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Masks for the Holidays

07/09/2021 04:36:59 PM


Steve Fintel

Popular legend has it that King Christian X of Denmark ordered all Danish citizens to wear yellow stars in support of their Jewish countrymen during the German occupation of Denmark. This act had a great equalizing effect: without a marking that differentiated Jews from non-Jews, the German occupiers had no simple way of uniquely identifying people by their faith or beliefs and all were treated equally.

As we look ahead towards...

A New Rabbi

05/04/2021 10:51:39 AM


Steve Fintel

I'm sure I'm not the first one telling you this, but we have a new rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom. At a special congregation meeting on April 21, the 157 members in attendance voted by overwhelming majority to approve Rabbi Eleanor Steinman's three year contract to serve as our rabbi. Unfortunately, we couldn't punctuate this moment with the applause Rabbi Steinman deserves. 

At Erev Shabbat services April 30, we got...

An ordinary event is remarkable

04/05/2021 01:34:21 PM


Steve Fintel

I attended a remarkable event this past weekend. It really should have been pretty ordinary, but it wasn't. Temple Beth Shalom had an outdoor event to celebrate the (near) end of Passover. Scheduled to occur late on a Saturday afternoon, we threw in a Havadalah observance as well (a Jewish two-fer if you will). 

Even the weather was ordinary. It wasn't one of our stunning central Texas spring days. Instead it was overcast and in...Read more...

Do you remember the Benchmark Survey

03/04/2021 02:34:55 PM


Steve Fintel

During the high holy days, we asked everyone to fill out (yet another) survey. This one was put together by the URJ and consisted of 3 parts: a financial and operating data benchmarking tool, a qualitative board self-assessment and a congregation wide survey. Staff provided the data for first part, the board graded ourselves for the second part and you (the congregants) filled out the last part. As part of our request to take part in the...Read more...

Allow me to Kvell a little

02/04/2021 09:09:56 PM


Steve Fintel

I consider myself lucky in my role as president. First, I'm backed up by an Executive Director and Senior Rabbi who at various times in their life were congregation presidents. I get great advice from both of them in their paid roles as well as when I ask them to take off their official hats and tell me what they would do as president. Having such quality backup makes it easier for me to navigate this role.

But what makes my job...

Sun, July 25 2021 16 Av 5781