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Services This Month

Friday Evening Shabbat Services - Hadassah Shabbat
Friday, March 3 at 7:00 pm
We will be joined by members of our local Hadassah chapter for a very special service led by Rabbi Reice.
Members do not need to RSVP.
Save the Date! April Friday Evening Shabbat Services
Friday, April 7 at 7:00 pm
Save the date for Services on April 7th!

Upcoming Events

Rabbi Reice Office Hours
March Office Hours (At Shir Ami, until otherwise noted)
1 Mar 2023 (8 Adar) 2:30 – 4:30pm 💻 & 👫
2 Mar 2023 (9 Adar) 11am – 2pm (Zoom Only) 💻
3 Mar 2023 (10 Adar) 12 – 1pm (Zoom Only) 💻
8 Mar 2023 (15 Adar) 12 – 4:30pm 💻 & 👫
9 Mar 2023 (16 Adar) 11am – 12:30pm (Zoom Only) 💻
14 Mar 2023 (21 Adar) 10:30am – 3:30pm (Zoom Only) 💻
17 Mar 2023 (24 Adar) 12 – 1pm (Zoom Only) 💻
22 Mar 2023 (29 Adar) 1 – 4:30pm 💻 & 👫
23 Mar 2023 (1 Nisan) 11:30am – 1pm (Zoom Only) 💻
24 Mar 2023 (2 Nisan) 12 – 1pm (Shalom Austin Only) 👫
28 Mar 2023 (6 Nisan) 12 – 4pm (Zoom Only) 💻
29 Mar 2023 (7 Nisan) 2:30 – 4:30pm 💻 & 👫
Days Off
6 Mar 2023 (13 Adar)
7 Mar 2023 (14 Adar)
13 Mar 2023 (20 Adar)
15 Mar 2023 (22 Adar)
20 Mar 2023 (27 Adar)
21 Mar 2023 (28 Adar)
30 Mar 2023 (8 Nisan)
31 Mar 2023 (9 Nisan)
During Office hours, Rabbi Reice will be answering the phone, answering emails, and meeting with those who have scheduled an appointment (in person, over the phone or a video call). Please feel free to call or email Rabbi Reice during these times. (Of course, contact her, or our President, Eloise Potter, immediately for more urgent matters.)
Please email Rabbi Reice (, or our administrator ( to schedule an appointment in advance.

Celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries in March

Happy Anniversary:
Linda & Ronald Weiss, March 24
Happy Birthday:
Asher Lazarus, March 1
John Potter, March 3
Rosanne Levbarg, March 6
Leo Dashefsky, March 6
David Dietz, March 10
Pamela Caulder-Fine, March 11
Ron Kopita, March 16
Stephen Thomas, March 23
Jasper Warshauer, March 23
Esther Thomas, March 25
Hettie Schultz, March 26
David Dashefsky, March 28
Mark Wilson, March 29
Sara Wilgoren, March 30
Claire Bitner, March 30
Todd Meyers, March30
Purim Celebration
Sunday, March 5 at 11:30 am - 1:30 pm | Anderson Mill West Park and Pavilion

We will have games, a photo-booth, and a food truck to purchase food, costumes are encouraged but optional!
Board of Trustees Monthly Meeting
Sunday, March 19 at 10:30 am

All members are invited to attend the Board of Trustees meetings.  If you would like to attend this meeting, or wish to speak at the meeting, please contact our President, Eloise Potter, at
Happy Bookers Book Club
Saturday, March 25 at 10:30 am
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Time: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Book Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
Jews Don't Count is a book for people on the right side of history. People fighting the good fight against homophobia, disablism, transphobia and, particularly, racism. People, possibly, like you. It is the comedian and writer David Baddiel's contention that one type of racism has been left out of this fight. In his unique combination of reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes, Baddiel argues that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of anti-Semitism. He outlines why and how, in a time of intensely heightened awareness of minorities, Jews don't count as a real minority.
About the Author
David Lionel Baddiel was born in 1964 in Troy, New York, but grew up and lives in London. He is a comedian (satire, observational comedy), television writer, playwright, BBC broadcaster, columnist and author of about two dozen adult and children’s books, most recently, The God Desire (2023). The son of a Welsh father and German mother, both Jewish, Baddiel's father came from a working-class family and was a research chemist with Unileverb, but was laid off in the 1980s, after which he sold Dinky Toys at Grays Antique Market. His mother, Sarah, was born in Nazi Germany; a swastika appeared on her birth certificate. She was five months old when her parents took her to England in 1939, fleeing Nazi Germany after her wealthy father was stripped of his assets as a victim of Kristallnacht.
Baddiel studied English at King's College, Cambridge, was a member of the Cambridge Footlights, and graduated with a double bachelor’s degree. He studied for a PhD in English at University College London, but didn’t complete it. David Baddiel and fellow comedian Morwenna Banks live in North London with their two children. Despite his upbringing, Baddiel has described himself as a "10 out of 10 atheist” and a "fundamentalist" Jewish atheist. He suffers from insomnia, about which he has written guest articles.
Yom HaAtzmaut
April 30
Volunteers needed! Shir Ami will have a table with Israel Trivia. To support this event please contact Rabbi Reice, or send a message to if you are available to help!
Save the date for the biggest Yom HaAtzmaut Israel’s 75th Independence Day celebration in Central Texas on April 30 at the Shalom Austin JCC. Explore the flavors of Israel with Israeli-themed food vendors, shop the Israeli marketplace, enjoy hands-on activities for folks of all ages and much more.
Registration is REQUIRED, please click here to register!
Grief Support
Thursday, May 4, then Tuesdays through June 6, 7-8:30 pm (updated graphic coming soon)
Meeting at Shir Ami, faciliatated by Rabbi Reice with a counselor from JFS. Click here to register!

