Today is July 21, 2019 -
The spiritual leader of Temple Israel in Scranton, Rabbi Saks previously served Congregation B’nai Israel in Sylvania, Ohio, near Toledo. Rabbi Saks was formerly the spiritual leader of the Beth Tzedec Congregation in Calgary, the largest synagogue in the province of Alberta, Canada for over 11 years. Rabbi Saks was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1981, at which time he also received his M.A. in Rabbinics. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from JTS in December of 2007. Previously, Rabbi Saks attended Yeshiva University in New York, where he received a B.A. in history, and a B.H.L. (Bachelor of Hebrew Letters) in Jewish history. Rabbi Saks has also been certified in C.P.E. (Clinical Pastoral Education) as a pastoral therapist, and is a certified A.R.C. (Alcohol Rehabilitation Counselor).
Rabbi Saks is a well-known expert in the dietary (Kosher) laws within the Conservative movement. He has also been involved in interfaith outreach throughout his career, both with the Alberta chapter of the CCCJ (Canadian Council of Christians and Jews), and in teaching courses in Judaism for the community (most notably for the Diocese of Calgary), as well at the University of Scranton and the Center City Ministerium since his arrival in Scranton. In June of 2005, Rabbi Saks received the Alberta Centennial Medal for outstanding service to the people and province of Alberta. While in Ohio, Rabbi Saks was appointed to the faculty of the University of Toledo as a Visiting Lecturer in Jewish History.
Rabbi Saks is married to Meira Shapiro Saks, the daughter of Rabbi Alexander M. Shapiro, ז״ל, former head of the Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Shapiro was a national spokesman for Conservative Judaism and drove the successful effort to ordain women as Conservative rabbis. He also worked to reconcile differences between the major branches of Judaism.
Rabbi Saks and Meira have five children; (Rabbi) Ari and his wife, Rachel; Rachel, and her husband, Dan; Dani, and his wife Naomi, Reena, and her husband, Oren, and Eliana. They are the proud grandparents of Jonah, Eitan and a newborn granddaughter.