Congregation Tiferet Israel 
Austin, TX
24 Tammuz 5782 -- July 23, 2022
What's the Spiel?
Shabbat Mevarchim - Parshat Pinchas
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.  
Friday Night

Candle Lighting
No later than 8:13PM

Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat



Kids Service




Monday - Thursday


Dear CTI Family,
Although the summer continues to be hot, our hope is that you are staying cool and enjoying spending time with family and friends.
As we approach the end of summer/fall, we have some very exciting programs and events coming up. We will be starting our school year with a Welcome Back to School-Kids Party on August 14th, led by Emily Yaffe, our Youth Educator extraordinaire! Our Shabbat children's programming returns August 13th and Hebrew School begins August 16th. 
G-d willing, Rabbi Dan will be returning from his deployment in August, with his classes beginning shortly after he has a chance to get back into a normal routine. On September 18th, we are planning on bringing back our Shul Picnic, just in time for everyone to get together in a relaxed environment as we approach the upcoming High Holidays. And finally, the much-loved Sushi in the Sukkah will be returning on October 13th! Block your calendar now for all of these exciting community events!!
In addition, there are a number of other Shul-related events taking place, including Knitting and Knosh, Women's Learning, Schmooze and Learn, and Shabbat Friday Dinners. Look for further information in the near future!
In order to support all of these wonderful activities, along with our daily, weekly, monthly, and annual Shul services, we need to be fiscally responsible and collect our annual membership dues and special event donations.
Our membership year runs from July 1st – June 30th. Now that we have reached the month of July, membership renewal is upon us. Our membership page can be found at CTI Membership Page.
Please renew your membership for 5783 (2022-23) at your earliest convenience, so we can send your High Holiday tickets to you well in advance of the New Year (and pay our bills). For your information, you have a number of standard payment options available through the link. If these don’t work for you, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to discuss alternative options. Please don't let your financial situation keep you from enjoying the benefits of membership at CTI.
Note: The information you will be providing for membership is separate from the ONE ASK ONE TIME Pledge Campaign that we have run the last 2 years. This campaign will kick off next month, as we get closer to the High Holidays.
On the website, you will also find a list of committees you can volunteer for. Please consider helping us by volunteering your time to one or more committees or upcoming events. Our Board Members are all volunteers and we appreciate all the support we can get.
Also, after verifying/updating your membership information, please feel free to add pictures to your profile on the website. Note: We will not be producing a paper copy of our Annual Directory this year, so Shul Cloud will be your one source for everything you need to know about your fellow members. Importantly, all of the information in Shul Cloud is only visible to our members.
In conclusion, I want to thank you – Your time and money are precious and I know you have a choice in how you spend both. We have a wonderful Shul and community, and with your help and generosity, we will continue to grow and flourish for years to come. 
Best regards,
Alana Pompa
CTI Board President
Thank you Beth & Eric Shapiro in memory of Eric's parents
A. Albert Shapiro & Sandra Lee Fichtner Shapiro
Customs of the Nine Days
One week from today, on the first day of the month of Av (Friday, July 29th this year), we will move deeper into the weeks of mourning for the destruction of the two Temples, the dissolution of Jewish life in our homeland, and all the tragedies of Jewish history. During the second stage of this period of introspection, which this year falls from July 29th through August 5th, following the standard Ashkenazi customs, we add a few more celebratory and enjoyable activities to the list that we have been refraining from since the 17th of Tammuz:
Eating meat (any halakhic meat, including poultry) and drinking wine or grape juice
Wearing freshly-laundered garments or doing laundry (other than underwear or children's clothing). Swimming or bathing for pleasure (showering for hygiene is permitted and recommended)

Some who shave/trim facial hair as part of their preparation for Shabbat during the Three Weeks, refrain during the Nine Days, and only do so if necessary for essential professional purposes.
Some who only avoid live music during the Three Weeks, refrain additionally from listening to recorded music during the Nine Days, other than sad and contemplative music that enhances the quality of this period of communal mourning.

The customs against eating meat, drinking wine and grape juice, and wearing freshly-laundered clothing do not apply on Shabbat, just as all public mourning customs are suspended for Shabbat. Even though havdala is made after Shabbat ends, it is permissible to drink the wine or grape juice if there is no other option (such as giving the grape juice to a child, or making havdala on some other respectable beverage).

