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It is a great honor and a tremendous privilege to serve as President of UOS.

We pride ourselves on being a warm and welcoming shul.

These are exciting times for our shul. After a long pandemic-related delay, construction of our beautiful new building has begun and is expected to be completed by first quarter 2024. 

We offer wonderful classes every day of the week, and our list of programs for both adults and youth is continually growing thanks to our hard-working professional staff and to the dedicated volunteers who serve on our many committees.

We are grateful for the excitement and leadership that Rabbi Sprung brings to UOS. We look forward to continued growth together in Limmud Torah, Avodat HaShem, Gemilut Chassadim, Hachnassas Orchim, and so much more. Rabbi Sprung has already given so much to our community, including many great shiurim and Divrei Torah, great programming, and compassionate pastoral care to those in need. 

If you plan on visiting Houston, please contact our Hospitality Chair about Shabbos or Yom Tov hospitality at

If you need mikvah-related information, please contact our Director of Mikvah at

For information about membership, please contact our Membership Chair at

Please see below for the text of my most recent weekly Presidential Update.

I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you soon!

Doreen Lerner, UOS President


Thursday, September 21st

Dear UOS Members and Friends,

Each morning we recite the prayer which begins with these words:
אֱלֹהַי נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַֽתָּ בִּי טְהוֹרָה הִיא אַתָּה בְרָאתָהּ אַתָּה יְצַרְתָּהּ אַתָּה
נְפַחְתָּהּ בִּי

My G-d! the soul which You bestowed in me is pure; You created it, You formed it, You breathed it into me and You preserve it within me.
Author and renowned teacher Yemima Mizrachi writes in “Yearning to Return: Reflections on Yom Kippur” that “In the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we try to act as best we can and sometimes we may feel that we are "putting on an act". But the truth is that the way we behave during Elul and Tishrei reflects our true essence. It is throughout all the rest of the year that we are putting on an act.” Repentance is first and foremost a return to ourselves. The Vidui, the confessional prayer, in which we say, “We have sinned, we have transgressed…” serves, she says, to remind us of our essential goodness, since our essence is separate from our actions.
Rabbi Ben-Tzion Mutzafi, Mizrachi continues, has described the שְׁלוֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵה מִידּוֹת הַרַחֲמִים (HaShem’s 13 attributes of mercy) as a confession of sorts. “When we recite them, we lament that fact that we are not guided by these attributes in our relationships with the other people in our lives. After all, we are commanded to walk in HaShem’s ways, and the thirteen attributes of divine mercy are some of these ways. As the midrash teaches, HaShem is merciful – so too should you be merciful. Just as HaShem is gracious – so too must you be gracious”. Regarding one of the other Thirteen Middot, “Slow to anger”, she writes, "We mourn our anger, which destroys all the goodness inside us. Anger burns away at our relationships with others, especially our spouse and children. “Abounding in kindness” is one of the most difficult challenges in our interpersonal relationships. "Everyone can rally for a major annual chessed project, but to be abounding in kindness is about the small daily acts which make a huge difference to those around us."
Yom Kippur, she writes, is essentially about love – love for other people and love for HaShem. During Yom Kippur we recite the thirteen attributes 26 times. The numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word for love is thirteen. Our love for Hashem amounts to thirteen, and Hashem’s love for us amounts to thirteen. Together they make 26, which symbolizes this doubled, reciprocated love.
The word “Teshuva” means “to return”. Judaism’s essential view of the nature of humankind, created in the image of HaShem, is that people are inherently good. Therefore, while our actions may not always reflect our inner goodness, our essential self is unchanged. True Teshuva is a process of remembering who we are at our core, and changing our behavior to reflect our true self, created in the Divine image.

Many thanks to our Bnei Akiva Shaliach Shachar for organizing babysitting during the Shiur so that members can attend without concern!

If you have space at your table for extra guests during Sukkot, please let 
me or Rabbi Sprung know, or send a message to the Community Matters WhatsApp group. Same applies if you are going to be alone and need a place at someone's table.

A message from Rabbi Moshe Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union:

Avinu Malkeinu. Our Father, Our King. 

In France, centuries ago, the pious would have their burial caskets built from the wood of their dining room tables indicating that there is nothing that we take with us to the next world beyond what we share with others and the good feelings we bring to those we welcome around our table.  (Rabbenu Bachye Shemos 25:23) 

We stand before Hashem this season as His subjects and as His children. And while we engage in crowning G-d as our King, we clearly prefer to see Him as our Father, Avinu Malkeinu.  Im k’vanim rachameinu k’racheim av al banim. “If we are indeed Your children, You will surely be as merciful to us as a father is to his children.” 

But if we lay claim to being G-d’s children then – as Rambam taught us - we need to treat each other as family. (Hilchos Matnos Aniyim 10:2)  

There is nothing more pleasant than sitting around the family table, every day but especially on Shabbos and even more so on Yom Tov. But not everyone has an immediate family table to join. Many in our community live alone or in incomplete family units. 

We are their family. We are all family. There is nothing more precious that we can do for ourselves and for each other than giving each other that warmth, that welcome, that place at their family table, our family table. 

