Clergy & Administration

Rabbi - Steven Saks

In September 2022 Rabbi Steven Saks assumed the position as spiritual leader at Congregation Sons Of Israel in Woodmere NY. Rabbi Saks served as the full-time spiritual leader of Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth Congregation in Wilmington, DE from 2008-2022 and at Adath Zion Congregation in Philadelphia from 2006-2008. He currently serves as a vice president for Morasha, the rabbinic fellowship of the Union for Traditional Judaism. Rabbi Saks received s’micha (rabbinic ordination) in August 2006 from Kollel Ayshel Avraham in Spring Valley, NY and a subsequent s’micha from faculty of the Institute of Traditional Judaism 2012. He holds a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Development from Towson University, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, as well as a black belt in Jiu Jitsu. Prior to coming to Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth, in August 2008, his past experiences include teaching classes in religious and secular studies, working as a hospital chaplain, serving as a Big Brother through the Jewish Big Brother/Sister League, teaching Jiu Jitsu and participating, on two occasions, in the Volunteers for Israel Army Program. Rabbi Saks has twice served as the head of the Delaware Association of Rabbis and Cantors, headed the Vaad HaKashrut of Delaware,), was the rabbinical head of the Chevra kaddisha (burial society), leads AIPAC delegations, organized a communal trip to Israel with other local synagogues and has served on the boards of various communal organizations. Rabbi Saks and his wife, Anne, a high school math teacher, have four daughters; Talia, age 16, Gavriella, age 14 and twins Elisheva and Margalit age 12.

Rabbi Emeritus - Bruce Ginsburg

Rabbi Bruce Ginsburg assumed the pulpit at Congregation Sons of Israel in 1991. A product of Boston University, New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary, and Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, he holds a doctorate in Hebrew literature. Known for his decades-old activism on behalf of Israel, Soviet Jewry, and intra/interfaith cooperation, he has served both as president of the Long Island Board of Rabbis and as president of the Union for Traditional Judaism. His essays have appeared in Newsday, the Christian Science Monitor, the Jerusalem Report, and other publications.

Rabbi Ginsburg and his wife, Rachel, moved to Israel in the summer of 2022.  In doing so, they fulfilled a lifelong dream and have been reunited with their children – Dyonna and Zeev, Naama and Rabbi Daniel, and Ariel and Estie – as well as with their minyan of grandchildren.

Cantor - Moshe Weiss

Cantor Moshe Weiss, an experienced and accomplished cantor, earned his ‘degree’ in chazzonus the old fashioned way: as a young boy, while still serving as an alto soloist with the famed Jacob Goldstein choir, he apprentice-trained with Cantor Leible Waldman, one of the last cantors of that period known as the “golden age of chazzanut.” In his teens, he studied voice with Avshalom Zfira, and nusach and recitative with Cantors Macy Nullman, Noach Schall, and David Koussevitzky. Though he fine-tuned his craft through formal study, Cantor Weiss came to chazzonus by virtue of lineage as well: his maternal grandfather, obm, whose name he bears, served as staat chazzan of Rachav, Czechoslovakia. A staunch proponent of maintaining traditional nusach haT’filah, Cantor Weiss has lectured and written on this and other subjects related to Jewish music. In addition to his role on the bima, he has successfully prepared many students who have gone on to serve as sh’lichei tzibbur themselves. The art of t’filah b’tzibbur has changed dramatically from days of yore. By his synthesis of age-old liturgical modes and contemporary participatory congregational melodies, Chazzan Weiss presents a rendition of t’filah which is rooted in the past, speaks to the present, and will help ensure the future of synagogue prayer. It is our pleasure to welcome Cantor Moshe Weiss to the Congregation Sons of Israel family!

Executive/Educational Director - Harriet Gefen​

Harriet Gefen began her association with Congregation Sons of Israel in 1987 as Educational Director of the synagogue and assumed the additional position of Executive Director in 1997. A graduate of Columbia University, Barnard College, Harriet holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Education, NYS and NYC teachers licenses as well as a permanent principal’s license from the Board of Jewish Education. She earned a Masters of Education degree in Mental Health and School Counseling from Queens College and is a fellow of the Jewish Educators Assembly. She serves on the executive board of the Conservative Principals Council.

In her capacity as Educational/Executive Director, she has introduced a number of innovative and creative programs including Mechina Hebrew School classes for 4-7 year olds, Mommy and Me and Summer camp Nursery programs, Ganoni – Hebrew immersion Pre-school program for 18 month olds – 4 year olds, Shalhevet – Religious School program for Israeli Hebrew speaking children and J Stars Russian program. Harriet was the founder of the community supported Sulam-LI- The Religious School for Jewish Children with Special Needs which is housed at The Friedberg JCC in Oceanside.