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.

Renew your CBI Membership here.

Join CBI 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 

Louis' Bar Mitzvah Nov. 6th


Join us in celebrating with the Schactman family as Louis is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah 

 

Nov. 7th Under Jerusalem


An evening with author, Andrew Lawler 

More Information

 

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...

Oct
29
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Oct 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Friday Noon Study Group

Friday October 29, 12-1

Last week our group took a closer look at the punishments God meted out to the Serpent, Eve, and Adam and the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 3:14-4:26) Here are some of the issues we talked about:

  • How God cursed the snake (who, apparently walked upright until he was made to crawl on his belly) and how the enmity between the serpent’s seed and that of Eve was seen by some Christians as the first messianic prophecy in the Bible (Protoevangelium)    

  •  Eve’s punishment versus that of Adam (neither was “cursed” by God as was the serpent–and, in the next chapter, Cain).  Was Eve’s punishment–painful childbearing/childrearing and subservience to Adam (who was punished by having to live by the sweat of his brow)–twice that of Adam’s.  Is this passage the beginning of misogyny in the male-authored Bible, or is it a compassionate recognition of the travails of women?

  • Why are cherubim assigned to guard the Tree of Life? To eliminate the possibility of human immortality?

  • What does God’s favoring of Abel’s offering (fattened sheep) over Cain’s offering (grain) signify?  That God was not a vegetarian?  That Cain’s offerings were not given with the proper intention?  The birth of all of the sibling rivalries we find in the Bible–and in real life?

  • In what way was God testing Cain–don’t give in to the sin that crouches at your door?  What was the nature of the cryptic exchange between Cain and Abel when they went out into the field?  How premeditated was Cain’s fratricide?

This Friday, we’ll begin with a consideration of how the mark of Cain has been interpreted and where Cain’s wife came from (Genesis 4:15-4:17) and then move on–past the descendants of Adam to the story of Noah (Genesis 5:28-6-9).

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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Oct
30
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Oct 30 @ 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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Oct
31
Sun
Torah on Tap @ CBI
Oct 31 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Torah on Tap @ CBI | Asheville | North Carolina | United States

This year will be different

We want to change. We do. We each want to be a better version of ourselves today than we were yesterday, especially this time of the year. For some, change comes easily – others not so much. Why? What keeps us from fulfilling the promises we make on Rosh HaShannah, Yom Kippur and New Year’s Eve?

Join us for Torah on Tap this Sunday (4pm – 5:30) as we explore the opportunities and obstacles of change. Share your own story of growth, learn the most common impediments to change and how, with the help of our Jewish traditions, we can re-frame what it means to change – making it easier and more meaningful.

We’ll meet by the stream beside the CBI parking lot. Bring your beverage of choice, a lawn chair and a caring, open mind. Come as you are. Leave different.

 

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Nov
2
Tue
Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Mitch: The Rabbis Who Invented Judaism
Nov 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Join Rabbi Mitch and your CBI friends on three consecutive Tuesdays at noon for a ‘lunch & learn’.  Please bring your own vegetarian or kosher lunch, your listening ears and your opinions (don’t be shy!). 

The Invention of Judaism

Contending hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire from the clouds. Of a sudden the doors of the shrine opened and a superhuman voice cried: “The gods are departing”: at the same moment the mighty stir of their going was heard. Few interpreted these omens as fearful; the majority firmly believed that their ancient priestly writings contained the prophecy that this was the very time when the East should grow strong and that men starting from Judea should possess the world. This mysterious prophecy had in reality pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, as is the way of human ambition, interpreted these great destinies in their own favour, and could not be turned to the truth even by adversity.

-The Histories of Tacitus, c. 105 CE (Loeb Classical Library edition, Vol. III)

About 30 years before our story begins, the world’s most powerful government, the Roman Empire, brutally suppressed a Jewish rebellion which culminated in the greatest trauma ever to have affected the Jewish people, the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash (the Temple) and Jerusalem. The Mediterranean had long been a Roman lake, with Rome the undisputed ruler of all the real estate surrounding it. To the north, Agrippa II has just died. The death of Agrippa, a distant descendant of the Hasmonean (Maccabean) rulers of over a century ago, marks the loss of the last vestige of Roman appointed Jewish rule, placing all of the inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean between Syria and Egypt under the direct control of the Emperor and the Senate. This diverse population comprises rural and city dwellers and many of the cities are dominated by Greeks who regard Jews with distaste and enmity. A rapidly growing heretical sect called “Christianity,” originating in Jerusalem within a small circle of eschatological Jews but overtaken by an astonishing number of non-Jews, has just been recognized as a religion separate and distinct from Judaism through having won an exemption from the fiscus judaicus (special Jew tax) for its adherents. Jews live all over the Roman Empire, including the city of Rome, where we periodically enjoy sympathetic contacts in the upper echelons of power. A small band of Jewish intellectuals, refugees from the destruction of Jerusalem, have established a community dedicated to the study of Jewish law in the backwater town of Yavneh, near Lod (no airport yet). Despite all odds, they managed to reimagine and reconstruct the religion of biblical Israel so that it could survive, even flourish, in the new and radically changed era of Roman antiquity. They were the inventors of Judaism. In this course we will be introduced to the 3 rabbinic sages who proved to be the most important founders of this enterprise.

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Nov
5
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Nov 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Friday Noon Study Group

Friday October 29, 12-1

Last week our group took a closer look at the punishments God meted out to the Serpent, Eve, and Adam and the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 3:14-4:26) Here are some of the issues we talked about:

  • How God cursed the snake (who, apparently walked upright until he was made to crawl on his belly) and how the enmity between the serpent’s seed and that of Eve was seen by some Christians as the first messianic prophecy in the Bible (Protoevangelium)    

  •  Eve’s punishment versus that of Adam (neither was “cursed” by God as was the serpent–and, in the next chapter, Cain).  Was Eve’s punishment–painful childbearing/childrearing and subservience to Adam (who was punished by having to live by the sweat of his brow)–twice that of Adam’s.  Is this passage the beginning of misogyny in the male-authored Bible, or is it a compassionate recognition of the travails of women?

  • Why are cherubim assigned to guard the Tree of Life? To eliminate the possibility of human immortality?

  • What does God’s favoring of Abel’s offering (fattened sheep) over Cain’s offering (grain) signify?  That God was not a vegetarian?  That Cain’s offerings were not given with the proper intention?  The birth of all of the sibling rivalries we find in the Bible–and in real life?

  • In what way was God testing Cain–don’t give in to the sin that crouches at your door?  What was the nature of the cryptic exchange between Cain and Abel when they went out into the field?  How premeditated was Cain’s fratricide?

This Friday, we’ll begin with a consideration of how the mark of Cain has been interpreted and where Cain’s wife came from (Genesis 4:15-4:17) and then move on–past the descendants of Adam to the story of Noah (Genesis 5:28-6-9).

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
Nov 5 @ 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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Nov
6
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Nov 6 @ 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