Congregation Beth Israel's eNews for September 8, 2017


Friday, September 8
6:00 p.m.
Family Shabbat
(Levit Hall)
Rabbi Joshua Herman,
Rabbi Chase Foster

6:30 p.m.
Shabbat Chapel Service
(Gordon Chapel)
Rabbi David Lyon,
Rabbi Adrienne Scott,
  Cantor Star Trompeter

Saturday, September 9
8:30 a.m.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
(Gordon Chapel)

9:45 a.m.
Torah Study
(Finger Board Room)
Rabbi Joshua Herman

11:00 a.m.
Shabbat Morning Service
(Gordon Chapel)
Bar Mitzvah of
Avi Barrios

See the Worship Schedule



The Friday Final from The Shlenker School is on vacation for the summer.

CLICK HERE for a web page view of Congregation Beth Israel's eNews for this week.



Bulletins are published as follows: September, November, January, March, May and July.
Click here to view our bulletin archive.
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Each login requires an email as a login ID. If your family is in need of a login please click here and email us your member name and email address!

Rabbi Lyon on the Radio
Rabbi David A. Lyon may be heard on Sunday mornings, 6:45 a.m., KODA, Sunny 99.1 FM radio


Congregation Beth Israel and Shlenker School are open. Your home-away-from-home thrives. It’s a sign that your home will thrive, too. There is no human tragedy greater than the feeling of being driven out of one’s home. Home is the place we enter to find peace in what we’ve created, accumulated, and cared about deeply. When it’s ripped away under any circumstances, we can’t help but feel unmoored from everything we’ve known or counted on in our life.

                None of us was completely driven from what remains true and reliable. In the faces of family and friends, in the hands of caring neighbors and volunteers, and in the trust of your synagogue and larger Jewish community, we can find our homes, again. They’re still here. Homes might be remodeled, rebuilt, or repaired; homes might be elevated or temporarily relocated; but, homes are still where familiar family, friends, sights, stores and restaurants, Starbucks and synagogue will also be.

                Like a death in the family, our mourning is filled with shock and despair. Let the feelings of the initial horror lead into feelings of empowerment to do what you can and to invite help to accomplish the rest. Permit yourself 30 days to see how far you’ve come. Then, reassess what you still need to do and let us know how we can help you.

                In a Jewish folk story, King Solomon learned, "Gam Zeh Ya’avor,” this too shall pass. It’s not a magic formula that fixes everything; it teaches us that neither joy nor sorrow lasts forever. Created by God, the human spirit has the remarkable ability to endure, and it grows stronger when we share our joys and our sorrows, together.

                To assist you in feeling at home, again, please reach us at Congregation Beth Israel for anything you might need. If we can help you, we will; and, even if we can’t, personally, we’ll be sure to find you the person who can. From sorrow and loss, come joy and wholeness. Let’s look up and find home together in all the places we go and in the faces we see. "Gam Zeh Ya’avor,” this too shall pass.


Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday, September 20. This year there will be only one Rosh Hashanah Evening Service at 6:30 p.m.


As we continue to assess the extensive damage across our campus, we remain grateful that despite our challenges, our doors are open and we are here to serve our members and community. Thanks to our dedicated staff and contractors, we were able to reopen our offices immediately after Labor Day and welcome our Shlenker School students back to their classes.  While we have power, water and air conditioning, we remain mindful of many who are still without and the critical need for us to reach out to help our families and community as we all wrestle with the challenges to recovery.

Our building, while habitable, has sustained major damage.  Our Sanctuary flooded to the fourth row of seats, slightly higher than the Memorial Day Flood in 2015, and despite a robust new drainage system that was engineered to help protect our campus home. Harvey’s historic and relentless 40-50 inches of rain proved to be too much for even the best-designed systems.  Water leaked in portions of our aging roof, as well as into the Ladin Dining Room and a storage room just outside of the Gordon Chapel. We also had significant flooding in our basement which destroyed our maintenance offices, years of records and files, stored supplies and many of our major mechanical systems. The loss of our electrical equipment has been the most immediate challenge, but interim repairs have been done to get equipment back up and running and enable us to begin the process of rebuilding. Fortunately, prior to the storm, our staff removed our Torah scrolls, prayer books, furniture, and our piano from the Sanctuary, and most of the water went into the concrete air returns located below the seats. The water has since been removed, and we are drying out the carpet and addressing the damage to our walls and sheetrock. 

