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.

Hood Huggers Tour

Friday, May 19, 1:00pm

One Light

Sunday, May 28, 11:00am

Brunch Gala Honoring Caren Kessler, Jay & Marlene Jacoby (Pre-registration required)


Sensing Shabbat

Shabbat in the Park | Or Hadash
Saturday, April 29, 9:30am

Shabbat in motion, song and nature


Friday Noon Study Group

Fridays at noon

Led by Jay Jacoby (on Zoom only)

Details here

Friday Night Shabbat & Potluck 

 Friday, May 12, 6:00pm

Join Josefa Briant in welcoming Shabbat.

Shavu'ot Breakfast Study 

Friday, May 26, 9:30am

Rabbi Mitch will lead a learning session at 9:30am followed by abbreviated services at 10:15am.

CBI 3rd Annual Golf Classic

Golf & Country Clubs | invitedclubs.com
Friday, June 16, 10am

Cummings Cove Golf and Country Club

Details and RSVP


Multimedia Artist Retreat

June 6-8

with Patty Pape at CBI

Details & RSVP



Beringer Artist Retreat

Sunday, July 10-13

with Suzie Beringer at CBI 

Details & RSVP



Philosophy at CBI

Ken Vallario Art

Mondays, 6:30pm

with CBI artist and philosopher, Ken Vallario


Shavuot Art Show

May 26-27th, CBI Social Hall 

CBI display of 10 pieces of collaborative artwork representing our "collective revelation" at Mount Sinai. 




Baking Club

Fridays noon - 2:00pm

Join Tikva Wolf in the CBI kitchen. RSVP is required each week.

Details and 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...

Patty Pape Artist Retreat
Jun 6 @ 9:30 am – Jun 8 @ 5:00 pm

CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL An Independent Jewish Community invites you to participate in a June Artist-in-Residence 2 1/2 day Workshop

Multimedia Journal & Collage With Patty Pape Mixed Media Art Journal & Collage

We’ll make our own hardcover art journal, covered with decorative paper that we’ve made in class. We’ll use various mixed media techniques to add artwork to our journal, including mono-printing, collage, and image transfers. You’ll leave with a handmade art journal with plenty of blank pages to continue your mixed media adventures. Whether you are a beginning artist who wants to learn the fundamentals of mixed media or an experienced artist who wants to learn new techniques, this is a fun and productive workshop for everyone.

BIO Patty spent her work career in the corporate telecommunications world. After retiring, she and her husband relocated to Winston-Salem, NC to become active grandparents. Patty started taking drawing, painting, and printmaking classes at The Sawtooth School for Visual Art, and quickly became immersed in mixed media.
Patty has an obsession with paper, paste, and art supplies which she now uses to focus primarily on acrylic painting, collage, and art journaling. She loves to share her techniques with others and continues to learn from everyone around her.

WORKSHOP DETAILS LOCATION: Congregation Beth Israel • 229 Murdock Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804 DATES: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm June 7 & 8 • 9:30 am—5:00 pm

REGISTRATION: Early Bird $200 By May 1, 2023 May 2 to June 1 $225

Mail check payable to: Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) 229 Murdock Avenue Asheville, NC 28804. Please include your name, address, email, cell phone. OR, Follow this handy link for online payment https://www.iatspayments.com/saaura/PA9D774D1942B59637 For registration questions, call CBI office 828-252-8660, or email admin@bethisraelnc.org

A vegetarian lunch will be provided daily. Coffee, tea, and water available throughout each day. Participants may bring snacks to share. No meat may be brought into the synagogue.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations made prior to MAY 1 are refundable, less a $50 administrative charge. Cancellations made up until May 15 are eligible for a 50% refund. Cancellations made after May 25 are non-refundable, however the registration can be transferred to a donation to the synagogue.

Current COVID-19 policy will be followed based on recommended CDC guidelines at the time. Social distancing will be possible. Each artist will be seated at an individual table.

For questions regarding this workshop, please call organizer, Sally Gooze 828-772-0222.

