Clergy

Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD.

Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD.

Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan proudly serves the west valley Jewish community for Temple Beth Shalom. Rabbi Kaplan is focused on building our temple family through an open door, inclusive approach to building and sustaining our Jewish community. He firmly believes that the temple is an extension of our family and friendship circles. Creating a spiritual family is multigenerational, as Rabbi Kaplan has a love for children and grandchildren as an integral part of sustaining our spiritual family. Rabbi is always willing to sit over coffee, go for a walk, or meet at the temple with anyone from the community. Rabbi Kaplan hopes to follow in the footsteps of Rabbi Moss in building an outstanding “framily” at TBS.

Before arriving at Temple Beth Shalom, Rabbi Kaplan spent three years at 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, also in Mobile, Alabama. From 2011 to 2015 he was the Rabbi of the United Congregation of Israelites in Kingston, Jamaica, and was the Rabbi Bernard Hooker Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the United Theological College of the West Indies, which is affiliated with the University of the West Indies. Prior to that, he led Temple B’nai Israel in Albany, Georgia, from 2001 to 2011.

He is the author of A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism’s Sacred Path (CCAR Press), 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).

Kaplan has been and continues to be active in various programs, think tanks, and conferences 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. This includes the Leffell Seminar on the Impact of Israel upon American Jewry, Interim Ministry Network certification program, The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan ‘Writing Beyond the Academy’, STAR: Synagogues Transformation and Renewal ‘From Good to Great’, Clal’s ‘Rabbis Without Borders’, and others.

Along with his time as a rabbi, Kaplan has lectured in many diverse locations around the world. In his free time he has enjoyed adventurous activities such as scuba diving in Cozumel, Mexico, hiking around the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal, biking in Kerala, India, and climbing Blue Mountain Peak in Jamaica. In Arizona, he hopes to cycle and hike in and on the many mountains in the Greater Phoenix area.

He looks forward to meeting each and every congregant. You can contact him through the office by phone or email him directly at danaevankaplan@gmail.com.

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