Hip Rabbi Comes To UM’s Hillel

The Hillel, UM’s center for Jewish students, recently welcomed a new addition to its staff: Rabbi Sam Bregman.
Bregman, a 25-year-old, grew up in Boca Raton and is familiar with Jewish life in South Florida.
He graduated from Emory University with a law degree.
“Orgo knocked me out of pre-med, so what else could I do?” he said.
Bregman once thought that the Torah had little to offer him, since most of it was irrelevant to modern life, but he felt that there was something missing in his life.
“I was someone who had it all, but I knew that something was still missing, just a feeling I had in my gut,” he said.
Bregman did not realize until halfway through law school that spreading the Jewish faith was what he felt called to do.
Bregman attended Yashiva [seminary for men to study the Torah]in both New York and Jerusalem.
Bregman now resides in a house off of San Amaro Drive with his wife, Mandy, and their three-month-old son, Aaron.
Twenty-five might sound a little young to be called “Rabbi” [meaning teacher], but Bregman believes that his youth helps him to be a better teacher.
“Many people meet me and say, ‘Wow! You’re the youngest Rabbi I’ve ever met,'” Bregman said. “Most students have never had a relationship with a Rabbi so close in age and life experience, someone they can so easily relate to.”
“You can call me, the ‘Un-intimidator,'” Bregman said.
The Collegiate Learning Exchange, a group whose mission is to “provide authentic and meaningful Jewish experiences to college students,” offered Bregman a job in Miami, close to UM, hoping he would enrich the campus Jewish community.
Shortly after that, Bregman was also offered the job as Hillel’s campus Rabbi.
So far he is happy with both of his new positions.
“The Hillel staff has been very welcoming and friendly,” he said. “I have been impressed by their professionalism and commitment to the students.”
UM is equally thrilled to have Bregman here.
“Rabbi Bregman brings new energy with the Collegiate Learning Exchange,” UM President Donna E. Shalala said. “We are excited by his arrival and look forward to working with him to improve the quality of our students’ experience.”
Bregman’s goal for UM is ambitious, but he is confident it can be done.
“My main goal is to increase the number of Jewish students interested in Judaism,” Bregman said. “I aim to create a vibrant environment where Jewish students can come to explore their heritage in a user-friendly, welcoming environment, irrespective of their current level of involvement or denominational background.”
Although he has been here a only year, Bregman has already had several successful programs through Hillel, including a class on Kaballah [Jewish mysticism] last semester, as well as an ongoing project called PiT [Partners in Torah] in which prominent members of the Jewish community come to the Hillel so students can mingle with them.
The PiT meets every Wednesday from 8 to 9 p.m. at the Hillel.
Other programs include a “wildly popular” beginner’s service, in which Bregman explains the traditions of Jewish worship services.
Bregman frequently has students as guests in his home for Shabbat and has taken students on Jewish tours.
Last semester he took students to Atlanta.
This semester he has planned a big trip to New York City for Spring Break.
Students who have worked with Bregman reacted positively to the newcomer.
“Rabbi Bregman is perfect for the University of Miami, and his dedication to his students is infinitely appreciated because his efforts have provided insight and inspiration,” Adam Bernheim, freshman, said.
Bregman’s advice to students, having so recently been one, is:
“Take advantage of the college years to explore your heritage, whatever it is,” he said. “You’ll never have as much free time or intellectual curiosity.”

Rabbi Bregman encourages students with questions to contact him at

March 4, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Dolphins bringing Frank Gore back home hit all of the right emotional notes. The heart testified ...

As the Hurricanes put an end to their first week of spring practice, they had a lot more eyes watchi ...

Sophomore Bruce Brown announced Thursday that he has declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, the University ...

Lots of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday, with the second spring practice session set for Thursday mo ...

The battle for the University of Miami quarterback job began in earnest with the start of spring pra ...

Women’s Commission’s 47th annual breakfast honors those who stand up to make a difference for women ...

The Kislak Center opens, aims to advance new forms of scholarship and build bridges across the Unive ...

Novelist Jennine Capó Crucet’s Miami-spiced book talk spotlighted the One Book, One U initiative. ...

As part of the “It’s On Us” initiative, the former vice president urged the UM community to help com ...

Haitian-born Henri Ford’s incredible journey to the deanship of the Miller School of Medicine. ...

Chalk round two up to Raymond Gil, who made amends with a walk-off single to send the Hurricanes pas ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will close out the week against another top-20 oppone ...

The Hurricanes set two school records in the men's throws and had two female student-athletes p ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team was on the verge of knocking down top-ranked Wake For ...

The University of Miami volleyball team hosts Florida Atlantic University at the James L. Knight Spo ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.