April 24, 2014   24 Nisan 5774

Search our site:

 Opportunities to Make the World a Better Place with CBI . . .

Upcoming Events: 
ONGOING ...  High Holy Days Food Drive for the Capital Area Food Bank
Four weeks per year:  Interfaith Hospitality Network

See Details Below!

Especially as we face these uncertain times, Congregation Beth Israel is committed to providing a variety of opportunities for our members to do acts of tikkun olam, repairing the world.

For example, in order to remind ourselves about the issue of hunger, you will often see baskets of food on our bimah (the area in our Sanctuary where the Ark and Torahs are held).  CBI hosts at least two large-scale food and donation drives yearly to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank, although CAFB's bright blue bins remain at CBI year-round in hopes that we can share the bounty in our lives with those less fortunate ... so buy an extra non-perisable item when you are in the grocery store and bring it with you the next time you come!  We love making the call to the food bank that our bins are full!

If you want more ideas regarding how to give back to your community, please let us know.  We are glad to help match you up with something meaningful for you ... and look below for more CBI projects! 


Interfaith Hospitality Network - IHN @ CBI  

Another great opportunity to give back to the Austin community is through participating in the Interfaith Hospitality Network.  CBI is the only synagogue in Austin to house and feed homeless families on a rotating basis with other faith communities.  Each time we "host" the families, we may have up to four families as our guests during each week-long hosting period.  During that week, our guests sleep in 4 rooms on the 3rd Floor of Education Building, shower in the Clergy Suite, and eat dinners in Smith Auditorium.  Our guests join us at approximately 5:30pm Sunday night and leave each morning at approximately 7am.  During the day, children are at school or day care, and parents are either working or searching for employment.

Every moment our guests are on our campus, we have volunteers hosting them who do the following:

  • Help set up 4 "bedrooms for our guests;
  • Bring food for the families to use for breakfast, lunch, and snacks;
  • Cook food for our guests' dinners;
  • Spend the night at the congregation to host overnight;
  • Help serve and clean up after the meals;
  • Drive a trailer to and from our congregation;
  • Help clean up after our guests leave;
  • Hang out with the families on the weekends;
  • Entertain the children by bringing crafts, other activities, their dogs, or their own children;
  • and more!

For a successful hosting, we need 45+ people to volunteer!  Please consider joining us.  You can spend more time with other volunteers or share your caring with our guests.  We are a diverse group of volunteers who are:

  • Retired ... working ... looking;
  • Single ... married, looking and not looking;
  • Female and male;
  • CBI members ... former members ... and even some members of other congregations;
  • Young and older;
  • Warm and wonderful;
  • People wanting to help!

IHN at CBI is fortunate to have wonderful support from CBI clergy, staff, and members.  To ask questions or to get involved, please contact Meryl Wasserman (wasswomen@aol.com) or Sandy Bootz (sbootz@yahoo.com).   For more information about Family Promise, a national effort that offers comprehensive and integrated programs to assist low-income families, see http://www.familypromise.org/.   To learn more about the local administration of IHN, visit the web-site of Foundation for the Homeless (http://www.foundationhomeless.org/).


Please Help CBI Save Lives.  We are co-hosting Blood Drives on our campus with the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas.


To Learn More

To Sign Up

Am I Eligible to Donate?


Send mail to webmaster@bethisrael.org with
questions or comments about this web site.
Union for Reform Judaism Member of the
Union for
Reform Judaism