Worship lets us REFRESH our spiritual lives.
Working together to RESTORE our Jewish community.
As a congregation we aim to REFUEL our Jewish way of life.

Working to Preserve Jewish Tradition

The mission of this congregation is to cultivate the tenets of Reform Judaism through prayer, worship, study, fellowship and good works. In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to ongoing innovation, seeking new challenges and continually evaluating our progress and results while building and sustaining an environment necessary to realize our mission.

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Service of Healing and Wholeness

Saturday, February 28 at 2 p.m. At the home of Marsha and Bob Luhrs, on the Bay River in Pamlico County.

Join Temple B'nai Sholem members for a "shalom-filled" afternoon when Marsha Luhrs offers a service of readings, meditations and music.

Whether we are in need of "healing" of body, mind, spirit, or we just want an inspiring expereince, all are welcome.
RSVP by Feb. 24  by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 252-617-5960. Address and directions will be sent once RSVP is received.


Latke Cook-off

The third annual latke cook-off was another sucess with six competitors and a surprise dish of home made sufganiyot. A good turn out of Temple members and guests ensured that there were no left overs.

This year's winners were Bill Siegendorf, third, Eric Wiessman, second and Brian Dodds, first.



An Interesting Thought - contributed by Stan Satz

At the 2014 Oscars, they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the release of the "Wizard of Oz" by having Pink sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", with highlights from the film in the background. But what few people realized, while listening to that incredible performer singing that unforgettable song, is that the music is deeply embedded in the Jewish experience.

The most poignant song emerging out of the mass exodus from Europe was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg. He was the youngest of four children born to Russian Jewish immigrants. His real name was Isidore Hochberg and he grew up in a Yiddish speaking, Orthodox Jewish home in New York. The music was written by Harold Arlen, a cantor's son. His real name was Hyman Arluck and his parents were from Lithuania.

Together, Hochberg and Arluck wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", which was voted the 20th century's number one song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

In writing it, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness - framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen - and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.

Read the lyrics in their Jewish context and suddenly the words are no longer about wizards and Oz, but about Jewish survival:


Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that
you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt
like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?


The Jews of Europe could not fly. They could not escape beyond the rainbow. Harburg was almost prescient when he talked about wanting to fly like a bluebird away from the "chimney tops". In the post-Auschwitz era, chimney tops have taken on a whole different meaning than the one they had at the beginning of 1939. Pink's mom is Judith Kugel. She's Jewish of Lithuanian background. As Pink was belting the Harburg/Arlen song from the stage at the Academy Awards, I wasn't thinking about the movie. I was thinking about Europe's lost Jews and the immigrants to America.


I was then struck by the irony that for two thousand years the land that the Jews heard of "once in a lullaby" was not America, but Israel. The remarkable thing would be that less than ten years after "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was first published, the exile was over and the State of Israel was reborn. Perhaps the "dreams that you dare to dream really do come true".


 The Shofar

Current and back issues are available by clicking this link.

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Our Link to The Holocaust

We are honored to have one of the Holocaust Torahs in our safekeeping. Ours is one of three from the town of Trebon in the Czech Republic. During the Holocaust, the 87 Jews living in Trebon and its surrounding villages were transported in about 1939 to the Terezin concentration camp, and none survived. To read about the amazing recovery of all these Torah, click this link.   We also have on display in our Temple four paintings by Temple member Paul Field depicting the struggle for life in a concentration camp. Both of these bring a special meaning to our observance of Yom Hashoah.
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Tikkun olam

This Hebrew phrase best translates as healing and restoring the world. It suggests humanity's shared responsibility with the Creator "to heal, repair and transform the world."   Led by Mitch Lewis, many of our congregation are helping to raise awareness of the genocide and strife in Darfur through the One Million Bones project. For more information use this link.


Kindness is valued by religious Jews and is seen as the foundation of particular interpersonal commandments and of a variety of communal institutions. The tannaic rabbi Simon the Just taught: "The world rests upon three things: "Torah, service to God, and bestowing kindness" (Pirkei Avot 1:2).   In addition to individual acts of kindness, our Temple has a community outreach program to provide visitation to elderly Jews unable to attend services. This is staffed by two RNs and funded through the BJH Foundation for Senior Services. We also support the New Bern RCS food pantry and soup kitchen through donations of food and monetary contributions. Our Chevra Kadisha is available in times of need.

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