The Brevard Jewish Community

 This Wednesday at 7:30 we usher in the year 5778, the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, a joyous occasion. We eat apples dipped in honey in hope of a sweet new year.  I hope that it will also usher in a prosperous and fulfilling new year for each member of the Brevard Jewish Community. Rosh Hashanah also begins a ten day period of reflection on our lives.  Is the person that you view in the mirror the person that you are striving to be? I doubt anyone can answer  “absolutely, completely,” but I hope that you and I can answer that it is a man or woman who has sought to live a good life and is still making that effort every day. If these holidays are to mean anything, then it is to take a hard look at ourselves, our strengths and weakness, at what we can change and what we cannot, at what we have fulfilled and what we may never fulfill, and, after that, to like what you see. This is the moment in the year to think about the big things in life, its purpose, its meaning. And of course it is a time for New Year’s resolutions, some of which we may live up to, some of which we will not.

The important  thing it to use these days for contemplation. And it is not only individual self-evaluation, but a collective one. What are we as a Jewish community, a Jewish people, an American people, as temporary but hopefully responsible inhabitants of one of the very few bodies in the universe that shelter life?


We are not alone. Much of the meaning of our lives is in our social relationships. It is a good time to think about our friends, our siblings, our children. Are we living the life we seek with them? Are there ways to make it better?


All of this is what makes Rosh Hashanah such a meaningful, solemn and joyous holiday.


We are very excited about having brand new prayer books for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  The CCAR (the Reform movement), put years of work into replacing their previous books that are now over forty years old, a product of the 70s when most of us were in our twenties and thirties. Times have changed. These books seek to remain true to the holidays but to present it in a fashion that is compatible to the age in which we live.  There are many thoughtful readings. There will be much more participation by the congregation, by you, in the service. We have worked very hard to make the few hours you spend at our services a meaningful moment in your lives.


The funds for the new books were raised independently of the BJC’s treasury.  Linda and Lowell Steinfeld steadfastly led the campaign. Among the contributors were Sandra Hayward, Roger Davis, Sam Leder, Chuck Walsey, Henry Felt, Chuck Cantor, Marilyn Laken, Howard Rock, David Goodman, Alexandra Burroughs, Mark Weinstein, Howard Friedman and Doris Singer. (If I left anyone out, please accept my apology.) We are grateful to all.


Evening Service Rosh Hashanah (Wednesday September 20)   7:30 P.M.    

 Morning Rosh Hashanah (Thursday September 21) 10:00 A.M.


Services this Friday, Shabbat Shuvah, will begin at seven. Marilyn Laken will graciously host the Oneg. Our discussion topic will be: Does repentance have any meaning today, and, if so, what is it?

Coming Events:

September 20-21 Rosh Hashanah (Wednesday-Thursday)

September 29-30 Yom Kippur (Friday –Saturday)

October 6  Sukkot

October 13 Simchat Torah

October 20 Robin Shuler – a Musical Shabbat


The BJC is interested in reaching all Jewish residents of Transylvania County.  If you know of anyone, please send me their name and e-mail and I will contact them.


The Brevard Jewish Community does not charge dues. Our funding comes from the voluntary contributions of our members. These contributions pay for our events, subsidize our programs (when necessary), pay rent (contribution) to Sacred Heart and allow us to contribute to local charities and events in our name. If you would like to make a contribution please send it to our Treasurer, Ross Lynch. His address is 421 Fox Tower Road, Brevard, NC 28712.  Anyone contributing $180 or more will have a bookplate placed in their name in one of our new prayer books.


President's Message