In January 2016, Congregation Shir Ami welcomed Rabbi Rebecca Reice, R.J.E., as our Rabbi and Director of Education. Ordained in 2012 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, Rabbi Reice previously served as Associate Rabbi at Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, KS. Only the second pulpit Rabbi to serve Shir Ami in our history, Rabbi Reice came to our community with a wealth of knowledge and experience in pulpit and pastoral work throughout the life cycle, educational leadership working with learners of all ages and backgrounds, and a deep appreciation for life in the heart of Texas.
Shir Ami has developed as a warm, welcoming congregation - a place to go for support, friendship, celebration and solace. Shir Ami is special because its people have a sense of ownership in the congregation. Volunteers and lay leaders continue to share the responsibilities of building a spiritual home, a community—a synagogue.
Shir Ami follows the Reform tradition, but members come from Reform, Conservative, and other walks of Jewish life.
Congregation Shir Ami - In the Beginning
The idea and concept of Congregation Shir Ami was fashioned in 2001 and was formalized in 2002. Our Founders, Maxine & Allen Kaplan, Sharon & Keith Williams, and Patti Edelman had previously identified a need for a suburban synagogue that would serve Jewish individuals and families in Williamson County and far North Austin, Texas.
Recognizing more than ever the importance of sustaining Judaism in our community, they began the planning and organizing needed to create a synagogue, celebrated the high holidays on Mount Bonnell in September 2001 (just weeks after the 9/11 tragedy), and held the first Shabbat Services at Austin Community College in Cedar Park in February 2002.
As they learned of the endeavor, other community members invested their time and energy in the effort to create Congregation Shir Ami. Paperwork was initiated to make everything legal. On June 2, 2002, the newly formed and official congregation met to approve their Constitution and elect the First Board of Trustees.
The continued growth of Shir Ami since that time mirrors the population growth in the area.