Archive for the ‘Community News’ Category

Dippold leaves post

tallidippoldOn Jan. 22, Talli Dippold is resigning as director of the Levine Sklut Judaic Library and Resource Center. She has been hired as director of Jewish Life at Queens University.
Debby Block will serve as an interim library director during the transition time. Her prior experience as the library’s assistant director will ensure that the day-to-day operations of the Library will be uninterrupted during the transition to a new permanent director.
During Dippold’s seven-year tenure as director, the library experienced programmatic and collaborative growth in the local Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Under her leadership the library established the Melton Adult Mini-School in Charlotte; developed as a renown resource for Holocaust education; grew its collaborations with local Jewish agencies, such as the Film Festival, JFS and Freedom Schools, among others; and successfully navigated the library’s transition into the digital age.

Dementia subject for lunch program

caregiversdementia“Communicating through Dementia – Healthy Steps for Families” will be presented on Aug.14, 11:30 a.m., at the Levine Jewish Community Center, Weinberg Senior Center, 5007 Providence Rd.

Barbara Drum, executive director of The Crossings at Steele Creek, will lead the interactive workshop. Participants will be able to learn the difference ways to talk with dementia patients; discover how to understand and interpret behaviors and moods; and try new ideas to re-direct difficult behaviors.

Drum, who had previously cared for her parents who suffered from dementia, will speak from her perspective and own personal experience.

A certified dementia specialist with 10 years experience in the senior living industry, Dunn counts helping families, friends and caregivers to understand dementia as one of her true loves.

New participants are welcome and the event is free and open to the public. However, reservations are required and space is limited.

A complimentary lunch will be provided by Brightmore of South Charlotte.

The session is presented in conjunction with Oasis, a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, and has community support through Jewish Family Services.

RSVP via email to or call 704.364.6594.

Asheville welcomes Keshet exec

Idit_Klein-200x277Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet, the leading national organization working for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life, will be heading to Asheville, N.C., for two events.

Theme for the presentations will be “Risk and Responsibility: A Professional Gay Jew’s Take on Activism and Leadership.”  It is a joint program of the Asheville JCC’s GLOW (Gay and Lesbian+ of Western North Carolina), Congregation Beth HaTephila and Congregation Beth Israel.

Join her on June 27, 7:30 p.m., for services at Congregation Beth HaTephila, 43 N. Liberty St. Klein will share her journey from secular Israel to Orthodox day school to the LGBT rights movement.

And, on June 28, 12:30 p.m., she will be at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Ave. Following a Kiddush luncheon, hear her reflections on her journey from secular Israel to Orthodox day school to the LGBT rights movement.


Wildacres to host B’nai B’rith Institute of Judaism


B’nai B’rith has announced that it will hold its 2014 Institute of Judaism from Aug. 11-14 at Wilcacres Retreat, 1565 Wildacres Rd., in Little Switzerland, N.C.

In its 67th year, this program offers participants the opportunity for individuals to confront, explore, and clarify questions about Judaism in an personal, national, and global context.

Each day features four lectures plus evening entertainment and kosher meals, in addition to casual discussions on the patio.

On the third evening, the Tennessee Schmaltz Klezmer Band will perform. Their repertoire blends traditional klezmer music with southern Appalachian and jazz.

Religious services are available. For those who wish to enjoy the local scenery, hiking is right at the back door.

Free tennis lessons, a Wednesday afternoon movie, noshes and evening services with dinner beforehand help to create a great educational and fun vacation option.

Currently, the lecture leaders are:

Bob Moog, former chair and professor of Political Science at North Carolina State University. His topics are: The Turkish Model of “Post-Islamism,” and Turkey’s Relationship with Israel; Israeli-Palestinian Peace in the Light of the Arab Awakening; and Democratic Difficulties in the Arab World.

Ariel Eldry, rabbi at Temple Beth Shalom, Cary, N.C. His topics are: Jewish Communities in Argentina and Spain; Things You Do Not Expect to Read in the Bible; and Israel: Separation of Religion and State (or the Lack Thereof).