As we approach the Yamim Tovim, invite others to experience the warmth of your family table. 

Avinu Malkeinu. Our Father will be overjoyed to see His children together, peacefully and supportively.   

Many thanks to the Sprung family for hosting the 2nd Annual UOS Sukkah Social - what a great opportunity for all of us to meet our new UOS members!

Many thanks to the hosts, and to Ken Arfa, UOS Programming Committee member, for organizing this event!

Please note the early-bird deadline below:

Save the date! No need to cook lunch for Simchas Torah! Register here!

Kol Hakavod and Mazal Tov to Jacob Plumb on his swearing-in ceremony upon his induction to Israel's Defense Forces. May HaShem watch over Jacob and keep him safe!
Mazal Tov to RMBA senior Helen "Hili" Kister for being named a Semifinalist in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program! Hili has the opportunity to continue in the competition for a National Merit Scholarship that will be offered next spring. Over 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2022 preliminary SAT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors (16,000 students), includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Happy birthday to our members who are celebrating a birthday during the coming week!

Rena Schwartz
Kim Pokroy
Barry Diner
Sigal Yeudai
Juliette Lenni Sanchez
Howie Weiner
Allison Miles
Hannah Niman-Abraham
Batsheva Lax
Chayli Silvestri
Dollie Goren
Shelley Kaplan

Happy birthday to our members who are celebrating an anniversary during the coming week!

Ari and Rachel Gladstein

If your name is missing from this section, please check your Shul Cloud account to ensure that your significant dates have been entered.

Many thanks to Zach Morrow, Gideon Miller and Rabbi Yoel Lax who led us so beautifully in our Rosh Hashanah davening, and to Rabbi Lax for Kriat HaTorah.

And many thanks to all those who worked so hard to ensure that our Yontif davening would be enjoyable and meaningful for all of us – especially to Rabbi Sprung, Rabbi Lax, the UOS Board of Directors, our Ritual Committee chaired by Zach Morrow, all of the Gabbaim, Rachel Gladstein for arranging the child care, our Bnei Akiva Shlichim Shachar and Efrat Chalaf, as well as our Bnot Sherut Idit and Naama, for the wonderful children’s Rosh Hashanah Programming, our security committee, and our office and maintenance staff Jeff, Myron, Charles, Polo and Maurice

Many thanks to the following members who, once more, are sponsoring our Yom Kippur Break-Fast this year:

Robert and Meryl Adams
Ron and Marilyn Kammerman
Stewart and Leah Mueller


Registration for each class is required. Register here. Please be aware: after Simchas Torah this class will move to the same time on Thursdays.

On November 1 we will gather, learn, and mix and braid challah to take home and bake!


Kids in grades 1-5 are invited to attend Cereal Club in the lobby with our Bnot Sherut Idit and Naama on Shabbos morning at 10 am.

Kids T'filot for ages 2-5 is offered on Shabbos morning at 10:45 am with Efrat in the trailer.

If you have ordered Arba Minim, they will be available for pickup at RMBA betwen 10 am - 12 noon on Friday September 29th.

Better Together program at UOS with Rabbi Yoel Lax is in process! Future event details coming soon! Engagement and learning opportunities for teens together with senior adults!


UOS offers many learning opportunities throughout the week! Please see pages 2-3 of the Shabbos Bulletin for details. New classes are starting right after the Chagim!

We're so excited about our upcoming Scholars in Residence! Many thanks to Howie Weiner, UOS Adult Education Chair, for all his hard work to secure these wonderful learning opportunities for UOS!

October 27-28: Gil Hoffman of Honest Reporting 

Gil Hoffman is the executive director of Honest Reporting, which fights for Israel in the international mainstream and social media, a lecturer on political strategy at Israel's College of Management, and served for 24 years as chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post, where he is now a regular columnist.

The Algemeiner website recently named him one of the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life. He was raised in Chicago, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University's School of Journalism, and wrote for the Miami Herald and Arizona Republic before moving to Israel. 

A reserve soldier in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, he has lectured in every major English-speaking country in the world, more than half the Canadian provinces, and recently made history in Hawaii by becoming the first speaker to have lectured about Israel in all 50 US states. He lives with his family in Jerusalem.
November 17-18: Rabbi Eitan Kupietzky of the Gimmel Foundation
December 15-16: Mark Trencher of Nishma Research 
February 2-4, 2024, Limmud Weekend: Rabbi Jacob S. Schacter, Yeshiva University
May 24-25: Rabbi Jeremy Wieder, Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva 

Please contact me to learn about our current volunteer opportunities!


Many thanks to Rachel Hulen for creating the Community Matters WhatsApp group! The purpose of this group? Find or share a Shabbos or Yom Tov meal. Keep others informed about neighborhood issues. Need to borrow an egg for a last-minute Shabbos recipe with no time to run to the store? Need to find out what time Mincha starts? Looking for household or babysitting help? Got an appliance or piece of furniture to sell or give away - or need one? Need a recommendation for a plumber or a dentist? This is the group for you, offering community connection and support. To join click here.


