Elevate

 Independent. Egalitarian. Transformational.

 

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Dr. Rick Chess

House of Israel, where the milk is
a high-holiday veil cascading
in front of the ark and the honey is hard
candy scooped up from the bema by children.
Where a still voice stirs
the sanctuary illuminated

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Congregation Beth Israel is proud to be Asheville's only independent, fully egalitarian, spiritual community. Together, we live out the meaning of our name: a "house for those who struggle with God." We believe the power of Jewish prayer is the unique state of "being alone, together".

We have a variety of ways to make it happen. Weekly Shabbat and holiday services, monthly Jewish meditation and family-based education that reminds us of our responsibility to ourselves, each other and the earth. 

Pick one that works for you and join us. 

Elevate your spirit this week

Dec
22
Fri
Kabbalat Shabbat Services
Dec 22 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Kabbalat Shabbat Services @ Asheville | North Carolina | United States

Join us in welcoming Shabbat with prayer and song.

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Dec
23
Sat
Shabbat Morning Services
Dec 23 @ 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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Dec
30
Sat
Shabbat Morning Services
Dec 30 @ 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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Jan
6
Sat
Shabbat Morning Services
Jan 6 @ 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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Jan
12
Fri
Family Shabbat & Potluck
Jan 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Family Shabbat & Potluck @ Asheville | North Carolina | United States

Join us for a relaxed, musical Kabbalat Shabbat experience, followed by a vegetarian potluck 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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"After many years of feeling an outsider because of my questions, I’ve finally found a place where my questions are not only respected but valued." -Linda Wolf

Weekly Shabbat Services

Kabalat-Shabbat[1]On the second and fourth Friday of each month, we usher in Shabbat with a warm and intimate Kabbalat Shabbat service from 6-7pm. The second Friday is all about kids and family. We sing simple songs with moving melodies selected from the traditional Kabbalat Shabbat service. We join together in uplifting singing and share space as families. The services are usually followed by a pot luck vegetarian dinner. The fourth Friday is typically a traditional-style service filled with heartfelt singing.

shabbatShabbat morning services begin at 9:30am. We are a DIY congregation with a variety of lay leaders who pitch in to lead services and read Torah and chant Haftorah. Fully egalitarian, men and women participate equally. Throughout the school year, on the first Shabbat of each month the spaces surrounding the sanctuary are filled with children's voices and the sounds of Tot Shabbat (for the younger kids) and Junior congregation (for the older ones).

Most weeks, Rabbi Justin delivers the d'var Torah (sermon). On the last Shabbat of each month, the pulpit becomes community property with congregants encouraged to offer their take on the weekly Torah portion. Sometimes these featured speakers include individuals - Jewish and non-Jewish - within the wider Asheville community.

"I love that our weekly services are mostly lay-led and anyone / everyone is encouraged to take part in leading. There is such a difference between being just a spectator and a valued participant. I've never enjoyed services so much. I've never felt so welcome." -Patti Frankel

Moving with the Moon - in Rhythm with the Seasons

seasonsDuring High Holidays the sanctuary is at capacity. During the Circle of the Year, we remember friends made and lost, milestones celebrated. After Sukkoth, the days grow longer and we set  our sights on Chanukah and our annual CBI Chanukah party, which regularly draws 200-300 congregants and friends.

Our Tu 'b'Shevat seders for young and old set the table for the hidden truths and fun of Purim. Then on to Passover when we begin to count the 49 days till Shavuot and our all-night tikkun la'el Shavuot. Before you know it, is it Tisha b'Av and we are chanting from the book of Eicha (Lamentations). Summer changes to fall and leads us headlong back into the Rosh HaShannah. Tick tock, tick tock.

"My involvement with CBI provides purpose in my life because I value the friendships, appreciate the learning, contribute to making the world a better place, and have deepened my knowledge and practice of Judaism." -Caren Kessler

LadyintheSunWeb[1]Jewish Meditation Circle

At its heart, Judaism is about mindfulness and living our lives with intentionality. The CBI Jewish Meditation Circle can help you achieve this. Open to beginners and experienced practitioners alike, it provides a loving and supportive community in which each of us gains insights that help us live in more loving, kind and compassionate ways.

We typically meet every other Sunday to chant our Jewish liturgy; practice active and restive forms of mindfulness; and discuss Jewish texts from the perspective of this contemplative practice.  New to meditation? Don't worry, we're here to guide you through it and help you get the most out of it. We look forward to welcoming you into our circle.