My goal as rabbi is to help others cultivate their relationship with Torah and Jewish wisdom in order to find meaning and joy.
"I will never forget my first day in Asheville. 1997. I was standing in the parking lot of the French Broad Food Co-op thinking, "I will live here one day."
Throughout my years at Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles, CA., I thought of Asheville and CBI often. Danielle and I were married in Montford. Our aufruf (when the groom is called to the Torah) was in the small CBI chapel. To be honest, I never envisioned being a pulpit rabbi - I love community organizing and non-profit management - but if there was one place I would want to be a pulpit rabbi, I knew it would be here. (read more)
Now, to be able to walk each day through that space which holds such warm memories, I consider myself truly blessed. This is truly an exciting time in Asheville and at CBI. The warmth here is palpable and the interest in learning and connecting Jewishly is genuine.
My goal as rabbi is to help others cultivate their relationship with Torah and Jewish wisdom in order to find meaning and joy. As we learn together and grow together, we build community together and act together to better the world. So thank you all, each and every one of you, for learning with me, trusting me as your rabbi and sharing yourselves, your community, and your family with me and my family."
In 2016, Rabbi Goldstein was recognized as one of America's 32 most inspirational Rabbis by The Forward magazine. Read more.
Rabbi Justin Goldstein was born and raised near Chicago, Illinois. Justin discovered his love of Scripture while attending Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began studying in 1999. Leading up to his graduation in 2003, Justin produced an original translation and commentary of most of the Book of Genesis, and was inspired through that process to eventually invest years learning traditional Jewish texts and moved to Los Angeles, California to begin rabbinical school. Ordained in 2011 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University where a deepened respect and admiration for Jewish culture and heritage crystallized, Rabbi Goldstein contextualizes life in the 21st century within the timeless wisdom of the Jewish tradition.
Following his studies, Justin and his family moved from Los Angeles to Bangor, Maine to serve in his first rabbinic position at Congregation Beth Israel, a 125 year old community which is the longest perpetually functioning synagogue in the state. A small but active and committed community, Rabbi Goldstein fostered the continuity of a multi-generational congregation while bringing an innovative spirit and creative approach to establishing a culture of learning. While in Maine, Rabbi Goldstein was a volunteer board member of Maine Interfaith Power and Light and also assisted with the Advisory Panel for the Judaic Studies program at the University of Maine. Currently, Justin serves as the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Asheville, NC where he lives with his daughter.
A 2012-2013 Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, Rabbi Goldstein is committed to respecting all expressions of the Jewish tradition, recognizing that there is truth even in perspectives with which we may disagree and that a truly pluralist era in our history would benefit the Jewish people and the societies in which we live.
In addition to being published in various compilations, learning guides and websites, Rabbi Goldstein teaches and lectures on Judaism, Rabbinic wisdom, social responsibility, environmental justice and food security. He had been a frequent contributor to Shema, The Jew and the Carrot, The Forward and Hazon.
Described as an exciting, innovative and dynamic rabbinic presence, Rabbi Goldstein is committed to pluralism and egalitarianism as an ideal and in practice. Understanding that the Jewish tradition thrives on multiple viewpoints and is made more healthy by various perspectives, Justin believes a bright future of coexistence is possible and seeks to foster respectful dialogue and peaceful communication.