Torah Buzz Blog

The TBE Blog is the space where Temple Beth El’s Leadership Team members reflect on relevant topics that are most meaningful to us. Here you will find musings on everything from prayer to politics, music to mysticism and history to current day life. From our iPads, smartphones, and laptops to yours, these are the things that inspire us, keep us up at night, and fuel our own Jewish journeys.


Purim at Temple Beth El by Cantor Mary R. Thomas

The Book of Esther - Megillat Esteir - was likely one of the last to enter the cannon of the Hebrew Bible, as late as the lat...


Social Justice and Action at Temple Beth El by Jill Blumenthal (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, January 2018)

Recently, I invited a friend to join me at a Shabbat service. He declined my invitation, explaining that at the last service ...


The Jewish Community Refugee Initiative (JCRI) Needs You! by Amy Lefkof

How many Jewish families does it take to resettle a Kurdish refugee family from Kirkuk? TBE families have been helping the Om...

Speech, Silence, and #TBERace&Justice: Why We Need You in a TBE Listening Circle by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Dec 28

I first discovered the Jewish call for silence at age seventeen. It had been chosen as the ‘wisdom quote of the day’ at camp: “Rabbi Gamliel said: I spent all my life among sages and found nothing better for a person than silence.”[i] I didn’t quite understand the words – nothing better for a person […]

Unpacking Audacious Hospitality by Ginny Rosenberg, President

Dec 27

It has been my privilege to receive congregants’ feedback about Temple life during my term. While most people are full of praise for our services, activities and communication (for which I take very little credit), some have concerns or are yearning for something different. To understand congregants’ feedback, it helps to identify the underlying expectations […]

New Year’s Resolutions and Revelations by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Dec 27

As Jews, we have two New Years, Rosh Hashanah and January 1st. When I was younger, I used to see Rosh Hashanah as the reset button for my spiritual self. It was my time of reflection and introspection. A time to take stock of my relationships and personal journeys and to center and change things […]

Olam Chesed Yibaneh by Candace Naliboff

Dec 21

Growing up, one of my favorite singing groups was Peter, Paul, and Mary. Their harmonies were beautiful, but even more poignant were the words of their songs. They were activists in the truest, peaceful sense of the word.  They wanted a better world – a world of light not darkness.  And they spoke about it […]

At URJ Biennial, We Are Reminded That We Are Not Alone by Rachel Campbell

Dec 14

It would be an understatement to say that it has been a challenging time in our country these last several years. I don’t need to go through the laundry list why. And while Temple Beth El has served as a beacon to many of us during these hard times, it can often feel like we are […]

From My Seat at URJ’s Biennial Convention by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Dec 07

For five days every two years, thousands of Jewish professionals serving reform congregations and organizations, lay leaders, and congregants come together to learn, to pray, and to connect. We come together to learn about best practices and principles. We come together to hear how other synagogues struggle and succeed, that we may bear witness to […]

Chanukah, Hope, and Hosting: The Youth Are Our Present by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Nov 20

Chanukah celebrates the proverbial light in the darkness, the hope that comes from flickering flames in the midst of a cold winter night, the story of the nascent Jewish people’s triumph over seemingly overwhelming forces. On Chanukah, miracles happen; the impossible is made possible. Chanukah bolsters our ability to hope. The power of hope is […]