Rabbi Samuel Bloom was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia on April 8, 1926. Highly educated, he earned bachelors and doctorate degrees from NYU, sandwiching a masters in between from Union College. He was ordained at Beth Joseph Rabbinical Seminary in Brooklyn.
The Congregation’s Synagogue was located on the corner of Liberty and Grove Street when Bloom first arrived in town and it thrived under his leadership. He was a gifted orator, just as well versed on most secular issues as he was the Torah. His schedule was filled with speaking engagements all over the city and every Sunday morning he hosted his own talk show on WCSS radio for thirty years. A true servant of the community, Bloom was a very active volunteer in Amsterdam’s United Way campaigns and was a champion of this town’s efforts at interfaith dialog and understanding, also serving as President of the Greater Amsterdam Clergy Association.
He and his beloved wife Eleanor raised a son Michael and a daughter Nadine. The talented Mrs. Bloom was also very active and involved in her faith, serving as executive director of the Empire Region of the United Synagogue of America and sitting on the board of the National Jewish Youth Directors of America.
The highlight of Rabbi Bloom’s wonderful stewardship of Congregation Sons of Israel was its move to a beautiful brand new home at 355 Guy Park Avenue in 1976. Bloom documented the historic moment with these words: “A Congregation, too, lives in moments. Many years are spent in planning, working and dreaming. Then at long last, the dream is realized. The exciting moment arrives. The great moment for which Congregation Sons of Israel has indefatigably worked is now here.”
In 1988, tragedy struck the family and the Congregation when Eleanor Bloom died that February and the good Rabbi passed away just five months later. He was just 62 years old at the time of his death. No permanent replacement has ever been named.
This Amsterdam WWII hero was also born on April 8.