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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 –

"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

Apr
16
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Apr 16 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, April 9, 12-1

We began last week’s discussion by tying up some loose ends from Chapter 4 of Waskow’s Dancing in God’s Earthquake.  That chapter asserted that idolatry ”poisons the bloodstream of Torah.”  Those who make entities such as Israel and its government into idols become dead like idols.  Waskow suggests that we think of Israel not as an unchallengeable idol, but as a sculpture that must be repaired, or melted down and reshaped.
We then turned our attention from the second commandment, which cautions against idolatry, to the third, which deals with taking God’s name in vain, or as Waskow translates it, speaking of God in ways that are ”empty-headed” or ”empty-hearted.”  For Waskow, violating the third commandment means ”breathing without awareness that each breath we take connects us with all life.” Chapter 5 speaks of the many names that have been given to God.  He would like to see us replace many references to God that imply hierarchy/ God’s lordship and domination with ”ruach ha’olam” or Breath of Life. 
We spent a good deal of time discussing a blessing Waskow introduces on page 85 of his text and how our congregations would react to such a blessing.  This segued into the next chapter of Dancing in God’s Earthquake in which Waskow addresses the importance of prayer and possibilities for changing our liturgy so that it is infused with more bodily awareness and more consciousness of ecological crises on our planet.  Needless to say, any discussion of changes to our rituals of worship always generates a lot of discussion.  We barely began exploring some of Waskow’s recommendations in Chapter 6 for more ”embodied prayer”–a subject we will resume discussing when we next meet.   
For this coming Friday’s session, we will continue our discussion of Chapter 6 and Waskow’s suggestions for reshaping liturgy,  and then move on to chapters 7 and 8 ”God’s Image in the Human Jigsaw Puzzle” and ”Toward Justice: Brothers’ War and Reconciliation” (pp. 97-140; it’s not likely that we will get far into chapter 8).  
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.  Dancing in God’s Earthquake can be ordered through a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Apr
23
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Apr 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, April 9, 12-1

We began last week’s discussion by tying up some loose ends from Chapter 4 of Waskow’s Dancing in God’s Earthquake.  That chapter asserted that idolatry ”poisons the bloodstream of Torah.”  Those who make entities such as Israel and its government into idols become dead like idols.  Waskow suggests that we think of Israel not as an unchallengeable idol, but as a sculpture that must be repaired, or melted down and reshaped.
We then turned our attention from the second commandment, which cautions against idolatry, to the third, which deals with taking God’s name in vain, or as Waskow translates it, speaking of God in ways that are ”empty-headed” or ”empty-hearted.”  For Waskow, violating the third commandment means ”breathing without awareness that each breath we take connects us with all life.” Chapter 5 speaks of the many names that have been given to God.  He would like to see us replace many references to God that imply hierarchy/ God’s lordship and domination with ”ruach ha’olam” or Breath of Life. 
We spent a good deal of time discussing a blessing Waskow introduces on page 85 of his text and how our congregations would react to such a blessing.  This segued into the next chapter of Dancing in God’s Earthquake in which Waskow addresses the importance of prayer and possibilities for changing our liturgy so that it is infused with more bodily awareness and more consciousness of ecological crises on our planet.  Needless to say, any discussion of changes to our rituals of worship always generates a lot of discussion.  We barely began exploring some of Waskow’s recommendations in Chapter 6 for more ”embodied prayer”–a subject we will resume discussing when we next meet.   
For this coming Friday’s session, we will continue our discussion of Chapter 6 and Waskow’s suggestions for reshaping liturgy,  and then move on to chapters 7 and 8 ”God’s Image in the Human Jigsaw Puzzle” and ”Toward Justice: Brothers’ War and Reconciliation” (pp. 97-140; it’s not likely that we will get far into chapter 8).  
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.  Dancing in God’s Earthquake can be ordered through a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Apr
24
Sat
Torah Study with Justin Goldstein
Apr 24 @ 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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Apr
25
Sun
Online Torah on Tap
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
With so much of CBI’s programming unavoidably cancelled, we’re working hard to find ways we can support each other as a community when we can’t be together in person.

Please join me this Sunday, April 26, at 4:00pm, when we will be holding Torah on Tap via Zoom.

A link to the online discussion group is below.  Zoom is easy to use and will let us see and hear each other as we speak.  If you haven’t already downloaded Zoom to your computer or phone, you must do so before joining the meeting on Sunday at 4:00pm.  You only need to download Zoom once, after that you simply log in, always using the same Meeting ID: 819 7668 2790.  Easy instructions are below this message.

This is a temporary measure to keep us all connected while we can’t be together physically.

Alan Silverman

Torah on Tap Host

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 Torah on Tap on CBI’s Zoom Account:

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: 819 7668 2790 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 Alan to start the meeting

Join us on the last Sunday of the month online for a refreshing and often provocative discussion. 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.

See you there!

 

 

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Apr
30
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Apr 30 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Friday, April 9, 12-1

We began last week’s discussion by tying up some loose ends from Chapter 4 of Waskow’s Dancing in God’s Earthquake.  That chapter asserted that idolatry ”poisons the bloodstream of Torah.”  Those who make entities such as Israel and its government into idols become dead like idols.  Waskow suggests that we think of Israel not as an unchallengeable idol, but as a sculpture that must be repaired, or melted down and reshaped.
We then turned our attention from the second commandment, which cautions against idolatry, to the third, which deals with taking God’s name in vain, or as Waskow translates it, speaking of God in ways that are ”empty-headed” or ”empty-hearted.”  For Waskow, violating the third commandment means ”breathing without awareness that each breath we take connects us with all life.” Chapter 5 speaks of the many names that have been given to God.  He would like to see us replace many references to God that imply hierarchy/ God’s lordship and domination with ”ruach ha’olam” or Breath of Life. 
We spent a good deal of time discussing a blessing Waskow introduces on page 85 of his text and how our congregations would react to such a blessing.  This segued into the next chapter of Dancing in God’s Earthquake in which Waskow addresses the importance of prayer and possibilities for changing our liturgy so that it is infused with more bodily awareness and more consciousness of ecological crises on our planet.  Needless to say, any discussion of changes to our rituals of worship always generates a lot of discussion.  We barely began exploring some of Waskow’s recommendations in Chapter 6 for more ”embodied prayer”–a subject we will resume discussing when we next meet.   
For this coming Friday’s session, we will continue our discussion of Chapter 6 and Waskow’s suggestions for reshaping liturgy,  and then move on to chapters 7 and 8 ”God’s Image in the Human Jigsaw Puzzle” and ”Toward Justice: Brothers’ War and Reconciliation” (pp. 97-140; it’s not likely that we will get far into chapter 8).  
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.  Dancing in God’s Earthquake can be ordered through a variety of internet outlets.  If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, 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 Kline