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

Rosenwald Film


 The Rosenwald Collaborative presents
a special screening at Greater Works Church
Sunday, May 15, 3:00pm

Details & RSVP

Breakfast & Study

with Rabbi Mitch


Saturday, May 21, 9:30am
Join Rabbi Mitch for a Shabbat
study session over catered breakfast
followed by abbreviated services
at 10:30am.

 

 

 

Other Rosenwald

Events on May 22


Click on poster to enlarge.

 

 

 

Friday Noon Study Group 


 Join Jay Jacoby
Fridays at noon
in person at CBI or on Zoom.

Details here

Is There a Jewish

God That an Atheist

Can Believe In?


Thursday, May 26, 4:00pm
Rabbi Mitch will explore this topic
with CBI friends and the
Jewish Secular Community of Asheville.

 

 

 

Awakening the Heart 


 Join Rick Chess on
Saturday, May 28, 9:30am
in the CBI social hall
for a contemplative
Shabbat practice.

Details & RSVP

Jewish Jazz Concert


 Join Amici Music's
Dan Weiser & Steve Loew
Thursday, June 2, 7:30pm
in the CBI social hall

Details & RSVP

CBI 2nd Annual

Golf Classic


Springdale Golf Club
Friday, June 3, 9:30am
Deadline for registration is May 18.

Details & RSVP

Shabbat HaMalka

Friday, June 3, 6:00pm
Kabbalat Shabbat service
with Josefa Briant and
guest Jessica Jacobs
on Zoom.

Details

Join us here.

Siddur here.

 

Fabric Explorations


 Artist Workshop led by
Suzie Beringer
August 1-4, 2022
at CBI

Details & RSVP

Rabbi Mitch Levine

Rabbi Mitch Levine:  Office phone (828) 252-9024, email rabbi@bethisraelnc.org
CBI is thrilled to have Rabbi Mitchell Levine as our 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...

May
20
Fri
In-person & Online Friday Noon Study Group
May 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
In-person & Online Friday Noon Study Group

Friday, May 20 12-1  

Last Friday, we concluded our discussion of  S. Yizhar’s 1949 novella Khirbet Khizeh.  The group focused upon:
  • The reception of the book over the years: Military censors tried but failed to ban the story in 1949. Instead, it sold in unprecedented numbers. In 1964 Israel’s education ministry incorporated the story into the school syllabus, but students were tested less on the story’s central moral struggle and instead asked them to analyze the form and aesthetics of Yizhar’s writing. In 1978, a filmed version of the story precipitated a ferocious debate. Prime Minister Menachem Begin regarded the film as anti-Israel propaganda. One journalist wrote that,  “Even if the Fatah Information Bureau were headed by a genius, he couldn’t have come up with a better one than this.”  Nonetheless, the novel found new audiences when it was finally translated into English in 2008.
  • The book as an early example of what has come to be known in Israel as the SHOOTING AND CRYING” genre, wherein a soldier in uniform expresses remorse for following orders undertaken throughout their service.  We discussed the implications and alternatives in this regard (conscientious objection, questioning/contesting orders of superiors) and the universality of this theme in literature written before and after Yizhar’s novel.  For a video on how recent IDF veterans reflected on this issue, see: https://truthout.org/video/shooting-and-crying-israeli-soldiers-after-their-service/             and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0z9ebiuUaU
  • What motivated the behavior of the soldiers depicted in the novella:  peer pressure/moral individualism vs. collective authority; training/inculcation that the enemy is inferior; a response to atrocities carried out by Arabs against Jews.  Books that detail what the soldiers may have witnessed or experienced include Siege in the Hills of Hebron and The Six Days of Yad Mordechai.
  • The continuing relevance of this novella in light of present events in Israel (settlements, death of Al-Jazeera journalist).
Participants agreed that conversation about this book and its relevance could continue for a long time–and without resolution in what one writer identified as a “toxic ecosystem.”
This Friday we will begin our discussion of Dara Horn’s 2021 National Jewish Book Award-winning essay collection,  People Love Dead Jews:  Reports from a Haunted Present.  The book challenges us to confront reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.  We will share initial impressions of Horn’s book and discuss its Introduction and first two chapters.
Now in its 23rd year, our informal discussion group meets in person from 12-1 in CBI’s small chapel (with an option on Zoom for those who cannot attend in person).  All are welcome to attend regardless of their level of expertise.  Copies of Horn’s collection should be available in local bookstores and through the internet.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu.
 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 
 

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May
21
Sat
Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
May 21 @ 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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May
22
Sun
Andrew Feiler Morning Talk
May 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Save the date for a talk by Andrew Feiler, renowned photographer of the American South.

