Dana Evan Kaplan 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.
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.