Michael Barnett, professor of International Affairs and Political Science at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. His topics are, The Two-State Solution, and why it Won’t Happen; Are American Jews Becoming Distant from Israel; and American Jews: Liberal at Home and Progressive Abroad.

Scott Davis, anaward-winning public television producer, storyteller, playwright, and collector of Jewish short stories from the turn of the 20th century, will provide an evening of Jewish storytelling.

For more information, email Bill Carr, chair, at or visit





Museum to hold Purim festivities

The North Carolina Museum of Art, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd., in Raleigh, N.C., will hold an “I ♥ Purim: Kings + Queens” on March 22, 7-10 p.m., in its West Building.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery and features an evening of food, music, dancing and entertainment to celebrate Purim. Kings and Queens will enjoy tapas-style hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and a specialty cocktail. Crowns, masks and other festive attire are encouraged, but costumes are not required. They will cap off the evening with a high-energy Purim After-Party geared toward young adults. Dance the night away with drinks and desserts.

Tickets are $65 per person for the party and $25 per person for the after-party. Proceeds benefit the Judaic Art Fund.

Advanced reservations are required.

Registration is available via phone by calling 919-715-5923 or online.

info: Mary Blake, 919-664-6807.

Pets need your help

Animal Medical Hospital (AMH), 2832 Monroe Rd., is holding a pet food drive through partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank.

The hospital said they are participating in this effort because recently, there has been an increase of animals surrendered and euthanized due to owners not being able to afford food.

AMH’s goal is to raise 500 pounds of food by Dec. 18.

“Providing food for these pets can save their life and keep them in the arms of their loved ones,” they said.

They are asking its team members, clients and the community to donate unopened dog and cat food (wet or dry). Red bin receptacles are located in their front lobby. Toys, treats and leashes are also being accepted. All items will be donated to non-profit shelters, rescue groups, foster pet homes and pet owners facing financial difficulties.

AMH is appreciative of any support they receive for this worthy cause.

For more information, visit

Museum shares Torah details


Saul Schiffman helps to find a passage in the Torah. He is assisted by a museum staff member.

The Torah, like the Morroccan one at the North Carolina Museum of Art, contains the five books of Moses; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, written on parchment made from the skins of a kosher animal, such as a deer, goat, cow etc.,” Saul Schiffman, a friend of the Judaic Art Gallery at the North Carolina Museum of Art said.  “The skin is soaked, stretched and scraped to create a smooth light colored writing surface. Over the centuries a scroll can darken to a brown color as has this one here and most of the fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

Schiffman recently shared information about how a Torah is prepared, written and maintained.

He explained that  a scribe (sofer) copies the scroll onto the parchment word for word being careful not to make any mistakes. If a mistake is made it must be corrected, otherwise the scroll is not ritually pure. He added that the scribe spends years in training to be qualified to write sacred texts. It takes about a year to write one Torah scroll, including the work of the scribes and checking the text by other scribes. Texts written by scribes do not simply include the Torah, but also a mezuzah (affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes), phylacteries (tefillin) worn during weekday morning prayers and megillot (such as the Book of Esther).

“In the Museum’s Judaic Art Gallery, we roll the Torah scroll to a different section about twice every year. The portion chosen either coincides with a ritual performed by Jews during the same time of the year or a text of general interest. For 2013, during the first half of the year, the scroll was turned to the priestly benediction (Numbers 6:23-27) recited by the Rabbi and/or cohanim (descendants of Aaron) during Jewish religious services. This same blessing is also recited at most Christian church services around the world,” he shared. This particular scroll was made of soft deerskin and is fragile. It has to be handled with care. The museum’s staff have to wear gloves when handling this artifact.

During the remainder of 2013-14, the scroll was turned to the portion recanting the death and burial of Abraham. Schiffman said that the significance of this short portion was that “even though Isaac and Ishmael may not have been close to each other, they came together to bury their father showing reverence and respect (Genesis 25: 1-10).”

