Nominee’s nameSam Arnold

SEEN Changemaker CategoryNonprofits

A picture of the nomineeA picture of the nominee
Nominee’s job titleLay Leader: Lead Religous Services, Read Torah, Teach Children within the Religous School
Nominee’s cityFarmington Hills
Please describe why the nominee is a SEEN Changemaker:

Within Judaism, there is an idea that the phrase: "Jewish Leadership" is not actually a real thing. The Rabbis wrestle with the idea of: How could Jewish leadership not be a real idea? It took a while, but, the Rabbis came to a conclusion that this idea was ambiguous because not only is it leadership done by Jewish people, it is leadership in a Jewish way (according to both Judaic Principles and Values).

I am a SEEN Changemaker because I strive to work according to Jewish Values, principles and Values. I believe that to start, responsibility must be taken for actions made. Within the Torah, in the book of Shemot, Moses is seen taking responsibility when he sees Shepards abusing the daughter of Yitro. Being an Egyptain himself, he could have stood idly by. However, he intervenes and demands that what they are doing is not ethical. This stands out to me because as a leader within the Jewish Community, it shows we are free to make our own choices, yet at the same time, make choices that will help change and shape the world!

Additionally, I consider myself a SEEN Changemaker because I am always learning. Whether I am talking to someone or teaching, I always strive to find meaning in what was said. Not only do I enjoy learning, but, I also trust and believe in my colleagues. Within Judaism, these core ideas are fundamental to a healthy work atmosphere. In the book of Yehoshua (Joshua), Joshua is commanded that to fulfill the Mitzvah (good deed), he must keep the laws on his lips and to meditate on it both day and night (Joshua 1:8). Why does he need to study? Because if he does not study, then there won't be any direction. The Torah also teaches that to have direction, you need trust. he rabbis gave a remarkable interpretation of the passage where Moses says about the Israelites, “They will not believe in me.” God said to Moses: “They are believers the children of believers, but in the end you will not believe.”
This Pasuk (verse) gives us a remarkable revelation. Judaism prefers the leadership of influence to the leadership of power. Therefore, I strive to be someone that people can come to for information and yet, I can still be influenced by what they have shared with me.

Tell us about the individual’s accomplishments:

Work Experience:
Teacher at Congregation Of Moses (Kalamazoo)
Temple Beth El Camp Intern
AISH Detroit Safety Town Week Counselor
February Break Camp Counselor at AISH Detroit
Madrich at Adat Shalom Synagogue
I taught Robin Lash how to read Torah and Haftorah for her 50th Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Intern for The Jewish Fund Teen Board
Intern for Changing Hands
Mini Camp Counselor
Madrich for Congregation Shaarey Zedek Religious School
Tutor for Joane Broade
Camp Counselor: Hillel Day School
Counselor in Training: JCC Day Camp
Food Packager: Forgotten Harvest
Metro Detroit Youth Day Scholarship
Congregation Shaarey Zedek Senior of the Year
Rising Star: Teens Making a Difference Award
Academic Letter
Excellence in Minyan
Leonard and Ann Baruch Scholarship Award
Received a Varsity Letter for Cross Country
J-Serve Teen Leadership Board
Stand With Us Teen Board
Congregation Shaarey Zedek Representative for MCUSY
Torah Bytes Representative for CRUSY
Jewish Education Seed Conference Synagogue Representative

How is he/she impacting the community or the lives of people in Metro Detroit or across the world.

Sam Arnold of Farmington Hills, a Freshman at Western Michigan University, belongs to Congregation Shaarey Zedek, BBYO and USY. His goal is to one day be ordained a Conservative rabbi.

Sam’s goal is to “live a life full of passion and meaning.” He has volunteered at Forgotten Harvest and, as a member of the Jewish Fund Teen Board, helped allocate grants totaling $50,000. He’s volunteered at the JCC, working with kindergarteners and first-graders and at the Hillel Early Childhood Center Day Camp as a counselor. He also serves as chair of the J-Serve Teen Board Committee.

He runs cross-country and plays the viola in the school orchestra. He attended the JustCity Leadership Institute at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the AIPAC Policy Conference and the Schusterman Conference as a USY representative. He was the Torah Bytes Fellow for USY Central Region and Shaarey Zedek’s representative for Motor City USY.

Sam has worked at CSZ, Aish Detroit and Adat Shalom teaching Hebrew to third-through sixth-graders, and recently helped a congregant learn to read Torah and Haftorah for her 50th bat mitzvah anniversary. He is a regular Torah reader, Haftorah reader and Megillah reader at CSZ. He started his own blog on Times of Israel so he could share his love of Torah and his thoughts with the world.


The SEEN Changemaker Awards are brought to you by

Peter and Danialle Karmanos