Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

21 Elul 5782 -- September 17, 2022

What's the Spiel?

Selichot - Parshat Ki Tavo

Austin Community Eruv
For more information, a map and current status click here.
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Tiferet Israel
PO Box 27254
Austin, TX 78755
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Membership Information

Would you like to become a member of a congregation that feels more like a family?

If so, contact Alana Pompa for more information at membership@tiferetaustin


Renew Your Membership Here!

Rabbi's Reflections

-The Mitzvah is the Reward!-

In this week's parshaParshat Ki Tavo, the Twelve Tribes of Israel separate and stand on two mountains - Mount Gerizim and Mount Eival. While those standing on Mount Gerizim receive blessings, those standing on Mount Eival receive klalot, curses from the Levites, stationed between the two mountains. One of the curses the Levites utter to those standing on Mount Eival is, "Cursed is the one who does not uphold the words of this Torah, to carry them out" (Devarim 27:26). This is fairly obvious. So, what is the deeper meaning of this curse? According the 19th century German Torah commentator, Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenberg, these words mean, "There so many people who display themselves through their toil in mitzvot and Torah. However, their true intentions are to cover up their sins, and deceive others into thinking that they are true defenders of the faith, people who possess Torah and good deeds. They do this because they believe that by appearing holy, they can be appointed community leaders or have exclusive power over community needs and funds. But they are not honest. These are the flatterers who seek to placate God, but who in truth, do not fear Him" (HaKetav v'HaKabbalah, Ki Tavo). 

Thus, this klalah, this curse teaches us that our motivations for fulfilling the mitzvot of the Torah must be for pure reasons and not for ulterior motives. Even though people may act a certain way does not mean that their heart is in the right place. The lesson we can all learn from this particular klalah is that the strongest identities we can form as Jews, and indeed, the strongest identities we can form as a Jewish community, is forged by people who truly believe in the purpose of their mission. So, this Shabbat, let us ask ourselves, even if our efforts do not win us communal acclaim, would we still do them simply because it is the right thing to do? Even if our efforts do not get lauded every time we do the holy thing, would we still do them? The answer must be yes, as the mishne states, "Be not like servants who minister to their masters for the sake of receiving a reward, and let the fear of Heaven be upon you" (Pirkei Avot 1:3). And also, "The reward of a mitzvah is inherent in the mitzvah" (Ibid., 4:2). 

According to Rav Hirsch, this mishne teaches us that, "The good that you do will lead to more good, and every act of duty performed bears its own reward. The knowledge that you have done the Will of your Father in Heaven will bring you closer to God. It will enrich your spirit with the happy awareness of having done the right thing, and reinforce your moral capacity for doing good" (Commentary on Pirkei Avot 4:2). Indeed, the reward for doing a mitzvah is the mitzvah itself, and what is more, when we perform a mitzvah, whether that mitzvah be great or small, the knowledge that we have become closer to God through it, "should make the true human being so happy that he or she will find their service of God to be their richest reward, and it will not even occur to them to seek additional compensation" (Ibid., 1:3).


CTI is blessed to have so many people who do mitzvot every day for our wonderful community without thinking about how their toil in Torah will bring them accolades. Our community is truly a community of selfless, humble servants who seek the welfare of our shul and the sanctification of God's Name. May we continue to be inspired by the incredible heroes of our sacred community who do all they can to ensure that Torah, tefillah and learning can continue to thrive – from our board members to those who contribute their resources and time, to those who shop for and prepare Kiddush every Shabbat, inspect our community eruv, teach our youth programs, host guests and prepare the Torah reading every, single week. We at CTI are truly blessed!


This Shabbat, may we all reflect on the incredible work our community does to make sure that it only goes from strength to strength, and may we all rejoice in the glad knowledge that as a congregation of dreamers, we seek to always do what is right regardless of the praise we receive, because we know that a mitzvah is its own reward. We are so grateful to all those who help enable our very special shul to grow, and we are all so proud of the holy work being done by all those who ensure that which is said, "As for you, be strong! Do not be disheartened, for there is reward for your labor" (2 Divrei HaYamim 15:7).

Shabbat Shalom!

- Rabbi Dan

Shabbat Morning Drasha from Bat Mitzvah Girl, Stella Couch!

