Working as Youth and Young Adult Director at Anshe Emet Synagogue is a tremendous opportunity to reach young people in the Chicago Jewish community - and Samantha Isenstein is certainly making an impact. She developed
a multi-denominational high school educational program that brings Conservative, Orthodox and Reform congregations, as well as area day schools, in partnership with one another. The result is an inclusive program that extends an open hand to all Chicago Jewish high schoolers.
Samantha is an example to not only teens, but also her fellow youth professionals. She is past president of the Jewish Youth Directors Association, and continues to guide new youth advisors, helping them see the importance of their work.
A JCC Camp Chi "lifer" who met, got engaged to and married her husband through camp, it's no surprise Samantha also sits on the camp's alumni committee.
ON THE SIDE:
Not on the side, but being a mom to two kids, Micah and Ilana, and a dog named Jerry, is also a full-time job.
HOW YOU JEW IN CHICAGO:
Jewing in Chicago is not just my full-time job, but also what I am most passionate about. When I do not have my Jewish educator hat (which is typically a kippah) on, I love going to Anshe Emet’s Young Family programming and jBaby events with my kids. Becoming a mom and sharing my love for Jewish traditions and culture with my own children has enhanced my role as a Jewish educator. I also learned how to play mah jongg and would love to keep that up.
IF TIME AND MONEY WERE LIMITLESS, I WOULD:
I would take my family and friends in a giant RV (or two) and a few private jets and go on a massive road trip to visit all 59 United States National Parks.