Sunday school, Yom Limud Austin, Sisterhood Crafting Class

PLEASE join us tonight at 7 as we welcome in shabbat and elevate our spirits.

We are also having Shabbat morning services this weekend, Saturday January 11. Jacob is coming in all the way from Houston to read from the Torah and we would love to have you all join us. We will be praying as a community for the Cantor to have a refua shlema and be back with us as soon as possible. While the Cantor is not with us, his thoughts are with his congregation as ours are with him.

On a joyful note, we will be celebrating the birthday of Freddy and thank him and Sabrina for sponsoring an amazing kidish lunch right after services. Toda and gracias and a huge welcome to the Beth El family!

Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Parashah:

Shabbat Shalom.Our parshah, Vayyehi, concludes Sefer B’reshith, the Book of Genesis, with words of blessing-specifically the blessings of Ya’akov/Yisrael for his children (which are echoed in Moshe’s blessings for the People of Israel). Many of these blessings include comparisons of the sons to animals-Yoseph is a bull, and Asher is a snake, for example. Amusingly, the comparison of Benyamin to a wolf led to a legend in the Midrash that he was actually a werewolf. The most famous of these of course was the comparison of Yehudah to a lion. The Lion of Judah appears on the seal of the City of Jerusalem, and indeed on the mantles of our sifrei Torah. Our Sages used the lion as an exemplar of courage-“Be brave as a lion”,“Be a lion’s tail rather than a fox’s head”. May the strength and courage of our ancestor Yehudah, who gave his name to the Yehudim, the Jews, reside in us as well, and let us live up to the words which we will chant on Shabbat at the conclusion of the reading of Sefer B’reshith-“Hazzak, hazzak v’nit’hazek”-Be strong, Be strong and we will strengthen each other.

Shabbat candle lighting time in Austin 5:30 PMSisterhood Calendar of Events –
Join our WhattsApp group for more.

Please join us THIS Sunday January 12 at 6:30 PM pm as we learn how to make gorgeous Tree Of Life Necklaces with Rachel Union. Event is adults only and held at Beth El. Please bring a healthy yummy nosh to share, a donation of $6 to help cover costs and your friends. We’ll have wine and lots of cosy conversation and beading.See our BERS January 12!

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We have a preschool class starting for children three to five led by Morah Hila! If you have a preschooler, have them join us this Sunday!The Beth El Men’s Club is having a super fun afternoon of Poker at Beth El on Sunday February 2 at 3:30 PM. We’d love to see all the guys there. Please bring $10 spending money! We got some high rollers!Please join Shalom Austin for an amazing day of learning and concert on Sunday January 19 – MLK weekend. Beth El is proudly a cosponsor of the event. Please sign up for a terrific day of learning. Children in Hebrew school are encouraged to attend too.

Beth El Hanukkah Party, Sunday School Fun and Shabbat services

Friday night Live tonight at 7PM.

Shabbat morning Services THIS Shabbes, December 14, at 9 AM. Services, children’s story time, song and prayer. We will have a lunch of bagels, lox and the Cantor’s yummy lentil soup!  See you all at shul!

Sunday School with the BERS THIS SUNDAY December 15. Last one of 2019. Can’t wait to see our sweet children and talented educators. 

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Parashat Hashavua: 

 This week’s parshah begins with Ya’akov’s return to his homeland and his reunion with his estranged brother ‘Esav.  The night before their meeting, Ya’akov wrestles with a mysterious person-perhaps an angel-and in the struggle receives the new name of Yisrael and also an injury which causes a severe limp. The injury has been interpreted as being to his sciatic nerve, which would cause severe pain.  Nonetheless, Ya’akov/Yisrael is described shortly afterwards as arriving at the city of Sh’chem “shalem”, whole.  Does this mean he was healed of his injury?  Perhaps-but likely it means that he was spiritually whole.  He had come face to face with ‘Esav and reconciled with him.  He had struggled with and integrated the “dark” side of his personality-his deceptive and manipulative tendencies, his chronic dissatisfaction with his lot-and realized that they could work for good purposes.  There is a prayer traditionally said upon rising, which asks God to “…bend my/our (evil) impulse to serve You.”  Once we realize that all of our spirit is in The Divine Image, even the parts that we dislike, we can achieve wholeness like our ancestor Yisrael, who gave his name to our People.  Shabbat Shalom.

Shabbat candle lighting time in Austin 5:14 PM

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Sisterhood Calendar of Events – Join our WhattsApp group for more. 

Sunday January 5 at 1 PM – Art class with Sharon Sananes. Therapeutic, relaxing and just plain fun!

Sunday January 12 at 7 pm. Tree Of Life Necklace Making with Rachel Union.

Thursday February 27 at 7 PM – Bubbles and Bubbly – the Art of bath bomb making with Mazzi Peled of Latika Soap.

