Rabbi Michael Kaplan moved to Portland in September 2011 to lead Congregation Ahavath Achim as its spiritual leader. Since his arrival, Ahavath Achim has seen a revitilization of programming and life in the synagogue. In addition to the classes and lectures that Rabbi Kaplan gives at the synagogue, he also is involved with many other Jewish institutions around Portland. He is an active lecturer at the Portland Kollel, the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, and is very active in numerous rabbinic councils.
Rabbi Kaplan was raised in the Syrian-Sephardic community of Deal, NJ. After completing High School, he went on to study at Yeshivat HaKotel. In addition to the general curriculum there, Rabbi Kaplan studied at the Yeshiva’s Sephardic program and was privileged to meet with many of the great Sephardic leaders, including Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt”l and Rav Ovadia Yosef amongst others. At the conclusions of two years at Yeshivat HaKotel, Rabbi Kaplan entered Yeshiva University where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and minor in Business Administration. He also went on to an advanced degree at Bernard RevelGraduateSchool where he received his Masters Degree in Medieval Jewish History. At YU, Michael had the opportunity to continue his learning towards Semicha (Rabbinical Degree) and enjoyed an enriching relationship with Rav Eliyahu Ben Chaim, one of the foremost leaders of the Sephardic communities in Queens and Great Neck, NY, whom he studied under for three years.
Before coming to Portland, Rabbi Kaplan had been a rabbi at the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx, NY. There, he was involved with giving classes, sermons, participating in life-cycle events, and all other aspects involved with being a community rabbi. He looks forward to bringing the skills that he gained there to the community in Portland.
Rabbi Kaplan’s wife, Mira, is a native of Staten Island, NY. She went to Queens College, then to Touro College where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She currently works with children in the New York Board of Education. They are the proud parents of two children, Dina and Yoel who are love Portland and are thrilled with all the new friends that they've made.