Shir Libeynu Logo
E-Update August 23rd, 2012
In This Edition 

1. Next Shabbat Service 


2. High Holy Days at Shir Libeynu


3. Other Upcoming Services


4. Jewish Education at Shir Libeynu


5. Other Shir Libeynu News 

        a)   Snowblink: A New Album

        b)   Letters: A Video by Barbara Center

        c)   Ashkenaz Festival 2012

        d)   Fire & Renewal 2012: Call for submissions for an exhibit in honour of Oscar Wolfman

        e)   Join our Facebook Group

         f)   New Mailing Address


5.  Another Item of Interest

       a) Calling All Jewish Entrepreneurs




Our Next  Service


Shir Libeynu Logo


invites you to join us at our innovative,

truly egalitarian and participatory

Shabbat service


Saturday, September 1st

10:30 a.m.






The Kiddush will be sponsored by Bonnie and Brian Smith as a celebration of the baby namings at this service for their two grandchildren, Rosalind and Benjamin.





The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Avenue @ Bloor and Spadina
(across from Spadina Station)
in the Michael Bernstein Chapel on the 3rd floor


Only 24 more days until 5773.

What are you waiting for? 


For a participatory, joyous and truly egalitarian High Holy Days experience this year, buy your membership/tickets now.

  • Print out our High Holy Days schedule
  • Read greetings from our liturgical leaders and our board
  • Peruse the menu for our ever-popular Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner (1/2 of the tickets are already sold!)

  High Holy Days seats are going fast.  

We encourage you to place your order now to ensure availability.


Don't forget that members may buy discounted, individual tickets for their friends and family.  






Other Upcoming Services


Upcoming monthly Shabbat services at 10:30 a.m.:

Saturday, October 6th
Our Sukkot-themed service will include a visit to the Sukkah.

The Kiddush will be sponsored by Yona and Zev Frishman in celebration of their wedding anniversary and Yona's birthday.


Saturday, November 10th

Our Annual Holocaust Education Week service

will honour survivor and philanthropist

Alex Eisen for his role in the Megillat Hashoah Project.

Please note this service is taking place on the second Saturday in November.



The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

750 Spadina Avenue @ Bloor and Spadina

(across from Spadina Station)




Jewish Education at Shir Libeynu


 *NEW *

Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah at Shir Libeynu


At Shir Libeynu, bar/bat mitzvah-age children and their families have the opportunity to celebrate entering into Jewish adulthood  at inventive and inclusive services that reflect their values as well as those of our congregation. Please visit our Jewish education page for more information about the support and guidance provided by our spiritual leader, Aviva Goldberg, the responsibilities of the bar/bat mitzvah and his/her family, educational options, and other details.


Downtown Jewish Community School


Congregation Shir Libeynu recommends the Downtown Community School (DJCS) as its first choice for quality education in supplementary Jewish school. Conveniently located at the Miles Nadal JCC, where we hold our Shabbat services, DJCS is inclusive, egalitarian and diverse.


Running from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 7, DJCS offers a Jewish Studies program with an optional Hebrew component beginning in Grade 2. In Grade 7, the bar/bat mitzvah year, the focus is on understanding and performing mitzvot (good deeds). High-school aged students can participate in the DJCS once-a-month Sunday brunch high school discussion group.


Tuition fees are fully tax deductible and include a free MNJCC membership for each enrolled child. For more information, visit the Downtown Jewish Community School's website or LIKE it on Facebook.






Other Shir Libeynu News 



Snowblink: A New Album


Mazel tov to our Chazzan, Daniela Gesundheit, and her husband, Dan Goldman, on the upcoming release of Snowblink's new album Inner Classics, available September 11th on Arts & Crafts Records. The release show will take place at the Music Gallery (197 John Street) with Alex Lukashevsky on Thursday, September 27th.



Letters -- a video by Barbara Center


Letters is a poetic expression of Shir Libeynu member Barbara Center's coming out later in life as a Jewish lesbian. The film, which was screened at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and the Inside/Out Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, is now available for viewing on YouTube. It features Barbara celebrating her 60th birthday by being called to the Torah for an aliyah at one of our Shabbat services, led by Aviva Goldberg.


Chanukah Dancing   


Get ready for the 2012 Ashkenaz Festival, 

North America's largest festival

of Yiddish and Jewish culture

August 28 - September 3, Harbourfront Centre




The 9th biennial Ashkenaz Festival will awe and delight people of all ages and backgrounds, with over 75 acts and 200 world-class performers presenting contemporary and traditional forms of Jewish music, art and culture. Most of the programs and concerts are free.

This year's programming includes artists joining us for the first time from Uganda, India, Central Asia, Australia and Mexico.


For more info, call 416-979-9901





Monday, Sept. 3 @ 3 p.m.


