Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

20 Shevat 5783 -- February 11, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Yitro

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-It's Not Just What You Say, It's How You Say It-

In this week’s parsha, Parshat Yitro, we learn about the special relationship between Moshe and his father-in-law, Yitro. Upon hearing that the Jewish people walked through the Sea of Reeds and emerged victorious in the war with Amalek, Yitro, along with his daughter and two grandsons, goes to meet Moshe. After reconnecting, Yitro observes how Moshe is dealing with his role as leader of the newly-freed Jewish people and is distressed by what he sees, as it says, “Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood by Moshe from the morning until the evening. The father-in-law of Moshe saw everything that he was doing to the people, and he said, ‘What is this thing that you do to the people? Why do you sit alone with all the people standing by you from morning to evening?’” (Shemot 18:13-14). Yitro then gives Moshe some practical advice as to how best alleviate his burden, saying, “‘Now heed my voice, I shall advise you…You be for the people opposite God, and you convey the matters to God…And you shall see from among the entire people, men of means, God-fearing people, men of truth, people who despise money, and you shall appoint them leaders of thousands, leaders of hundreds, leader of fifties, and leaders of tens. They shall judge the people at all times, and they bring every major matter to you, and every minor matter they shall judge, and it will ease from upon you, and they shall bear with you’…Moshe heeded the voice of his father-in-law, and did everything that he had said” (Shemot 18:19-24). 

At first glance, Yitro’s advice to Moshe does not sound all that innovative or incredible. In fact, learning how to manage time and delegate responsibility are skills anyone in their personal and professional life needs to master in order to achieve success and minimize the chance of emotional, mental and physical “burn-out.” And yet, according to Chazal, Yitro’s advice to Moshe placed him in the highest regard in the eyes of Moshe and the Torah, and because of his advice, Yitro merited to have an entire parsha of the Torah named after him. Why? Perhaps, the answer is that the greatness of Yitro’s advice has less to do with what he said, and more to do with how he said it. According to the Midrash, Yitro was very careful to offer his advice in a way that would build up Moshe rather than make him feel like a failure, as it says, “A person should never let a mean thing leave his lips” (B. Talmud, Pesachim 3a). Yitro explained to Moshe how important he was to the people, how much his presence mattered to them, and because of his importance, he needed to learn how to delegate responsibility so that he could be as available to them as possible. Moshe, in his greatness, was able to see the truth of Yitro’s words, put aside his feelings, and accept the advice.

Whenever someone offers criticism to us, we need to ask ourselves two questions. First, “do I respect this person?” and second, “do I think this person cares about me?” If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then it is to our benefit to listen to that criticism as words of care coming from a place of love, and accept them in the same spirit in which they were given. The greatness of Yitro’s advice was not that he told Moshe something anyone else could have told him. No. The greatness of Yitro’s advice was that he knew how to speak to Moshe in a way that would encourage and help him fulfill his mission to his people. People are often too quick to criticize, but also too quick to dismiss criticism. This Shabbat, let us learn from the greatness of Yitro – that just as important as the words we use is the way we use them. If we really care about someone, we will always take their feelings into account, as Yitro did for Moshe, in order to help them achieve their goals and succeed in the higher callings of their lives. 

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 5:57PM

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!
RSVP Here!

This year, we invite you to join us at the Shalom Austin JCC on April 30 from 2-6:00 p.m. for the biggest Yom HaAtzmaut Israel’s 75th Independence Day celebration in Central Texas! Explore the flavors of Israel with Israeli-themed food vendors, shop the Israeli marketplace, enjoy hands-on activities for children of all ages and much more! Save the date - more details coming soon.


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 Jay & Carol Rubin for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of Carol's Special Birthday!

Wow! Kiddush Sponsorships are filled up for January and February! Please sign up to sponsor Kiddush in March or April so we can all continue to enjoy Kiddush with our new expanded menus, 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! 


Carol Rubin on February 12

Gary Gerstenhaber on February 13


Joshua Rosenberg & Kendra Fox on February 17

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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Harry Gerstenhaber, Grandfather of Gary Gerstenhaber,

on Sunday 21 Shevat

Richard Selig, Father of Edward Selig, on Wednesday 24 Shevat

Bruce Weinberg, Brother of Barb Altman, on Wednesday 24 Shevat

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 Rick Goldberg and

David Chapin for their aliyah donations.

Thank you to Larry and Ester Smith for t

heir donation in honor of Henna Tatham.

Thank you to Richard Wagner, Tobi Hitt, TJ Bradley, Jim and Martha Bowman, Steed Dunnill LLP, Wagner Cario LLP, Kitty and Gene Souza, Patricia Perez, Arthur and Barb Altman, Larry and Ester Smith, and Donald Stephens, 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

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