Now that we are able to function and move forward to restore and replace what has been lost, our priority is you. To our congregational family, we ask that you help us help you. Please contact us if you are in need of any assistance, manual, monetary, or spiritual. We are here for you. Together, we will rebuild our community and city with the help of many hands and hearts.

Should you have any questions about our facility or any other needs, please contact David Scott at, or call our office at 713-771-6221. If you are interested in making a donation towards the restoration and renewal of our building or to help our families in need, please do so by giving to our Beth Israel Hurricane Harvey Flood Fund. You may also specify if you would prefer your donation to go to the building or directly to our families.

Below is a list of resources to help you and your loved ones through this challenging time.  

Basic Resources:

Specialized Resources:
  • For Housing & Commercial Real Estate- Samantha Wallace at the Jewish Federation is   collecting information about commercial real estate opportunities and maintaining a list of properties offering special / short-term leases for individuals impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  If you have an immediate need for commercial or residential space, or have space to offer, please get in touch with her directly at or 346-240-2328.
  • Volunteer Deployment and Mobilization– The Federation is partnering with All Hands Volunteers to coordinate volunteers in our community. If you have a need for volunteers or have a group looking to volunteer, please call All Hands directly at 1-800-820-5188. Volunteers are being deployed within our community to do the following tasks: heavy lifting, floor removal, sheetrock removal, packing, inventory for insurance, etc.
  • Disposal of Sacred Jewish Texts: David Scott at Congregation Beth Israel, along with their clergy, will be accepting Jewish texts for proper disposal due to damage from Hurricane Harvey. If you have questions or are in need of help, please contact the Temple office at 713-771-6221.
  • Free Non-Emergency Health Care: The Houston Medical Wellness Clinic, 5910 Fairdale Lane, is offering free clinic visitations and free medications for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Dr. Jennifer LaBleu will see non-emergency patients and provide medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, infections, asthma and high cholesterol. When the free supply of medications on hand is exhausted, prescriptions will be provided until more supplies can be delivered. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments may be made at 713-781-1905.
  • Disaster Distress Helpline- 1-800-985-5990 is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.  It is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
  • Free Phone Counseling: The Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies (NJHSA) will be providing free phone counseling for grief, loss, panic, anxiety, and depression. If you need to talk to someone, call the NJHSA Emergency Support Phone Number for Survivors of Hurricane Harvey at 832-930-0196 or email


Congregation Beth Israel is grateful to share that we, along with The Shlenker School, will be hosting Congregation Beth Yeshurun’s Early Childhood program, Congregation Beth Yeshurun’s Sunday and Hebrew School, several classes from the ERJCC’s Bertha Alyce Center,  and the ERJCC’s after school program, as their campuses begin renovations and restoration. 







Registration is now open for the 2017-2018 MBJLC year! You can register online with your member login and password! If you need your login information, or would like a hard copy of the registration forms, please call the MBJLC offices at 713-271-7369. Sign up your children for religious school TODAY!


Click here to visit the library web page.

The new Daniel Silva novel "House of Spies” is now available in the library. Call or email Judy Weidman at in the Library to reserve. 

The Schachtel Library is now clearing out the VHS film collection, and we would be delighted to give away any and all of the films.
A good selection of childrens’ films, some bible, documentaries  and Judaica subjects are here. So if you still have a VHS player, come by the library to see treasures are to be found.  


Summer library hours for the Library are Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Librarian Judy Weidman is available during those hours.

Beth Israel Sisterhood's Judaica Shop is open Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Contact Anita Seline, 713-777-4315 for information.

PLEASE visit our website for information on other upcoming events.


Rabbi David Lyon's book, God of Me: Imagining God throughout Your Lifetime, Rabbi Samuel Karff's two disc set of sermons, Words Spoken from My Mind and Soul, and Rabbi Karff's latest book, For This You Were Created, are all available through our Judaica Shop, and Click below for more information.


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