Bulletin/Current Events

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Chai Notes

Springhill Avenue Temple’s Weekly Bulletin
Thursday, May 18, 2017



Friday, May 19   6:00 p.m. Shabbat Evening Service
with the Congregational Choir
Guest Speaker: Elliot Cherniak
Topic: Elliot’s proposed Eagle Scout project at the Temple
Friday, May 26   6:00 p.m. Confirmation Shavuot Service
Confirmand: Sarah Sternberg
Special Oneg to follow


Upcoming Events

  • “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem”, the movie, will be shown in select theaters nationwide on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m.   You can get tickets NOW for this powerful retelling of how Israel’s history changed forever over the course of six days in June, 1967.  The movie will be shown in Mobile at the following theaters:  Mobile Stadium 18 on 1250 Satchell Paige Drive and the Mobile 16 on 785 South Schillinger Road; also in Daphne at the Jubilee Square 12 Theater at 6898 US 90.   Tickets purchased online only!  Buy yours today at


  • New Prayer Books for High Holy Days – On Thursday, May 11th, an order for 190 sets of the new High Holy Day Prayer Books (Mishkan Hanefesh) was placed.  We are waiting to see when they will be shipped by truck from the CCAR warehouse.  We are very proud of our historic congregation for stepping up and supporting our Rabbi in this project.  Jack Friedlander was the driving force behind the fund raising.  This new prayer book is a two volume set – with a gold cover for Rosh Hashanah and a silver cover for Yom Kippur. – Your Religious Practices Committee


  • The Eastern Shore Torah Study Group will be on hiatus until after summer.  The next group study is projected to be in September.  The date, time, and host residence to be determined at a later date.


  • The Temple Book Club is scheduled to meet again in the Temple Library on Sunday, May 21st at 10:30 a.m.  The book being discussed is the novel, The Book of Daniel”, by E. L. Doctorow.


  • Ofir’s Farewell Reception  will be held on Sunday, May 21st at Ahavas Chesed Synagogue from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.  Please join us in saying “Shalom!”


  • The Western Shore Torah Study group will gather together again on Tuesday, June 6th at 6:30 p.m at the home of Paula Perry (3730 Cumberland Drive, Moss Point, MS, 39563).  Discussion will focus on “Treatment of Women in the Jewish Bible – The Good and the Bad”.  For more information, please call Dr. Cal Ennis (228-623-0479).


  • Saturday, June 3rd is our Saturday Morning Shabbat Service and Breakfast.   Blintzes will be served for breakfast at 9:30 a.m. with Shabbat Service following at 10:30 a.m.


  • The Temple Annual Meeting is Sunday, June 4th at 10:30 a.m.  Don’t miss this very important meeting!  Get a status report on your Temple, participate in the nomination, election, and induction of new officers.  The Men’s Club and Sisterhood will provide light food and refreshments.  Please RSVP for food planning purposes.




  • Both he Hebrew and Religious Schools are out of session.  Have a great summer!


  • The next Wednesday Torah Study is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24th 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.




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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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