Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

4 Adar 5783 -- February 25, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Terumah

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Make Space for God!-

As a boy, I remember visiting one of the last cathedral-style synagogues in the country. It was an old synagogue on Maxwell Street in Chicago. I remember standing in the sanctuary and feeling sincerely let down. The shul was falling apart – the stained-glass windows were cracked or shattered, trash was piled up in the corners of the sanctuary, pigeons were flying and roosting in the rafters and, in the midst of the Chicago winter, there was no heat.  


All the while I stood in that sanctuary, I could not help but imagine what this shul must have been like during its prime – people packing the pews, the beautifully ornate chazzanut, the rabbi's drashot – I kept imagining what the splendor of that sacred space must have been like during its prime. And I felt disappointed that the power and majesty that once inhabited that old synagogue was no more. That was, however, until I approached the Aron Kodesh and read the inscription above it: "Know before Whom you stand." As I thought about those words, I realized that however dilapidated that sanctuary was, God inhabited that space all along, I just did not realize it.


The idea that God is before us at all times, no matter where we go, no matter what we do, is identified by Rabbi Moshe Issreless, (also known as the Rema), as one of the most important principles of Judaism, writing, "I place the Lord before me always, this is a great principle of the Torah" (Rema, OC 1:1). But having the awareness that God is always present with us is an extremely difficult ideal to attain. Think about it. It is so easy to ignore God! It is so easy to feel spiritually disconnected during our work-a-day weeks when we feel bogged down by our obligations, by our professional and interpersonal responsibilities. But, if "I place the Lord before me always," if always being aware that we are standing in the presence of God is one of the greatest principles of Judaism, then how can we attain it?


If we turn to the words of our parsha, we may be able to find a way.  At the beginning of Parshat Terumah, God commands Moshe and the Jewish people, "Build Me a Sanctuary, and I shall dwell among them" (Shemot 25:8). Now, at first glance, this commandment seems very strange. Why would God need a sanctuary, a house, to contain His presence? The Mechiltah, Parshat Bo 16, addresses the strange nature of this command. According to the Mechiltah, Moshe says to God, "Build You a house? O God, do we not already know that Your presence fills the heavens and the earth?!" God replies to Moshe, saying, "I know My presence fills the heavens and the earth, but I want you to build Me a house because I want you to receive the benefit of building it!" That is to say, "I want you to know what it feels like to actively, deliberately, and consciously build Me a place – make a space in your lives for Me, so that you can always sense My presence in your midst."


The Jewish ideal of always placing God before us is not easy to attain. It takes a lot of work. Like the construction of the Mishkan, it requires us to deliberately and thoughtfully give of our resources, our time and our energy. But, my bracha for all of us, is that we find the strength and the focus to build our own Mishkans – our own ways of connecting to God in our everyday lives, so that we can feel that God truly dwells amongst us, always. 

Shabbat Shalom,

-Rabbi Dan

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 6:08PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat


Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Youth Services


Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

Monday - Friday



CTI Announcements

2022 Tax Statements

Statements of 2022 Charitable Donations are being sent on request

only. If you need a statement, please send a request to Larry Smith


Tickets and sponsorships are now available for this exciting event. Please click here for more information, tickets and sponsorship opportunities. 

Sponsor Mishloach Manot Here!
Order Here!
RSVP for the FUN!
RSVP Here!
RSVP for the Meal!

CTI is looking for a man or woman to serve as a backup shmira coordinator for when Larry Smith is out of town of otherwise unavailable. This involves a couple of hours of training to learn how to set up and manage shifts and communicate with the shomrim. Please contact Larry at 512-923-3964 or by email at if you are interested or would like more information.

If you are new to the community and want more information about Austin Shmira, here is a link to their website:

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Jan (z"l) & Vicky Gould for sponsoring

Kiddush in Honor of the Shapiro Family

Sponsoring a Kiddush is a lovely way to honor a loved one on their birthday, for an anniversary, to commemorate a Yarhtzeit, or just because you want to help out the community! Please consider sponsoring a Kiddush in March or April, and give us the opportunity to thank YOU for kiddush!  

Sponsor a Kiddush


Click Here! for more information on how to join these exciting classes:

Torah Classes at CTI!

Take Your Tanakh Series

TYT Tuesday Night - The Book of Judges

Tuesday 7:00pm

TYT Wednesday Mornings - The Book of Job

Wednesday 8:15am

For those new to the community, check out this introductory video 
featuring Rabbi Dan and a few of our wonderful CTI community members! 



If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would like to add,

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Ruth Abitbol, Mother of Isaac Raschkovsky, on Wednesday 8 Adar

Isadore Glosser, Brother-in-law of Betty Glosser, Friday 10 Adar

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.

Thank you to Clay Templeton, Howard Abroms, Myles Shaftel, and Daniel Schwartz for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Offer Shavit for his donation

to the Torah Fund in honor of his aliyah.

Thank you to Ilana and Offer Shavit for

their donation to the Torah Fund.

Thank you to Marty and Katie Price for

their donation to the General Fund.

Thank you to David Chapin for his yizkor donation.

Thank you to David Chapin for his yahrzeit donation

in memory of his beloved mother, Belle Goldberg.

Thank you to CJ Wiesenfeld for his donation in honor of Jeanette Brickman and Henna Tatham.

Thank you to Jacob Jacobson for his donation

in honor of Mitch and Patti Davis.

Thank you to Jake Wolfson, Sam Houston, Josh Rosenberg and Kendra Fox, Kevin Nicholas, and Valery Purdy, for their donations to the Youth Educator Fund in memory of Jan Gould z'l.

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 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
  • Moshe ben Reizel
  • Sandra Freed
  • David Chapin
  • 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
  • Chandal bat Basia
  • Shmuel Dovid bat Malka
  • Anthony Ben Devorah
  • Shayna Leah bat Yehudit
  • Reuven ben Shira
  • Batyah bat Sara
  • Akiva ben Sara
  • Jake Wolfson

 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  

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.

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

Contact Us!

On the web:


Dan Millner: 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 101


Alana Pompa:  

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 102

Vice President:

Sarah Wander 


Chuck Kaufman,


Sarah Church Carroll 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 103


Larry Smith  

Phone: 512-923-3964


Alana Pompa 

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 106

Kiddush Committee:

Beth Shapiro

Youth Educator:

Emily Yaffe

Chesed Committee:

Jeanette Brickman

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