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On select Saturdays at 9:30am

Upcoming Dates: Sep 14, Oct 5, Nov 2

 

We know that our community is made up of many different people because, like snowflakes, God doesn't make any two of us the same. This music and movement driven, come exactly as you are, service will last no longer than 40 minutes and is open to the entire Jewish Community. We hope you will join us as we welcome in Shabbat with joy and ruach (spirit).


 

The Zachary Avner Inclusion Fund

Zachary Avner (August 7, 2003 – March 29, 2014) was the middle child to our Cantorial Soloist, Sarah Avner, and her husband Jonathan. Zach was a funny, chatty, creative and integral part of the Avner family. Thanks to the loving example set by big brother Jacob, the three children were not just siblings, they were also great friends.

At 13 months of age Zach was diagnosed with 22q or DiGeorge syndrome. For Zach, his incompetent palate, mild hypotonia, and intellectual delay were his biggest hurdles. By the time he was in first grade his parents were professionals at ARD meetings and juggling appointments with both his speech and occupational therapists. Not to mention the many specialists who made up Zach’s care team.

When Zach died suddenly at age 10 ½ on March 29, 2014 the incredible generosity of the members of Congregation Beth Israel allowed for Sarah and Jonathan to create the Zach Avner Fund. This Fund is meant to ensure that everyone is able to participate in life at the temple. Zach was an active member in Sunday school as long as he had an aid in his classroom and it just made sense to his family that any child who was in need of such assistance should be able to have it.

Thanks to the Zach Avner Fund we will have many adaptive items available to the attendees of our Open Door Service. We will have headphones, disposable ear plugs, wiggle seats, and fidgets. The sanctuary also has an assistive hearing device and, if an interpreter for the deaf would prove helpful at future services, please let us know so we can be sure to have one.

If you are moved by these efforts and would like to see our temple community grow in its ability to accommodate all of its participants, please consider making a donation to the Zach Avner Fund.
 

Meet our Inclusion Specialist,
Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson grew up in East Texas and moved to Austin in 1998 for college. A lifelong Longhorn, she achieved both her Bachelor’s and her Master’s degrees in Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Sarah and her wife Stacey have two children, Emery (age 16) and Eli (age 11), as well as foster children.  Sarah and her family have been members of Congregation Beth Israel for several years, celebrating their daughter’s bat mitzvah and their wedding at CBI. After teaching for five years, Sarah now serves as the Inclusion Specialist for Congregation Beth Israel.  Sarah’s role includes supporting the learning needs of students with disabilities and working with families who have children with unique learning needs. 

Inclusion is Sarah’s passion and her life-work, and she has dedicated the past 19 years of her life to working with children with disabilities in inclusive environments. In addition to working with families and students at CBI, Sarah is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Emerson Academy, a child development center that serves children of all abilities in Round Rock, TX. 

Sarah and her family enjoy traveling, hanging out with their menagerie of pets and hiking and camping in Central Texas.

 

Thu, October 17 2019 18 Tishrei 5780