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CBI Baking Club
Jun 9 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

CBI Baking Club Fridays, noon – 2:00pm
We usually meet Fridays at noon in the CBI kitchen. Let’s share recipes and have a blast together! RSVP to Tikva for more info: weeteawolf@gmail.com or text (919)-5-TIKVAH

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Online Friday Noon Study Group
Jun 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Online Friday Noon Study Group


Last week, our study of God is a Verb began with a consideration of a question posed at the end of our previous session:  “Is Evil Necessary?”  Many of us were not entirely comfortable with the Kabbalistic notion that evil fulfills a primary function in creation, that if you kill the evil inclination “the world will be destroyed because there will no longer be a desire to procreate” (Yoma 69b) or engage in business, and that we must seek out the divine spark inherent in evil and attempt to uplift it.  
We moved on from this eternal conundrum and began to discuss  the opening chapter of Part 3 of Cooper’s text, “Higher Awareness.”   Some highlights from that discussion include: 
  • Our agreement not to take mystical conceptions of a chariot (Merkevah) carrying us off to the throne of God too literally, even though this concept has its origin in the Haftarah from the Book of Ezekiel chanted last week on Shavuot.
  • On the other hand, our group seemed to accept Cooper’s notion that we are all afflicted with what he calls a “Time Deficiency Syndrome” that has created a distorted sense of priorities.  This malady, which Cooper identifies as a form of spiritual malnutrition, is caused by our desire for more acquisitions and/or power and control.
  • No one seemed to disagree with Cooper that we needed to find ways to make time to develop a true awareness of things that really mattered, to make our inner lights brighter, and to connect with the Divine.  That is, at least for most of us in the group, if we considered the Divine to be something other than an anthropomorphized God but rather a creative source of energy, a force dedicated to making the world a better place.
  • We also were receptive to Cooper’s idea that we need to develop methods of attaining higher awareness by immersing ourselves in meaningful activities, engaging in contemplative meditation, and developing our kavanah (intention/purpose) to ensure that it does not devolve into rote behavior.  We also agreed that such consciousness-raising activity (which often involves ways of deflecting distractions to focus on the here and now) is a way of mending the world (tikkun olam) and mending our souls (tikkun ha-nefesh).  All of this discussion worked to prepare us for the exercises (paths) that Cooper will introduce in the remainder of this chapter.
This Friday, our group will consider the various paths of the tzaddik that Cooper outlines on pp. 186-234, paths of respect, generosity, lovingkindness, etc. 
Our discussion group meets via Zoom every Friday from 12-1 (see the CBI web site or weekly announcements for a Zoom link).  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous Friday study group sessions.   If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu
We expect to complete our study of God is a Verb by Friday, June 16.  On Friday, June 23, we’ll be starting a new topic when we explore JEWISH PERSPECTIVES ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.  Judaism  has a history of debate over the death penalty but it generally disagrees with the practice. Although the Torah describes over 30 situations where the death penalty would be appropriate, there are many limitations that have made it difficult to implement.
Our exploration is intended to help inform the screening and panel discussion of a film, Racist Roots:  Origins of North Carolina’s Death Penalty, which will be sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel on Monday June 26, 2023, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.   
Stay tuned to the CBI web site and Weekly Announcements for a link to the Racist Roots film and  further information on the Noon Study Group discussions and the June 26th event focusing on issues involving Social Justice and the Death Penalty.







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Saturday Morning In-Person and Online Services
Jun 10 @ 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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Anti-Semitism Program for Small Congregations
Jun 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wednesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 pm – Zoom.   Once people register, they will receive the Zoom links for the two programs.
We have two excellent guest speakers:
• Eric Ross, Associate Director for Jewish Community Outreach and Antisemitism for the Southern Division of ADL who will speak on The Antisemitism Landscape
Registration Link: Meeting Registration – Zoom
• Natanya Miller, Director of Educational Initiatives, Charleston Jewish Federation who will speak on Individual and Communal Responses to Antisemitism. Registration Link: Meeting Registration – Zoom
A tremendous thanks to the planning committee for this series: Mark Epstein (Gastonia);
Sue Goldstein (Hickory); Steve Silver (Aiken).
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CBI Women’s Group (CBI Members Only) @ CBI
Jun 11 @ 4:00 pm


Meeting this Sunday, June 11th at shul at 4 PM.

Discussion Topic:  “Loneliness vs Being Lonely”

Discussion Leader:  Linda Vance

Some people thrive when they’re alone. Others are lonely and dejected. Sometimes we feel lonely even when we’re with others.

The pandemic taught us a lot about being alone, and about loneliness. At this month’s group, we’ll share some of what we’ve learned about ourselves, and how we deal with aloneness and loneliness. We’ll also talk about how these insights might influence our behavior and interactions moving forward.

This group is only open to CBI members.  Please RSVP if you’d like to attend:


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Philosophy at CBI
Jun 12 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Artist and philosopher Ken Vallario will be facilitating philosophy sessions at CBI on

Mondays, 6:30pm

As the world grows in complexity, philosophy is a great way for people to grapple with the big questions in a collaborative way.

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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