Congregation Tiferet Israel 
Austin, TX

 27 Elul 5781 -- September 4, 2021
What's the Spiel?
Parshat Nitzavim
Schedule of Services
at B'nai Abraham
We encourage everyone to daven privately when unable to attend services. Use the private time to connect to Hashem. Public prayer definitely adds to our prayer experience. Yet we also have the capacity to create a profoundly meaningful private experience with the Divine. Let us seek such an experience in the coming days.  
Thank you Jared Sichel & Michelle Quan for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of getting to know and love the Tiferet Israel Community.
CTI Announcements
CTI extends its deepest condolences to Lowell (Jeanette) Brickman on the loss of his mother Fay Cohen-Brickman, (Freidel bat Shmuel). May her memory serve as a bracha. 
Shalom Austin Mask Policy Update

In light of increased rates of Covid-19 transmission and hospitalizations, as well as concerns about the virulence of the delta variant, the Medical Committee has unanimously recommended, and the Board of Directors has approved, that CTI return to a universal masking policy for all who attend services, including children, regardless of vaccination status.   

  • Masks are required to be worn at all times while inside the B’nai Abraham building.
  • Masks must be worn so that the nose and mouth are completely covered.

At this point, the committee does not see a need for social distancing or restriction of attendance.

Additionally, the Medical Committee strongly recommends that all members get vaccinated for the protection of everyone in our community and beyond.

The committee is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation in Austin as well as relevant research and will be meeting again in three weeks to ascertain whether any additional recommendations are warranted as we enter into the High Holy Days.

Please bring your mask to synagogue. 
Backup masks will be available if needed.
5782 is almost upon us! Thank you for your past support! 

As a reminder, the One Ask, One Time giving program lets you make a one-time decision about how you want to support the various fundraising opportunities that occur throughout the year. This means that you won’t be asked repeatedly to give and won’t need to make multiple giving decisions. Some members prefer to decide upfront what fundraising activities they will support and at what level. See our website to take advantage of this and make your pledge today.

Todah Rabah and Thank You!
To the members who have pledged their support to CTI for 5782 through the 
One Ask, One Time Program this past week:

Rabbi Harold & Judy Liebowitz
Marty & Katie Price
Matthew & Rebecca Ross
Gabriel & Sarah Wander

Lulav Orders Closed Now

It's that time of year once again! You can now order Lulav and Etrog sets from CTI for $62 for the standard quality set and $72 for the premium quality set. You can complete your purchase using the form at our website.

Alternatively, you may mail a check payment, marking “Lulav” in the Memo space, to:

Congregation Tiferet Israel
PO Box 27254
Austin, TX 78755-2254 

Please submit your order and payment no later than TODAY, Friday, September 3, so that we can meet the supplier’s schedule for delivery and have the Lulav and Etrog sets available for distribution on Sunday, September 19.

CTI will only order Lulav and Etrog sets for which payment has been received.

If you have any questions, please email Andrew Smullen,
High Holidays at CTI

We are looking forward to the High Holidays that commence with Selichot services, Saturday night, August 28th. Rosh Hashana starts Monday evening, September 6th. Yom Kippur Kol Nidre services are on Wednesday evening, September 15th. For a complete listing of the schedule, please consult our website by clicking on