Monday March 2 7PM  Purim arts and crafts class with artist  Susan Slomowitz.

Thursday April 2-  Passover cooking class/recipe exchange with Juliette Meinstein.

Movie Night At Beth El.

The Tenth Man (El Rey Del Once) – Saturday January 4 at 6:30 PM 

Parashat Ki Thetze

TONIGHT at 7PM please join us for Kaballat Shabbat

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Parashat Hashavua:

We come closer to the High Holidays with the reading of Parshat Ki Thetze, which begins with a mention of the abhorrent custom of regarding captured women as spoils of war. This was the custom in most of the world until quite recently-a conquering soldier would simply take any enemy woman he had a mind to. The Torah however modifies the practice-of a soldier’s wishes, he can take a captive woman as a wife, but only after letting her mourn her captivity (and the probable death of her family) for a month. If the soldier upon reflection changes his mind about marrying her, he must set her free and not sell her into slavery. Thus, the Torah seeks to modify the base impulse to take humans as loot.

Of course, this custom is no longer permitted-such an action would rightly be considered a war crime, and thankfully human society has, for the most part, evolved past such barbarity. But is there a lesson for us in this law even now. Rabbi Alan Lew, of blessed memory, suggested that there is. When we are possessed by a powerful desire, we should perhaps not act on it immediately, but wait. Emotions can be fleeting things, and perhaps upon reflection we might find that what we so greatly desired is actually not what we really need, nor in the long term want. Patience can often lead us away from our base impulses, our yetzer hara’, and lead us toward greater nobility of spirit. As we come closer to the Days of Awe, when we are bid to undertake a spiritual accounting, we should examine our desires and impulses, and make sure that we are living up to what is best in us. Shabbat Shalom.

Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting at 7:21 p.m.

Check out the High Holiday Schedule at Beth El!

The next sisterhood book! Get your copy and start reading this fascinating book.

“And There Was no King In Israel – A Journey Through the Book of Judges”

New and exciting class presented by Cantor Ben-Moshe starting October 29. Save your spot. Free, but register early.

Please consider sponsoring a kidush lunch. Send us a note at and we can plan to cook your favorite treats.

Sunday School This Sunday was so much fun and so much learning.

Our children loved reconnecting and meeting new friends!

Welcome back BERS!

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Community News: Austin Chapter of Hadassah Annual Luncheon

High Holidays 5780

TONIGHT at 7PM please join us for Kaballat Shabbat.

A host of spiritual, melodic and meaningful services.

Rosh Hashanah Sunday evening at 7 PM with apples and honey and light deserts after.

Monday from 9 AM with a kidish lunch.

Tuesday from 9 AM with a kidish lunch. Come Saturday evening after shabbat is out to help the Kidish Crew cook!

Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Parashat Hashavua:On this last Shabbat of 5779, we read Parshat Nitzavim, and it is perhaps fitting that we do so, since this parshah contains the words “Lo bashamayyim hi”-“It (Torah) is not in Heaven”. Moshe tells us over the millennia that Torah, doing what is Godly and right, is not out of our reach, not in Heaven or over the sea, but rather in our hearts. Jewish Tradition is indeed a serious spiritual discipline, and Torah does make demands on us. In fact, our Tradition has expectations for all of us that most spiritual traditions only impose on clergy or religious orders. However, these demands are not impossible-and even better, we can set for ourselves the goal to improve, even if we cannot yet reach the maximum. “It is not in Heaven”-it is within the capacity of each of us to reach our own potential, and as we begin the New Year of 5780, let us strive to reach that potential. Shereen joins me in wishing Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah to all the Beth El family.

Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting at 7:04p.m.

Check out the High Holiday Schedule at Beth El!

Please plan to attend children’s services with your family and note that we have babysitting! Please let us know if you need babysitting and help make a donation to pay our sweet babysitters.

IAC Austin and Congregation Beth El!

Join us to celebrate Keshet event in the Sukkah. Keshet events are for kids ages 3-8.

We will have arts & crafts, games, music, snacks and many other fun activities for Sukkot.

בואו לחגוג עם קשת בסוכה. ארועי קשת מיועדים לילדים בגילאי 3-8

יהיו המון פעילויות לסוכות: יצירה, משחקים, מוסיקה, חטיפים והרבה כיף

Sun, October 13, 2019

“And There Was no King In Israel – A Journey Through the Book of Judges”

New and exciting class presented by Cantor Ben-Moshe starting October 29. Save your spot. Free, but register early.

Please consider sponsoring a kidush lunch for the High holidays.

Huge thank you to Dani and Juliette for sponsoring Break the Fast.

Send us a note at and we can plan to cook your favorite treats.

Thank you to our awesome Juliette and Yifat who led the honey cake baking this year for our BERS students. The BERS lovingly made honey cake for bubbies and zeidies as well as some awesome Jewish War Veterans in our community. Yesher Koach Mitzvah Makers!