Sacred Spaces: Five Places of Worship in Charlotte
Congregations of all faiths across Charlotte have one thing in common: neighbors helping neighbors. See what faith in action looks like for each of these communities
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Place of Worship: Temple Beth El
“In the Jewish faith, there are acts of loving kindness, called Gemilut Chasidim, which are different from systemic challenges of a society, or Tikkun Olam,” explains Asher Knight, senior rabbi at Temple Beth El. Congregations can, for instance, house someone for a night, “but if we’re not solving the systemic realities of why people are homeless or can’t get a job, we aren’t confronting the real problem,” Knight says. Ongoing social justice projects include affordable housing, advocacy for domestic-violence victims, and Shalom Park Freedom School, a six-week literacy program for low-income children. “We recognize there are systemic issues that require profound work,” Knight says. “We don’t just pat ourselves on the back when we’ve fed someone who’s hungry.” —T.B.