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There is so much that 4,000 years of tradition and wisdom can teach us.  Young or old, observant or not-so-much; whether you already know a lot or are just starting out – you’re not alone. Jump in. No wrong answers –

Coming in October: Intro to Judaism 5779!

Join Rabbi Batsheva Meiri of Congregation Beth Hatephila and Rabbi Justin Goldstein of Congregation Beth Israel for Introduction to Judaism 5779. This fascinating class is designed for anyone who is curious, those seeking to create partnerships with Jews, and Jews who hope to refresh their connection to and knowledge of Jewish tradition. The class begins shortly after the fall High Holy Days and runs October through January.

Learn more

"With the knowledge and empathy I have gained at the Friday Study Group, my understanding of life has also grown. We are a community where I can live my values."-Carol Cohen

 This week's learning

Jan
24
Fri
Friday Noon Study Group
Jan 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

January 24, 2020, 12-1

We began our Study Group discussion last week with a consideration of some questions posed in Rabbi David Wolpe’s Why Faith Matters:  Do each of us have “a specific call from God? . . . what is God calling [us] to do?” (p. 212).  Most of us agreed to having a “calling” (and many of those callings involved making the world a better place).  Few of us indicated that the calling came from God but rather from an inner voice, from an inclination inspired by our parents or other role models.   We then turned our attention to Chapter 3 and the question of whether religion causes violence.  We all seemed to agree that Wolpe made a cogent case for his thesis that “The majority of human conflicts in human history have controlling motivations that are not religious.”  We were a bit less certain with Wolpe’s implication that aggression was somehow built into our human nature and that religion was a powerful force for curbing human tendencies to behave selfishly or violently.

This Friday, we’ll briefly continue our discussion of the above with some attention to Professor Huston Smith’s claim the man is by nature religious.  We’ll then turn our attention to Chapter 4 of Why Faith Matters, “Does Science Disprove Religion?”  Issues brought up in the book’s Study Guide (pp. 214-215–can science co-exist with religion?  Why are some people so determined to deny the possibility that God exists?  Does believing in God help science make more sense? –will help focus our discussion.

Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. Why Faith Matters is available on a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

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Jan
26
Sun
Torah on Tap @ Archetype Brewing
Jan 26 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

What’s Really on Trial During Impeachment?

Unless you’ve been out of the country for the last several weeks, you probably know that there’s some pretty important proceedings taking place in our nation’s capitol. In the 230-year history of the American presidency, only two sitting presidents have been impeached. President Trump may well be the third. The historicity of the proceedings, however, pale in comparison to real underlying battle. This is not just an investigation to determine whether impeachable offenses occurred; it is a tug war between strength and morality, and it’s as old as humanity itself.

Join us this Sunday as we look at the dynamics of accountability from a Jewish perspective. More specifically, we will consider one very particular confrontation involving Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach and King Yannai.

“Why is a king of Israel “not judged” [Mishnah Sanhedrin 2:1]? Because of what once happened.” 

Intrigued? Wait until you see how many parallels there are between this 2,100-year-old Talmudic tale and what is happening now in our country. To see how the story unfolds and to unlock the universal lessons it holds, join us this Sunday at Archetype Brewing (the former Habitat Tavern, 174 Broadway St., Asheville). Rabbi Justin will help us understand this epic power struggle between the executive and legislative branches of ancient Israel.

This program is free and open to all. Differing opinions are not only welcomed but encouraged. Non-alcoholic beverages are available, there is ample parking in the Moog Music parking lot off Bordeau Pl.

Looking forward to seeing you there!!

Join us on the last Sunday of the month at Archetype Brewing (dowtown north) for a refreshing and often provocative discussion over a pint (or two) of great brew. Each month, we take on a new topic – often ripped from the headlines of today’s news. We spend the first 45 minutes wrapping our arms around it, defining it, dissecting and analyzing it from various viewpoints. Then we spend the rest of the time discussing it from Judaism’s point of view.

