One of the defining characteristics of the CBI community is the high degree of participation. Nearly all the members of our family are active in some capacity throughout the year. Working on committees, volunteering to serve on the board, joining a social or study group, helping to plan and staff events, etc. We don't sit on the sidelines and most of us are involved in more ways then one. (How else could such a small shul offer so much throughout the year?)

So many ways to get involved and make a difference. Pick one that feels right and see where it takes you.

Find a Group

CBI offers a variety of "communities within a community," based on your interests or peer groups. Each group plans their own programming and events that can be for the group alone, the whole congregation or the entire community. 

Click on a group to learn more.  

Friday Noon Study Group

Friday noon Study Group: In 2004, a few folks got together on a Friday to learn a bissle (little) Torah. Before you knew it, others wanted in as well. What started as Torah study has come to include a wide range of biblical and contemporary literary sources. Today a congenial mix of Jews and non-Jews show up each Friday to discuss various major Jewish texts and contemporary writers.

For information contact Jay Jacoby.

Youth Education Program

Do you have a passion for Jewish education or just love being around inquisitive (and energetic) kids and adults? CBI's Youth Education Program (YEP) is a great way to stay involved in developing Jewish minds - young and young-at-heart. We are always looking for folks to join our growing inter-generational Jewish education program, as chaperones, specialists, assistants and administrative help. To learn more and see how you fit in, contact the CBI office at (828) 252-8660, admin@bethisraelnc.org or CBI's Executive Director Rochelle Reich at 252-9024, director@bethisraelnc.org.    

Club Havurah

Club Havurah is a social club for CBI congregants and guests. We usually meet monthly, typically for dinner at a local restaurant, and sometimes with an added "event" before or after dinner.  The overall goal is to schmooze, debate, discuss, and interact. We welcome new members!

To find out more, send an email to Helene at club.havurah@gmail.com.

Member Engagement

The CBI Member Engagement Team is all about getting folks involved and making sure they are getting the most our of their CBI experience. Whether it's making a few calls a month to new families to make sure they are feeling comfortable or identifying long-term members who could use a little extra attention, you can make a difference at CBI!

To learn more, contact Dusty Fox or Gail Gordon.  

CBI Young Families

Are you a young family who is interested in making new friends for yourselves AND your kiddos? Interested in finding support in the craziness that having a family can sometimes entail? Want to build up your community and sense of belonging? Connect with CBI's Young Families Group. We're mostly parents with infants and toddlers, but there is no age requirement – for you or your kids. Not yet a part of the CBI family? No problem. This is a great opportunity to dip your big toe in the water and see what we’re all about. 

For more info, contact Jillian Krupp or Margaret Teich.

CBI Development

The Development Team is CBI's fundraising engine. Through a variety of annual events and programs, we raise almost 25% of the funds needed to run the synagogue each year. We are always looking for people to help out - either as a project volunteer or as part of our team. Usual annual projects include: CBI Directory, Rummage Sale, Cafe Israel, concerts and more, some of which have been impacted by COVID-19. 

To see how you can help, contact Lisa Harnash

"By attracting Jews who may be un-engaged or under-engaged to Jewish social action programs, we can increase their interactions with other Jews, strengthen their knowledge of Jewish values and, hence, make them feel engaged in our Jewish community." - Alan Escovitz

Make a Difference

CBI has a long history of social activism and g'milut chasadim (acts of loving kindness). Our Social Action Committee is involved in a wide variety of local and national issues, championing economic, social and racial justice. Inside the CBI community, the Chesed Group coordinates the talents and energies of the congregation in order to care for fellow congregants in need. On behalf of the entire Asheville Jewish community, the CBI Chevra Kadisha (holy society) performs the holy mitzvah of caring for and preparing someone who has died.

Click on a tab to learn more.   

Social Action

What's your social justice passion? Chances are, the CBI Social Action Committee is fighting for it. 

Economic Justice
Environmental Justice
Religious Freedom 
Racial Justice 
Gender Justice 
Immigrant Justice 
Electoral Justice

If not, get involved and get your cause on the agenda. Contact the Social Action chair to learn how.


Are you, or a congregant you know, experiencing a crisis—large or small, illness or simcha, short-term or long-term? Would you like the support of your CBI family?

The Chesed Group is a caring team of congregants who are here for you. Coordinating the energy and abilities of the entire CBI family, we help those in need. We are not professional caregivers but we are here to help however we can.

But we can’t help unless we know who needs and wants support. So we need you to tell us. If you are aware of someone who is going through a tough time, please don’t hesitate to call Lee in the CBI office. She will contact the appropriate member of the Chesed Group. All requests for confidentiality will be completely honored.

Also, if you have not yet signed up for the Chesed Volunteer Pool, please consider adding your name to the list by clicking here. Each of us will need help at some point in our lives. As we give, so will we receive.  

