Cantor John M. Kaplan - Temple Israel Website

Cantor John M. Kaplan is a member of the clergy of Temple Israel where he serves with Rabbis Micah Greenstein, Adam Grossman, and Katie Bauman. In addition to officiating at life cycle events, and other ministerial duties within the congregation, Cantor Kaplan is involved in the adult education and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. Other duties include his role as advisor to the Committee on Congregational Caring (called God's Unfinished Business). He is also responsible for the musical life of the congregation, which includes directing the Temple Israel Choir, the Temple Israel Youth Choir, and the Jewish “Dixieland-style” band called the Klezmaniacs.
Cantor John Kaplan was born in the great state of Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Texas where he studied music and philosophy. Cantor Kaplan also holds a Master of Arts in Religion from the Memphis Theological Seminary. He has studied voice with the late Dr. Richard “Dick” Paige and Dr. Randall Rushing. He currently studies with Dr. Jemmi Lou Rye.
Cantor Kaplan received his cantorial training under Cantor Joseph Cycowski in Palm Springs, CA. He completed his training under Cantor William Sharlin, member of the faculty of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, CA. In 1989, he received Cantorial Certification and Investiture from the Board of Cantorial Certification of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music in New York.

Cantor Kaplan has performed as soloist with the University of Memphis Oratorio Society under the direction of Dr. Walter Wade. He has also performed as soloist with the Memphis Symphony under the direction of Maestro Alan Balter (of blessed memory), and Maestro David Loebel.
Cantor Kaplan is part of the 3 Cantors of Memphis. Each member of this vocal ensemble serves one of the sister congregations in the Memphis area (Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox).
Cantor Kaplan was one of the five founding directors of the MIFA Barrier Breakers Choral Group. This choir, composed of adult volunteers representing over 25 congregations from the Greater Memphis area, crossed the barriers of race and faith in order to bring the blessings of unity, tolerance and understanding to our community.

Cantor Kaplan is also the founding director of Voices for Social Justice, a folk singing group made up of 5 musicians from Temple Israel who donate their talents in concert to raise funds for non-profit endeavors.
Cantor Kaplan has served on the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors and currently serves as Chair for the Committee on Ethics & Appeals for the American Conference of Cantors.
In areas of community involvement, Cantor Kaplan has served on the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Memphis, the Arthritis Foundation of Memphis; the Eldercare & Caregivers Advisory Board, the Advisory Board for Emergency Services of MIFA, and Board President for the Memphis Area Regional Aids Interfaith Network (RAIN), and as a member of the Spiritual Advisory Board of Trinity Hospice. In 1991, Cantor Kaplan received the Community Service Award in Interreligious Goodwill from the National Conference for Community Justice.
Some of his special interests include reading, gardening, camping, cooking (especially Texas style Bar-B-Que), volunteering for community service, and music.
Cantor Kaplan is married to Linda C. Kaplan and they have three wonderful and good-looking children, and a one year old granddaughter – “all above average!”


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