Congregation Etz Chaim has hired Martin Gilbert to succeed Bob Bachrach as the Conservative synagogue’s executive director, starting in July, according to an announcement Wednesday, May 24.

Gilbert has served as the temple administrator of Temple Emanu-El of West Essex in Livingston, N.J. It’s the second time in a year and a half that Etz Chaim has found a synagogue leader in Livingston: Rabbi Daniel Dorsch was hired in February 2016 from Temple Beth Shalom in that city and is just completing his first year as the East Cobb congregation’s spiritual leader.

Gilbert is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and worked in management for such retailers as Borders, Barnes & Noble and Target before shifting to the nonprofit world. He will move to metro Atlanta with his wife, Lori.

Former Etz Chaim President Irwin Berman led the committee that spent nearly a year searching for a successor for Bachrach, who has been the executive director for nine years.

AA Starts Search

While one Conservative congregation has completed its executive director search, another is just beginning after Manuel Mesa has resigned from Ahavath Achim Synagogue, a move announced Thursday, May 18.

Mesa has been the executive director at the Buckhead shul for three years.

Barry Herman has been named AA’s interim executive director. The congregation already has Carl Rosenthal in the role of interim chief financial officer.