Bulletin/Current Events

Chai Notes

Springhill Avenue Temple’s Weekly Bulletin
Thursday, October 12, 2017


Friday, October 13   6:00 pm Simchat Torah Service
Consecretion of Alice Handmacher
Followed by Celebration Dinner
provided by Religious School
Friday, October 20   6:00 pm Shabbat Evening Service
with the Congregational Choir
Sunday, October 22 12:00 pm 3rd Annual Pet Blessing


Upcoming Events


  • The next Eastern Shore Torah Study is scheduled for Thursday, October 19th at 6:00 p.m. – “Sukkot – Development and What it Means Today”.  Please bring an appetizer (potato or pasta salad or fresh fruit) because the hostess is preparing the main dish.  Email or call in your choice and to RSVP contact Carol Zimmerman (251-990-3060 or  Beverages will be served.  Bring BYOB.  Your hosts are Randy & Liz Fry (27038 Creekwood Drive, Daphne, AL  36526).

  • Springhill Avenue Temple’s 3rd Annual Pet Blessing will be held on Sunday, October 22nd at 12:00 Noon.  Bring your beloved family pets for their yearly blessing!  All dogs should be on leashes and cats and other critters contained in carriers to prevent any accidental mishaps.

  • Ahavas Chesed Synagogue’s Artist-in-ResidenceDebra Band is the synagogue’s artist-in-residence the weekend beginning on Friday, October 27th.  On Friday Ms. Band will be speaking on Lecha Dodi and its mystical significance and her artistic interpretation of this song.  Then on Saturday, October 28th, she will speak about her personal journeys interwoven with the Torah reading for the week.  Her prints will also be on display at the synagogue.  There is no charge for either event.  Friday’s service is 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. with an oneg following.  Saturday service is 10:00 a.m. – Noon with lunch following.  RSVP by October 20th. RSVP for lunch is necessary.  For more info and/or to RSVP, please call 251-343-6019.

  • The Temple Book Club will meet again on Sunday, October 29th at 1:00 p.m.   The book to be discuss is Great House by Nicole Krauss.

  • “How the Bible Became Holy” is the new Torah Study Course being studied onWednesday 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.  For more information, please contact Jonathan Fratkin (601-573-5220; or Steve Muhlfelder (704-591-1281;, Co-Chairs of the Adult Education Committee or the Temple Office (; 251-478-0415).



  • The Hebrew School and Religious School students are expected to attend the Simchat Torah Service on Friday, October 13th at 6:00 p.m.  The service will be followed by a Celebration Dinner provided by the Religious School.  No Hebrew or Religious School is scheduled for Sunday, October 15th.

  • The next Wednesday Torah Study is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18th 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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