A homecoming for Saul Oresky

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Rabbi Saul Oresky (Photo by Hannah Monicken)

Rabbi Saul Oresky’s coming to Mishkan Torah was less of a new adventure than a homecoming. After more than 30 years as a congregant, tutor and teacher at the Reconstructionist and Conservative synagogue in Greenbelt, he’s pretty familiar with the congregation.

“Maryland and Mishkan Torah are an old home, actually. This is the congregation we were members of,” he said, referring to his wife and children. “This is the congregation that supported us and who we supported.”


Being a rabbi is Oresky’s second career. A longtime tech writer for the Naval Research Institute, Oresky decided to follow his heart to the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia where he was ordained in 2013. After a stint as the rabbi for a congregation in Ohio, Oresky is now ready to lead the congregation he has been affiliated with most of his adult life.

“When I came in as a 19-year-old student, I never dreamed I’d one day be rabbi,” he said.

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Oresky wants to expand adult education at the synagogue and try to entice more people to services, as well as those already in the congregation into more active participation.

“I want the congregation to learn and grow and expand and be more fulfilled in their Judaism,” he said.


Oresky said he’s looking at adult Hebrew classes, starting a Mussar (Jewish ethics) class and more in-depth Torah study. At his previous congregation, he taught a class on Jewish science fiction and fantasy and “that was a lot of fun.”

Because he was a bar and bat mitzvah tutor for many years, Oresky hopes he can reconnect with some of his students and bring them back into the fold. Mishkan Torah is a great place to explore Judaism, he said.

Overall, though, Oresky said he’s happy to be back home — both physically and spiritually.

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