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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

Jan
20
Wed
American Jewish Life: The Words & Music of Allan Sherman
Jan 20 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

American Jewish Life in the Mid-Twentieth Century As Seen Through The Words and Music of Allan Sherman
Taught by Dr. Hal M. Lewis

Wednesdays in January, 4:00pm

Allan Sherman was an American Jewish comedy writer and song parodist. Known for his songs,
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah; Harvey and Sheila; Sarah Jackman, and hundreds of others,
Sherman was a keen observer of the American Jewish scene in the decades of the 1950’s, 60’s
and early 70’s. In this four-part series we will (re-) listen to some of his most well-known
musical contributions and learn some of his lesser-known works, as well. Sherman’s music will
serve as the perfect background for analyzing several of the seminal trends in American Jewish
life during the middle of the twentieth century.

Register by emailing director@bethisraelnc.org by December 30.

 

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Jan
22
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Jan 22 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

 Friday, January 22, 12-1 

We began last week’s session with a focus on the role Ultra-Orthodox Judaism continues to play in legislating about such issues as women’s rights when it comes to issues of marriage and divorce, conversion, and determining who is a Jew.  While Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for only 13% of the Israeli population, they exert considerable influence on a number of issues.  This probably has much less to do with a largely secular Israeli population’s deference to biblical law and more to do with politics–the need to form coalitions in order to get any laws passed.  We also spent some time discussing how various Zionist ideologies contributed to the mishegas (craziness) of having no less than 17 parties represented in the Israeli Knesset.
Discussion last week also centered upon both the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the impact these conflicts had on the development of the character and politics of Israelis and their attitudes regarding ceding land for peace, building settlements, etc. (polarized views between the Left and the Right, the Labor and Likud parties, the Peace Now and Greater Israel movements).  Along the way, we considered the valorization and/or vilification of such figures as Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon.
This week, we’ll conclude our discussions of Zionism with a look at Chapter 10 and the Epilogue to Stanislawski’s Zionism: A Short Introduction (pp. 106-118).  This covers developments in Zionism in the last decade of the Twentieth Century and the first decades of the Twenty-first Century.  In addition, we’ll spend some time considering Israel’s economic miracle since 1992, definitions of anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel, and United Nations’ attitudes towards Israel. 
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. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Jan
27
Wed
American Jewish Life: The Words & Music of Allan Sherman
Jan 27 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

American Jewish Life in the Mid-Twentieth Century As Seen Through The Words and Music of Allan Sherman
Taught by Dr. Hal M. Lewis

Wednesdays in January, 4:00pm

Allan Sherman was an American Jewish comedy writer and song parodist. Known for his songs,
Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah; Harvey and Sheila; Sarah Jackman, and hundreds of others,
Sherman was a keen observer of the American Jewish scene in the decades of the 1950’s, 60’s
and early 70’s. In this four-part series we will (re-) listen to some of his most well-known
musical contributions and learn some of his lesser-known works, as well. Sherman’s music will
serve as the perfect background for analyzing several of the seminal trends in American Jewish
life during the middle of the twentieth century.

Register by emailing director@bethisraelnc.org by December 30.

 

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Jan
29
Fri
Online Friday Noon Study Group
Jan 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

 Friday, January 22, 12-1 

We began last week’s session with a focus on the role Ultra-Orthodox Judaism continues to play in legislating about such issues as women’s rights when it comes to issues of marriage and divorce, conversion, and determining who is a Jew.  While Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for only 13% of the Israeli population, they exert considerable influence on a number of issues.  This probably has much less to do with a largely secular Israeli population’s deference to biblical law and more to do with politics–the need to form coalitions in order to get any laws passed.  We also spent some time discussing how various Zionist ideologies contributed to the mishegas (craziness) of having no less than 17 parties represented in the Israeli Knesset.
Discussion last week also centered upon both the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the impact these conflicts had on the development of the character and politics of Israelis and their attitudes regarding ceding land for peace, building settlements, etc. (polarized views between the Left and the Right, the Labor and Likud parties, the Peace Now and Greater Israel movements).  Along the way, we considered the valorization and/or vilification of such figures as Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon.
This week, we’ll conclude our discussions of Zionism with a look at Chapter 10 and the Epilogue to Stanislawski’s Zionism: A Short Introduction (pp. 106-118).  This covers developments in Zionism in the last decade of the Twentieth Century and the first decades of the Twenty-first Century.  In addition, we’ll spend some time considering Israel’s economic miracle since 1992, definitions of anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel, and United Nations’ attitudes towards Israel. 
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. If you have questions, or would like the Zoom link, please contact Jay Jacoby at  jbjacoby@uncc.edu.

 

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Jan
30
Sat
Torah Study with Justin Goldstein
Jan 30 @ 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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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