Adam Loewy Guest Speaker

Please come to Friday night services via zoom tonight, Friday May 29 at 7 PM. We are honored that Adam Loewy will be giving an inspiring Dvar tonight. The topic is titled “the Lessons of Mr. Friedman” (with the topic devoted to Tzedakah). Adam is a personal injury lawyer and owner of the Loewy Law Firm. He and his amazing wife, Phil, are very active in the Austin Jewish community. They are the proud parents of two little boys, who keep them very busy. Adam has lived in Austin since 2000, and we are so happy to welcome him this evening.

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Hazzan Ben-Moshe’s
Weekly Message:

This week we begin the reading of Sefer B’midbar with the parshah of the same name. The book is called “Numbers” in English because it begins with a census of the People of Israel-or more precisely, the military strength of the People of Israel. After over a year at the foot of Mt. Sinai, God is ready for the People to move towards the Land of Israel and fight for it.

Since Sunday is Rosh Hodesh, the New Month of Sivan, the haftarah is the one called “Mahar Hodesh”-“Tomorrow is the New Month”. It deals with the friendship between Yehonathan, the eldest son of King Shaul, and David Ben Yishai, who would himself become king, the founder of the royal dynasty of Judah. The friendship between the two is held up as the very best kind-one not based on anything but genuine love between two people. David and Yehonathan had no agenda with each other, and there were no expectations between them. When Yehonathan died in battle along with his father, David composed a beautiful dirge in his memory, and when he became king, the son of Yehonathan became a member of David’s court. We should all be so lucky as to have a friendship like that of David and Yehonathan, which did not end even with the death of one. Shabbat Shalom.

Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Candle lighting in Austin at 8:05 PM.

Mazal Tov to our Beth El BERS! We hope you have the best summer possible. Please look for special summer youth programs, including MITZVAH MENTSCHES, hangout and virtual game or movie nights, and an afternoon of social distancing on Town Lake Kayaks! Yesher Koach to our Dream team of teachers, Maya, Meital, Noa, Iris Daniel, Hila, Lorin, Bam and the Hazzan – and of course the awesome Carol Rubin! Our community values you so much and is truly blessed to have such amazing educators and families!

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by Jared

Our departure from Austin and from you was more immediate than we would have liked. We were hoping to say our proper goodbyes to all those who have been and are such a wonderful part of our lives. We do mean wonderful in all sense of the word. What a wonder it is that we came to Beth El to restore our Judaism, to learn and to explore the marvel that we all cherish so dearly. It’s the marvel that Jews are all about the same thing. We all want to be more than what we are at any one moment, and share in the pursuit of that. We teach and we learn and as we learn, we teach. We do these things for many personal reasons, but on one thing we all agree. Our heritage is so precious, so unbroken through so much adversity that we all feel a great responsibility to honor our ancestors who gave us so much. They gave us an undeniable certain knowledge that G-d is the best and only thing we can rely on and how to do that. Through Torah and mitzvot our lives can be more than we ever imagined. Through fellowship in this pursuit we all benefit.Gracie and I came to a Beth El because we were attracted to the Beit Kinneset family like atmosphere and community there. I, Jared, came after 40 years of not being so involved in Judaism since young adulthood. Gracie came after a generation had past for her, and 500 years had past from her Spanish roots. I knew I was Jewish beyond doubt because we were. I was Bar Mitzvah and spent more time in shul than I would have liked as a kid. Gracie knew she was because she asked her dad “is there any chance we are Jewish?” Her dad responded” “yes, I asked my father and he said yes” Gracie said “how do you know?” Her dad said “my father told me we are Jewish , but we are not bad people” So Gracie asked her dad “why didn’t he go to shul?” He said “because I was scared”. There was some family disconnect that was lost in Gracie’s dad’s generation. But when we came to Beth El , it was as if we had never left. Quickly, we knew who we were and what we desired to do. That was to live the rest of our lives as the best Jews we could be.I mentioned once to someone at Beth El how much Beth El had increased our yidishekeit. The response I got was that “oh no you have increased ours”. I was and am so touched by that. That’s what it’s all about and that is our greatest hope and obligation. An elder at Beth El says it all. He says” I really love this place”. We really love this place, what more is there to say? What’s not to love? The place is nice, the people are nice, the food is nice, the beer is cold and nice, and most of all the Torah is in its place in the shul and in our lives.I, Jared, was struck by the passing of Elaine Shapiro and all of our founders as if they were my family members and they were. What else could we possibly ask for? The dedication of our forebearers is more than evident. Beth El is what they envisioned and so much more. “Ma tovu ohalecha Yaakov mishcanatecha Yisrael.”” L’dor v’dor”. How goodly are your tents O Jacob, your dwelling places O Israel”, “Generation to Generation.”We are proud to be a part of that, to be that.

Our next exciting installment in the Tanach Class: “And There was no King in Israel”, continues Tuesday June 2 at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. We will also be starting a Jewish ethics class this summer inspired by Pirkei Avot (The Ethics of our Fathers). Stay tuned.

