TriBEs (Small Groups)

What are TriBEs?

TriBEs are small groups of Temple Beth El Members that help make our big community feel small. They help every person be a part of something sacred. Through playing together, praying together, learning together, acting together, caring for one another, and being accountable to each other, a large Temple becomes a small community where members can deepen connections and share Jewish experiences, conversations, and celebrations with other congregants.

TriBEs are lay-led micro communities designed to inspire us and transform our lives and the world around us, with deeper relationships and a greater experience of joy and meaning. TriBEs help to build a vibrant, inclusive community where members feel strongly connected to our congregation and to each other. We want TriBEs to foster relationships that motivate members to live active, meaningful, and impactful Jewish lives.

They are led by TriBE Leaders with the frequency, dates, and locations of meetings determined by the group in its first meeting. Some TriBEs will connect around common interests, affinities, geography, demographic, or profession. Other TriBEs will gather to discuss topics of deep concern or importance to their lives. All will engage in meaningful conversations and learning through curriculum provided by Temple Beth El.

Learn About TriBEs


Imagine hundreds of congregants gathering regularly in small groups to learn and laugh, to rest and rejuvenate, and to deepen connections to one another, to Temple, to the Jewish people, and to the rhythms of Jewish time and life. TriBEs will help Temple Beth El realize this future of a connected, committed membership through the formation of small groups which will:

  • Focus on the lives and significant concerns of our members.
  • Organize around shared interests, life stages, and geographies.
  • Feature shared Jewish experiences, learning, and celebration.
  • Be self-led by lay leaders working in a group dynamic.

Interested in creating greater connections with fellow congregants who share similar interests, life experiences, passions, and demographics? Want to build more meaningful and authentic relationships with others in our large and diverse congregation? Let us help you find your TriBE! TriBEs are intentional lay-led micro communities whose members come together on a regular basis for shared learning, experiences, and conversations. TriBEs may be organized by topic, profession, demographic, affinity, or interest.

Members of TriBEs understand that Jewish tradition and deep personal relationships add meaning to our lives. TriBEs are defined by their members’ commitment to engage in a process of transformational learning, reflection, and relationship building. A core goal of TriBEs is to connect our members more deeply to each other, to our community, to Jewish tradition, and to God.

Belonging to a TriBE encourages members to:

  • Try new experiences that open their hearts and minds to new ideas.
  • Relate the wisdom of Jewish tradition and values to their everyday lives.
  • Invest time and energy to connect more deeply to each other and to our Temple Beth El community.
  • Be a part of something that encourages personal growth.
  • Examine who they are, who they want to be, and how they want to live.

There is no one size fits all. TriBEs can be smaller or larger ranging from 5-15. The ideal size for a TriBE is 10-12 people. This size fosters deep connections and robust discussions between members in which everyone’s voice can be heard. If you have a few people who are interested in doing this together, but would like to have a larger TriBE, you can form an open group with a set number of available spots.


Aside from communal experiences in which all TriBEs come together at Temple, your TriBE will meet in members’ homes, offices, or any other comfortable space outside of the synagogue. Each TriBE will determine their schedule as a group. We recommend picking the same day and time, but we leave those details to the group.


Our intent is that this will serve to deepen connections between our members, and with the broader congregation. Therefore, in order to participate, you must be: (1) a member of Temple Beth El; (2) a child of a member; or (3) a participant in Temple Beth El’s 20’s and 30’s programming.


Your experience will be determined by your commitment. What you put in will impact what you get out of this. We strongly encourage you to fully commit to your TriBE. If you are unable to make one or two of the dates, we recommend that you sign up, and let your group know that you will be unable to attend those dates in advance.


These are lay-led groups, which means that there will not be a staff member present at your meetings. There are opportunities to invite clergy or staff to lead a discussion.

For more information, please contact Nicole Sidman, Director of Congregational Life at 704-366-1948.


There are over 20 resources available to TriBE Leaders including a TriBE Leader Guide, suggested Judaic discussion topics/questions, curriculum, relational questions, and so much more! Please bookmark the TriBE webpage and check out the TriBE Curriculum Materials, TriBE Leader Resources, and Relational Question Bank. If you would like to lead a TriBE, Temple Beth El is honored to offer you training, workshops, and ongoing coaching support; the resources will guide you and assist you to differentiate your TriBE from just another social gathering. Being a TriBE Leader does not require any specialized knowledge of Jewish text or tradition. We will provide easy-to-follow materials to guide your discussions. You will never be alone in this process. If you want to be a TriBE Leader, please contact Nicole Sidman, Director of Congregational Life or call 704-366-1948.

TriBE Leaders will:

  • Coordinate schedule and location for your TriBE gatherings. These may take place in members’ homes, offices, or in any other comfortable location outside of the synagogue.
  • Communicate with members regarding meeting times and distribute materials.
  • Facilitate group conversations or arrange for rotating facilitation by other members. Delegating and empowering other members will strengthen your TriBE.
  • Debrief with the Nicole Sidman, Director of Congregational Life, regarding your TriBE experience.
  • Consult TriBE Coach and/or TriBE Core Leadership Team as needed.

Over 300 people already participate in TriBEs. Starting a group is easy. It only takes 5 people – you and 4 friends – to start a TriBE. You are not alone. We provide ongoing support and guidance such as TriBE Leader Training, best practices from successful groups, curriculum and learning materials, and a TriBE Coach. Form a TriBE around an interest or find one that involves something you enjoy. To get started, contact Nicole Sidman, Director of Congregational Life or call 704-366-1948.

  1. Invite 4 or more friends to get together monthly or semi-monthly.
  2. Choose the makeup of your test group (interest, geography, or profession)
  3. Decide what to do. Have Shabbat dinner or Havdalah, explore Charlotte, volunteer. How you design your TriBE is up to you.
  4. Talk. In your TriBE, dive into deep discussion and create a safe space to share beyond the surface.

Bring together a pre-existing group: Do you have a group of people from a class or a congregational trip that would like to reconnect? Do you have a groups of friend who volunteer together? Is there someone you sit near during services but have not yet gotten to know in a meaningful way? Consider coming together for this experience.

Create an open group: Would you like to create new connections with other members? You can volunteer to start an “open” group, which other members will be able to join.

Become a TriBE Leader

If you would like to lead a TriBE, Temple Beth El is honored to offer you training, workshops, and ongoing coaching support. Being a TriBE Leader does not require any specialized knowledge of Jewish text or tradition. We will provide easy-to-follow materials to guide your discussions. You will never be alone in this process.