  • What’s Judaism’s take on universal healthcare?
  • Would Moses walk the streets of Chicago today packing heat?
  • Is it okay to punch a white supremacist?

Torah on Tap gives us a chance to learn, vent, share and, most of all, understand what 4,000 years of cultural development, debate and dialogue has to say about some of the issues that confront us today. Torah on Tap is free and open to all. Varying viewpoints are not only welcome, but encouraged.

In addition to drinks, Archetype also offers small, locally-made bites available for purchase, including Poppy Popcorn, Asheville Pretzel Company pretzels, and Hickory Nut Gap Farm meat sticks. Plenty of parking in the rear.

See you there!

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Jan
31
Fri
Friday Noon Study Group
Jan 31 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

January 24, 2020, 12-1

We began our Study Group discussion last week with a consideration of some questions posed in Rabbi David Wolpe’s Why Faith Matters:  Do each of us have “a specific call from God? . . . what is God calling [us] to do?” (p. 212).  Most of us agreed to having a “calling” (and many of those callings involved making the world a better place).  Few of us indicated that the calling came from God but rather from an inner voice, from an inclination inspired by our parents or other role models.   We then turned our attention to Chapter 3 and the question of whether religion causes violence.  We all seemed to agree that Wolpe made a cogent case for his thesis that “The majority of human conflicts in human history have controlling motivations that are not religious.”  We were a bit less certain with Wolpe’s implication that aggression was somehow built into our human nature and that religion was a powerful force for curbing human tendencies to behave selfishly or violently.

This Friday, we’ll briefly continue our discussion of the above with some attention to Professor Huston Smith’s claim the man is by nature religious.  We’ll then turn our attention to Chapter 4 of Why Faith Matters, “Does Science Disprove Religion?”  Issues brought up in the book’s Study Guide (pp. 214-215–can science co-exist with religion?  Why are some people so determined to deny the possibility that God exists?  Does believing in God help science make more sense? –will help focus our discussion.

Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. Why Faith Matters is available on a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

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Feb
7
Fri
Friday Noon Study Group
Feb 7 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

January 24, 2020, 12-1

We began our Study Group discussion last week with a consideration of some questions posed in Rabbi David Wolpe’s Why Faith Matters:  Do each of us have “a specific call from God? . . . what is God calling [us] to do?” (p. 212).  Most of us agreed to having a “calling” (and many of those callings involved making the world a better place).  Few of us indicated that the calling came from God but rather from an inner voice, from an inclination inspired by our parents or other role models.   We then turned our attention to Chapter 3 and the question of whether religion causes violence.  We all seemed to agree that Wolpe made a cogent case for his thesis that “The majority of human conflicts in human history have controlling motivations that are not religious.”  We were a bit less certain with Wolpe’s implication that aggression was somehow built into our human nature and that religion was a powerful force for curbing human tendencies to behave selfishly or violently.

This Friday, we’ll briefly continue our discussion of the above with some attention to Professor Huston Smith’s claim the man is by nature religious.  We’ll then turn our attention to Chapter 4 of Why Faith Matters, “Does Science Disprove Religion?”  Issues brought up in the book’s Study Guide (pp. 214-215–can science co-exist with religion?  Why are some people so determined to deny the possibility that God exists?  Does believing in God help science make more sense? –will help focus our discussion.

Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. Why Faith Matters is available on a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

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Feb
14
Fri
Friday Noon Study Group
Feb 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

January 24, 2020, 12-1

We began our Study Group discussion last week with a consideration of some questions posed in Rabbi David Wolpe’s Why Faith Matters:  Do each of us have “a specific call from God? . . . what is God calling [us] to do?” (p. 212).  Most of us agreed to having a “calling” (and many of those callings involved making the world a better place).  Few of us indicated that the calling came from God but rather from an inner voice, from an inclination inspired by our parents or other role models.   We then turned our attention to Chapter 3 and the question of whether religion causes violence.  We all seemed to agree that Wolpe made a cogent case for his thesis that “The majority of human conflicts in human history have controlling motivations that are not religious.”  We were a bit less certain with Wolpe’s implication that aggression was somehow built into our human nature and that religion was a powerful force for curbing human tendencies to behave selfishly or violently.

This Friday, we’ll briefly continue our discussion of the above with some attention to Professor Huston Smith’s claim the man is by nature religious.  We’ll then turn our attention to Chapter 4 of Why Faith Matters, “Does Science Disprove Religion?”  Issues brought up in the book’s Study Guide (pp. 214-215–can science co-exist with religion?  Why are some people so determined to deny the possibility that God exists?  Does believing in God help science make more sense? –will help focus our discussion.

Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1 in the CBI Library.  All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous noon study group discussions. Why Faith Matters is available on a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

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YEP! (Youth Engagement Program)

Forget Sunday School. YEP! is an innovative and exciting multi-generational, hands-on Jewish educational experience for parents and their children. Once a week during the school year, families come together for experiential learning that that fosters deep relationships among families, our congregation and the greater community, while strengthening Jewish identity on a personal level. 

Learn more and reserve your place now!

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Preparation

One of the beautiful aspects of raising Jewish kids in Asheville is that they tend to grow up with a sense of groundedness. Their bar/bat mitzvah is not an over-the-top competition. It's just one of life's milestones. It's not a culmination of their Jewish learning and engagement - it's the beginning.

Bar/Bat mitzvah study is introduced early on, at least several years prior to the event. Our kids study with Josefa Briant, a former soloist in the Batsheva Dance Company (Tel Aviv) with a deep sense of spirituality. They meet as a class to acquire the skills needed to lead services. About a year out, kids begin studying one-one-one to learn their Torah portion and haftorah and begin to meet with Rabbi Justin to get a taste of what Jewish study with a chevruta (partner) is all about. After it's over, many decide to remain engaged. That is our measure of success.  

Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Learning

The post b'nei mitzvah group is for those young adults 13 and over who have already become bar/bat mitzvvah. The student-led group meets the first Tuesday of the month with Rabbi Goldstein in a setting that is open, safe and confidential. Topics for discussion revolve around creating, growing and sustaining meaningful relationships and use both text study and discussion as tools with which to explore Jewish life and Jewish values.  For more information, please contact Rabbi Goldstein.

"I find it quite remarkable that people are both open and respectful! Open? That happens. Respectful? Not everywhere!! But always here!" - Judith Hoy

Learning for Adults

Do you ever wonder what it’s all about? Curious what Judaism has to say about today’s thornier problems? Always wanted to learn to speak Hebrew? Yiddish? Or maybe you just want to get more out of Shabbat and the other holidays. You’re in the right place. We get together weekly, monthly or whenever we can. Many, but not all, groups are led by Rabbi Justin. And not all take place at the synagogue.

Weekly/Monthly Learning

Click on a program to learn more

Learning Throughout the Year

Scholar-in-Residence

At least once each year, the CBI hosts a Scholar/Artist-in-Residence for a weekend. Previous scholars/artists include: Rabbi Harold Kushner; Israeli writer/entertainer, Danny Maseng; dancer and creator of MOVING TORAH, Andrea Hodos; storyteller and folklorist, Pennina Schram.  

Holiday Study

The holidays provide opportunities to deepen our understanding of who we are - as individuals and as a people. We take advantage of as many as we can, including Tu b'Shevat, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Tisha b'Av, and more.  

Dinner and a Movie

 Start with a dairy pot-luck dinner, add a few dozen of your friends, then settle in for a movie that's sure to make you laugh, cry, love, cringe or, at the very least, think.

"The culture of learning at CBI is vibrant, non-dogmatic, participatory, respectful, relevant, and evolving within the context of our growing congregation. The intellect and the spirit are equally honored." -Dr. Robert Klein