The Torah, housed in a silver Sephardic case, is on display at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Judaic Art Gallery.

For more information, visit

To Honor and Comfort: Panel to Discuss Jewish Choices In End-of-Life Planning

Havurat Tikvah is sponsoring a panel discussion, “To Honor and Comfort: A Jewish Response to Death and Grief,” on Jan. 12, 2014, 4 p.m., at Avondale Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall, 2821 Park Road, home to Havurat Tikvah.

It’s the one certain event most people avoid planning for: the death of a family member or oneself. Adding to that reluctance, one might not know enough about Jewish funeral and mourning practices or who to turn to for help in making decisions.

Led by three experienced professionals, attendees will be able to expand their knowledge base about Jewish customs and practices surrounding end-of-life issues.

Rabbi Jonathan Freirich, associate rabbi at Temple Beth El and a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, will give an overview of traditional laws and customs regarding death and bereavement, as well as liberal Jewish practices. Both communal and individual obligations will be considered.

Sandra Goldman, director of the Hebrew Cemetery Association of Greater Charlotte, will talk about traditional grave sites and new options at the historic cemetery, including the nearly-completed chapel/memorial building.

Joel Blady, who is Jewish and a funeral director at Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, will cover funeral home services that enable families to observe Jewish practices.

A question and answer session will follow the panel’s presentations. All attending are invited to refreshments immediately afterward.

The program is free and Charlotte’s Jewish community, including unaffiliated Jews, is invited to attend.

Parking is available in the church lot off Lilac Road.

Community concert slated

The Charlotte Pride Band will perform it’s winter concert on Dec. 15, 3 p.m., at Temple Beth El, 5101 Providence Rd.

The program will feature seasonal favorites performed by small ensembles of Charlotte Pride Band including the jazz band, woodwind quintet, brass quintet, clarinet choir, sax ensemble, brass choir, trumpet choir, and trombone quartet.

The band is partnering with Temple Beth El in its support to the Freedom School Partners and Sterling Elementary School.

Freedom School, with headquarters at 1030 Arosa Ave., prepares children for success through summer literacy programs, led by college student role models in collaboration with community partners.Preparing children for success through summer literacy programs, led by college student role models in collaboration with community partners. Locations are scattered throughout Mecklenburg County.

Sterling Elementary, 9601 China Grove Church Rd., Pineville, NC, is a K-5 paideia academy facility. It seeks to Empower Students, Engage Community, Ignite Passion and Respect All.

Attendees are encouraged to bring contributions to the event.

The list includes:

Snacks for Sterling Elementary School

Animal crackers
Fruit snacks
Goldfish/cheddar crackers
Fruit cups
Graham crackers
Cheese puffs
8 oz. bottles of water
Vanilla wafers
Fruit Loops
Apple Jacks
Corn Pops
Microwave popcorn

School supplies for Freedom School  –

Glue sticks
Copy paper

Charlotte Pride Band, which began in 2010, provides an open, inviting environment for musicians of all ability levels while promoting the value and respect of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Charlotte metropolitan area through quality musical performances.

Admission is free.


Great Jewish food in Asheville, only one day a year!

hardloxGot a craving for homemade matzo ball soup or maybe a nice corned beef on rye? Perhaps a potato knish or a kosher hot dog? Choose from over 20 mouth-watering traditional Jewish foods at the 11th annual HardLox: Asheville’s Jewish Food and Heritage Festival on Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Pack Square Park, 1 W. Pack Square.

Enjoy delicious homemade Jewish foods, Israeli dancing, crafts, a Kids Zone, klezmer music and more.

Have your name written in Hebrew. Discover the Torah. Learn about Jewish holidays and festivals. Join in the singing and dancing. Asheville Jewish organizations will provide interactive educational opportunities to learn about Jewish heritage and culture.

The HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival is hosted by Congregation Beth HaTephila and co-sponsored by the City of Asheville.

For more information, call Marty Gillen at 828-253-2282 or visit