Clergy

Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD.

Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD.

Rabbi

Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan and Temple Beth Shalom proudly open their arms to all in the west valley who may be interested in Jewish approaches to spirituality and community. Rabbi Kaplan is focused on building our temple family through an inclusive, open door approach that views the congregation as an extension of our relationship circles. He believes that creating a spiritual family is multi-generational, as our children and grandchildren are an integral part of sustaining our spiritual growth.

Rabbi is always willing to sit over coffee, go for a walk, or meet at the temple with anyone from the community. We welcome you to come visit at one of our warm Friday night services, which is the highlight of the week, or join us for one of our other social, educational, or service events. These times together not only provide opportunities to make new friends and find emotional support, but they can also help us learn to utilize Judaism in a way to build a life of meaning.

Before arriving at Temple Beth Shalom, Rabbi Kaplan led the Springhill Avenue Temple in Mobile, Alabama. During his time in Mobile, he was also a teacher in the Department of Theology at Spring Hill College. Prior to 2015, he was the Rabbi of the United Congregation of Israelites in Kingston, Jamaica, becoming the first rabbi to serve the country in 33 years. He has also previously led congregations in Albany, Georgia, and Cape Town, South Africa.

Rabbi Kaplan is the author and editor of several books, including most recently A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path. Published by CCAR Press – the official publisher for the entire Reform movement – it is a collection of short, entertaining articles by a broad range of the most important Reform rabbinic thinkers active today. The book provides a range of perspectives on modern Judaism, describing theological and practical ways to find purpose in life, both as individuals and as a community.

Along with his time as our rabbi, Rabbi Kaplan continues to be involved in various programs, lectures, and conferences in order to understand the history and theology of Reform Judaism and to discuss ways to make Judaism a vibrant religious form of spirituality for the twenty-first century. As a new resident of Arizona, he also hopes to cycle and hike in and on the many mountains in the Greater Phoenix area.

Rabbi Kaplan looks forward to meeting each and every congregant, as well as those who might be interested in becoming a part of our community. You can contact him through the temple office by phone or email him directly at tbsazrabbi@gmail.com.

 

Baruch Koritan

Baruch Koritan

Cantor

Baruch Koritan has served as Cantor at Temple Beth Shalom, Sun City, since 1992. Also, he is a composer and has been invited to perform his new liturgical settings at workshops and conventions of American Conference of Cantors and Guild of Temple Musicians (ACC/GTM) and Cantors Assembly in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. 

He is a protégé of Cantor Stephen Richards, and began his cantorial career performing a Shabbat service with Rabbi Albert Plotkin in Phoenix.

Baruch’s singing career began as a child in Workman Circle schools and music festivals at University of Pennsylvania.  Later he attended New Hope Academy of the Arts, Philadelphia Institute of Music, Temple University, Scottsdale Community College, University of Madrid, and U. S. Marine Corps Reserve (Honorary Discharge).

In 1999, Cantor Howard Tabaknek commissioned him to write an Erev Shabbat Service for Temple Beth Israel, Scottsdale, AZ. He released a CD, “Shalom to You,” in 2000, featuring many of his own songs and those of the Diaspora in five languages.  A former runner-up in the Liberace Piano Competition, he also played piano for the album. His own original cover art for the CD was purchased for TBS and welcomes all into its lobby. 

Baruch has been on the faculty of Bureau of Jewish Education, Scottsdale, since 2006. He also maintains a private voice studio and is a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing. 

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