Rabbi Warren Goldstein, the Chief Rabbi of South Africa and innovator of The Shabbat Project, hopes that his book will be studied by groups of people around the world. We can order as many as we like, and just need to pay for shipping. Thousands of books have been requested for study in one-on-one chavrusas, and by learning groups in person, on zoom, at family Shabbat tables, in schools, synagogues, outreach organizations and more. 

Please let me know if you'd like a copy of the book and if you'd like to join a study group. Do feel welcome to invite your friends and family members to participate.

As a reminder, if you want to bring any foods into the shul, please inform the office and have approval by email from either Jeff Klein or Rabbi Sprung. Thank you!

If you wish to use the UOS kitchen for a program or other event, an HKA-certified Mashgiach must be present (someone who is not part of your group of volunteers who are helping to run the event). We'd love to have a few congregants who are certified to serve the shul as in this role. The 3-hour online certification course, developed by HKA's Rabbi Dubin, consists of 15 modules that can be completed at your leisure. You can find the course details here. Questions? Contact  Doreen Lerner or Rabbi Sprung.

Please pray for healing for:

Shim Brookman - Shimshon Ben Faigel
Basha bat Chaya Elka
Sarah Shulamit bat Malkah
Eliezer ben Etel
Gail Alpert - Avigail bat Sarah
Aryeh Alpert - Yisroel Aryeh ben Avigail
Tzvi ben Ratzah
Avner Moshe Mordechai ben Sarah Rochel
Tzemach ben Zelda
Mordechai ben Chava
Sharon Grosman - Sharon bat Raizel
Daniella bat Chaya
Jose Gomez – Yehosef ben Sarah Imeinu
Marvin Sperling
Barbara Spinks
Naomi Rabin
Juanita Cayard
Julian Lustig
If you would like to make an addition or update to this list, which will be used in the Misheberach prayer for Cholim on Shabbos mornings, please email Rabbi Sprung.


Many of us love to welcome guests into our homes for Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. We love spending time with friends while enjoying a good meal. Our Shabbos Hospitality program offers all of us an opportunity to make new friends by inviting someone we don't actually know. We receive hospitality requests from people who are visiting the area on vacation or for business, or are checking out our community with a view to possibly moving here. I encourage you to try to fit a couple more at your table once in a while - it may lead to a great new friendship. And if it doesn't, it's still a great mitzvah in the footsteps of Avraham Avinu!


As we know all too well, the Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1st. B'Ezrat HaShem we will not suffer any serious storms this year. Nonetheless, it's important to be prepared. You can find UOS's Hurricane Preparation Guide here. Additionally, in order for us to best serve our community should there be a need, we need to know who you are, what kind of help you might need, and/or what kind of help you might be able to offer. Please do visit this page on our UOS website. Some of our members, as an example, have signed up to house those in need, to offer meal preparation or device charging via generator power, to take in people as well as pets, to offer use of a boat should our streets be flooded, and so on. Chas v'Shalom we should have any such needs! Many thanks to those who have already signed up and offered help!

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of Harry Schneider z’l, husband of Riva Schneider, father of Rachel Teitelbaum, Masha Belles, and Chaim Schneider. May the family find comfort amongst the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.


To our members who are observing a Yahrtzeit in the coming days, we wish you a long life. May your loved one’s neshama have an Aliyah!

Friday 7 Tishrei

Max Reichenthal for Florence Moore

Shabbos 8 Tishrei

Ronald Alexander Bloch for son Kevin David Bloch
Merle Lynn Bloch for son Kevin David Bloch
Gary Shawn Bloch for brother Kevin David Bloch
Scott Garfinkle for son Zev Garfinkle
Sari Garfinkle for son Zev Garfinkle
Paula Feinman for mother Edith Kligman

Sunday 9 Tishrei
Barbara Levy for father Kurt Dolina
Andrea Ogorek for mother Goldie L.S. Glick
David Landau for father Arthur Landau
Bobbie Sue Daitch for father-in-law Arthur Landau
Shirley Friedman for father Samuel Schwartz
Monday 10 Tishrei
Judy Brookman for mother Ann Green
Riva Schneider for Rose Schneider
Barbi Topek for Isadore Garsek
Doreen Lerner for great-grandfather Aaron Shlomo Landstein
Doreen Lerner for great-uncle Yehoshua Landstein
Doreen Lerner for great-aunt Miriam Pleshofsky

Tuesday 11 Tishrei
Robert Levy for father Martin Colton
Roz Borger for husband Jules H. Borger
Sharon Grosman for father Jules H. Borger
Eddie Grosman for father-in-law Jules H. Borger
Stewart Mueller for Blanche Mueller

Wednesday 12 Tishrei

Saline Weintraub for Ann Block Adelson

Thursday 13 Tishrei
Yfonne de Leef for mother Lillian Maltz
Myra Simon for father Ernest Gittleman

​​​​​​​I wish all of you and your loved ones a good Shabbos and a Shanah Tovah U'Metukah. May all of us be sealed for a year of happiness, good health and prosperity. 

גמר חתימה טובה

With warm wishes,

Doreen Lerner
President, United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston
Mon, September 25 2023 10 Tishrei 5784