Congregation Shearith Israel brought a 1½-year search for a successor to Rabbi Hillel Norry to an end Friday, Feb. 5, by announcing the hiring of Rabbi Ari Kaiman.
Rabbi Kaiman, who moved to Cobb County with parents Jay and Natalie Kaiman when he was a teenager and joined Congregation Etz Chaim and its USY chapter, will take his new post in mid-July.
He has served as the assistant rabbi of Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis the past five years. In a letter to his new congregation, the rabbi said B’nai Amoona has allowed him to experiment with new ideas and develop programs with “the incredible leaders that make the magic of B’nai Amoona happen.”
“I am ready to rise to the challenges of leading Shearith Israel to a bright future,” he wrote. “We will share our blessings with Intown Atlanta and do our part in making our community a great and holy place to live.”
Rabbi Kaiman grew up in Pensacola, Fla., before moving to the Atlanta area and attending Walton High School. He went to college at the University of Florida, where he met his future wife, Emily, as a freshman.
The couple worked at Camp Ramah Darom during and after college. “Most of the skills I use every day as a rabbi were learned there,” he wrote, “and I’m so glad to be back in Ramah Darom territory.”
He and his wife will celebrate their 10th anniversary in June. They have four children: twin girls Amalia and Eliana, 6; daughter Maayan, 4; and son Shai, 2.
Rabbi Kaiman will succeed interim Rabbi Melvin Sirner, who arrived in August to fill the gap while Shearith Israel searched for a permanent rabbi.
Rabbi Norry chose not to seek a new contract when his term ended last summer after 13 years at the intown Conservative congregation.