Congregation Tiferet Israel 

Austin, TX

29 Iyyar 5783 -- May 20, 2023

What's the Spiel?

Parshat Bamidbar

Austin Community Eruv

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Rabbi's Reflections

-Carrying the Ark and the Burden of Responsibility-

Parshat Bamidbar opens by describing where each tribe, family and individual encamped in the Wilderness: "Each man by his banner according to the insignias of their fathers' household, at a distance surrounding the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp" (Bamidbar 2:2). However, amidst explaining the different positions each tribe occupied in the Israelite camp, our parsha describes the unique position and role of the tribe of Levi, and the family of Kehat in particular, saying, "This is the work of the sons of Kehat in the Tent of Meeting, the most holy. When the camp is to journey, Aharon and his sons shall come and take down the Partition-curtain and cover the Ark of the Testimony with it...Aharon and his sons shall finish covering the holy and all the holy utensils when the camp journeys, and then the sons of Kehat shall come to carry, so that they shall not touch the Sanctuary and die. These are the burdens of the sons of Kehat in the Tent of Meeting" (Vayikra 4:4-5, 15). In other words, the family of Kehat was charged with "the erection, dismantling and setting up (of the items entrusted to them) in the proper places" as the Jewish people journeyed through the Wilderness (Sforno on Vayikra 4:16).  

Though the family of Kehat was tasked with this great and awesome responsibility, the Midrash teaches us the very thought of transporting the Ark was so terrifying, (lest they die), that the family of Kehat actually tried to avoid carrying it, as it says, "This one would [prefer] to carry the Table, [while] another would rather carry the Menorah, and another [still preferred] to carry the Altars, and they all avoided carrying the Ark because of the great harm it could inflict." However, should this attitude persist, the Midrash writes, "the Ark would appear to be disgraced! [Thus, the command was given to the family of Kehat as a precautionary measure] so that they should not abandon the Ark and turn elsewhere" (Bamidbar Rabbah 5:9).


When great responsibilities which bear heavy consequences thrust themselves upon us, we often seek to shirk those responsibilities, avoid them, and instead, busy ourselves with other, less cumbersome, less demanding tasks. However, when we are charged with significant undertakings, we, like the family of Kehat, must rise to the occasion, bear the burden of our responsibilities and serve those entrusted into our care to the best of our abilities. If we have the strength, the faith and the focus to engage those matters which are central and essential to our being and the to the welfare of others, instead of distracting ourselves with things which are easier to deal with, then we, like the family of Kehat, "will not be cut off...[but we] shall live and not die" (Vayikra 4:18-9). 


This Shabbat, let us concentrate on the great responsibilities we all have in our personal and professional lives. May we carry those responsibilities with courage, with dignity and love. May we never avoid taking them on, and may we all become stronger because of them, so that we, our families and our community can become stronger as well. 


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

Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat


Candle Lighting


Shabbat Morning



Youth Services


*Shabbat services will take place in the new JCC building. Please meet in front of Bnai Abraham by 10:20 to talk over to the new room as a group.

Shabbat Evening








Weekday Services

Monday - Thursday



CTI Shavuot Schedule 5783

Thursday, May 25th: Erev Shavuot


Candle Lighting……8:06PM

Tikun Leil Shavuot Part I (May 25th

“The Sixth Chapter of Pirkei Avot: Cherishing the Bible” (10:30PM-11:20PM)

Class by Sandy Kress

“The Book of Ruth: Why is it Important and Why Do We Need to Read it on Shavuot?” (11:25PM-12:30AM)

Class by Larry Smith 

Friday, May 26th: Shavuot Day #1


Tikun Leil Shavuot Part II (May 26th)

“Artificial Intelligence: Can a Robot Count for a Minyan?” (5:15PM-6:50PM)

Class by Rabbi Dan

“The First Page of Shulchan Aruch” (6:50PM-7:10PM)

Class by Elan Mogill


Candle Lighting……8:06PM

Saturday, May 27th: Shavuot Day #2


Megillat Rut……9:50AM

Yizkor……10:30AM (This is an approximate time)



CTI Announcements

Eruv Tavshilin!


When Yom Tov falls on a Friday, as it does this year, there is an allowance to prepare on Yom Tov for the needs of Shabbat on Friday. The process to be followed is called “Eruv Tavshilin.” Before Yom Tov, we take two cooked foods, customarily one baked and one cooked, (a piece of matzah and a hard-boiled egg), and designate them as food for Shabbat, thereby starting (mixing) the Shabbat preparations before the start of Yom Tov.


Both Eruv-foods are held, and the following is recited: “Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us concerning the mitzvah of eruv.”


Then, the following is said: “Through this eruv may we be permitted to bake, cook, insulate, kindle flame, prepare and do anything necessary on the Festival for the sake of the Sabbath (for ourselves and for all Jews who live in this city).”


The traditional Hebrew/Aramaic text can be found in the ArtScroll Siddur on page 654.


This year an Eruv Tavshilin needs to be prepared before Yom Tov on Thursday, May 25th.

Austin Jewish Academy Annual Dinner (5/19/23)

Dear CTI Family,

The Austin Jewish Academy (AJA) will be hosting its annual dinner on Friday, May 19th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The food will be provided by Palate Catering, under the supervision and certification of Dallas Kosher. All CTI members are invited and encouraged to attend. Please see the link below to sign up and show your support for Jewish education in Austin!

Sign Up Here!

Shavuot Teaching Opportunities!

As the festival of Shavuot approaches, CTI is looking for members who wish to teach on Jewish subjects for our annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot! We will again divide up the learning on May 25th and May 26th. Classes should be about 45 minutes long, and can be on any Jewish topic of interest to the teacher! Please reply to Rabbi Dan at if you are interested no later than Friday, May 19th.

The Ladies of CTI had a great time making cheesecake and learning insights on the Torah and Shavuos.

RSVP Here!
Register 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:

Sponsor Kiddush!

Thank you Gary & Karin Gerstenhaber for sponsoring Kiddush in loving memory of Gary's Grandmother, Fannie Gerstenhaber z"l

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 June or July, 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! 


Susan Millner on May 20

Zoe Woloszko on May 20

Ken Schumer on May 24


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

please update your profile on our website.

Yahrzeit Remembrances

Leopold Klein, Father of Rosemary Klein-Robbins, on Friday 6 Sivan

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 Gabe Yaffe for his aliyah donation.

Thank you to Arthur and Barb Altman for their donation to the Youth Educator Fund.

Thank you to Donna & Felipe Pistener for their donation "In loving Memory of Joel and Debbie Tendler z"l. Remembering them lovingly in the month of their calendar birthdays!"

Thank you to Josh Rosenberg and Kendra Fox for their donation "In honor of all the members of CTI who made Kaleb's Bar Mitzvah so special including: the incomparable Kiddish Committee of Beth Shapiro, Natalie Ledeen, Sarah Wander, Elizabeth Tamerlin, Meredith Clifford, Michelle Weiss, and Julie Van Keer, the Gabbayim of Eric Shapiro, Larry Smith and Arthur Altman, Marshall Humble working the door, Ben Heyen making sure everyone had the right books, Emily Yaffe as our Youth Educator as well as the leadership of Alana Pompa and Rabbi Dan. You represent the best of CTI. Kendra and I thank you so much!"

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
  • Avigail Malkah bat Devorah
  • David Moshe ben Sylvia
  • 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
  • Rachel Golda bat Leah

 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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