About

Hi there, my name is Sammi and I am so glad that you found me here at The Spiritual Jew.  Most of my time, I am a high school student but with the other hours of the day, I am a Jewish History and Hebrew teacher, counselor, leader, and podcast host. I am passionate about many things including education, mental illness, spirituality, Judaism, and leadership.  I am also a BIG dreamer. I would like to become a Rabbi and motivational speaker/podcast host. I have traveled to 4 out of the 7 continents and I hope to capture my take on my adventures from the past and in the future on this blog.  Each trip that I have made whether far or wide has helped me grow and learn and so much more. Follow me on the journey of spiritual discovery and learning.  Love you lots.  Sending much love and light.

Washington, DC Lobbyist: LGBTQIA Rights – Religious Action Center – L’taken

January 11th-14th, 2019

At L’Taken, teens from across North America converge on Washington, DC for four days of advocacy and action. Discuss how the Reform Movement applies Jewish perspectives to mobilize around issues like reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change, Israel, health care, and more.

Fashion Your Passion Podcast Launches

January 4th, 2019

Sammi Reyes is your host, a high school student looking to help teens recreate their lives to find their true passion.

The Spiritual Jew Website Launches

October 6th, 2018

 

 

All things Spiritual. All things Jewish.

https://sammireyes.com/

Encouraging Student Voices at Principals, Advisors and Leaders (PAL) Conference

September 20th, 2018

“The goal is to help open our students’ eyes to having a voice and create a tradition of empowerment,” said Brenda O’Shea, Somers High School student council advisor, who accompanied five student leaders from the high school.

Assistant Madrichim (Teacher’s Assistant) Coordinator – Temple Shaaray Tefila

2018 to Present

Assist in payroll, creating and maintaining lesson plan database, scheduling, and planning of staff meetings, school events and placement of teacher’s assistants.

Madricha (Teacher’s Assistant) – Temple Shaaray Tefila

2013 to Present – Grades 7th thru 12th

Assist in classroom management, developing activities, and preparing lessons.

B’nai Mitzvah Tutor – Temple Shaaray Tefila

2018

One-on-one tutoring to prepare students to learn their Bar/Bar Mitzvah prayers and Torah portions.

Student Council Member

2012 to Present – Grades 6th thru 12th

Student Government positions:

  • 6th grade – Representative
  • 7th grade – Fundraising Officer
  • 8th grade – Student Council President
  • 9th grade – Class President
  • 10th grade – Executive Board Fundraising Officer
  • 11th grade – Executive Officer-at-large
  • 12th grade – Executive Board Treasurer

Camp Counselor – Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, Copake, NY

June thru August 2018

Camp counselor to girls ages 9 through 11 at the sleepaway camp I have been going to for the past six summers. Provided daily monitoring, scheduled reviews, and directed bunk through a wonderful summer of activities.

National Honor Society (NHS)

2017 to Present

Student Council Leadership Award

2016, 2017, and 2018

Speaker – Effects of Domestic Abuse in our Community – Northeast Westchester Domestic Abuse Alliance (NEWDAA)

April 22nd, 2018

Through the Westchester Youth Alliance, spoke at NEWDAA’s interfaith service about the power of domestic abuse on a community at the Presbyterian Church in Katonah.

Speaker – URJ Heller High Experience – Temple Shaaray Tefila

April 20th, 2018

Spoke to the students and congregation about my experience in studying abroad with URJ Heller High in Israel.

Noah Arnold Essay of Jewish Thought Award for “A World of Love and Care”

January 10th, 2018

We are proud to announce Sammi Reyes (Fall 2017) as the latest winner of the Noah Arnold Prize– a prize awarded each semester to a student who turns in the best essay on a question of Jewish thought. Noah, a student on the Fall 2015 semester, was a brilliant, inquisitive young person. He made an impression on his teachers by constantly asking challenging questions and wanting real, deep answers. URJ Heller High is honored to be able to memorialize Noah in this way.

Sammi was kind enough to share her essay with us, as well as some words about being awarded this honor:

“One day in Jewish History class, Ariella spoke of [Noah]. She spoke of how wonderful he was. How he always challenged everyone’s thoughts and how he wanted to know more and he never stopped…
The question: How are mitzvot (commandments) relevant in our lives today? I wrote this essay because it’s something that I am passionate about. Something that I love each day to continue to question and understand. Something that has become more of a prevalent question in my life today than any other day. As I grow, think, and learn so much, it becomes more of a unanswered question and less of a answerable question. I am overjoyed and honored to have been granted this gift.”

“A World of Love and Care” Essay:
https://sammireyes.com/a-world-of-love-and-care/

Educators Rising

January 2018 to Present

President in my senior year – Exploring my passion to help become a better educator.

https://www.educatorsrising.org/

URJ Heller High Israel Degree – 11th Grade

August thru December 2017

URJ Heller High: Isaac and Helaine Heller EIE High School in Israel (formerly NFTY-EIE) is a semester long (four months) program for high school students in grades 10-12 in Israel. Heller High is an intensive academic program and is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The program was established in 1961 by NFTY: The Reform Jewish Youth Movement.

Westchester Youth Alliance – Events and Communications Assistant

2015 to Present

The Westchester Youth Alliance’s mission is to build a bridge between our faith communities that fosters deep and lasting relationships among our high school students. Our interfaith youth program provides a vehicle for teens to engage in dialogue and action based on common values.

  1. In September, we join together in Bedford Corners for our leadership summit in which we bond and team building as well as a community service project.
  2. In October, we pair up with A-Home, a leader in northern Westchester developing cost effective local solutions to the national crisis in affordable housing. A-HOME reclaims abandoned buildings and renovate houses to offer an integrated approach to help low-income individuals and families move from crises to self-sufficiency. A-HOME promotes independent living within a network of community support. We will go to a local home that needs refurbishing and we spend 4 hours at that home repairing and sometimes meeting the families who live there.
  3. In February, we take a trip to the UN and host a panel of interfaith leaders to speak to us about each one of their faith traditions.
  4. Lastly in April, Holmes, NY for an interfaith weekend and in that weekend, we learn more about each other and a service project typically we pair with A-HOME.

New York Council on Leadership and Student Activities Student Representative

District 5 Representative (Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties)

Volunteer Nicaragua Bridges to Community

February 2017

Participated in the Nicaragua Service Learning Trip held by Temple Shaaray Tefila partners with Bedford Presbyterian Church and Bridges to Community to support local communities in Nicaragua. Was part of a great team that helped build two homes.

Washington, DC Lobbyist: Raising Minimum Wage to Living Wage – Religious Action Center – L’taken

January 11th, 2017

Lobbied Senator Schumer, Gillibrand and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney with youth concerns over lack of government accountability in raising minimum wage to meet living wage needs.

Representatives Inspiring Social Equality (RISE)

2017 to Present

  • Current position: President

Youth Group Board – Temple Shaaray Tefila

Years 2016 to 2017

Volunteered for midnight runs (heading down to NYC and giving people who are homeless food, clothes, coffee, etc). Planned events and ran social action projects for Jewish youth.

  • 9th Grade Representative
  • 10th grade Social Action Vice President
  • Continue to volunteer in an unofficial capacity

Relay for Life Team Lead

2012 thru 2017

North American Federation of Temple Youth – Lobbyist – East Ramapo Schooling

March 12th 2016

Lobbied against educational inequality in the East Ramapo school district on Albany Advocacy Day.

Active Member 2015-1016