Bulletin/Current Events

Chai Notes

Springhill Avenue Temple’s Weekly Bulletin
Thursday, August 10, 2017


Friday, August 11 6:00 p.m. Shabbat Evening Service
Sarah Hochhauser to lead services
Friday, August 18 6:00 p.m. Shabbat Evening Service


Upcoming Events

  • Rosh Hashanah services are going to be a “blast” this year! The Music Committee is currently seeking shofar volunteers for the 5778 High Holy DaysWe need shofar sounders, but we also need someone with great administrative skills to coordinate with our volunteers; someone to manage borrowed shofars and schedule practice sessions for the volunteers; and, members who would be willing to lend a shofar to be sounded in the service.  No experience or music knowledge is necessary; if you can count to nine, you’re in!  Please contact the Temple Office at 251-478-0415 or if you are able to help our congregation experience the mitzvah of hearing the Shofar this season.


  • Eastern Shore Barbeque/Pool Party/Havdalah ServiceSaturday, August 12th at 6:00 p.m., join us for a grilling good time!  BYOB – kosher hot dogs, buns, and condiments will be provided by the Eastern Shore Committee.  To RSVP and to sign up for cole slaw, potato salad, chips & dip, etc., contact Carol (990-3060 or or Deborah (  The committee reserves the right to monitor for duplications.  Your hosts are Carol and Steve Zimmerman, 203 North Circle, Fairhope.  (Please bring your own towel if you plan on swimming.)


  • The Western Shore Torah Study Group will meet again on Thursday, August 17th at 6:30 p.m., at the same venue (Wingate by Wyndham, 12009 Indian River Road, D’Iberville, MS; 228-396-0036).  The topic is “Rosh Hashanah – Why More Holy Day Than Holiday?”.  For members and those interested in the Jewish faith.  For questions and/or more information, please contact Dr. Cal Ennis at 228-623-0479.


  • Temple Beth El in Pensacola is hosting their 10th Annual Poker Tournament on Saturday, August 26th.  Doors open at 4:15 p.m., play starts at 5:00 p.m.  NO LIMIT HOLDEM.  Rebuys til 7:15 p.m.  Buy-in:  pre-registration $100 (1st 100 people); at door $110.  Free food and cash bar.  For more information call Terry Gross at 434-3333 or 449-1762.


  • URJ Kesher Birthright Israel registration opens on September 5!  Eat the most delicious hummus of your life. Touch ancient ruins, visited by your ancestors for thousands of years. Wander with your besties and meet amazing new people, too. Join Kesher for your FREE Birthright Israel adventure. Create an account now to guarantee your place on the trip of your choice. Visit today. Registration opens on September 5. Need more info? Visit


  • You are cordially invited to join us for the 2017 Sisterhood & Men’s Club Opening Brunch (10:00 a.m.) & Shabbat Service (11:00 a.m.), Saturday, September 9thThe agenda will include:  Recognition of past presidents (if you served as President of the Sisterhood or Men’s Club, please let us know.); introduction of new officers; and information regarding our Social Service Program of this year.  Dues will be collected at the door.  Please RSVP.  If you want to eat, we want to feed you!  We can only do that if we know you are coming!  To RSVP, please call the Temple Office – 478-0415.


  • The Temple Book Club will meet again in the Temple Library on Sunday, August 27th at 1:00 p.m.  The book being discussed will be Herzog by Saul Bellow.


  • Come on, let’s play a game!  Mahjong and Scrabble tiles are being dealt every Monday in the Social Hall at 3:00 p.m.  Lessons are free, playing is fun!  Or bring your own game and play with us – a game of gin rummy, perhaps?  Come join us every week!


  • TIKKUN OLAM – We are looking to identify a Mitzvah project in the broader Mobile community.  If you want to submit a project idea and would also be interested in participating and volunteering a bit of your time, let us know.  It is a Mitzvah to strengthen and repair the world and in the process we strengthen the Temple and ourselves.  Anne Zelnicker will collect your ideas and interest.  Please email her at


  • Your New Year’s Greeting!  The New Year begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 20th.  You should have already received Sisterhood’s letter in the mail.  If you would like to have the names of your family members published in the bulletin for September, please send in a contribution to Temple Sisterhood before August 21st.




  • There will be a Religious School Teacher Workshop on Sunday, August 20th. at 10:00 a.m.  More details will be sent via the Temple’s Religious School Director, Patricia Silverman.


  • Sunday, August 27th is the first day of Religious School which will include a Sunday Family Shabbat Model Service with Seth Cherniak and a parents meetingMore details will be sent via the Temple’s Religious School Director, Patricia Silverman.


  • The next Wednesday Torah Study is scheduled for Wednesday, August 16th 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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