Shir Ami News

Mi Shebeirach

Our Prayers for the Physical, Spiritual and Emotional Healing for those named and any others in need.
Please email Rabbi Reice at to enter a name on the list or remove a name from the list.

Mona Bailey, Kay Moore, William Lenz, Darin Burdman, Greg Billings, Jodie Billings, Sam Billings, LeRoy Bitner, Kirsten Block, Lisa Coopersmith, Richard Dideriksen, Anne Ditlefsen-Smallwood, Sandra Dietz, Julie Eaton, Glen Fine, Lynn Gelber, Lynda Glaspar, Micha Gisser, Carol Goldmark, Juliet Clare Grabish, Yarrow Halstead, Barry Henthorn, Jo Ella Henthorn, Pam Henthorn, Tom Henthorn, Molly Jacobi, Bill Kurtz, Liana Lawrence, Rabbi Mark Levin, Cindy Tarsi (Chasye Chana bat Laya Raizel v’Avraham Yitzchak HaLevi), Jim Tarsi, Bonnie Zimmer
Game Night
Thanks to everyone who came out for Game Night! Special thanks to Alan Kook for putting together such a fun event!

Upcoming URJ Survey

March 6-27

There has been a little bit of confusion regarding surveys.
The membership committee put out a questionnaire a couple of weeks ago and a survey was sent out 3/6/23 through the URJ, (subject: Please Participate in the Shir Ami Survey!)
These are two different surveys with completely different objectives. Please fill out the URJ benchmark survey found in your email, or click on this link, even if you already completed the member volunteer questionnaire. This survey is part of an important project to track improvements at Shir Ami. Thank you for your help!
Your Input Is Vital
An important way to ensure that Congregation Shir Ami is continually improving and strengthening itself is by gaining your perspective. We are thrilled to be taking part in the launch of a synagogue survey coordinated through Measuring Success as part of our Union for Reform Judaism membership. We are one of over 100 congregations to participate in the project thus far. The purpose of the synagogue survey is to:
  • Help us understand the priorities and needs of our community
  • Create local/national benchmarks against which to measure ourselves
  • Provide input into the process of continuous synagogue improvement and planning
You will soon receive an email from President Eloise Potter inviting you to complete the survey this month. I want to stress the importance of your participation. Our goal is a 100% response rate to ensure that we hear all voices from our community. The data collection, analysis, and
reporting will be handled by the independent third party, Measuring Success, a consulting firm that works with Jewish organizations (and other non-profits) to develop tools to measure their performance and enact positive change. Your individual responses will not go to the Board or the Rabbi, but rather to the professional team at URJ providing assistance with this project.  They will gather completed surveys and compile results for us to consider.  Your email addresses and identifying data will be safeguarded.

Measuring Success will conduct the survey itself and handle all of your survey responses confidentially. Our synagogue will receive an aggregate report of the results and will not have access to individual survey responses (unless you choose to self-identify). We need a minimum of one adult responding per household - but it is important to us that we gather the opinions of everyone in our community and would prefer that each adult in a household complete the survey on his or her own.

We encourage you to tell us what you think we’re doing right, what we can improve on, and what is important to you. Your input is valuable information and we fully intend to act upon the results of this survey. If you don’t tell us, we’ll never know!

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important project. The launch date is March 6, so please keep an eye on your email for an invitation to the synagogue survey. If you don’t see it, try checking your spam folder and contact me if you need assistance. The survey will close on March 27.

