Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

3 Nisan 5783 -- March 25, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Vayikra

Austin Community Eruv

For more information, a map and current status click here.

Our website

Sign Up to Receive

our Emails


Email Rabbi Dan

Email CTI President

Inquire about our Torah School Program

CTI Kashrut Standards

Common Reliable Kosher Certifications Found Locally

Join CTI Youth Newsletter

Donate to CTI

Shop & Support

ArtScroll online

Membership Information

Become a member of a congregation that feels like a family!

Contact Alana Pompa

for more information:

Renew Your

Membership Here!

Rabbi's Reflections

-Not If, but When We Make a Mistake-

We all make mistakes. That is a fact of life. That being said, the fear of making mistakes is so petrifying that sometimes, people do not even try their hand at something they might botch. The result of the mindset, “I must be perfect, otherwise, why try at all?” is inaction, complacency, or worse yet, apathy. Striving to achieve our goals, while understanding and accepting the possibility of making mistakes along the way, however, is exactly the sort of service God desires from us, as it says, “Seven times the righteous person falls, yet rises again” (Mishlei 24:16). Yes, we all make mistakes. But it is our ability to learn from our mistakes, to use them as opportunities to improve ourselves, which enables us to continue on our journeys towards achieving the aspirations we have for ourselves. God does not desire perfection. God desires our sincere attempts towards attaining the ideals we seek with our whole hearts. Be that as it may, we often feel like we need “permission” to embrace this way of thinking – that it is alright to make mistakes, because making mistakes and learning from them help us grow. Therefore, we often look to our leadership to inspire us, and one of the most inspiring things any leadership can do is to show that making mistakes is not only acceptable, what is more, it is necessary.

In this week’s parsha, Parshat Vayikra, we learn about all the various sacrifices the Jewish people needed to bring for myriad situations. However, one of the most common sacrifices brought by the people was the “Chatat,” or the “Sin Offering,” which was required to be given in order to atone for committing sins inadvertently, as it says, “When a person will sin unintentionally from among all the commandments of the Lord that may not be done, and he commits one of them” (Vayikra 4:2). That is to say, if a person was not careful about performing a certain negative mitzvah, a Korban Chatat would be required because a mistake made must be rectified, and only through the bringing of a sacrifice can the individual who inadvertently sinned atone and commit themselves to be more careful in the future so that they “may merit to come close before Him” (Ramban on Vayikra 4:2). 

However, what happens when a leader sins inadvertently? What happens when a leader makes a mistake, and was not as scrupulous about observing certain mitzvot? What should that leader do? For a leader to admit to making a mistake, to show that he or she is merely human, might seem like it could lose the confidence of his or her people. However, that is not what our parsha teaches us. On the contrary, the Torah tells us, “When ruler sins, and commits one from among all of the commandments of the Lord that may not be done – unintentionally – and becomes guilty” (Vayikra 4:22). According to Rashi based on the Sifra, “The word ‘Asher’ or ‘when,’ is related to the word ‘Ashrei’ or ‘fortunate,’ as if to say, ‘fortunate is the generation whose ruler sets his heart to bring an atonement for his unintentional sin. All the more so, that he has regrets over his intentional sins’” (Rashi on Vayikra 4:22). Here, Rashi is teaching us that one of the greatest gifts a leader can give to his or her people, is to show them that only if we are bold enough to try new things, make mistakes and even fail, can we ever succeed at doing extraordinary things. By showing the people that even the leader makes mistakes, but through the act of offering the Korban Chatat, also show that he or she is committed to doing better next time, that leader is teaching his or her flock the benefits of imperfection, and the value of improvement. 

God does not demand perfection, but God does desire striving for it. The Korban Chatat teaches us that we must recognize the mistakes we have made and commit to doing better in the future, and the Jewish leadership paves the way – gives “permission,” as it were, for people to feel this way by modeling this, and this the Torah views as a real positive value for any and every generation. This Shabbat, may we all, as leaders in our community, embrace the fact that we all make mistakes – that we are not perfect. Yet, at the same time, may we all strive to reach that perfection through the process of constant growth through recognizing what we can improve upon, and commit ourselves to that improvement. Mistakes can be helpful, but only if we seek to learn from them. The Korban Chatat gave the Jewish people that opportunity. May we all strive to embody the spirit of giving that sacrifice, as we continue to rise, stumble, and rise again.

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 7:26PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat


Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Youth Services


Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

Monday - Friday



CTI Announcements

RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!
RSVP Here!

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:

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


Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Solomon, Devorah & Elliot Sultan for sponsoring Kiddush in Honor of Solomon's Birthday!

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 April, May or June, 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 Isaiah

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! 


Stephen Sutter on March 25

Sean Clifford on March 26

Ilana Shavit on March 27

Marty Price on March 31

Athena Lonsdale on March 31


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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Herman Spertus, Father of Philip Spertus, on Wednesday 7 Nissan

Joanna Grevey, Grandmother of Sean Clifford, on Thursday 8 Nissan

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 David Chapin, Jay Rubin, and Chuck Kaufman for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Rabbi Harold and

Judy Leibowitz for their Purim donation.

Thank you to Reese Carroll and

Sherry Fishman-Carroll for their donations

to the Chesed Fund, High Holiday appeal,

and for Yizkor.

Thank you to Mitch and Patti Davis for their donation to the Youth Educator Fund in memory of Jan Gould and in honor of Vicky Gould.

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
  • Rachel Tzivia bat Malka

 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

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram