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.


A Community of Legos by Andy Siegel

We are all legos. Each of us unique in design, filled with color and infinite potential. One lego is cool. Two legos makes a ...


Community Equals Connectedness by Ann Baumgarten

It was a hard decision to leave one community for another.  The place where our sons were born and raised, the place where w...


Shared Stories Build Community by Emily Zimmern

On a recent Sunday I experienced a remarkable example of the power of stories to build community.  As members of the Temple...

Kehilah/Community by Harrison Lord

Sep 18

“You know the Jews – they all stick together.” A potential client told me that when I first started practicing law. At the time, it struck me as slightly paranoid (it happened that the business associates on the other side of his dispute were Jewish, though there didn’t appear to be any connection), if not […]

You’re All My People by Jennifer Sawyer

Sep 18

I recently had the opportunity, thanks to TBE and PJ Library, to attend NewCAJE, an amazing national conference for Jewish Educators held this year in California. For six days I was immersed in Jewish culture. I attended Shabbat services where Sephardic melodies made me long for Israel. I participated in Torah study and workshops and […]

Elul Reflection on Community by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Sep 13

As we enter the final week of Elul, we move into our final topic of reflection, Kehilah: Community. Writing about community was such a popular choice for our bloggers that we had more blogs than days of the week, and had to stop offering it as an option! Reading their words, you will find it […]

Kehilah/Community: Kelly, just “y” by Matt Kelly

Sep 13

I hate to say it, but the time I first felt truly a part of the community was at a committee meeting. Not at a service, not performing some great mitzvah. Just an introduction. After I joined the Jewish community I wore a kippah daily for almost ten years. Personal reasons. I certainly wasn’t doing […]

Reflections for Elul:  Kehilah – Community by Peter Blair

Sep 13

My mother and father married in the Summer of love, 1967. My mother grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and attended Rodef Shalom Synagogue, my father in Memphis, TN at Temple Israel. My older brother and I made it a family in the early 1970’s and the Memphis Jewish Community was our Kehilah. In the late […]

Building Community by Beth Di Nicola

Sep 13

  Sometimes in life you need a community to uplift you. Sometimes you want someone to listen, someone who is in the same situation, someone who will be empathetic. When I moved with my family to Charlotte in 2011 and joined Temple Beth El, I didn’t know anyone. I had lost my mother at the […]

Shleimut/Wholeness by Sara Markovits

Sep 08

Sitting in front of my boss, reflecting on my past school year, the truth rang forth: Sara, I think that this really shook you. It was almost like your soul had been broken. She was absolutely right. After six years of teaching, I had hit a wall. Hard. To say that the societal events of […]