agudasisrael star


505 Glasgow Lane

Hendersonville, North Carolina 28739


Yom Shishi, 19 Iyyar 5776

The Center for Jewish Living in Henderson County!


Rabbi Jackson PhotoWe have now entered May and have recently finished celebrating Passover. May is often the month which holds the modern holidays: Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day; Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day; Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day; Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. We will commemorate as a community Yom HaShoah on Wednesday, May 4 (see separate article for more information).
And there is another, often relatively unknown celebration which happens during this time—Sefirat Omer, Counting the Omer. It is the time from the second night of Passover until Shavuot where we count each day. It is seven of seven: seven days for seven weeks of counting. It is the time we remember from when we left as slaves in Egypt until the time we received the Torah. This counting of weeks originates in the Book of Leviticus [23:15-16] “From the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering the day after the Sabbath you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete. You must count until the day after the seventh week fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to Adonai.”
I dare say that few of us have fields from which we can harvest a sheaf of grain. Nor do we connect with God by offering sacrifices at the Temple. So how can we understand these days which bridge Passover and Shavuot? Kabbalists in the 16th century identified seven character traits to correspond to the seven weeks. These seven are:
1. Chesed: Overflowing Loving kindness 2. G’vurah: Judgment, Justice, Rigor 3. Tiferet: Compassion, Beauty, Balance 4. Netzakh: Victory, Efficiency, Prevailing 5. Hod: Glory, Splendor 6. Y’sod: Foundation, Intimacy, Generativity 7. Malkhut: Majesty, God’s Earthly Realm
So, for example, this first week of May we focus on g’vurah, justice. Where can we improve justice in our personal lives, and where in greater society? The second week of May we would focus on tiferet, compassion. How can we be more compassionate towards ourselves and towards others? And on throughout the seven weeks.
Once we have completed the counting, and once we have completed our intentional focus of these particular traits, we are ready to receive the Torah.
I hope that each of us is able to find meaning during this time between holidays. That we are able to greet one another this month with kindness and compassion and see the splendor in all of us.
I look forward to seeing everyone this month!
Warmly and with blessings,

Rabbi Rachael Jackson


Dr. Linda PerkelSince 2006, following the proclamation by President George W. Bush, May has been designated as Jewish American Heritage Month. The purpose of the designation is to recognize the more than a 350–year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The Jewish experience in America began in 1654 with the arrival of 23 Brazilian refugees who were escaping religious persecution. Now we have more Jews in the United States than any other country.
U.S. Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was the driving force behind the recognition. Rep. Schultz hoped for activity and recognition similar to Black history month. She envisioned classroom instruction, public ceremonies and broadcast announcements promoting the achievements of those who contrib-uted to our American Jewish Heritage. In an interview she said “There’s a generation of children growing up with a fading memory of what happened during World War II, or even an understanding of anyone who is Jewish, or their culture and traditions…”Through education comes tolerance” (Miami Herald, 12/17/2005).
Now 10 years old, I am not sure that Jewish American History Month has achieved all that Rep. Schultz had hoped. Nonetheless it is important that we do what we can to get the message out. The many ways that we reach out to the community, making our presence known are certainly a help. Educational programs like those on Yom Hashoah and the Mountain Jewish Festival do much to increase understanding and tolerance. With all the violence and intolerance evident throughout the world, it feels more imperative than ever that we continue these activities with even greater passion.
Dr. Linda Perkel, President

Read the our Newsletter "Chai Lites" for May by clicking Chai Lites May 2016


The most up-to-date information:

SPRING FEST - May 26, 6:00-9:00pm Sponsored by Jewish Family Services of WNC. Country Club of Asheville.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 828.253.2900 ext. 10 for reservations.

SPEAKER SERIES - Friday, May 27, 7:30pm Dr. Bill Medina will inform us about the organizations that provide services in the area.

BROTHERHOOD BBB (Bar-B-Que, Bingo and Beverage) Monday, May 30th, 5:00pm- Click here: Brotherhood BBQ see the flier for information about this late afternoon of fun and games at the home of the Levinsons. Reservations are a must!

