Archive for June 2013

Bulletin/Current Events

Chai Notes

Springhill Avenue Temple’s Weekly Bulletin
Thursday, February 15, 2017


Friday, February 16   6:00 pm Shabbat Evening Service
Dr. Jonathan Fratkin will conduct service
Friday, February 23   6:00 pm Shabbat Evening Service
Taco Nite Delight following service


Upcoming Events

  • Oneg Ole!  Before Purim arrives, let’s go to Mexico at next Friday’s Oneg Shabbat, February 23, for Taco Night Delight!  Tacos, with all the trimmings, just $5.00 a person and children under 12 eat free!

  • Mi Shebeirach: In Our Prayers – If you or someone you know would like to be listed for the month of February, please contact Susie at the Temple Office ( or 251-478-0415). Springhill Avenue Temple will clear this list at the end of each month.

Our prayer for healing this month includes
Lauren Thompson
Mark Segal
Judy Cherniak Plecko
Lynne Kushner

  • Sisterhood & Men’s Club Online Pay – The Sisterhood and Men’s Club are excited to announce that we now have a website that allows online payments!  The website can currently be used for any of the following:

    • Pay your yearly sisterhood and/or men’s club dues
    • Contribute or sponsor an oneg
    • Purchase corned beef sandwiches for the sisterhood fundraiser
    • Purchase a tree for the Tu B’Shevat project
    • Make a general donation to the sisterhood, men’s club, or oneg

As time gets closer, you will also have an option to reserve your spot and pay for the Passover Dinner as well as other great events.  Please visit:

  • TWO DAYS OF PURIM FUN – Why celebrate once when twice is more fun!  Magilla reading, Purim skit, and dinner at the Temple, Friday, March 2 after service and Joint Temple-Synagogue Purim Party with Klezma Band Saturday, March 3.  RSVP required for both events.

  • Message from Men’s Club – The trees are all planted and blooming and sprouting new growth.  Thank you all for planting, working, and making Tu B’Shevat the New Year for the trees.  Special thanks goes to the children in the Religious school for all their hard efforts.  Purim is upon us in a couple of weeks and the Hamentaschen Queen has been hard at work baking those special cookies and getting ready for Friday night’s Purim play on Friday March 2nd.  The Hoodies are ordering dinner so make your RSVP to the Temple office so we have a head count – PLEASE! – Larry S. Miller

  • This year’s Purim Skit is “Oy, What A Spiel”, the music of the 4 Seasons.  If you love those great old hits, we would love for you to join us!  You don’t have to be a great singer, just enthusiastic!  No memorization required.  Rehearsals are Tuesday night, January 20 and Tuesday, January 27, 6:00 pm at the Temple.  The spiel will be performed following the service on Friday night March 2.  If you are interested, call Barry Silverman at 251-610-0628.

  • Purim – The Festival of Fun!  On Saturday, March 3rd, the synagogue and temple have planned a Joint Purim Party, which will be held at the Ahavas Chesed Synagogue.  A host of activities are planned – a live band from NOLA, Food, Dancing, and Hamentashen Contest – costumes are optional.  However, if you have any costume paraphenalia – masks, hats, boas, etc., that you could donate for the occasion, please drop them off to Susan Sass at the synagogue (705 Regents Way, Mobile, 36608) by Wednesday, February 28th.  Babysitting will be available.  Please RSVP by Monday, February 26th to either the Temple or Synagogue.

  • New Dates for the 2018 MJFF Cancelled Films, “Harmonia” and “1945”.  On Sunday, February 25, 3:00 pm at Springhill Avenue Temple, MJFF presents “Harmonia”.  A childless Israeli musical couple seeks to form a family in HARMONIA, a contemporary adaptation of the biblical tale of Abraham and Sarah set inside the inner sanctum of a symphony hall.  Nominated for five Israeli academy awards.  Rabbi Dana Kaplan will introduce the film.

On Sunday, March 25, 3:00 pm, “1945” will be screened at the Ahavas Chesed SynagogueThe film is set in post-war Hungary. The Film Journal International says “This film itself is a perfect storm of realistic immersion, including the fine black-and-white cinematography, rich production design and excellent ensemble performances.”  The film’s astonishing reveal speaks volumes”.  Author Roy Hoffman will lead a discussion following the film.   Tickets may be purchased at the door.  Call Kathy 251-343-7197 or email for reservations or for more ticket info check out our website and order tickets online or purchase at the door.  Tickets $8.00, Seniors and Students $6.00.

