Welcome to CBI!

We're Asheville's only independent egalitarian Jewish community. More than 100 years old, we’re rediscovering ourselves every day. We love pot-lucks, swapping stories and kids in the sanctuary. We have a wise rabbi who lives in a young man’s body. He inspires, teaches and plays the ukulele. Sometimes we sing off key. We learn and laugh together, celebrate and care for each other. Interested? 

Visit us in our new temporary home

While our building is closed for renovation, we invite you to visit us in our temporary digs: downstairs at Congregation Beth HaTephila (43 N. Liberty Street, Asheville). CBI is indebted to our friends at CBHT for opening their doors to us while our's are closed.

This is Us

We're a blended family. Old and young, Jews by birth and Jews by choice; from L.A., Miami, Atlanta and Brooklyn - London, Johannesburg and places with names too hard to pronounce. We celebrate together: single moms and newly retired couples, inter-faith and inter-racial families. And all of us - observant, secular and agnostic - find common ground in community.

Closed for transformation

On or around October 17, our building will close for major renovations. Thanks to Temple Beth HaTephila, 43 N Liberty St, Asheville, for graciously allowing us to use part of their space for temporary offices, religious services and other programming. During renovations, CBI phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same. We hope to re-open in our newly remodeled building in time for the 2018 High Holidays. Follow the transformation.

"For the first time in my life, I find myself yearning to go to shul.”  - Rochelle Reich

This Week at CBI

Family Shabbat & Vegetarian Potluck Dinner
Oct 20 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Family Shabbat & Vegetarian Potluck Dinner

Join us for a relaxed, musical Kabbalat Shabbat experience, followed by a pizza/potluck/ice cream dinner. Gifts will be handed out for each month’s birthdays and anniversaries.

Family Shabbat potlucks will not take place during summer vacation.

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Shabbat Morning Services
Oct 21 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Shabbat Morning Services

Join us each Shabbat for an uplifting and participatory journey – to Sinai and back. Then hang around afterward for a wonderful kiddush lunch, a little schnapps and a lot of shmoozing.

Come as you are – leave changed.

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Torah Trope Class – Learn to Chant Torah! @ Congregation Beth HaTephila
Oct 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm


Yes, you, too, can learn to chant Torah portions on Shabbat, using the correct trope.  Beth Israel Synagogue will offer a series of classes this fall on learning the ta’amei ha-mikra (Torah cantillation marks, or trope).  No previous Torah chanting experience is presumed, but you will need to know how to read Hebrew at least basically.  It is not necessary to be able to read musical notation.  All of the tropes used in regular Shabbat Torah chanting will be covered (the course will not cover the special tropes used for holidays or the haftarah trope).  The course will also cover the function of cantillation marks as an aid to understanding the Biblical text and as a guide for stressing the correct syllable, as well as some of the common problem areas of proper Hebrew pronunciation.  Frank Goldsmith will teach the classes.  Written materials will be provided.  There is a charge, payable to Congregation Beth Israel, of $18 for CBI members and $36 for non-members.

The classes will be taught on six consecutive Sunday evenings beginning on October 22 and concluding on November 26, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the downstairs conference room at Temple Beth HaTephila. Each student will also be offered an aliyah to chant after completion of the course. Thus you will have plenty of time to practice before stepping up to the bima!

To register for the classes, please contact the synagogue office, 828-252-8660, or admin@bethisraelnc.org.  Please call by no later than Monday, October 2, so that we will have time to prepare sufficient materials for all students.

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Meet the Midrash @ Congregation Beth Israel
Oct 25 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Meet the Midrash
Wednesdays, noon to 1:00 pm
Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:00 am

Out of the texts of the Torah, the Rabbis created teachings bringing deeper meanings to the wisdom of the Jewish people known as Midrash. Each week we will explore some of these teachings based on the weekly Torah portion. We will gain not only an understanding of what the Rabbis were teaching, but how and why they were able to offer these teachings. While there are many compilations of Midrash from different periods in Jewish history, we will focus our studies on Midrash Rabbah.

Wednesdays 12 noon – 1pm

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Living Torah
Oct 26 @ 8:30 am – 9:30 am
Living Torah @ Asheville | North Carolina | United States

Start your day off with inspired learning and meaningful conversations, relevant and insightful lessons from the wellspring of Jewish wisdom.

All are welcome. No experience necessary.

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“CBI nurtures my spiritual life, especially the Shabbos experience - the participatory services and the Kiddush luncheon, which allows us to visit and get to know each other.” – Jimi Moore

And this is Rabbi Justin Goldstein

I'll never forget my first day in Asheville. 1997, standing in the parking lot of the French Broad Food Co-op thinking, "I will live here one day." Throughout my years at Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in L.A., I often thought of Asheville and CBI. Danielle and I were married in Montford. Our aufruf (when the groom is called to the Torah) was in the small CBI chapel. To be honest, I never envisioned being a pulpit rabbi - I love community organizing and non-profit management - but if there was one place I would want to be a pulpit rabbi, I knew it would be here.  (read more) 


Finding Signs in the Natural World – The Covenant of the Rainbow

[caption id="attachment_916" align="aligncenter" width="221"] photo credit: Rochelle Reich. This is a real photograph! No filter![/caption] Albert Einstein is quoted as having said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Even though…
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"I deeply appreciate the empowerment and support I feel from Rabbi Justin and the CBI leadership to forge our own path, one that is consistent and true to our family without being led to feel like our Judaism is lacking.” - Ali Climo