KABBALAT MUSIC SHAMusic ShabbatBBAT - FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH -  Friday, June 3, 7:30pm with song leader, Penny White,

MITZVAH DAY IS AROUND THE CORNER - Save the date July 10, 2016

Toiletries ad for Mitzvah DayMITZVAH DAY COLLECTIONS: We are now collecting toiletries for Mitzvah Day. Please place all items in the box in the Kaplan room at Agudas.  Contact your dentists and other providers for donations.





BALABUSTA BAKERS - MOUNTAIN JEWISH FESTIVAL PREPARATION HAS BEGUN...Contact Carol Lehman for more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 SISTERHOOD BLOOMIN' BUDDIES: Look for the bright yellow envelope you received in mail... Sisterhood Bulb materials 2016

bulbs;tuplis  IMG 1154 IMG 1158 Agudas Israel Sisterhood is thrilled to again offer you premium flower bulbs directly from Holland that produces magnificent flowers. As you are admiring the beautiful bulbs that you planted last year, or are envying your neighbor’s yard…

Enclosed in the yellow envelope you will find the 2016 order form, the color brochure, and the bonus offering.

Please submit your order, with your check, on or before June 1, 2016 to receive your gift of 6 Azureum Allium with your order of $30 or more.



Dinner for Six will be starting back for the months of May, June, andJuly. For those of you who may not be familiar with the program, we pair three couples (singles are welcome) who get together once a month for a meal. It can be breakfast, brunch, lunch, or supper. It is generally done in participants’ homes, but could also be a meal eaten out, a picnic or anything else. It is a great venue for getting to know one another better and to have some great food. New members of Agudas Israel are particularly encouraged to participate. Anyone who is interested, please contact MikeBeckerman, 828-388-1030.

Light bulb donationJoin the excitment and participate in this Cost Saving Project for Agudas Israel. Help us save money and energy by contributing to the "LET THERE BE LIGHT" project. $18 will buy 3 energy efficient LED light bulbs, $36=6, $54=9, and $72 will buy a dozen. Simply print this coupon and send in with your check. Please indicate on your check that it is for this project.

 MEMBERSHIP: lf you would like information about joining our wonderful congregation, please contact our Membership Chair, Barbara Gittleman. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Contact the office for other questions


GIFT CARDS:  The funds raised by the Gift Card Program go into theSisterhood Building Beautification Fund. If you would like to order gift cards for contact Carol Leaman: 828.693.0145 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Helps support our fundraising efforts to keep Agudas Israel alive!

ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES - Check the pamphlet with the schedule of classes that will take place throughout the year.  There are a wide variety of subjects and skills that you may be interested in.  See the dates and make sure you register before the deadlines.  Click here for COURSE BROCHURE for classes.

MOUNTAIN JEWISH FESTIVAL - Mark your calendar for the next MJF: SUNDAY, AUGUST 21, 2016 ...To see photos from last year's event click here: See Photo album of this fabulous day!

Agudas Israel has a Facebook Page.  We are keeping up with the current times.  Please take the time to check out our do not have to have a facebook account to view our page....see photos...LIKE US...the most up-to-date information:

  Bookmark this page and refer to it often for up-to-the minute program details/changes/and photos of latest events.


BOOKPLATES FOR OUR SIDDURS Bookplates are now ready to be inserted into our siddur, Mishkan T'filah. The bookplates can be purchases for $36 each, "In honor of" or "In memory of". Send your order with payment to Susan LaRue in the Agudas Israel office. There are only 100 books available and we expect them to sell out quickly

PHOTOS ARE NOW ON THE WEBSITE! Mazel Tov to the Chairs and volunteers on great events and a jobs well-done. See the Special Event section for photos from our latest special events at Agudas Israel (or click here)! (Please wait a few seconds for them to download.)

Hebrew Classes -Wednesdays, Arthur Lebowitz, resident language scholar will teach beginning and intermediate Hebrew.  6:30-7:30 Beginning Hebrew followed by Intermediate at 7:30-8:30 pm.  To register contact Susan at Agudas Israel's office, 828.693.9838

Upcoming Events


05.28.2016 10:30 am - 12:00 pm


05.30.2016 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


05.30.2016 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm


06.01.2016 10:00 am - 12:30 pm


06.01.2016 10:30 am - 11:30 am


06.01.2016 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


06.01.2016 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm