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Religious School News – June July 2019

Seth Kellam

Let’s keep on learning!

I know! I know!  We just finished out the school year!  And, by the way, what a great school year it was.  Lots of learning, lots of giving and lots of fun!  But there is no better time to think about our CBHT Religious School mission than now.  As we know, our goal is to Grow Jewish Lives.  And, that doesn’t need to end at the end of the school year.  As parents we are often considering ways of closing the gap that summer break creates.  Our Jewish lives are no different.  So, here are some fun ways to continue to grow Jewishly, over the summer:

  • Come to services! Family and Regular services have their own vibe during the summer.  You may find that we are outside more.  We also like to mix some more traditional tunes with some covers.
  • Light Shabbat candles at home. If you are feeling insecure about the blessings or the tunes use YouTube!  You may find old favorites or new ones that resonate with your family.
  • Make Havdalah! You can build your own Havdalah set!  Find some spices from the yard!  Did you know that there is more than one tune for Havdalah?  Check out the Rick Recht version!
  • Why don’t we start saying Shema before bed? Can you use a different tune for every night? How about Billy’s Shema?  What about the Pik Shema?  Of course, we can always do the traditional Sultzer version!
  • Do you ever say Motzi before eating? How about the camp version?  Can you make up your own?
  • Gratitude, gratitude gratitude! There are always opportunities to express thanks.  From Modeh Ani in the morning to conversations of thanks at the dinner table.

 Needless to say, Jewish living and growth never have to end.  And, if you want to feel the joy that we create every Sunday try including some of our homegrown tunes, at home!


 Seth Kellam

Education Director 

President’s Message

Over the past two years, when I have spoken to people about my role as president of our temple, I would get that “Oh, I am so sorry” look.  They most always say something about how tedious it must be to deal with the complainers, the naysayers.  I can honestly say that has not been my experience.

My experience has been that nearly all my interactions are with kind and compassionate congregants who only want the best for our temple.  My experience has been with trustees who are engaged and when we have tough decisions before us they make valuable contributions.  My experience has been that executive committee members do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to deal with all kinds of complex issues.  I have had the pleasure of collaborating with our dedicated staff, executive director and rabbi.  I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many volunteers.

We have faced some challenges during my tenure as president.  We’ve had to navigate some serious issues, including a financial deficit and the need to improve security.  Sometimes there were heated debates and there were often differing opinions.  But in every situation, my respect, admiration and love for the people I got to work with only grew.  And, I had the added benefit of getting to work closely with the Rabbi.  This has enriched my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

As I wrap up my time in this leadership role, and also wrap up my time at CBHT, I can’t help but reflect on the many wonderful moments that have shaped my and my family’s lives here.  But it is truly the people I’ve come to know and the friends I have made, whom I will miss.  I continue to be amazed by the efforts of so many to make this a special place.

I recently had the chance to dip my toe into temple life at a synagogue in Nashville.  Someone there asked if I was ‘synagogue shopping’, and I guess the answer is “yes.”  The transition for me won’t be easy, as I believe our temple has set the bar incredibly high.  But I will know when I’ve found my new temple home because it will be filled with kind and generous people who work hard to make their faith community thrive.  I am so grateful to have learned the value of that here at CBHT.

All My Best,



Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Updates – June July 2019


    • 1st Friday each month from 1-3 PM @ MANNA– CBHT volunteer team. Contact Sandra Layton to help.
    • 3rd Friday each month @ noon – CBHT Vets shelter meal serving. Contact Hilary Paradise to help.
    • July 14th –21st — RITI—Contact Sherrill Zoller, RITI liaison for CBHT,, for information.
    • Monday, August 26th @ 4:30pm- next L.M.Tikkun Olam meeting


By Vivian Ellner

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee seeks to recognize and celebrate individuals and groups who participate in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.  This includes B’nai Mitzvot and their mitzvah projects, the religious school students and their support of various agencies and an individual who has had a lifelong commitment to this Jewish value.  These projects have ranged from helping to provide meals and school assistance to children in Africa; Nachama-the Jewish response to disasters; the Asheville Humane Society; Doctors Without Borders; local trail clean up and maintenance; Bounty & Soul, providing fresh fruit and vegetables to people in need; Verner Center for Early Learning, creating book packs for children with little or no access to books or libraries; Love Thy Neighbor, collecting school supplies; Brother Wolf, raising money and volunteering at the local no-kill animal shelter.

The LMTO Lifetime Award has gone this year to Sherrill Zoller, who has participated in many Tikkun Olam activities, from Homeward Bound / Room in the Inn to fighting for voter rights and voter registration, Moral Monday and Habitat for Humanity, as well as serving as co-chair of the LMTO Committee for many years.

Congratulations to all for your commitment to the world and its people.


