Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead is excited to welcome Rabbi Samantha Safran as the director of Jewish life and learning. In this newly created position, Rabbi Safran will join the leadership team at EHS, and she will oversee the Jewish studies curriculum and Judaic program and life at the school. In her role, she seeks to inspire and engage students, faculty and parents to find meaning and joy in Judaism. She also is very committed to pluralism, and she is eager to connect and deepen Jewish engagement and learning across the spectrum of Jewish practices, beliefs and backgrounds.
Rabbi Safran holds a master of arts in Hebrew letters as well as her rabbinical title from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. Originally from Great Neck, New York, she studied classics and philosophy at Colgate University and worked in film preservation before migrating to the Jewish professional world, and still maintains a love of languages and the arts. Rabbi Safran comes to EHS after nine years at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston, where she oversaw Jewish education and programming for all ages.
“I am thrilled to become the inaugural director of Jewish life and learning at EHS,” she said. “For me, this position is an opportunity to help shape the hearts and minds of students through a Jewish lens and to ensure their Jewish identity is a voice that speaks to them as they emerge as adults and make choices about how to interact with the world around them. In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Tarfon taught: ‘When one studies much Torah, one is given much reward.’ For today’s youth, Torah is Kohelet and it is also Koolulam; it is Shir HaShirim and it is Chagall; it is Maimonides, and also the March for Our Lives. I believe that Judaism can speak to all aspects of life, from health, fitness and food, to ethics, philosophy and art, and I look forward to helping students, families and staff discover a Judaism that is meaningful to them. In the short time I spent visiting EHS, everyone was so welcoming and couldn’t say enough great things about how special the community is. I am honored to become a part of it and I look forward to embarking upon this new journey.”
In her spare time, Rabbi Safran enjoys listening to live music, reading The New Yorker, watching classic movies and spending time outdoors. She is excited to transition to life on the North Shore with her husband, Sacha, and their children Naya (10) and Ezra (6).
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