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. Sometimes we sing off key. We learn and laugh together, celebrate and care for each other. Interested in joining?   Click here.

Upcoming Events and Info

Thoughts from the High Holidays

Download and read Rabbi Mitch's sermons from this year's high holidays services.

Get Inspired 

Team Schactman/Team Seas 


Join CBI bar mitzvah, Louis Schactman, in this sea-worthy effort 

Donate

It's a CBI Hannukah!!


Pop-up Hannukah Museum, Hall of Flame, DIY menorah contest, Zoom-lightings and more!  

More Hanukkah Information
CBI Gift Shop

Welcome, Rabbi Mitch!

CBI is thrilled to welcome Rabbi Mitchell Levine as our new spiritual leader. Rabbi Levine started on July 1, 2021.  He and his wife Alison, also a Jewish educator by profession, moved to Asheville from Columbus, Ohio. Rabbi Levine has had a rich and diverse career as both a pulpit rabbi and Jewish educator. Born and raised in Raleigh, Rabbi Levine most recently served as Rabbi of Agudas Achim in Bexley Ohio, a position he held for 10 years. Prior to that, he served as the Rabbi at Beth Sholom in Providence RI where he also served as rabbinic associate at Brown University Hillel and taught at the Providence Hebrew Day School and New England Academy of Torah High School. In addition, he has studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Learning, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Harvard Jewish Theological Seminary, the reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and was a Fellow at the Day School Leadership Training Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary. 

"I deeply appreciate the empowerment and support I feel from 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

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.

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

This is what we're up to...

This is what we're talking about...

Dec
3
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Dec 3 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday November 26, 12-1

Our group will NOT meet on 11/26

When our group met on November 19, we considered multiple interpretations of Genesis 12:10-20, an episode wherein Abram tells his Sarai to pretend to be his sister (so that the Pharoah will not kill him and then take Sarai as his wife/so that Abram will find favor in Pharaoh’s eyes).  The result of this deception is that Sarai, thought to be Abram’s sister, is taken into Pharaoh’s palace.  The commentators we considered included Rashi, an 11th-century French Jew, a 21st-century Jewish professor, a 21st-century Christian Evangelical physician, a 21st-century female Lubavitcher author who draws upon the work of a 13th-century mystic, a Jewish high school senior, and a 21st-century Baptist  pastor.  Their interpretations were wide ranging–as were those of members of the study group:  Abram “exploited his wife’s beauty and sexuality for economic gain’; despite his many heroic actions, Abram was a “flawed human being” with whom readers of the Torah could more easily relate; recognizing that Sarai had a guardian angel who would thwart any advances by the Egyptians, Abram knew that no harm would result from the deception (everything proceeds according to God’s divine plan); Abram and Sarai were ultimately paragons of virtue whom “God had promised to make into a great nation through whom the Savior would come to bless the whole world.” 

Our group spent some time discussing the various motives/ agendas behind these interpretations and the midrashim that engendered them, as well as how some of these explanations nearly rose to the level of holy scripture (Midrash with a capital “M,” based on exegesis–traditionally carried out methods of  interpretation) and how some explanations were simply off-the-cuff speculations (midrash with a lower case “m,” based on eisegesis–personal opinions).

In addition to Genesis 12:10-20, we discussed Chapters 13-15 which covered differences between Abram and his nephew, Lot, and how these figures functioned inthe narrative as binary opposites; Abram as a warrior hero; and God’s deepening covenant with Abram. 

When we resume our discussions on December 3, the group will look at Genesis 16-18:  Sarai’s barrenness and Hagar’s role as a surrogate mother; angelic annunciations; and more covenants and circumcision. 

Our informal group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1. Check the CBI web page for a link.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise.  Please bring whatever copy of the Bible you might have (the more different translations the livelier the discussion).  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu

 

 
 

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Online Kabbalat Shabbat Services @ CBI
Dec 3 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Online Kabbalat Shabbat Services @ CBI | Asheville | North Carolina | United States

With services unavoidably cancelled, the Ritual Committee is working hard to find ways we can support each other as a community when we can’t be together in person. It’s very distressing to be unable to say Kaddish for a loved one, or to contemplate not sharing a Seder meal with friends and family. We’d like to share with you some plans we have for filling these gaps in our lives.

Please join us for Kabbalat Shabbat services via Zoom.  As long as at least 10 adults log in, we’ll be able to say Kaddish, so please consider attending, even if you’re not a Friday night regular.

You can join the service by going to Our Virtual Community here, then scroll down and click on the blue Kabbalat Shabbat Service button.

If you’d like to borrow a siddur for use at home while services are cancelled, we’ll be happy to lend you one!  Please contact the office for details.

