April 2022 Bulletin Ref1

On our Newest Members

Sam grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and moved to the Capital Region to attend Union College.  He graduated in 2012 and has lived in Albany since 2013.  Sam has a deep family connection to Albany:  his great-grandfather grew up on Delaware Avenue and met the woman who became Sam’s great-grandmother at a Zionist club at the University at Albany. Sam’s family owned a chain of furniture stores in the Capital Region, including Breslaw Brothers Furniture on South Pearl Street.

Sam is an Albany County legislator representing the 6th district, which includes parts of the South End and Arbor Hill.  Sam explained the community he represents is impacted by high poverty as well decades of disinvestment and a history of racially discriminatory policies such as redlining.  He is a strong advocate for policies that advance the causes of racial and economic justice.

Sam’s hobbies include playing the guitar, participating in outdoor activities, traveling and having conversations about politics, current events and world history.  When Sam was looking for a synagogue, he was drawn to B’nai Sholom because our progressive values are consistent with his own progressive social justice-oriented Jewish values.  He noted that B’nai Sholom is a smaller congregation that has a strong sense of community.

Sam joined B’nai Sholom to connect more with the Jewish community, grow spiritually, meet new people and engage in Jewish social justice actions

When asked if there was anything else he wanted people to know about him, Sam mentioned that on his mom’s side his grandparents were Holocaust survivors who fled the Nazis in Poland and came to America after the war.  On his dad’s side, his grandfather was an economist who believed health care is a human right and fought for a single-payer health care system, while his grandmother was very involved in Jewish philanthropy work and was president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston.  In closing, Sam said the values that his grandparents taught him are very important to who he is and have led him to try to make a world a fairer and more just place.

B'nai Sholom Albany NY