Attendance for the Congregation Tiferet Israel High Holiday services is available for all members free of charge. This year, as in prior years, Congregation Tiferet Israel is offering non-members and guests of members the opportunity to attend High Holiday services in our sanctuary in the Historic B'nai Abraham Synagogue on the Dell Jewish Community Center Campus. Cost of tickets is $180 per adult and $90 per teenager aged 13-17 or a student. Children 12 and younger are free. The cost can be applied to annual membership if you join our Congregation before November 1, 2021. Once the form is completed and payment made via credit card, you will be sent tickets allowing you to gain access to the campus and our synagogue. If you are interested in joining us for any of these services, please complete the form that can be found at  
Congregation Tiferet Israel Welcomes
our High Holidays Chazzanim!
Rabbi Gabe Kretzmer Seed serves as a Jewish chaplain in the New York City Department of Correction where he provides religious services, classes and spiritual support primarily for Jewish inmates; he also serves as a gabbai for his shul, The Riverdale Minyan in The Bronx, NY. He was recently named one of the New York Jewish Week 36 Under 36, a list of individuals making a difference in the New York Jewish Community for his work in the jails during the pandemic. Rabbi Kretzmer Seed is a graduate of Columbia University where he majored in United States History. He interned at The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York and Bais Abraham Congregation in St. Louis, MO. He is the co-founder of the Zemirot Database, an editable online database for zemirot, liturgy, and other Jewish songs. After receiving semikha from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in 2017, Rabbi Kretzmer Seed completed a chaplaincy residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan, where he worked in the hospital’s palliative care, oncology and psychiatric units. This is Rabbi Kretzmer Seed’s seventh year serving as chazzan for CTI!
Rabbi David Shawel was born in Newport News, Virginia in 1955. He attended the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Talmudic University of Florida and the Telshe Yeshiva College in Cleveland. He received rabbinical degrees from Ner Israel and Talmudic University, and earned an MA in education from Barry University in Miami. Rabbi Shawel trained as a circumcision specialist, mohel, in South Florida under Rabbi Dr. Tsvi G. Schur and at the Jackson Memorial Hospital. He has been an active mohel performing Bris ceremonies since 1977. Rabbi Shawel is also the Director of Supervision for Dallas Kosher. This is Rabbi Shawel’s second year serving as Chazzan and Ba’al Tokeiyah at CTI!
The JNF event commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Entebbe rescue is now available online. Here is a link to a recording of the program. The program consisted primarily of an interview with Ester Smith and Gadi Ilan, together with slides. Ester's parent's were among the hostages rescued, and Gadi was one of the rescuers who entered the hall where the hostages were being held by German and Arab terrorists.
As a service to the wider community, the Orthodox Union has researched various online platforms and has organized, collected and curated many key resources in one centralized location for your convenience. Please visit for a wide range of information covering the following areas: Adults, Leadership, Parenting, Seniors & Elders, Technology, Torah and Youth. Check back at as updates will occur regularly.
CTI is virtually open for all classes! Attend online with video and audio, or join through phone call alone. Visit for more information on how to join these exciting classes:

'Building a Palace in Time: The Many Meanings of Shabbat'
Sunday 7:00pm

In this class, we will not only explore how to keep Shabbat, but why we do so in the first place. 
·      Why is Shabbat so preciously unique to the Jewish people? 
·      Why did God make the observance of Shabbat so essential for a spiritual relationship with Him? 
·      How does Shabbat and its observance help us better understand ourselves as individuals and as a community? 
·      How do all of the laws and observances of Shabbat help us better understand and experience 
·      what spiritual freedom is really all about?
Building a Palace in Time: The Many Meanings of Shabbat” will operate like a book club and will meet via Zoom on Sunday evenings, from 7:00-8:00, beginning on April 11th. With each new unit, a different book will be assigned, and we will work through each book according to scheduled readings and thought prompts. Individual members are responsible for obtaining the assigned books, all of which can be easily found on

This class is free of charge. No prior background is required, and all are welcome and encouraged to attend!
For more information, please contact Rabbi Dan at, or (512) 410-0336 ex. 101.

TYT Tuesday Night 

The Book of Ezekiel
Tuesday 7:00pm
The Book of Ezekiel is one of the most mysterious but essential books of the Tanakh. Who was Ezekiel? When was he prophesying? Were his prophecies meant for his time or the distant future? In this TYT series, we will take an in-depth look at the life, times and ageless message of the Prophet Ezekiel in a way which will make his contribution to Jewish texts, history and destiny truly come to life! A priest stuck in exile, dreaming of the perfect Temple in a perfect homeland - a man pinning for spiritual life, but only experiencing physical privation - what is his message really all about? God asks Ezekiel to do many strange things - things even contrary to Jewish law! Were they literally true, or were they merely metaphorical? Come and join the CTI Tuesday evening Take Your Tanakh class, as together, we learn about the Prophet Ezekiel!

