Born in Crown Heights, Mendel Samuels’ family moved when he was barely a toddler to Miami, then to Seattle and later to Milwaukee, all because his parents were Chabad emissaries. When he was 9, his parents sent him to begin serious study of the Torah and the Talmud at a yeshiva in Detroit. At 16, he went to the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, N.J., where his grandfather, like his father, also was a rabbi, and was dean of the school. By the time Samuels arrived in Simsbury, Ct., he had spent two years in Caracas, Venezuela, as a rabbinic intern, and then sold goods in Manhattan for almost seven years because he wanted to make some money before working as a rabbi. He found little meaning in the work, never made the kind of money he had hoped for and finally realized the time had come to fulfill his destiny.
Rabbi Mendel Samuels, his wife Blumie and their children have lived in Simsbury, Connecticut since 1998 where their Chabad House has flourished over the years.