|Seattle, WA (January 11, 2022): The Washington State Jewish Historical Society and Samis Foundation announce the launch of Samis Foundation: Life and Legacy, the latest digital exhibit as part of the Washington Jewish Museum (WJM), and the much-anticipated publication of Samuel Israel’s biography, Our Brother’s Keeper, The Life of Sam Israel. The WJM is the state’s first digital Jewish Museum to preserve and bring to life the people, memories, and events that have impacted and continue to shape Jewish life in Washington State.|
Samuel Israel and his family immigrated from Rhodes to Seattle in 1919 where he founded a successful shoe repair business. Before his death in 1994, Sam established the Samis Foundation to support intensive, immersive Jewish education in Washington State, and six program areas in Israel including aliyah and absorption, archaeology, educational support, widows and orphans, poverty and social mobility, and wildlife preservation. In addition, the Foundation provides disaster relief when crises or natural disasters hit communities across the globe. Since its inception the Foundation has given over $100 million in grants in support of over 150 different programs, organizations, and initiatives.
“The new Samis exhibit has given us a great opportunity to honor Sam Israel’s legacy and reflect on the extraordinary impact of his philanthropic vision. The timing for the exhibit couldn’t be better, as this month we are also excited to publish Sam’s biography which is not only a testament to his life and that of the Israel family, but also provides great insights on Sephardic Jewish immigration to Seattle,” said Samis’ CEO Connie Kanter.
After years of extensive archival research, interviews, and writing, Sam Israel’s biography, Our Brother’s Keeper, The Life of Sam Israel, written by Richard S. Hobbs, will be formally released at a virtual event on January 31, 2022, at 7:30PM. Please email email@example.com to register for the program. Click here to order a copy of the book.
The first Jewish people came to Washington State in the early 1850s and have served as philanthropists, politicians, musicians, business leaders and sports stars. The addition of The Samis Foundation: Life and Legacy exhibit to the Washington Jewish Museum brings to life an important piece of the state’s rich Jewish history. “Sam Israel’s vision for the Samis Foundation changed the history of Washington State through the funding of Jewish education,” said WSJHS Executive Director Lisa Kranseler. “This exhibit was curated using the Washington State Jewish Archives, oral histories, and documentation provided by the Samis Foundation. Including this exhibit in the WJM brings all these collections together in one place and gives everyone access to this important part of Washington history.”
Samis Foundation: Life and Legacy is sponsored by the Samis Foundation.
WSJHS: Lisa Kranseler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Samis: Stella Safte, email@example.com
The Washington State Jewish Historical Society’s mission is to preserve and present the history of Jewish life in Washington state. The Society fosters awareness and appreciation of the experiences, the diverse culture, and the significant contributions of Jews, past and present. We build bridges with communities by sharing the stories of our collective histories and serving as an educational resource.
For more information go to www.wsjhs.org
About the Samis Foundation Founded in 1994 to fulfill the charitable mission and vision of Samuel Israel, the Samis Foundation is Washington State’s largest Jewish philanthropic organization. The Foundation supports intensive, immersive Jewish education in Washington State, and strategic initiatives in the State of Israel. Key funding priorities in Washington include Jewish day schools, overnight Jewish summer camps, teen Israel experiences, and youth enrichment and engagement programs. Priority program areas in Israel include support for people on the peripheries of Israeli society and investments in archaeology and wildlife conservation.