  •  2018 Sisterhood Corned Beef Extravaganza is almost here! – Go ahead and put in your order for your corned beef sandwich lunch, cheesecake dessert included.  The Sisterhood and Men’s Club now have a website where you can order and pay online. the deadline for the Corned Beef Extravaganza is Monday, March 12th.  The website can also be used for any of the following:

  • Pay your yearly sisterhood and/or men’s club dues
  • Contribute or sponsor an oneg
  • Purchase corned beef sandwiches for the Sisterhood fundraiser
  • Make a general donation to the sisterhood, men’s club, or oneg

As time gets closer, you will also have an option to reserve your spot and pay for the Passover Dinner, as well as other great events.  Please visit:

  • Delivery Drivers are needed to help with the Corned Beef lunch deliveries on Friday, March 16th from 10:30 – noon.   If you would like to help, please let Priscilla Gold-Darby, Liz Fry, or Dianna Kubat know.

  • The Complete Lineup for the 2018 LimmudFest in New Orleans is now available!  The 2018 LummudFest is to be held on Friday, March 16 thru Sunday, March 18, 2018.  Programming for children, teens, adults, and families.  There really is something for everyone!  To register and for more information go to their website at

  • The 2018 Congregational Passover Seder this year will be held on Saturday, March 31, so mark your calendars!  More details will follow at a later date.

  • A Hebrew Study Group is being formed to study Hebrew under the leadership of Ms. Hava Laor. This is for beginning students who are interested in reading prayer book Hebrew.  The idea is that this basic Hebrew course would be part of a broader adult Bar Mitzvah program, which would proceed from basic Hebrew, to learning more about Judaism, and then doing an adult bar or bat mitzvah.  For more information you may contact Rabbi Kaplan or the Chairs of the Adult Education Committee (Jonathan Fratkin or Steve Muhlfelder).  You may also contact Ms. Hava Laor directly at or 732-261-8513.

  • How the Bible Became Holy” is the new Torah Study Course being studied on Wednesday nights.  Using the book by Michael Satlow of the same name, discussions will focus on how ancient sources became the Bible that we know and love today.  Members are free and non-members $30.  Please purchase the book How the Bible Became Holy by Michael Satlow directly from Amazon or from your favorite bookseller. This is an Adult Education Committee initiative.  Join us for Wednesday night Torah Study!  Click here to view a lecture by the author of the book.


  • The next Hebrew School (9:00 a.m.) and Religious School (10:00 a.m.) is scheduled for Sunday, February 25.

  • The next Wednesday Torah Study is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21, at 5:30 p.m.

The Rabbi

Dana Evan KapBiopiclan is the Rabbi of the Springhill Avenue Temple. He has had an adventurous career in the United States, as well as abroad, including extensive experience in the South. From 2011 to 2015, he was the Rabbi of the United Congregation of Israelites in Kingston, Jamaica and, from 2001-2011, he led Temple B’nai Israel in Albany, Georgia.

Rabbi Kaplan has participated in a variety of cutting edge professional training programs. He was appointed a fellow of the Rabbis Without Borders Program sponsored by Clal, which has inspired him to see the rabbinate in the broadest possible terms. He was also fortunate to have been chosen as a STAR (Synagogue: Transformation and Renewal), Rabbi for the “From Good to Great” program, which works with early mid-career rabbis to help them develop their professional skills.

Rabbi with Religious School
He has rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. He also holds a Ph.D. in American Jewish History from Tel Aviv University, where he studied with Professor Lloyd Gartner.

He is the author of The New Reform Judaism (Jewish Publication Society), as well as Contemporary American Judaism: Transformation and Renewal (Columbia University Press), The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism (Cambridge University Press), American Reform Judaism: An Introduction (Rutgers University Press), Platforms and Prayer Books (Rowman and Littlefield), and Contemporary Debates in American Reform Judaism (Routledge).

