving a semester spent in Jerusalem for college juniors interested in pursuing Jewish careers, Benjy was then accepted as a Nachshon Project Graduate School Fellow. After graduating college, Benjy spent a year as a JDC Jewish Service Corps Fellow in Budapest, Hungary where his work focused on teen programming and leadership development, and he then spent a year at the Hadar Institute in New York as a full-time Fellow in the Yeshiva. Now a first-year rabbinical student at JTS, Benjy looks forward to bringing his love for Jewish learning and community to his experiences in Waterville.