After the 70 years of the Babylonian Exile, the fast days commemorating the Destruction of the First Beit Hamikdash became celebrations of restoration during the Second Temple Period, in accordance with the prophecy of Zekharya; but they were reinstituted by our Sages in mourning after the Second Destruction. We pray for and aspire to a world in which once again, “the fast of the fourth month (Tammuz), the fast of the fifth month (Av), the fast of the seventh month (Tishrey: Tzom Gedalya), and the fast of the tenth month (Teiveit) will be joy and celebration for the House of Judah, for holidays, loving truth and peace.” (Trey-‘Asar, Zekharya 8:19) 
CTI Announcements
Operation Todah Texas Makes an Impact on the Border
Dear CTI and Shalom Austin Jewish community,

This week, Rabbi Dan delivered your thoughtful and meaningful cards to our Texas Airmen “on the points.” Upon receiving his card, one Airman, who has been on several previous deployments, commented, “These kinds of things make the biggest difference.” Rabbi Dan presented your letters to our service members, explaining, “On behalf of the Jewish community of Austin, I wish to thank you for your service. Please know that the Jewish community of Austin is thinking about you and your families. We’re praying for your safety and wellbeing, and we are so grateful for your sacrifice.” The Airmen were so happy to hear these words, and so glad to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you, CTI, Shalom Austin, and the broader Jewish community of Austin for taking the time to make such a powerful difference in the lives of our Texas service members. Please continue to daven for our brave Texas Airmen and Soldiers. Please continue to daven for their safety and health, as well as the safety and health of their families. The simplest things make the biggest difference. Thank you for making that difference!
CTI Launches Operation Todah Texas
Todah means Thank You in Hebrew and Congregation Tiferet Israel (CTI), Austin’s Modern Orthodox Synagogue, based on the Dell Jewish Community Campus, is spearheading a communitywide initiative to express gratitude to the thousands of Texas Air and Army National Guardsmen and women deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border during Operation Lone Star.

CTI ‘s Rabbi Daniel Millner is one of them. A Texas Air National Guard Chaplain holding the rank of Major, Rabbi Millner is expected to spend most of the next four months providing pastoral and other support to Guard members of all faiths separated from their families, jobs and communities during the border emergency. Rabbi Dan is the sole Jewish chaplain currently deployed along the Rio Grande border.

Working with the Rabbi, a group of CTI congregants, including several who have been deployed overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, have come together to encourage fellow congregants and community members to write “thank you” letters to the troops for their service and sacrifice.

“Delivering letters from fellow Texans expressing gratitude, would really have a big impact on troop morale in what has been and will likely continue to be a tough and unprecedented mission,” Rabbi Dan explained.

The current plan is to ask individuals and families to write cards and letters on their own and drop them off in standard envelopes at the Security Guard station when entering the Dell Jewish Community Campus between 8 AM-6 PM daily.

No gifts, packages, boxes or oversized or padded envelopes can be accepted or delivered.

A CTI Operation Todah Texas Committee member will collect the cards and letters weekly and arrange to get them to Rabbi Millner who will personally distribute them to troops along the border.

Thank you for your support of Operation Todah Texas.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
Sample Letter
Dear Texas National Guardsman,

My name is XXXX XXXXX and I am writing from [Name of Congregation or Shalom Austin] in Austin to thank you for your service in Operation Lone Star.

We deeply appreciate all you are doing to keep our fellow Texans safe during the current border crisis. Your families and communities are also in our thoughts and prayers during your deployment.

We are extremely grateful for your sacrifice and wish you a safe and speedy return home to your loved ones.

With gratitude,

Note: You can choose to include a personal return address if you wish or simply write Operation Todah Texas on the front of the envelope.
Calling all knitters (and crocheters)! Interested in getting together with like minded TI members? We meet at Carol Rubin’s home every other Monday afternoon from 1-3pm. All levels welcome. We call it Knit and Nosh (so you know we eat too!) If interested e-mail Carol at [email protected].
Tehillim Class, 7 PM Mondays (on Zoom)

Many people find solace in times of pain or stress by reciting Psalms, but even greater depths of meaning can be found in studying and analyzing the words of the holy poems themselves. In Rabbi Belsky’s Tehillim class, we unpack the poetry and imagery of the psalms, gaining a greater understanding of this book, which includes within it the full range of human experience, and has sustained our religious lives as Jews for millennia.

