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.

"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
2
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Oct 2 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, October 2,  12-1 

We began last week’s discussion a little differently.  Before turning to chapters, 6-7 of Finkelstein and Silberman’s The Bible Unearthed, those of us who happened to watch a PBS episode of NOVA  ”A to Z: The First Alphabet” shared our reactions to what the program had to say about the contribution of the Israelites/Jews/Hebrews to the development of the alphabet.  The program barely mentioned the Hebrew alphabet, something that ruffled the feathers of some of us who had been given to believe that ”the oldest recorded alphabet may be Hebrew”(https://www.foxnews.com/science/hebrew-may-be-worlds-oldest-alphabet).  Many of us acknowledged that other alphabets may have preceded the Hebrew alphabet.  What was interesting, however, was our reaction to how the NOVA program seemed to assiduously avoid the mention of the word ”Hebrew,” ascribing the early alphabet to the Canaanites.  This led to a digression on the phenomenon of ”Confirmation Bias”–the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their existing beliefs or hypotheses (https://www.simplypsychology.org/confirmation-bias.html#:~:text=Confirmation%20bias%20occurs%20when%20people,alternative%20hypotheses%20and%20their%20consequences).   

The point of this discussion/digression was to consider the role ”confirmation bias” might be playing in our reading and understanding of the Finkelstein and Silberman text and the authors’ claims that the Bible doesn’t offer an accurate representation of historical reality. 

The chapters covered last week focused on the Books of Kings 1 and 2, starting with the authors’ claims that the notion of a vast united monarchy centered in Jerusalem under the leadership of Kings David and Solomon, was something of a myth promulgated by a much later  king (Josiah) who wished to expand the territory of a rural, sparsely settled Kingdom of Judah into a more prosperous, densely settled Kingdom of Israel by delegitimizing the northern territories as being sinful centers of cult worship.  Rather than being works of history, the Books of Kings were Judahite arguments intended to bolster the power and theology of King Josiah. 

When we gather on October 2, our group will take a closer look at chapters 6-8 (pp. 149-225) in The Bible Unearthed, in light of what Finkelstein and Silberman have to tell us about 930-720 BCE  and in terms of the authors’ confirmation biases and our own. 

Our informal discussion group is held online every Friday from 12-1.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Oct
3
Sat
Saturday Morning Online Services
Oct 3 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Join us for Shabbat morning services via Zoom every other Saturday morning at 10:00am.

Join the service here.

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Oct
4
Sun
Online Jewish Meditation & Chant Circle
Oct 4 @ 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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Oct
9
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Oct 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, October 2,  12-1 

We began last week’s discussion a little differently.  Before turning to chapters, 6-7 of Finkelstein and Silberman’s The Bible Unearthed, those of us who happened to watch a PBS episode of NOVA  ”A to Z: The First Alphabet” shared our reactions to what the program had to say about the contribution of the Israelites/Jews/Hebrews to the development of the alphabet.  The program barely mentioned the Hebrew alphabet, something that ruffled the feathers of some of us who had been given to believe that ”the oldest recorded alphabet may be Hebrew”(https://www.foxnews.com/science/hebrew-may-be-worlds-oldest-alphabet).  Many of us acknowledged that other alphabets may have preceded the Hebrew alphabet.  What was interesting, however, was our reaction to how the NOVA program seemed to assiduously avoid the mention of the word ”Hebrew,” ascribing the early alphabet to the Canaanites.  This led to a digression on the phenomenon of ”Confirmation Bias”–the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their existing beliefs or hypotheses (https://www.simplypsychology.org/confirmation-bias.html#:~:text=Confirmation%20bias%20occurs%20when%20people,alternative%20hypotheses%20and%20their%20consequences).   

The point of this discussion/digression was to consider the role ”confirmation bias” might be playing in our reading and understanding of the Finkelstein and Silberman text and the authors’ claims that the Bible doesn’t offer an accurate representation of historical reality. 

The chapters covered last week focused on the Books of Kings 1 and 2, starting with the authors’ claims that the notion of a vast united monarchy centered in Jerusalem under the leadership of Kings David and Solomon, was something of a myth promulgated by a much later  king (Josiah) who wished to expand the territory of a rural, sparsely settled Kingdom of Judah into a more prosperous, densely settled Kingdom of Israel by delegitimizing the northern territories as being sinful centers of cult worship.  Rather than being works of history, the Books of Kings were Judahite arguments intended to bolster the power and theology of King Josiah. 

When we gather on October 2, our group will take a closer look at chapters 6-8 (pp. 149-225) in The Bible Unearthed, in light of what Finkelstein and Silberman have to tell us about 930-720 BCE  and in terms of the authors’ confirmation biases and our own. 

Our informal discussion group is held online every Friday from 12-1.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Online Kabbalat Shabbat Services @ CBI
Oct 9 @ 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 me beginning this Friday, March 27, at 6:00pm, when we will begin holding Kabbalat Shabbat services via Zoom.  A rotation of folks will lead the service, including Josefa, who will lead Family Shabbat on the second Friday of each month. 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.

A link to the online service is below.  Zoom is easy to use and will let us see and hear each other as we welcome Shabbat.  If you haven’t already downloaded Zoom to your computer or phone, you must do so before joining the meeting on Friday at 6:00pm.  You only need to download Zoom once, after that you simply log in, always using the same Meeting ID: 406 391 4937.  Easy instructions are below this message.

We recognize that this is a big departure from traditional practice, and the Ritual Committee did not make this decision without serious discussion. This is a temporary measure to keep us all connected while we can’t be together physically.

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.

Eva Blinder

CBI Ritual Chair

Instructions for Downloading Zoom

The first time you ever use Zoom on a computer, do the following:

Go to https://zoom.us
Hover over (don’t click) “RESOURCES” on the top right and then click “Download Zoom Client” from the drop-down menu that appears
Click “Download” under “Zoom Client for Meetings”
If it asks you to allow it to download “zoom.us”, click “Allow” or “Yes”
Open the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install Zoom on your computer

The first time you ever use Zoom on a smart phone, do the following:
Go to the App Store and find “Zoom Cloud Meetings” and download it (it is free)

Instructions for attending services on CBI’s Zoom Account 1:

Right before the start of services, either go to https://zoom.us on your computer or open your Zoom app on your smartphone
Click “Join a Meeting”
Type in this Meeting ID: 406 391 4937 and click “Join”
If you’re using the computer and Zoom asks you to allow it to open “zoom.us”, click “Allow” or “Yes” or “Open” and then click “Join With Computer Audio”
If you’re using a smart phone and Zoom asks you to allow using the microphone/camera, allow it
If it says “Waiting for the host to start this meeting”, just wait a few minutes for CBI’s service leader to start the meeting

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Oct
10
Sat
Torah Study with Justin Goldstein
Oct 10 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Join Justin Goldstein for an hour of Torah study and discussion of the week’s Torah portion.

All are welcome, link to join the Zoom meeting here.

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Oct
11
Sun
Online Jewish Meditation & Chant Circle
Oct 11 @ 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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“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