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505 Glasgow Lane

Hendersonville, North Carolina 28739


Yom Sheini, 3 Nisan 5778

The Center for Jewish Living in Henderson County!

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Rabbi Jackson Photo

This month of March is all about preparation. The weather is getting warmer, we’re starting to put away our sweaters, and flowers are thinking about blooming. Spring happens this month too and that often means “spring cleaning”. You know the kind—dusting the ceiling fans, emptying the toaster tray, reaching behind the dryer for lost socks. But what if your house is already clean?

I suggest then that we look at getting our homes and ourselves Passover ready. In order to know what that might look like, we need to do a quick review of the story of the Exodus.

First, the Egyptians, and Israelites, were warned of the plagues. But the Egyptians didn’t listen. Plague after plague came, and they still didn’t listen. The locusts weren’t discerning when they ate all the crops. The fiery hail was not isolated in its downpours. And when the sun was blotted out, darkness fell over everyone. For the final plague, in order to be spared, the Israelites had to put blood on their doorposts so that Death would passover their home. They had to do something. During our seder, we are told to be as though it were us coming out of Egypt—that we ourselves experienced both slavery and redemption.

I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time picturing a swarm of lice, a frog infestation, or water turned to blood. So I need to think about what plagues are affecting our world today.

Perhaps rather than locusts destroying crops, we recognize deforestation as destroying the land. Or rather than water turning to blood (which makes it undrinkable), we look at the crisis in Johannesburg running out of water. Instead of Moses tossing soot into the air causing boils to erupt on everyone, we can acknowledge that there are diseases throughout our world which we can address (like cholera in Yemen).

From my perspective, a plague is something which negatively alters the relationship between humans and the environment. And we can take note from the Israelites and the final plague: take action. Our world is weeping, and it is up to us to alter that course of the future.

As we are going through our homes and our hearts this Passover season, we can find ways to take action. If you don’t eat chametz (leavening), think about donating those products to the pantry at IAM. As you’re sorting and tossing extraneous objects, think about recycling or upcycling them. There are so many methods for us to create and find our way to our own exodus of caring for our planet.

I hope we all have a joyous month of sunshine, springtime, and hope.

With prayers for abounding blessings,

Shalom Rabbi Rachael Jackson


Read Rabbi Jackson's High Holy Day messages for 5778: Erev Rosh Hashanah sermon, Rosh Hashanah morning, Erev Yom Kippur sermon,Yom Kippur morning sermon



Dr. Linda Perkel

Passover will soon be upon us, so I take this moment, along with our Board to wish you a Happy Passover. I always find this to be a wonderful time of the year. It's time to dig out our favorite Passover recipes, spend time with family, friends, and our community.

At the same time, I must admit that I am saddened by the recent, senseless, violent event that took the lives of 17 vital and vibrant young people. We may feel helpless, however Passover is the perfect time to sit with our loved ones and reflect. Each of us then can individually choose how we wish to respond to these horrible events. Reading the story of Passover reminds us not only of our exodus to freedom, but the importance of staying united and committed to the safety of those in our community and those throughout the world.

Here at Agudas Israel we take our commitment to both the Jewish community and the greater Hendersonville community very seriously. Our synagogue community participated in the MLK Day On to pack and deliver food to the needy in our community. We held a successful piano concert featuring Christopher Tavernier and chaired by our Trustee, Sam Gess. Through that endeavor we proudly donated $6140.00 to The Hunger Coalition. Additionally, so many of our congregants offer their volunteer services to IAM, Boys and Girls Club, the Rescue Mission, the Department of Health and Human Services, just to name a few.

At the same time, for the last 15 months the Strategic Planning Committee has been working tirelessly to put together a long range plan that will serve to guide our leadership in their decision making. Our intent is to move us forward in positive ways, facilitating growth, financial stability, a congregation operating to meet the needs of its members, and a place for each of us to meet our spiritual needs.

I encourage you to take a moment and RSVP for the community Seder on Saturday, March 31. You will find all the details in Chai Lites. I know that Rabbi Jackson is going to lead us in a wonderful and uplifting Seder service and we will all enjoy the delicious meal organized by Teddi Segal.


Dr. Linda Perkel, President


Read the our Newsletter "Chai Lites" for March by clicking Chai Lites March 2018


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“Agudas Israel is a center for Jewish living in Henderson County and beyond, inclusive of all aspects of worship, learning, community, and culture.”


Agudas Israel is a warm, welcoming diverse congregation located in Henderson County, NC. That inspires our members to a love of God, Torah and Israel. It is a center for all Jewish people who seek to develop and enhance their lives through worship, learning, community involvement, culture and social interaction. We are committed to keeping our Jewish heritage intact for present and future generations.

Rabbi Jackson's High Holy Days Sermons 5777 (Chick here to read all four sermons from last year's services)

See what books we have in the Agudas Israel Library for you to check out by clicking here: AGUDAS ISRAEL LIBRARY

See photos of our Mountain Jewish Festival from August 21, 2016 by clicking here: Mountain Jewish Festival photos 2016.

See photos from our Annual Sisterhood Fashion Show, August 2, 2016 by clicking here: Sisterhood Fashion Show 2016

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