In his spare time, he has enjoyed scuba diving with whale sharks, hiking through mountain ranges, biking up and down coasts and, of course, studying about Judaism. His new goal is to kayak throughout Southern Alabama.

Rabbi Kaplan was recently interviewed by Chad Petri of WKRG-TV regarding Hanukkah.  You can watch a video of that interview below.




Download Membership form here

Religious & Hebrew School




rel school


1988P3-1Sha’arai Shomayim Cemetery, located on Owen Street in Mobile, consists of fifteen acres. A long driveway leads to the cemetery proper, which is surrounded by century-old live oaks and a nineteenth century ornamental cast iron fence. The gate features an archway with the congregation name in metal Hebrew letters. Paved lanes allow each access throughout the cemetery and a cast iron gazebo sits in the center. The graves themselves are oriented east west. There are some spectacular family plots with stone revetments and finely carved markers. A number of mausolea are located on the grounds.

The first interment took place December 28, 1876. This was Israel I. Jones, one of Mobile’s most prominent early Jewish citizens and president of the congregation for thirty years. The funeral was attended by a multitude of friends. Members of a local fire company and Masonic fraternity led the procession.

It should be noted that the current cemetery is our newest cemetery. The Temple’s original cemetery was located in Magnolia Cemetery and was almost completely filled by 1875.

Please see below for more pictures of the cemetery:

Sisterhood/Men's Club


tn_sis men's brunch 008The Springhill Avenue Temple Sisterhood is a multi-generational group of women interested in strengthening our connection to Judaism through sponsoring events for the entire membership.

With a rich history of tradition, the sisterhood has been and continues to be the fundamental source of Temple life. All holiday, family dinners and Onegs are organized and run by Sisterhood volunteers. We support the youth of the congregation by donations to SHAFTY, NFTY and UAHC camps as well as gifts for B’nai Mitvah and holiday packages to our college students. Sisterhood supports the Temple financially by raising funds refurbishments,for kitchen renovations and office and library equipment, social hall furnishings and religious needs.

Sisterhood helps to furnish and stock inventory for the Temple Gift Shop, which proceeds help to fund aforementioned charitable events.

All congregants are encouraged and welcome to become sisterhood members. Feel free to call the Temple office at 478-0415 for contact information.


Men’s Club

tn_sis men's brunch 006The Springhill Avenue Temple Men’s Club is a vital part of the Congregation Sha’arai Shomayim community. We are men that are interested in supporting our families, our community, our fellow congregants and the youth that will shape our future. All this is accomplished by our connection to Judaism.

The Men’s Club supports the Congregation through a variety of annual mitzvah projects. We organize various “work days” to help members of the community whether it is storm cleanup or general repairs and renovations. The Men’s Club volunteers make hundreds of Latkes every year for the annual Hanukkah party as well as erect the Sukkah used by the congregation and religious school.

We also meet socially to strengthen our members’ connection to Judaism and to the Congregation.

Watch the bulletin and be sure to join us at the next Men’s Club meeting! Feel free to call the Temple office at 478-0415 for contact information.

Our Judaica Shop

tn-101_0411Welcome to the Sisterhood Gift Shop. Judaica items help bring Jewish ritual alive within our homes and in our community. If you need a mezuzah for a new home or a gift for an upcoming simcha, visit our fully stocked shop of unique and affordable Judaica items.

The Gift Shop is managed by Amy Friedlander and Judy Aronson and there is a wide variety of unique and distinctive items in stock and they can also special order individual items. From traditional to contemporary – educational to whimsical – hand crafted to bulk – there is something for everyone.

Getting married, having a baby, or celebrating a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah? These life cycle events require a celebration! Many celebrations include receiving many lovely gifts. Make it easy for family and friends to choose the perfect gift by registering at your Temple Gift Shop.

The next time you need that special gift, stop by your Temple gift shop. Please call the Temple office for store hours.


Contact Us

1769 Springhill Avenue
Mobile, Alabama 36607
(251) 478-0415
(251) 478-0170 Fax

E-mail Finance Contact
E-mail Admin Contact
Email Rabbi Contact

View Larger Map

The Temple Bulletin - June 2013

Download (June-Bulletin-2013.pdf, PDF)