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.


Build Connections with Us by Rabbi Asher Knight

My grandmother and I had an incredible relationship. We traveled to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Egypt together. She intr...


Find Your TriBE by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

TriBEs are small groups of individuals, couples, or families that help make our big community feel small. They help every per...


You Matter and So Does Your Vote by Rabbi Dusty Klass

If you have been in the building at temple over the past week or so, you may have noticed a cut out of a person, painted purp...

Temple Beth El Follows Path of Three Centuries of Southern Jews (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, October 2018) by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Oct 04

August 5th marked twenty years since I arrived in Charlotte. By sheer coincidence, I spent my twentieth anniversary of becoming a Southerner immersed in a Hebrew Union College intensive graduate course on Southern Jewry. I spent the week learning from scholars in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Savannah about the critical role Southern Jews played in the […]

Iyyun for Healing (Yom Kippur 5779) by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Sep 27

A few months ago, in the course of conversation with our summer intern, Student Rabbi Hannah Elkin, she mentioned that her Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor taught her that a preacher must always “preach from their scars, but not their wounds.” I stopped her, “wait, say that again?” “You must preach from your scars, and not […]

President’s High Holy Day Message by Evan Wilkoff

Sep 24

What I am so honored and privileged to see in front of me today is a large cross section of the Charlotte Jewish community: young and young at heart, those of you born as Jews, married to Jews and raising Jewish children, converted to Judaism, living in an interfaith home, and individuals exploring what it […]

Temple Beth El Religious School Keeps Our Kids Connected By Moira Quinn Klein

Sep 21

September is a great month. Temperatures begin to slide from misery to comfortable. So does the humidity, by the way, which means “good hair days” outnumber the “bad”…a reason to love fall that is not to be taken lightly. We celebrate the High Holy Days, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah in quick succession. And moms and […]

And You Shall Teach Them Diligently to Your Children: What I Didn’t Understand…Until Now by Cantor Andrew Bernard

Sep 21

This summer I spent eight weeks teaching water safety to a bunch of preschoolers at the Downtown Seattle YMCA. This free program offered to the community to help reduce the number of drowning accidents is particularly near and dear to my heart after working in a pediatric ICU for many a “drowning season.” For the […]

Choose “We” (Yom Kippur 5779) by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Sep 19

With gratitude to Rabbi Leah Citrin for walking through this writing process with me every year, and to Rabbis Miriam Farber Wajnberg, Asher Knight, and Jay LeVine, Cantor Mary Thomas, and Jeff Trost for letting me think out loud with them. Video of this Sermon Something was wrong with Gus. The 700-lb polar bear at […]

Choosing to Live While Standing in the Shadow of Death (Kol Nidrei 5779) by Rabbi Asher Knight

Sep 18

Video of this sermon One day a group of American tourists traveling in Eastern Europe, went to visit the Chofetz Chaim. (In the rabbi world, famous rabbis have nicknames). When the tourists came to see him, they saw the world-famous Rabbi in a small study with a rickety desk and only a few books. One […]