Rabbi Ari Rosenberg will soon arrive to take over leadership at Temple Sholom in New Milford.

Rosenberg was "overwhelmingly" accepted by the temple congregation in a March 15 vote.

He will moving to New Milford from New Jersey with his son, Ezra, 12, and daughter, Maayan, 7, along with their rescue dog, Bilu, and a pet frog or two.

Rosenberg is divorced.

"The congregation of Temple Sholom can expect a rabbi who loves what he does and who goes above and beyond for each member," the incoming rabbi said. "I bring a lot of happiness to everything I do."

"I believe all people are created in the image of God," he added. "And our role is to be of service to the world."

When he starts July 1 at the temple, Rosenberg will be replacing Temple Sholom's retired and since deceased rabbi, Norman Koch.

Since Koch's retirement from the temple in July 2014, interim rabbi Scott Saulson has led the congregation. Saulson will step down July 1.

"My father, Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg, assumed the leadership of a small congregation in Waterford at the same time Rabbi Koch came to Temple Sholom," Rosenberg said. "I knew Norman Koch all my life."

Rosenberg said he had sat down with Koch shortly before the retired rabbi's death in February and the two men talked about the possibility of Rosenberg coming to Temple Sholom.

"He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the temple," Rosenberg said. "Norman and my father believed in serving in a small congregation where they could serve everyone on all levels."

"I share that desire," he said, "to have a personal connection with each family member."

At this time, Rosenberg is rabbi at Temple Sha'arey Shalom in Springfield, N.J. He said returning to Connecticut will be a "bit of a homecoming."

"I'm looking forward to finding my place in the community," Rosenberg said. "I tell everyone in New Milford, `Don't be a stranger. Stop by and say Shalom.'"

The temple president, Howard Lapidus, said, in part, Rosenberg was selected because he is "a consensus builder who is active in the community where he now lives."

"The congregation of Temple Sholom feels he is the best person to lead us," Lapidus said.

Rosenberg received ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2008.

He received his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey 1996. He served a small temple congregation in Great Barrington, Mass., before moving to Springfield, N.J.

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