Stephen Thomas, Trustee
Congregation Shir Ami

Recent Website Additions

Be sure to visit our website to stay up to date on all the exciting things going on at Shir Ami! Recently added pages to check out:

  • Alice Brendzel Library - A new page with a description of our library and a link to its online catalog. The library is named in honor of Alice Brendzel, one of our most beloved members. She passed away in 2014. The photo displays the library's memorial plaque and the cover of the photo book created for Alice by Dorie Mickelson.
  • Shabbat Services - This page links to 14 Shabbat and High Holy Days services that were live streamed during 2022.
  • Celebration on the 10th Anniversary of Rabbi Reice's Ordination - This collection of photos taken during the celebration on May 21, 2022 can be found on the Member Galleries page. (Website login required)
  • Shir Ami's First Five Years (June 2001 - May 2007) - These seven moving videos document Shir Ami's first five years and are worth watching. They were created by Jason Faye for, and debuted during, Shir Ami's five year anniversary celebration. (Website login required)

Shir Ami and Drive a Senior Northwest – Partners in Supporting our Older Adults

Volunteer Drivers Needed
Please consider becoming a volunteer driver for the Drive a Senior Northwest program. By offering to drive someone just one or two short trips a month, you will be an unbelievable help to our many older adults still living at home in the northwest Austin/Cedar Park/Leander area. Driving an older adult is incredibly rewarding and very much appreciated. Please go online to to read about the program, then print a volunteer form, fill it out, and mail it in. Or ask Sara Goodman ( for more information about the program.
Services to Adults 60+
If you or a loved one is 60+ and needs help to stay in your/their home, Drive A Senior Northwest is here for you. Services include rides to doctor’s appointments, the grocery store, community activities, etc. as well as minor home repair, telephone reassurance, and a twice monthly senior day out. Contact Drive a Senior Northwest at or (512) 250-5021.

The Caring Circle - Care to Get Involved?

Lending a helping hand to members in times of stress is a vital part of any congregation; kind and caring volunteers in this group help provide support to other Shir Ami congregants in times of life's challenges such as illness, death, divorce, and birth. Specific activities include helping to secure a minyan for a memorial or shiva service, sending notes to members on the loss of a loved one, arranging transportation for a member to attend services or other Shir Ami events, and providing meals, visiting or calling congregants during times of illness or post-hospitalization.
If you are experiencing any of these challenges and wish to be contacted by the Caring Circle, please contact Rabbi Reice. If you wish to be a Caring Circle volunteer, please contact Sara Goodman at All are welcome!

Community News

Georgetown Public Library
April 23 2:00 pm
The Georgetown Public Library and Congregation Havurah Shalom are hosting a FREE event to commemorate Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). The presentation, “Arnold Fingerhut, from a Life in Hiding to Living the American Dream” will be led by Jack Fingerhut, Arnold’s son.
During the presentation attendees will also see and hear Arnold Fingerhut as he was in 1996 during his testimony which has been recorded and saved by Steven Spielberg’s 1996 'Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation’ project.
Jewish Family Services Caregiver Support Groups
Family Caregiver Support Group: This is an ongoing group and meets the first and third Thursday of each month. It is a safe place for family members caring for adult loved ones to discuss the stresses, challenges, and rewards of caregiving. To register, click here
Digital Mood & Mindfulness with Jewish Family Service
Tuesday, March 14 at 11 am
Via Zoom
Do you feel distracted? Hurried? Preoccupied? This personal development workshop will teach mindfulness techniques that can help participants to be more present and aware in daily life. Mindfulness has the power to improve relationships, increase self-control, boost productivity and can lessen depression and anxiety.
Join Shalom Austin Jewish Family Service’s professionally-facilitated workshop to develop mindfulness skills and discuss common experiences together.
Second Tuesday of each month at 11AM
Via Zoom
Free to attend
For more information and to register to receive the link, please contact Emma Howitt, LPC-S, LCDC at

Volunteer for Shalom Austin JFS Food Pantry

The Client Choice Shalom Austin JFS Food Pantry is always looking to engage volunteers in food drives, packing food bags, and making deliveries. Anyone interested in getting involved in any capacity, can email Joan Eisenberg Maniere at
Also, if you know of any community members who are facing food insecurity, please have them contact Joan, and she can get them enrolled into the program.

Interest Free Loans

Hebrew Free Loan of Austin provides short-term financial support for members of the Austin Jewish community through interest-free loans that springboard you to your next step in life. Could you or someone you know use a hand-up with an interest free loan? Contact or visit
Operation Todah Texas
For more information about how to participate, please visit
Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784