Humans of TE: Joel Sussman


Humans of TE: One Story at a Time – #TEGivesThanks #ComeHometoTE

This November, Temple Emanuel gives THANKS to YOU, our community. Join us each day as we highlight a fascinating member of our community.

Joel Sussman

“Our family has been associated with Temple Emanuel since 1955 when my wife’s parents (Joshua and Rose Hurwitz) became active members. My wife was Bat Mitzvahed here; we were married here; our eldest son Ari was president of the TE USY Chapter; our granddaughter Julie goes to TE Hebrew School.

I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and later met my wife Debbie while we were in Israel – I was working for Sherut La’am (Israeli Peace Corp) and she was studying abroad at the Hebrew University.”

Joel began playing professionally in rock bands at the age of 15 and is a member and songwriter of the Jewish American group, Safam. Safam audiences range in age from nine months to ninety years — a testament to the diversity of style and content Safam presents. Laughter and tears — singing and dancing — nostalgia and hope are among the whirlwind of emotional reactions that one experiences during a Safam concert. Often copied, never duplicated, they are originals — original music, original lyrics, original arrangements — their songs have become a fabric of our Jewish lives.