TYT Wednesday Mornings 

The Book of First Samuel
Wednesday 8:15am

In this class, we will examine the life, times and trials of the Prophet Samuel, the last Judge of Israel. The story of Samuel begins the saga of Israel's history, its kings, wars and promises. First Samuel introduces us to a large swath of Jewish history, ranging of King Saul and King David, to questions of military ethics, religious boundaries and moral questions. The Prophet Samuel may be best known for anointing David, but his legacy and story are essential for every Jew to learn, because with Samuel the story of the Jewish people's redemption begins!

Mishne Torah k'Seder Friday Mornings

Mishne Torah k'Seder
Friday 8:15am

Come and join Rabbi Dan on Friday mornings at 8:15am for an in-depth exploration of the Rambam's Mishne Torah. This class will go through the Rambam's classic work on halakha (Jewish law), in a way which both engages and transforms the reader on a spiritual and intellectual level. Why did the Rambam write the Mishne Torah? What was he trying to achieve? How does the Rambam's interpretation of Jewish law, theology, history and culture differ from his rabbinic contemporaries who also wrote comprehensive Jewish legal works? What were some of the great disputes this work sparked, and why? You don't want to miss out on this great opportunity to learn what the Mishne Torah is all about.
Questions? Suggestions? Interested in Volunteering? Please contact our Committee Chairpersons. 

Finance Committee: Gary Gerstenhaber
Fundraising Committee: Beth Shapiro
Membership Committee: Sarah Wander
Chesed Committee: Lynn Kane
Kiddush Committee: Henna Tatham
Ritual Committee: Joel Tendler
The next CTI Board meeting is Thursday, September 9 at 7:30pm. If you are a CTI Member you can login to our website and see all scheduled Board meetings by clicking  here.
For those new to the community, check out this introductory video 
featuring Rabbi Dan and a few of our wonderful CTI community members! 

Daniel Shapiro on September 5

AJ Gerstenhaber on September 6

Jonathan Sutter on September 6


Arthur & Barb Altman on September 5

If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would
like to add, please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Samuel W Leibowitz, Father of Harold Liebowitz, on Monday 29 Elul

Carol Ronsheim, Mother of Kendra Fox, on Wednesday 2 Tishrei

Fay Smullen, Mother of Andrew Smullen, on Friday 4 Tishrei

May their souls be bound up in the bond of life.

If you have a Yahrzeit that you would like the congregation to acknowledge, or if you have a correction that needs to be made, please update your profile on our website.

Thank you to Anonymous donors.
Thank you to Jan Gould for his Aliyah donation.

Thank you to Erik and Lindsay Rahimi for their donation in Honor of CTI.

Thank you to Jo Reichler for her donation to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in Appreciation of Rabbi Millner’s class on the Shabbat Table presented under the auspices of Shalom Austin.

Thank you to Reuven Robbins for his Aliyah donation.

Thank you to Stanley and Mary Jane Saikin for their donation in Memory of Sylvia Spertus (z”l).
Thank you to Andrew Smullen for his Yahrzeit donation.

Thank you to Henna Tatham for her Yahrzeit donation in Memory of her Husband, Robert Tatham, Shlomo ben Avraham (a”h), and her Mother, Dora Solomin Devorah bat Yaakov (a”h).


We encourage you to use electronic payments by credit card or eCheck through CTI's website at when fulfilling the mitzvah of giving Tzedakah to mark family events and milestones, including Yahrzeits, and in honor of CTI and our community. 

Spiel sponsorships are now available for a donation of $18. Advertise your business or dedicate an issue of the spiel in memory of a loved one or to celebrate a Simcha. Contact admin for more details. 