Sunday, May 22 • 10AM
Photographer Andrew Feiler

Andrew Feiler discusses his three-year journey
photographing the Rosenwald Schools. Photographic
techniques and research will be shared.  RSVP here.

Congregation Beth Israel – Social Hall
229 Murdock in Asheville

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Andrew Feiler: A Better Life For Their Children
May 22 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Sunday, May 22 • 7PM

A Better Life for Their Children
Book Signing & Presentation

Photographer and author Andrew Feiler discusses the
collaboration between educator Booker T. Washington and
philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Held in-person and
via Zoom. Books and book signing follow presentation.  RSVP here.

Congregation Beth Israel – Social Hall
229 Murdock in Asheville

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May
26
Thu
Is There a Jewish God That an Atheist Can Believe In?
May 26 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Thursday, May 26th, 4:00pm

Is there a Jewish God that an atheist can believe in?
Join us for this joint class with the Jewish Secular Community of Asheville and CBI.
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May
27
Fri
In-person & Online Friday Noon Study Group
May 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
In-person & Online Friday Noon Study Group

Friday, May 20 12-1  

Last Friday, we concluded our discussion of  S. Yizhar’s 1949 novella Khirbet Khizeh.  The group focused upon:
  • The reception of the book over the years: Military censors tried but failed to ban the story in 1949. Instead, it sold in unprecedented numbers. In 1964 Israel’s education ministry incorporated the story into the school syllabus, but students were tested less on the story’s central moral struggle and instead asked them to analyze the form and aesthetics of Yizhar’s writing. In 1978, a filmed version of the story precipitated a ferocious debate. Prime Minister Menachem Begin regarded the film as anti-Israel propaganda. One journalist wrote that,  “Even if the Fatah Information Bureau were headed by a genius, he couldn’t have come up with a better one than this.”  Nonetheless, the novel found new audiences when it was finally translated into English in 2008.
  • The book as an early example of what has come to be known in Israel as the SHOOTING AND CRYING” genre, wherein a soldier in uniform expresses remorse for following orders undertaken throughout their service.  We discussed the implications and alternatives in this regard (conscientious objection, questioning/contesting orders of superiors) and the universality of this theme in literature written before and after Yizhar’s novel.  For a video on how recent IDF veterans reflected on this issue, see: https://truthout.org/video/shooting-and-crying-israeli-soldiers-after-their-service/             and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0z9ebiuUaU
  • What motivated the behavior of the soldiers depicted in the novella:  peer pressure/moral individualism vs. collective authority; training/inculcation that the enemy is inferior; a response to atrocities carried out by Arabs against Jews.  Books that detail what the soldiers may have witnessed or experienced include Siege in the Hills of Hebron and The Six Days of Yad Mordechai.
  • The continuing relevance of this novella in light of present events in Israel (settlements, death of Al-Jazeera journalist).
Participants agreed that conversation about this book and its relevance could continue for a long time–and without resolution in what one writer identified as a “toxic ecosystem.”
This Friday we will begin our discussion of Dara Horn’s 2021 National Jewish Book Award-winning essay collection,  People Love Dead Jews:  Reports from a Haunted Present.  The book challenges us to confront reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.  We will share initial impressions of Horn’s book and discuss its Introduction and first two chapters.
Now in its 23rd year, our informal discussion group meets in person from 12-1 in CBI’s small chapel (with an option on Zoom for those who cannot attend in person).  All are welcome to attend regardless of their level of expertise.  Copies of Horn’s collection should be available in local bookstores and through the internet.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu.
 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 
 

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May
28
Sat
Awakening the Heart: Contemplative Shabbat Practice
May 28 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Awakening the Heart: Contemplative Shabbat Practice
Join us at CBI for an hour of chanting, meditation, and reflection. Using verses from several prayers, we’ll chant to begin opening our hearts. We’ll then move into a period of meditation with instructions to deepen our awareness of our inner lives. Finally, we’ll have a brief period to reflect on our experiences. Following our contemplative Shabbat practice, participants are welcome to join the regular Shabbat service taking place in the main sanctuary.
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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