Josh Samet may have just become CAJE’s director of IST in May of this year at age 40, but he’s been prepping for the job ever since the third grade, in one leadership position after another.
He just didn’t realize it.
Josh Samet was different from most Jewish kids at the age of eight. He already had a sense of a greater Jewish community beyond his own family and synagogue. You see, his mother Diane Samet was a religious and preschool music teacher who rode the circuit between several synagogues and schools from 1978 to 1991.
Josh would often go with his mom to the different synagogues, and that experience, galvanized by his family’s commitment to Judaism, set him on a path that has led to his dream job.
While being exposed to different congregations, Samet’s home base was Temple Sinai, where his parents Diane and Barry and sister Kerry were active members, in addition to Diane’s teaching position there.
After her music teaching stint, Diane became the director of Temple Sinai’s religious school in 1991.
When she retired in 2006, she and Barry were awarded lifetime membership at Temple Sinai.
Josh Samet says he loved growing up at Temple Sinai, being with the same kids from kindergarten through confirmation. Among his fondest memories are those of spending Shabbat and High Holidays with his family at Sinai.
“Every week, we would light the candles and go to services at Temple Sinai. We had a strong Jewish household.”
“It’s who I am.”