Donations can be made via our website at, by pressing "Make a Donation" in the sidebar, using the "Donate to CTI" button on the top left of this email, or by sending your check to: Tiferet Israel P.O. Box 27254, Austin, TX 78755. Please make check payable to Tiferet Israel and please indicate what the donation is for. 
Refuah Shelayma to: 
  • Allene Novy-Portnoy; Hannah Bassa bat Sarah Osnat 
  • Avshalom ben Hannah Bassa
  • Cindy Newman 
  • Debbie Tendler; Devorah Rachel bat Rivka Leah
  • Janet Goldberg; Shayna Masha bat Chasha Mina
  • Ken Friedman
  • Rebecca Millner; Rivkah bat Shoshana
  • Sheina Ruchel bat Henya Leah
  • Tzvi David ben Rivka Golda
  • Yoel Simcha ben Chaya Risha 
  • Sulta bat Nedgma
  • Zvi Aharon ben Bayla
  • Yaira bat Sarah
  • Shimon ben Sarah
  • Hinda bat Yehudit
  • Tamar bat Chaya
  • Ilana bat Gheita
  • Joel Tendler; Yehoshua Mordechai ben Tziporah Perel
  • Barb Altman; Devorah Yeril bat Leah
  • HaRav Avram Meir ben Eli Yosef v'Shira Chanah.
  • Rabbi Harold Liebowitz, Ha Rav Chaim Alter ben Necha. 
  • Shoshana bat Yocheved
  • Miriam bat Rachel v'Mordechai
  • Alta Shoshana bat Shulamit
  • Meir Psachia ben Tziril
  • Geni Berman Abitbol
  • Beilya Golda bat Leah
  • Yosef Yehoshua ben Sarah
  • Jonathan Malawer (Yosef ben Bracha)
  • Bowie Alarcon
  • Fivel ben Sarah HaLevi
  • Cindy Duckworth; Dinah Yehudit bat Sarah
  • Adam ben Chanah
  • Rafael ben Sheindal Leah
  • Aharon Asher ben Chaya Naomi
  • Esther Malka Fraida bat Serel Chaya Raiza
  • Kalev Boaz Chai ben Aliza
  • Esther Reva bat Malka
  • Avraham ben Rut
  • Peter Janson, Faival ben Tzur
  • Sheva Eva bat Bella.
  • Dorit Iken, Dorit Chana bat Orah
  • Moshe ben Rut
  • Shulkah Malka bat Tziporah
  • Yehudit bat Sara
  • Chandal bat Basia
  • Shmuel Dovid bat Malka
  • Anthony Ben Devorah
 Wishing all Cholei Yisrael a Refuah Shlayma. 

Dear Tiferet Friends, 
If you placed a name on the Refuah Shelayma list and G-d willing the person is well, 
please let us know. Also, if you have a friend or family member who needs 
prayers for healing, again please let us know at  
Online Shopping that Benefits CTI

Don't forget to bookmark our special links to AmazonSmile and -- you will have the same shopping experience and CTI gets a generous percentage of your shopping dollar. Please bookmark and start shopping!

To Get Started with AmazonSmile

AmazonSmile will make a donation to CTI based on the amount of your eligible purchases made on the AmazonSmile website. The AmazonSmile website looks identical to the regular website, except that when you log in the banner at the top of the window shows that you are on the AmazonSmile website and displays the charity that you are supporting. There is also an additional item in the dropdown menu labelled “Your AmazonSmile”. The AmazonSmile page offers a convenient shortcut icon or bookmark for your browser to take you to AmazonSmile for your shopping.

Using the CTI Website
Logging in is easy via the login button at the top of the web page. Your login ID is your email address. 

Once logged in, many of the fields are pre-filled for you, to make it easier and quicker to register for an event or make a donation, and so on.

But that's not all! You will also have access to the online Member Directory,    the CTI Bylaws, the minutes of Board meetings and the President,Treasurer and Rabbi Reports and other documents, all under the Resources tab. With more coming all the time!

If you have any questions or comments about the website, please contact our webmaster Joel Tendler at