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Dec
4
Sat
Shabbat Breakfast with Rabbi Mitch
Dec 4 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Joi Rabbi Mitch for a Shabbat study breakfast on December 4 at 9:30am followed by abbreviated in-person and online Shabbat morning services at 10:30am.

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Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Dec 4 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for Shabbat morning services in-person or via Zoom every Saturday morning at 9:30am.

Masks and social distancing are still required for all services that are likely to include singing and chanting.
Masks and social distancing are optional for all smaller, non-singing/chanting gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated adults should always wear a mask.
Beginning with Saturday July 3rd, we will return to holding Shabbat morning services every Shabbat.  You will still be required to register in advance to attend services in the event that contract tracing should become necessary.  You can register online through the Wednesday weekly eblast.  If you’d like to receive the weekly eblast, click here.

Join the Zoom service by going to Our Virtual Community page here, then scroll down and click on the blue Saturday Morning Service button.

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Dec
5
Sun
Online Jewish Meditation & Chant Circle
Dec 5 @ 2:30 pm

Just as healthy foods nourish us through the blood stream, so Jewish meditation nourishes our “soul stream.” Meditation can be transformative, taking us from the intellectual awareness of ourselves to a deeper spiritual practice that links us to Judaism in the most profound way. Each mitzvah, holy day and cycle of life has its own rhythm, nuance, taste and character. Jewish meditation is a practice of infusing their essence into our daily spiritual lives.

Ready to give it a try? Join us via Zoom (every Sunday from 2:30pm – 4pm. No previous meditation experience necessary.  This opportunity is free and open to all. Please contact Linda Wolf at linda@networktype.com for the online meeting information.

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Dec
10
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Dec 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday November 26, 12-1

Our group will NOT meet on 11/26

When our group met on November 19, we considered multiple interpretations of Genesis 12:10-20, an episode wherein Abram tells his Sarai to pretend to be his sister (so that the Pharoah will not kill him and then take Sarai as his wife/so that Abram will find favor in Pharaoh’s eyes).  The result of this deception is that Sarai, thought to be Abram’s sister, is taken into Pharaoh’s palace.  The commentators we considered included Rashi, an 11th-century French Jew, a 21st-century Jewish professor, a 21st-century Christian Evangelical physician, a 21st-century female Lubavitcher author who draws upon the work of a 13th-century mystic, a Jewish high school senior, and a 21st-century Baptist  pastor.  Their interpretations were wide ranging–as were those of members of the study group:  Abram “exploited his wife’s beauty and sexuality for economic gain’; despite his many heroic actions, Abram was a “flawed human being” with whom readers of the Torah could more easily relate; recognizing that Sarai had a guardian angel who would thwart any advances by the Egyptians, Abram knew that no harm would result from the deception (everything proceeds according to God’s divine plan); Abram and Sarai were ultimately paragons of virtue whom “God had promised to make into a great nation through whom the Savior would come to bless the whole world.” 

Our group spent some time discussing the various motives/ agendas behind these interpretations and the midrashim that engendered them, as well as how some of these explanations nearly rose to the level of holy scripture (Midrash with a capital “M,” based on exegesis–traditionally carried out methods of  interpretation) and how some explanations were simply off-the-cuff speculations (midrash with a lower case “m,” based on eisegesis–personal opinions).

In addition to Genesis 12:10-20, we discussed Chapters 13-15 which covered differences between Abram and his nephew, Lot, and how these figures functioned inthe narrative as binary opposites; Abram as a warrior hero; and God’s deepening covenant with Abram. 

When we resume our discussions on December 3, the group will look at Genesis 16-18:  Sarai’s barrenness and Hagar’s role as a surrogate mother; angelic annunciations; and more covenants and circumcision. 

Our informal group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1. Check the CBI web page for a link.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise.  Please bring whatever copy of the Bible you might have (the more different translations the livelier the discussion).  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu

 

 
 

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Dec
11
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Dec 11 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join us for Shabbat morning services in-person or via Zoom every Saturday morning at 9:30am.

Masks and social distancing are still required for all services that are likely to include singing and chanting.
Masks and social distancing are optional for all smaller, non-singing/chanting gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated adults should always wear a mask.
Beginning with Saturday July 3rd, we will return to holding Shabbat morning services every Shabbat.  You will still be required to register in advance to attend services in the event that contract tracing should become necessary.  You can register online through the Wednesday weekly eblast.  If you’d like to receive the weekly eblast, click here.

Join the Zoom service by going to Our Virtual Community page here, then scroll down and click on the blue Saturday Morning Service button.

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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