Discover Meaning by Making Meaning

We are not the first generation of Jews to live through periods of great uncertainty. If any group can face tough challenges, it’s us. The Jewish people have flourished by adapting to new circumstances and boldly choosing to walk towards the horizons of possibility and hope with each other and with God. At Temple Beth […]

Organizations Across Charlotte Need Your Help!

Sterling Elementary School: The 2020-2021 school year is about to begin and TBE’s partner school could use your help! In addition to collecting donations to support Sterling, TBE congregants often volunteer for tutoring services through the following organizations: Read Charlotte: Children’s Literacy Heart Math Tutoring Roof Above (formerly Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of […]

Seattle Lockdown – Day #24

Tonight on the evening of Seder, Jews around the world are supposed to gather with family and friends to retell the story of liberation that set us off on a journey toward a new type of community, united by a commitment to Torah. This year, we are consumed instead by the story of pandemic we […]

A Reflection on Yom HaShoah

My grandmother, Erika, who I called “Nana,” was born in Vienna, Austria in 1924. She was a survivor of both the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps and passed away in September of 2013, just shy of her 89th birthday. There are so many questions I wish I had asked her. Then 23, I was certainly […]

Reflections on COVID-19

Friends, This is a set of three daily reflections from Seattle, written March 20–22, 2020. Seattle reported the first U.S. case of COVID-19 in January and the first death in February, and we quickly became the original epicenter for this country’s outbreak. Stringent orders from Governor Inslee took effect on Monday, March 16th, closing restaurants […]

A Different “Hatikvah” By Sydney Abeshaus

When my family first joined Temple Beth El in 2011, I was shy, apprehensive, and an overall introvert. Beginning religious school in the middle of the year, along with a new elementary school, was a difficult adjustment for me. I remember having a hard time making friends and becoming accustomed to life in Charlotte. Fast […]

Purim and the reframing of “How are you?”

Last week at a conference out of town, surrounded for two days by old friends and colleagues, I was plagued by three small words: “How are you?” Over and over again the question came. And over and over again, I dodged it. But halfway through the conference, I misread the intent behind the question and […]

Singing for Joy, Singing to Celebrate

Like many in the early 90s, I learned the section of Torah that I read at my Bat Mitzvah from a tape that my childhood rabbi recorded for me. I remember carefully rewinding the tape with a pencil when the ribbon got a little out of whack and hoping that it would still work. How […]

On Our Way to Liberation, With a Little Help From our Friends

Each time I get to lead t’filah with our 6th and 7th graders, I pause when we arrive at Mi Chamocha and ask: what does this prayer mark? What does it help us remember? And they respond: This prayer is about freedom! It is about the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt! They sang it when they […]