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.


Home by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Home. Take a moment and imagine home. Not the home you live in right now or even the home you might dream of for the futur...


Fear. Leadership. Strength. Courage. by Rabbi Asher Knight

Rabbi Asher Knight Congregational Meeting March 13, 2019 This past Shabbat, we finished reading the book of Exodus. Near...


Celebrating Purim in a Topsy-Turvy World by Rabbi Asher Knight (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial Mar. 2019)

“Read me another book …...” These are the regular words of the sleepy children in my household who are negotiating jus...

The Power of Volunteering: Our lives changed because of you! by Eileen Schwartz

Mar 05

I reached out to the TBE Caring Committee (now called Hineynu) in December 2015. I was my Mom’s caregiver. I was feeling isolated, exhausted and unsure about Mom’s future health. She was 95 and I realized that I could no longer manage alone. I contacted the Caring Committee and suddenly had one or two weekly […]

About Chevrah Kadisha by Courtney Rosenthal

Mar 05

Rabbi Dusty Klass once told me that as Jews, we just “get death right.”  As someone who wrestles with considering her own mortality and the mortalities of those around her, I was hungry to experience this peace. I had only been to one Jewish funeral my entire life, and I was young and overwhelmed. I started asking […]

When God Takes Attendance, How Do You Respond? by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Feb 28

Every time I had a substitute teacher in high school, I braced for impact as soon as the poor unassuming sub took attendance. “Dustin? Dustin Klass?” “Here.” At this point, most teachers did a brief double take. The best just moved on, but some, having spent many years being tested by mischievous name-switching students, would […]

Advocacy and Action by Cantor Andrew Bernard

Feb 21

The transition to retirement has been surprising. After years of working at 110% (on a slow week), I was looking forward to continuing some of the work I’d grown to love — only at a sane and relaxed pace. After years of not having nearly enough hours to come close to fulfilling all of the […]

TriBE Update by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Feb 13

It has been an exciting journey to get to where we are today with our TriBEs (Small Groups) at Temple Beth El. We are fortunate to have received a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte to help us launch our inaugural cohort of TriBEs geared to Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters. TriBEs […]

Repairing the World through Racial Justice by Jennifer Clark (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, Feb. 2019)

Feb 06

Tikkun olam—repairing the world, often through social action—has long been a cornerstone of Temple Beth El’s mission and values as a congregation. We have seen this in the number of canned goods collected for local food pantries around the High Holy Days and the many volunteer hours our congregants devote to causes in Charlotte and […]

United in Purpose and Mission by Rabbi Asher Knight

Jan 28

On January 7th, Temple Beth El’s Board of Directors passed a new Core Purpose and Mission. The process of listening to our members, learning about their vision of congregational life, writing the new mission, editing, and considering the nuances of language took a year and a half. The process began under Ginny Rosenberg’s presidency with […]