Chevra Kadisha

Taking care of those in our community who have passed is, arguably, the greatest mitzvah that one can perform. For it can never be repaid. At CBI, we provide the  vast majority of effort on behalf of the entire Asheville Jewish community; a responsibility we gladly bear. Whether it's the mitzvah of shmira (guarding the body after death) or tahara (ritually preparing the body for body) volunteering for chevra kadisha is both life-affirming and powerful. To get involved, email chevra_kadishah@bethisraelnc.org

"I love my congregation. I enjoy not only connecting with the folks I have known for a long time, but also with newcomers; and regardless of how long I think I have known someone, the more I engage them in conversation, the more I learn. " - Frank Goldsmith

Take Your Turn at the Wheel

leadershipAt the heart of CBI are the families and individuals who volunteer, give and sacrifice - that's most of us. But every two years, a dozen or so individuals step up to lead, coordinate and envision what our future will look like. As you probably have surmised, the CBI Board is not a hierarchical group. It is simply a temporary body of individuals who come together (during COVID via Zoom) to lead  the congregation forward. We encourage everyone to take a turn at the wheel. No special skills, previous experience or exceptional talent are needed. It's easier...and more rewarding...than you might think. Interested in taking on a leadership role at CBI, contact any member of the Board and we'll tell you more.    

"As a young interfaith and interracial family, there is always a degree of worry about whether we will fit in with a community, but CBI has been very welcoming. They were quick to contact us and see if there was anything we needed after the birth of our second child, such as meals or help with errands. They truly care about their fellow congregants and look out for their well-being." - Lauren Brock

Volunteer Your Time

CBI is powered by a huge cadre of volunteers, folks who generously give of their time to help out in so many ways. In fact, in normal times, at some point during the year, nearly everyone at CBI lends a hand to pitch in. Here are just a few of the opportunities, some of which have been impacted by COVID-19:

Click on a tab to learn more. 

Help with an Event

CBI has three signature programs throughout the year to help raise awareness as well as funds. Find one that fits you, then contact Lee in the office and offer to help out.

Cafe Israel: Coinciding with Israel's Independence Day (Yom ha'atzma'ut) each spring, Cafe Israel is a festive afternoon/evening event that showcases the very best of modern Israeli culture, food, music and more.   

Rummage Sale: There are a lot of moving parts to hosting this huge 3-day sale. A lot of fun, too! Volunteering to help out with the Rummage Sale is also a great way to meet new faces.

CBI Directory: Think part congregational directory, part calendar and part local advertising vehicle for area retailers. The CBI Directory debuts each Rosh HaShannah, but there is plenty to do beforehand. Ad sales, production....it's a team effort. 

Volunteer in the Office

Every once in a while, Lee (the glue who holds our shul together) needs a little R&R. So we all pitch in for a while, answering the phones, greeting visitors and generally keeping Lee's chair warm until she returns. No experience is required, just bring your personality. To add your name to the roster of pinch-hitters, send an email to vpfinance@bethisraelnc.org

Staff the Gift Shop

The CBI Gift Shop features traditional Judaica inventory - collector’s menorahs, dreidels, mezzuzot, kippot, tzedakah boxes etc. - as well as a unique collection of one-of-a-kind artworks and crafts created by local Jewish and non-Jewish artists. We're always looking for help staffing, purchasing and stocking the store. Interested? Shoot a quick email to cbigiftshop12@gmail.com

Work with the Kids

During the school, when our Family Education program is in full swing, we often need adults to help drive and chaperone kids to and from field trips. It's a great way to tag along and see what makes this such an innovative and exciting program. Heck, you might even learn something if you're not careful. To sign up, please contact Rabbi Justin.  

Read Torah/Haftorah

Each Saturday, our Shabbat morning services are pretty much lay led. If you can daven any part of the service, chant Torah or Haftorah...have we got a spot for you! Even if you can't but would like to learn, we've got folks who are just itching to teach. For more info on leading services, contact Marc Penansky. To find out how to get on the list of Torah or Haftorah readers, it Lauren Malinoff.  

Just Show Up

That's right. One of the easiest and most powerful things any of us can do to help support the CBI family is to simply show up: to a Shabbat service, an adult ed class, a social action meeting, social event, fundraiser, whatever. By committing your time to be with us, you're sending a message that CBI matters and is a meaningful part of your life. 

CBI Madrichim - create your own CBI experience

Do you have an idea for a program, initiative or event? Do you have an interest in a specific topic you'd like ot learn more about? CBI Madrichim (guides) are a team of congregants who have been around the block a few times (and then some). Their job is to help you convert your idea, passion or interest into a meaningful program the entire congregation can benefit from. After all, if it's important to you, it's probably important to others.   

Working hand in hand with your Madrich, you'll see your idea blossom. We'll help you plan it, market it and bring it to a successful conclusion.

The CBI Madrichim (guides) initiative is designed to engage each and every member on a personal level; empower each of us to create the Jewish experiences that are meaningful for us; and, in doing so, enhance our potential for authentic Jewish expression.What is your passion or interest: a class, a club, a social action program, a fundraiser, a tikkun olam project, a social event?

Think about it. Then email Alan Silverman and we'll help you make it happen!

Subscribe and keep in touch!