"Investec Realty is committed to promoting and supporting the Asheville Jewish Community."
"We are an estimated 2,500 Jewish families, two synagogues, a Jewish Community Center, a Community Day School, Chabad Center, Academic Centers for Asheville Jewish Studies and Diversity Education, Hillel, an active Hadassah chapter, a Jewish Business Forum, a strong Federation, and more! We are a wonderfully diverse community: Jews by birth and Jews by choice, traditionalists and spiritualist, all living in one of the most desirable areas in the country. It's not surprising then that the Asheville Jewish community is currently experiencing an unprecedented level of growth. As quality of life continues to play a bigger role in the decision of where to live, Asheville will continue to attract more and more young professional families, second home buyers, empty nesters, and active retirees." Alan Silverman, member of Congregation Beth Israel and Vice President of Maccabi Academy.
Asheville Jewish Community Facts and Figures
In 2009, the Asheville Jewish Leadership Collaborative, on behalf of the Asheville Jewish Community, embarked on the first-ever demographic study of our community. The study was designed and performed by demographers from Brandeis University.
In October 2010, the results of 2010 Western North Carolina Jewish Demographic Study were presented to the community. The following are just a few of the statistical highlights. To download and read the entire study, click here.
Total Number of Jews in WNC: There are approximately 4,720 year round residents in Jewish-connected homes in Western North Carolina and at least another 1,000 seasonal residents.
Where do we live? 72% of the Jewish connected households in Western North Carolina are located in Buncombe County. Another 13% are in Henderson County, 5% in Transylvania County, and 3% in Macon County; the remaining 7% of households we found were spread among 14 other counties in Western North Carolina.
10 Most Popular ZIP Codes: 28804, 28803, 28805, 28806, 28801 (Asheville); 28704 (Arden); 28787 (Weaverville); 28712 (Brevard); 28739 (Hendersonville); and 28715 (Candler).
Tenure of Residence: Nearly 60% of all Jewish-connected households in Western North Carolina first moved to the area in the last ten years, and nearly 80% arrived in the last 20 years.
Seasonal Community Members: Of the estimated 835 seasonal members of our community, about 46% re from Florida; 10% are from South Carolina and another 10% come from other parts of North Carolina; 18% are from Connecticut, New York, and Oregon. Other states represented by seasonal residents include Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Virginia.
How old are we? The mean age of our Jewish community is 49.3 years; an estimated 28% of the WNC Jewish population is 65 years or older; 21% are 55- 64; 21% are 35-54; 15% are 18-34; children (aged 17 or younger) make up 15% of the population.
Business Ownership: About one-third of Jewish adults in Western North Carolina own their own businesses (35% of year-round residents and 30% of seasonal residents). Of those, 93% operate only in Western North Carolina and 7% operate both in Western North Carolina and elsewhere.
Marital Status, Children, and Intermarriage: Approximately three-quarters (78%) of Jewish-connected households in Western North Carolina include a married couple. Forty percent of these couples are interfaith. Among households that include married couples, 27% include children. Sixty-four percent of the children are being raised exclusively Jewish, with another 19% being raised Jewish and something else. Seventeen percent are being raised exclusively non-Jewish.
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“Many people who come to the south are surprised to find out that there is a strong Asheville Jewish community that has been here for more than 100 years. That certainly includes Asheville and the surrounding area. I have personally been laughed at by people outside the south who thought I was making that up. In our interviews for The Down Home Project, the state-wide history of Jews of North Carolina, Rabbi Michael Robinson, 80, who was born and grew up in Asheville, but lived outside the south as an adult, told us that when he was in the navy in WWII, shipmates would not believe that he was Jewish and from the south." Jan Schochet, partner History@Hand
Jewish Asheville Links
- Center for Jewish Studies at UNC-Asheville
Dr. Rick Chess, Director
- Chabad Lubavitch of WNC
Rabbi Shaya Susskind, Executive Director
The Chabad House
660 Merrimon Avenue, Suite C
Asheville, NC 28804
- Congregation Beth Israel (Conservative)
Robert Cabelli, Rabbi
229 Murdock Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
- Maccabi Academy of Asheville
- WNC Hillel
- WNC Jewish Federation
Janet Oppenheimer, Executive Director
P.O. Box 7126
Asheville, NC 28802
- Asheville/Hendersonville Chapter of Hadassah
Ramsey Library at the University of North Carolina-Asheville houses a permanent special collection of books and materials on the history of Jewish Life in Western North Carolina. Click here to view the collection.
North Carolina Museum of Art Judaic Collection
The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh is one of only two art museums in the nation with a collection of Jewish ceremonial art. The ritual objects, often made of precious metals and embellished with great artistry, are intended to beautify the ceremonies that define Jewish life. Click here for more information about the collection.
Known as "the Paris of the South," Asheville combines the natural beauty of the mountains with a temperate climate and tremendous cultural richness. It consistently rates as one of the top destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and retirees alike. Hiking, camping and whitewater activities are close by. Cultural offerings include live theatre, music from symphony to bluegrass, and active professional crafts and fine arts communities.
Asheville's Jewish community numbers around 1200 households, but our high rate of synagogue affiliation and community activity belie our small size:
- We are the smallest Jewish community in the country to support a Jewish Community Center. The Asheville Jewish Community Center provides opportunities for everyone in Western North Carolina to connect to Jewish life and culture. We meet the needs of our vibrant, evolving community through every life stage with exciting programs that continuously expand and improve.
- Jewish Family Services of Western North Carolina was established in March of 2007 as a program of the Asheville Jewish Community Center to provide vital services to people of all ages, ethnicities and faiths. JFS provides programs and human services to educate, support and strengthen individuals and families in a manner consistent with the Jewish values of social responsibility, respect and caring for one another.
- The WNC Jewish Federation supports the JCC and provides grants for many worthy programs in the Jewish community and the larger community.
- Our local Hadassah chapter organizes monthly Rosh Hodesh celebrations, book clubs, lectures, and many other events.
- Jewish learning is alive in Asheville at the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC-Asheville.
- For information on where to find kosher foods in Asheville, click here.
More information, including links to most Asheville-based Jewish organizations and a community calendar, can be found at the website of One Jewish Asheville,an initiative of the Asheville Jewish Leadership Collaborative.
WHO WE ARE
A network group of Jewish business owners, executives, managers and professionals in the greater Asheville area.
Working together to enhance the area's economy, and continue the 100+ years of Western North Carolina Jewish heritage.