By Martin Mann

The smile on his face said it all.  The four-year-old African-American child had just picked out a book to take home and keep.  He even had his name written on the book plate inside of the front cover.  “I can really take this book home?”  “Yes” came the reply.  A huge hug followed.

This is what it is like to be the giver of books, representing Congregation Beth HaTephila at the Pisgah View Head Start preschool.  The books are given to these children half-way and at the end of each school year at what are called Book Shares.  This is also what it is like to volunteer in a classroom at this Head Start.  If you are interested in helping for the 2019-20 school year, please let Marty Mann know.

But even if you are unable to volunteer, you can still do your part in the Tikkun Olam Committee’s support of the three classrooms at Pisgah View Apartments.  This Rosh Hashanah is the committee’s every other year children’s book collection.  Since 2011 congregants have donated over 5000 new or lightly used children’s picture books appropriate for 3-5-year olds.  Cash donations to the Tikkun Olam Committee have also been contributed to purchase new or used books to give away.

So be looking for the reminder in the August Menorah of when and where you can drop off your children’s book donation.  Start boxing up any books that are no longer needed by your own children.  Visit your favorite bookstore this summer.  Reminder: Please make sure if the book(s) are lightly used that it hasn’t been written in, have torn pages, etc.  Let’s continue to put smiles on the faces of these children and promote the love of reading.

Between You and Me

“If you stop doing hard things,” she said, “you’ll stop being able to do hard things.”  That was what my health instructor said during class a couple of weeks ago.  She was lamenting how her mother, who used to be on her feet all the time while she was working, had retired, joined the YMCA and gravitated towards doing chair yoga as her primary movement practice.  Because her standing muscles slowly atrophied, she took a fall in the locker room and was heading into surgery to repair various injuries.

When she said that, I realized that my whole life has been guided by a similar principle.  If I had allowed my natural shyness to win the day, I’d have never taken a public speaking class in college.  If I had never taken that class and gained experience facing my paralyzing fears, I might not have summoned the chutzpah to apply to Rabbinical school.  If I’d have given myself over to those persistent and unpleasant nerves for the first 15 years of my rabbinate (!), I may have given up on being a rabbi. It’s not that I’m never nervous before speaking.  It’s not that all my talks are amazing.  It is that I’ve built a strong muscle for doing things that are hard for me because I’m doing them all the time: earning 3 black belts in TaeKwonDo, engaging in training programs that provide new challenges for my professional and personal life.  There are easier paths.  I’m almost 50.  I could just keep doing what I’ve always done.

The truth for all of us is that the hardest aspects of life are usually in front of us.  If we stop doing hard things, if we take the familiar road, we may stop being able to do hard things like let our children grow up and leave home, retire and find new ways to spend our time, live with new physical limitations, grieve a beloved, give up our homes and independence.

In 1910, Teddy Roosevelt famously said:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Living in the arena and daring greatly has made all the difference for me.  You may reflect and discover the same is true for you.  I am grateful to you for all the opportunities you’ve given me to learn and teach and stay in the arena so that I can better serve as your rabbi.

The Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee – May 2019


  • 1st Friday each month from 1-3 PM @ MANNA– CBHT volunteer team. Contact Sandra Layton to help.
  • 3rd Friday each month @ noon – CBHT Vets shelter meal serving. Contact Hilary Paradise to help.
  • Monday, April 29th @ 4:30 PM—next L.M. Tikkun Olam meeting.
  • Friday, May 24th, @ 7:30 PM—Tikkun Olam Shabbat
  • Our next RITI host week will take place at CBHT July 14th – July 21st.  To volunteer or for more information, Contact Sherrill Zoller, RITI liaison for CBHT.

Lotte Meyerson Tikkun Olam Committee Updates

Tikkun Olam Shabbat Friday, May 24th Honoring our Teens and Life-Long Service Award.

Please come celebrate with us at our special service during which we will recognize our B’nai Mitzvah students for their mitzvah projects. The B’nai Mitzvah students honored for 2018-19 will be

Homeward Bound: the key to ending homelessness in Buncombe County.

Homeward Bound is a non-profit organization which has worked for 30 years to end homelessness in our area. Since its inception, more than 2,000 individuals have been housed and 89% have not returned to homelessness. We participate in

Holocaust Education Bill

(Please note: The status of this bill may have changed since this article was written on April 10, 2019. ) The North Carolina House of Representatives is currently considering House Bill 437 introduced by Linda Johnson of Cabarrus County, along with bi-partisan co-sponsors including Susan Fisher of Asheville, which will require all middle and high school public school students be taught about the Holocaust and genocide along with other related concepts. The bill has passed the Education Committee unanimously without any changes to how it was originally introduced.

As of April 10th, the status of the bill was as follows