Sunday School Graduation

Please come to Friday night services via zoom tonight, Friday May 15 at 7 PM.

Sunday School Siyum – End of Year Celebration this Sunday at 10:45. Parents, please use this link to join us with your children.

Also, please have the children wear white shirts for Shavuot and have them write on a regular white piece of paper the following prompt: This is what I loved about Hebrew School______. They may decorate it! We will show all their notes and have a special slide show and online party.

Hazzan Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message:

This week we read the two parshot of B’har and B’hukkotai, closing out Sefer Vayyikra, the Book of Leviticus. As usual when two parshot are read, we read the haftarah for the second parshah, which is taken from the Book of Yirmiah, Jeremiah. The prophet speaks of two kinds of people-those who trust in mortals, and those who trust in HaShem.

“Thus says the Lord: cursed is the one who trusts in humans, who makes mere flesh their strength and turns their thoughts from the Lord. Such a one shall be like a bush in the desert, which does not sense the coming of good: it is set in the scorched places of the wilderness , in a barren land without inhabitants.

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord alone. Such a one shall be like a tree planted by waters, sending forth its roots by a stream: it does not sense the coming of heat, its leaves are ever fresh; it has no care in a year of drought, it does not cease to yield fruit.”

May we always remember to trust in HaShem-the One Who shows no favoritism, who only thinks of what is good for us and for the world. And may we always bear fruit-spiritual fruit, which is a benefit to those around us. Shabbat Shalom.

Candle lighting in Austin at 8 PM.

Book Club – Rashi’s Daughter Book 1 Yocheved. Sunday June 14 at 7 PM via Zoom!Tuesday May 19 at 7:30 PM please join Hazzan Ben-Moshe in another exciting installment of our Tanach class “And There was no King in Israel.

Friday services via Zoom, Sunday School Rocks on via Zoom

Dear Congregants,

We hope you had a great week all things considered. We want to remind each and every one of you that even though we may need to be “physically distant”, there is no way we are being “socially distant” from our beloved congregants. Please reach out to us if you need anything at all – from meals on the go, to just a phone call to say hello. We want to hear from you!

Please check every Friday evening at 6:45 PM for a link to be able to live stream our beautiful Kaballat Shabbat services. We will also post it on our Facebook page. Let’s make this homeshuling experience awesome!

If you would like a PDF version of our Friday night services, please email us ASAP at and we will happily send you a copy for free. Those lovely Friday night transliterate books were dedicated to the late Morris and Elaine Shapiro, who will be beaming down at us knowing that we are using and sharing them with the congregation that they helped found.

Sunday school BERS, we will be keeping to our regular Sunday schedules and meeting “virtually” with our amazing morot starting THIS Sunday March 29. PLEASE be on the lookout for a Zoom invitation from your class teachers. Contact Iris at for any questions please.

This Saturday night at 8:30 PM join the whole Austin Jewish community, including our very own Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe, in a community wide Havdallah.
Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Parashah:

This Shabbat we begin the reading of Sefer Vayyikra, the Book of Leviticus. The Latin name stems from the fact that this book deals largely with the duties of the Kohanim, who were of the Tribe of Levi. Actually, an alternate name in Hebrew is Torath Hakohanim. The parshah begins with the laws of offering an ‘olah, a sacrifice which was entirely burned on the altar for God. We read how to sacrifice a bull, or a sheep, or a goat, and we are told that the smoke of these sacrifices is a “reiah nikhoah”-“a sweet savor” to God. And then, the Torah describes the ‘olah of two doves-which was offered by someone who couldn’t afford a bull, a sheep, or a goat. The Torah states that the entire bird was burned on the altar, including the feathers. No human would say that the smell of burning feathers is savory or pleasant-but this sacrifice is also called a “sweet savor”. Why is this? Because the offering of a poor person was just as pleasing to God as a bull offered by a wealthy person. In God’s view, we are all equal, whatever means we have. We do not believe in the so-called “Prosperity Gospel”-that the rich are more favored by God. We are all, down to the “hewer of wood and the drawer of water” precious to our Creator. Shabbat Shalom, and Hodesh Tov-a good and blessed New Month of Nissan.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe

Shabbat candle lighting time in Austin 7:29 PM

Scout Shabbat at Beth El

Please join us for a lovely dinner THIS Friday at 6:30 PM. We will have services, followed by a lovely dinner. You may see a few green or blue scout uniforms as we honor the Jewish scouts of Austin. All are welcome to join and we can’t wait to see you!

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Join us on Sunday 3/1 at 10 AM for Sunday school too!

Cantor –Yitzhak Ben-Moshe weekly message:

This week we read Parshat T’rumah, in which B’nei Yisrael are commanded to build a sanctuary. The Torah relates that God tells Moshe “And they shall build me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.” Of course, we know that God cannot be contained in a tent or a building-the entire Universe can not contain God. The Mishkan was rather a focal point for the people and a symbol of God’s Presence. What could that mean to us, that God is present with us, dwelling among us? How should we act knowing that God is with us? Some things to think about as we come together in our sanctuary this Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom.

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.