ALBANY – Sam Fein, Albany County legislator and a congregant of B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation, will discuss how his Jewish values led him on the path to public service in a talk at the synagogue on Friday, Sept. 9, immediately following the congregation’s Shabbat service. B’nai Sholom is at 420 Whitehall Rd., Albany. 


The 7 p.m. service and program, part of the congregation’s Synagogue Scholars series of talks, is open to all who wish to worship and learn and is offered in person and via Zoom. The synagogue office can provide the Zoom link. B’nai Sholom’s COVID policy for in-person attendance recommends masks and welcomes their use.  Seating will be maintained at a social distance.

Fein represents Albany County’s 6th District, which includes parts of the South End and Arbor Hill, a community impacted by high poverty, decades of disinvestment and a history of racially discriminatory policies such as redlining. A strong advocate for policies that advance the causes of racial and economic justice, Fein will talk about running for political office and some of the issues he has worked on, such as banning questions about criminal history on job applications, pushing for fair lending practices by financial institutions and advocating for investments in affordable housing and programs to prevent gun violence.

A native of Newton, Mass., Fein moved to the Capital Region to attend Union College, graduating in 2012, and has lived in Albany since 2013. He was inspired to enter public service by his grandfather, Rashi Fein, a Harvard economist considered one of the fathers of Medicare as he dedicated his life to fighting for a universal single-payer health care system.  Fein has a family connection to Albany: his great-grandfather grew up on Delaware Avenue and met the woman who became Fein’s great-grandmother at a Zionist club at the University at Albany. In addition, Fein’s family owned a chain of furniture stores in the Capital Region, including the Breslaw Brothers Furniture on South Pearl Street.

Fein’s hobbies include playing the guitar, outdoor activities, traveling and having conversations about politics, current events and world history. When looking for a synagogue, Fein reports that he was drawn to B’nai Sholom as a smaller congregation that has a strong sense of community and social justice-oriented Jewish values that match his own.

Information about the Sept. 9 program may be obtained at or by contacting the B’nai Sholom office: [email protected] or 518-482-5283.