Recordings of previous classes can be found at
CTI Welcomes Rabbi Stephen Belsky
While Rabbi Dan is on deployment at Operation Lone Star, Rabbi Stephen Belsky will serve as interim rabbi for the Congregation, meeting its halakhic, spiritual and pastoral needs. We are excited to learn from and grow with Rabbi Belsky during his three-month association with CTI, and we welcome him with open arms! Baruch HaBah!
Rabbi Stephen Belsky grew up in the seaside fishing village of Brooklyn, NY, but has spent the last dozen years of his life in Michigan, surrounded by the Great Lakes. A graduate of the Pardes Educators Program and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, he has taught both children and adults at schools, synagogues, and other institutions; and when he isn't on the road working as an eruv builder, he is a regular speaker and teacher in Detroit's Modern Orthodox community. He loves language, speculative fiction, and the prophetic poems of doom in Tanakh, and is excited to have this opportunity to spend the summer with CTI.
Shalom Austin Mask Policy Update

Given the significant decline in the occurrence of COVID cases in the Travis County area (which is currently listed as being in Stage 2, and continuously dropping), the Medical Committee has unanimously agreed that:

  • Masks should no longer be mandatory at any CTI-related functions
  • Kiddush can move back inside, without any restrictions
  • Individuals who feel safer wearing masks at Shul-related events should feel free to continuing doing so
  • Anyone who has symptoms should NOT attend synagogue.

As always, we will continue to review and address the situation related to COVID on an as—needed basis, and make updated recommendations, as necessary.

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.
Classes currently on hold. Watch for when classes will resume.

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:

TYT Tuesday Night 

The Book of Judges
Tuesday 7:00pm

The Book of Judges teaches us about unexpected and underestimated spiritual and political leadership. Prior to the establishment of the Jewish monarchy, the nation was constantly enmeshed in fighting foreign enemies, spiritual and moral backsliding, oppression, as well as tribal in-fighting. It was a vicious cycle. The Judges came about in order to resolve these political, spiritual and moral issues and to set the people on the right track. Who were the Judges of Israel? How were they chosen, and why? While names like Shimshon, Devorah, Gidon and Yeftach may be familiar, their stories, complex personalities and murky legacies require a great deal of study. In this brand new TYT series, we will explore the life and times of the Judges of Israel – who they were, what they did, and what their contributions to Jewish history are all about. You won’t want to miss out on learning about these early leaders of the Jewish people, whose stories and personalities are as captivating as their contributions to the Jewish people are timeless. 

TYT Wednesday Mornings 

The Book of Second Samuel
Wednesday 8:15am

Come and join the TYT community and learn about the life and times of King David! II Samuel explores how a young David establishes both his kingdom and his kingship. Despite great promise, potential and ability, David is nevertheless beset by external and internal enemies, fighting both physical and spiritual wars. Come and see how David struggles to unite a broken and battered kingdom, establish a capital city and win the support of his people, while at the same time, striving to remain true to God’s Torah and lead a righteous life. No longer the ruddy youth, playing the harp and running for his life, II Samuel takes us through the long journey of David’s maturation process, omitting nothing, all the while exploring larger questions of morality, repentance, power and politics. While we extol David as one of the greatest Jewish heroes and leaders of all time, this book will frame his life and story in its proper context, look under the surface, and examine the complex personality of King David! This class meets each Wednesday morning, except of Jewish holidays, at 8:15am. 

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: Larry Smith
Fundraising Committee: Daniel Ledeen
Bylaws Committee: Jay Rubin
Education Committee: Sarah Wander
Membership Committee: Alana Pompa
Chesed Committee: Lynn Kane
Kiddush Committee: Henna Tatham
Ritual Committee: Eric Shapiro
For those new to the community, check out this introductory video 
featuring Rabbi Dan and a few of our wonderful CTI community members! 

Vicky Gould on July 29

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

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Simon Smullen, Father of Andrew Smullen on Saturday 24 Tammuz

Arnold Jack Rudolph, Father of Jennifer (Vonne) Kaufman
on Tuesday 27 Tammuz

Fred Glosser, Husband of Betty Glosser, on Wednesday, 28 Tammuz

Sandra Lee Fichtner, Mother of Eric Shapiro, on Friday 1 Av

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 our anonymous donors.


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 
  • 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
  • Tamar bat Chaya
  • Ilana bat Gheita
  • HaRav Avram Meir ben Eli Yosef v'Shira Chanah.
  • Rabbi Harold Liebowitz, Ha Rav Chaim Alter ben Necha. 
  • Baruch Akiva Ben Rivka
  • Miriam bat Helen
  • Rivka Michal bat Sarah Chana
  • Lori Garza 
  • Yisroel Natan ben Sarah
  • Masha Gitil bas Chaya Yita
  • Allen Levinson; Avraham Yitzchak ben Gittel
  • 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
  • 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, Fievel ben Devorah
  • 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
  • Shayna Leah bat Yehudit
 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 [email protected]  
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 at [email protected].