Shabbat Afternoon Shiur: "Learning Tefillah with Rav Schwab: Morning Blessings Part 3"

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 7:17 PM

Mincha/Kabbalat Shabbat

7:20 PM

Shabbat Morning


9:00 AM

Youth Service

 10:30 AM

Shabbat Afternoon/Evening

Stella Couch Bat Mitzvah (Women's Tefillah Group)

4:00 PM

Regular Mincha

7:05 PM


8:10 PM

Pre-Selichot Shiur: "What If I Can't Forgive? A Real Look at Real Life"

11:00 PM

Midnight Selichot

12:00 AM (Led by Rabbi Harold Liebowitz)



8:20 AM

Weekday Services

Selichot and Shacharit Monday - Friday

*6:30 AM*

CTI Announcements

CTI wishes to extend a Mazal Tov to Stella Couch on the occasion of her Bat Mitzvah! Mazal tov to her proud parents, Cari and Charles, and the whole Couch family. Stella will be reading from the Torah at CTI’s first ever Women’s Tefillah Group – a prayer group run and led by women, all according to the strictest views of Jewish law and tradition. This is an exciting and ground-breaking day for Stella, her family and our shul. We wish her hatzlacha and brachot as she begins this new chapter in her life as an adult Jewish woman. Mazal Tov!

Midnight Selichot at Congregation Tiferet Israel

Please join Rabbi Dan for a pre-Selichot sicha (class) entitled, “What If I Can’t Forgive?: A Real Look at Real Life.” Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are times of forgiveness, pardon and atonement. We all know that during this season we should seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness. But what happens when someone has wronged us for hurtfully that we simply cannot bring ourselves to forgive them? What happens when forgiveness given to a person whom we know will sin against us again may only embolden their bad behavior in the future? In this class, we discuss all of these real-life issues, and bring them home in a way that will help us grapple with and resolve many hard relationships as well as the holy aspirations we envision for ourselves.

Where: 11:00PM at Congregation Tiferet Israel

When: September 17th, 2022

The Israel American Council (IAC) will hold its annual meeting this year in Austin TX, on January 19-21st, 2023 at the Fairmont Hotel downtown.  We at CTI are excited to have them here in Austin.

The IAC Conference in Austin is expected to draw several thousand people and may be the largest Jewish event in Austin’s history. Austin was chosen for this honor because of its rapidly growing and dynamic Israeli/American Community.

For those who are not familiar with the organization, it was founded in 2007, and has quickly become one of the most influential Pro-Israel groups in the United States, It works closely with other non-profits as well as the American/Israeli/Jewish communities.

Please check out the link below. Some of our members have already signed up and plan on attending. We encourage you to do the same. Click on the link below to signup:


On Shabbat, Saturday, October 8, CTI will have with us Shelly Shwartz, IAC’s, Austin Regional Director. She will talk about IAC and its conference. Please come by to listen to an extremely exciting presentation and  enter the date on your calendar. Come and show your support for IAC and learn a little more about them.

Find out more about our impact:

Thank you Charles & Cari Couch for sponsoring Kiddush in honor of their daughter, Stella's Bat Mitzvah

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.

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 Jonah

Wednesday 8:15am

Come and join the TYT community and learn about the most "successful" Prophet in Jewish history, Jonah! Who was Jonah? Why did he seek to evade his spiritual responsibilities? Did he really think he could run away from God? What were his motivations, fears and concerns? Is his story literally true, or metaphorical? Is there even room in Judaism to read Biblical texts as metaphorical? If so, which texts, and why? In this class, we will explore the life and times of Jonah...and the whale, and come to a better understanding of his mission and why he features so prominently on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. You really don't want to miss out on a thorough "deep dive" into what is perhaps the most imaginative and enthralling book in the Tanakh! So join us at 8:15am on Wednesdays to find out more about this essential Prophet, whose lessons are as complex as they are eternal.

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! 


Michelle Van Keer on September 19

Jan Gould on September 20

Eyal Ledeen on September 20

Daniel Kane on September 21


If you have any birthdays or anniversaries you would

like to add, please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

JSylvia Giller, Mother of Carol Rubin, on Saturday 21 Elul

Melvin Kleinstub, Brother of Betty Glosser, on Tuesday 24 Elul

Mollie (Chaia Malka), Mother of Elaine Orent, on Wednesday 25 Elul

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 Barb and Arthur Altman for their donation in

Honor of Marshall and Sandy Sack's 55th wedding anniversary.

Thank you to Vicki and Jan Gould for their donation to the general fund.

Thank you to Sherri and Reese Fishman-Carroll for their donation

IHO Henna Tatham's years of service preparing kiddush on Shabbat.

Thank you to Sherri and Reese Fishman-Carroll for a

second donation to the general fund.


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  

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
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

Phone: 512-410-0336 ext 106

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