Bulletin/Current Events

Chai Notes

Springhill Avenue Temple’s Weekly Bulletin
Thursday, December 7, 2017




Friday, December 15   6:00 pm Hanukkah Family Service
With the Congregational Choir
Birthday Blessing for Harold Fink
Religious School Play –
“Hanukkah – The Miracle of the Candles”
Dinner to follow
Friday, December 22 6:00 pm Shabbat Evening Service


Upcoming Events

  • The Western Shore Torah Group will have their 3rd Annual Hanukkah Fest at the Ennis house on Thursday, December 14, at 6:30 p.m.  The topic will be “From Oil in Lamps to Oil in Latkes”.  Fresh latkes and blintzes will be served.  Please also bring a dish.  For more information or questions contact Dr. Ennis.


  • The Family Hanukkah Dinner is on Friday, December 15, following the 6:00 p.m. Shabbat Service.  Adults $10; Children under 10 – $5.00.  Please make reservations by Wednesday, December 13, by calling or emailing the Temple Office.


  • The Eastern Shore Torah Study Group will have their Hanukkah party on Saturday, December 16, at 6:00 p.m. for Temple members and their families, and those interested in studying the Jewish faith.  Your hosts will be Kim and David Zimmerman.  Much is needed for the menu prep, so please contact Carol Zimmerman IN ADVANCE for more info and to RSVP.


  • The URJ is seeking exceptional fellowsJewV’Nation is a leadership development program for visionary Jewish leaders across North America.  The 2018 Jews of Color Leadership Cohort is a nine-month fellowship that supports up to 16 Jewish leaders of Color through professional development, networking opportunities, and the chance to work on one or more cohort-directed projects that build the field for Jewish leaders of Color in the Reform Movement and beyond.  If there is someone you believe would make a great candidate, please share this linkThe application deadline is January 5th, 2018.  More information is available at


  • From the Men’s ClubJanuary is the month of Tu B’Shevat.  In preparation for our tree planting, we will be clearing off the overgrowth along the east side of the Temple driveway getting it ready for a new grove of fruit trees.  If you would like to donate a fruit tree, send in a donation for at least $35 per tree and to whom you want it to honor or be in memory of.  You can also help plant it on Tu B’Shevat with the Sunday School at the Tu B’Shevat seder.


  • Rabbi David Frankel is our Scholar-in-Residence for 2018 – The Scholar-in-Residence Program is scheduled for January 10-14, 2018.   The Adult Education Committee is delighted to present these four days with Rabbi David Frankel.  Since 1992, Dr. Frankel has served as a senior lecturer in Bible at the Schechter Institutes of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.  He did his PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the direction of Professor Moshe Weinfeld.  His publications include: The Murmuring Stories of the Priestly School and The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel.  Rabbi Frankel is an engaging speaker and a fascinating fellow.  He is American born, but has lived in Israel for more that 25 years and has many compelling stories to tell.  More program details to follow.


  • January 12 starts the Scholar-In-Residence weekend at the Temple!  We will also be hosting our sister congregation, Temple Beth-El from Pensacola, that weekend and are arranging a “Kosher” Seafood & Chicken Gumbo lunch.  If you want to learn how to make gumbo? rue?, and all that Louisiana stuff? come and help on Friday, January 12th.  RSVP to Larry Miller and get on the soul food train.


  • “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 and Religious School is scheduled for Friday, December 15, at 6:00 p.m., for the Hanukkah Family Service


  • The next Wednesday Torah Study is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th 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

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