Temple Emanuel of South Hills has appointed Rabbi Donald Rossoff, D.D., R.J.E., as its interim senior rabbi. The Reform congregation approved Rossoff’s one-year contract at a congregational meeting on Feb. 11.
Rossoff will begin his tenure at Temple Emanuel on July 1. Outgoing Senior Rabbi Mark Mahler, who served the congregation for 38 years, will retire June 30.
“Rabbi Rossoff will serve as a bridge for our congregation, from the strong foundation that Rabbi Mahler helped build to a future where we can continue to flourish,” said board president David Weisberg in a prepared statement.
Over the next several months, Temple Emanuel will begin searching for a new rabbi, looking to Rossoff to assist the congregation in its transition.
“The search committee has no doubt we found the right person in Rabbi Rossoff and are thrilled he will be joining us,” said search committee chair Michelle Markowitz in a prepared statement. “His experience and demeanor made him the ideal choice to lead us through this important transition.”
Rossoff will temporarily move to the South Hills with his wife, Francine, a registered nurse. The couple has four adult children.
Rossoff is looking forward to his role at Temple Emanuel as its interim rabbi.
“I will walk with and guide this sacred community on a journey that will take them through the loss they will feel from Rabbi Mahler’s retirement and on to the visioning of the future they would choose for themselves,” he said. “It has been a joy and a privilege to walk that journey with three other congregations, and I am excited about the opportunity to join with Temple Emanuel on the journey that lies ahead for them.”
Rossoff has served as interim rabbi at other congregations, including Barnert Temple in Franklin Lake, N.J., and Temple Beth Am in Framingham, Mass. From 1995 to 2015, he served as senior rabbi of Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, N.J.
Temple Emanuel will honor Mahler at a retirement celebration gala on Sunday, June 3. PJC
Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.