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.


Mending the Hole by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

The death of a loved one is an inevitability in everyone’s life. It is tragic and painful, regardless of the age or circums...


Moving Forward Together – A Perspective on the Women’s March from Current and Past Senior Rabbis by Rabbi Asher Knight and Rabbi Judy Schindler

We are excited to participate in this year’s Charlotte Women’s March at First Ward Park on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Be...


Congregants Create Bonds at Temple Beth El

Engagement is a big buzz word in the Jewish world right now. Many Jewish institutions talk about engagement while some simult...

Asking…Not Always Easy by Candace Naliboff, Director of Member Services

Dec 19

If you are like me, you have had times in your life when people have said to you, “Why didn’t you just ask me?” I know I have. Asking is not always an easy thing to do. Especially if it has anything to do with money. In my job, I have to ask. It is […]

Share the Warmth, Shine Bright by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Dec 12

This time of year always seems particularly tough. It gets darker earlier. The weather gets colder. Many things which I am excited to do outside become harder to do as a result of the unpredictable weather. Luckily, Charlotte, NC has warmer/shorter winters with many sunnier days than Cincinnati, OH and Baltimore, MD where I previously […]

All is Never Lost: Chanukah Light by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Nov 26

December is the darkest month of the year. It’s no coincidence that Chanukah, a holiday in which we are commanded to increase light each night, occurs exactly as our days become shorter and our nights become longer. The holiday season is full of that contrast, of moments of light and darkness. It’s in the joy […]

Hard Conversations – A Light in the Darkness by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Nov 20

On a typical Sunday morning at Temple Beth El Religious School, you will see students piling into school and hear the din of their giggles and greetings as they make their way to class. School is a happy place where our Jewish students have the chance to hang out with their Jewish friends who they […]

We Listen and Learn from You by Sam Swire, Director of Youth Engagement

Nov 15

This past weekend I had the privilege of helping to staff our 10th graders’ annual Confirmation Trip. While most would shy away from accompanying 26 teenagers to Charleston for a bonding experience, it was exactly what Rabbi Klass, Rebecca Ferry, and I wanted to do. Being the third time running this trip we had a […]

Explore Your Love for Israel (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, December 2018) by Cantor Mary R. Thomas

Nov 13

Chanukah rolled around about halfway through my year living in Jerusalem while a student at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform movement’s seminary. That year in Jerusalem, I would walk about 20 minutes from my apartment to school every day. One morning, as Chanukah approached, my brisk walks were unexpectedly scented […]

Reflections Following Pittsburgh by Rabbi Asher Knight

Nov 07

Reflections following Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue November 2, 2018 Tragedy upon tragedy – ripples upon ripples. A community of worshipers at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – were killed in the sanctuary of their synagogue on last Shabbat. And the ripple effect: In Charlotte, members of our community here at Temple Beth […]