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Bruce Levy

(By Bruce Levy “Be a Blessing” Fundraising Chair) What could be better than celebrating the 160th Anniversary of the oldest Jewish Congregation in Texas? Marking the event with the creation of a new Torah commissioned specifically for Beth Israel that includes over 1,000 letters completed by Temple and Shlenker School families! All Beth Israel and…

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The 613th Commandment

(By Nancy Pryzant Picus Director of Jewish Learning The Shlenker School) Our tradition teaches that we are the heirs to the six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Torah, the last of which is stated in Deuteronomy 31:19:  “Therefore, write down this poem and teach it to the people of Israel; put it in their mouths…”  Centuries later,…

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Torah for the Modern World

(By Dr. Melissa Weininger, Ph.D.  Congregation Beth Israel  Scholar-in-Residence)  The Jewish maskilim, or enlighteners, of the nineteenth century were focused on the goal of modernizing the Jewish communities of Europe so that they might achieve national citizenship in their lands of residence and successfully participate in European life and culture.  In a seeming paradox, they turned back…

David Scott

David Scott

(By David Scott Director of Lifelong Learning and Miriam Browning Jewish Learning Center) “Turn the Torah over and over for everything is in it. Look into it, grow old and worn over it, and never move away from it, for you will find no better portion than it.” – Mishnah Throughout Jewish history, interpretation of our ancient texts…

Rosalyn Margolis, Torah Writing Chair

Rosalyn Margolis

(By Rosalyn Margolis “Be a Blessing” Committee Chair – Scribing Volunteers) I love hearing the chatter going around about our People’s Torah Project as excitement builds with more and more congregants learning the depth and breadth of the 613th mitzvah to create a Torah. Whether members are scribing together as a family, as a duo, or in…

Susan Feigin Harris, Education Chair

Susan Feigin Harris

(By Susan Feigin Harris “Be a Blessing” – Educational Chair) “May the Lord bless you and protect you! May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you! May the Lord bestow God’s favor upon you and grant you peace!”  Numbers 6:24-26. I love this blessing! Why? When do you recall the last time you heard…

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My Wonder Year

(By Bobby Lapin President of Congregation Beth Israel Board of Trustees) It’s a mystery the things we do and don’t remember as small children. As a father, I marvel that my boys might recall a remote event while entirely forgetting a family vacation. For me, 1967 stands firmly in my memory as the year of our…

co-chairs

The Past and Future

(By Roslyn Haikin & Joseph Chesnick, Jr., “Be a Blessing” Co-Chairs) “Let us congratulate the first congregation of Texas…” The Occident – Philadelphia, PA, 1854. Think about that. We belong to the first and oldest Jewish congregation in the State of Texas. Nine years after Texas joined the Union, six years before the Civil War, and when our…