Join other Shir Libeynu people at this very special Ashkenaz concert. Klezmersonremarkable band out of Mexico City, explores the Jewish musical tradition while reflecting the diverse urban sounds of their hometown.



This concert is taking place at the outdoor WestJet stage of Harbourfront; we will meet at the back of the theatre by 2:40 p.m., at which point we will secure seats as a group.


Other Ashkenaz concerts and events that we recommend (chosen by our musical coordinator and chazzan, Daniela Gesundheit, and Elise Eisenkraft Klein, a long-time member, Klezmer musician and presently attending Klez Canada in Quebec on scholarship):  

Sat., Sept. 1 @ 11 p.m. -  Opa! (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Post-Soviet klezmer and pop collides with reggae, ska, funk and rock in electrifying party music! Particularly promising for our younger members, according to Elise.


Sun, Sept. 2 @ 3 p.m. -  Ventanas (Toronto) 

This five-person group performs a unique mixture of flamenco, Balkan and Sephardic music. Says Daniela: "I have seen them perform several times and I get chills every time."


Sun., Sept. 2 @ 3 p.m. - Paul Buhle: "Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land" (Wisconsin)

Co-editors Harvey Pekar and Paul Buhle trace the influence of Yiddish from medieval Europe to the present with an anthology of comics and graphic art.


  Sun., Sept. 2 @ 6 p.m. - The Tarras Band (New York)

Says Elise: "This band is full of super skilled and awesome klezmer musicians!! They will definitely be a good show - probably pretty straight up klezmer/classic American klezmer sounds from the '20s and '30s."


Sun., Sept. 2 @ 7 p.m. - Abayudaya (Uganda)

The Abayudaya live in rural villages in eastern Uganda and trace their Jewish origins to the turn of the 20th century. Their music blends the rhythms and harmonies of African music with Jewish celebration and traditional Hebrew prayer.



Sun, Sept. 2 @ 7 p.m. - Eatala: A Life in Klezmer 

This 39-minute film is a loving portrait of octogenarian Elaine Hoffman Watts (her Yiddish name is "Eatala") and her family legacy. The documentary shows how a feisty and determined woman has broken barriers as a musician and a working mother, and in her persistent devotion to her family's klezmer music.  


Chanukah Dancing  




Attention All Shir Libeynu artists, sculptors, photographers, storytellers and writers.



Juried Group Art Exhibition



In remembrance of our late member, Oscar Wolfman, Queen Gallery, which hosted his first two exhibitions, is following through with a curatorial project Oscar began before his death in late 2011. 


Members of the Shir Libeynu community are being offered an opportunity to be a part of this juried group exhibition. Fire & Renewal hopes to feature some of Oscar's work as well as artwork that he too would have chosen and admired. The show will take place in December, 2012, on the longest night of the year, just as he requested.


Queen Gallery would would like to encourage any art-related recommendations you might have that would make this tribute to Oscar --  an artist who accented our lives and memories with his life and artwork -- even more colourful. Please send your ideas, questions or suggestions to


For more information on Fire & Renewal 2012 and instructions on submitting your work for the exhibit, please click here.


Join Shir Libeynu's New Facebook Group     



Join our Facebook group 



Please Take Note of Our New Mailing Address:


P.O Box 73509

Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7



Another Item of Interest 


(Items listed in this section have been included at the request of Shir Libeynu participants and/or are considered to potentially be of interest to our congregation. Listed items are not necessarily endorsed by Congregation Shir Libeynu or its members. Listings appear at the discretion of the newsletter editor.)


Calling All Jewish Social Entrepreneurs!


Do you have a project or a great idea for Toronto's Jewish community?


The newly developed Centre for Jewish Innovation (CJI) is now offering 3 to 5 emerging and growing Jewish non-profits a rent-free collaborative office space located at the Wolfond Centre. In addition, CJI will provide these non-profits with support in the form of mentorship, increased organizational profile, capacity building, a community of practice, and grant assistance.


If you think this is an opportunity that would be helpful to you, apply by September 14, 2012.


The application, criteria for selection and more details about the benefits of residency can all be found at or email the Director, Alexandra Kuperman at


Shir Libeynu Fund

Proceeds from the fund will go towards ensuring that Shir Libeynu continues to thrive while ensuring access to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.


Click here to donate to the Shir Libeynu Fund (please note that we do not have credit card capability - just PayPal). 


Alternatively, you can make out a cheque to Congregation Shir Libeynu (please write "Shir Libeynu Fund" in the "Memo" or "Re" section on the cheque) and mail it to


Shir Libeynu, 

P.O Box 73509

Toronto, Ontario

M6C 4A7


Please send an email message to 

stating the reason for your donation so we can acknowledge it in the Shabbat handout and on our website. Donations in any amount are welcome and income tax receipts will be issued.


Quick Links








The congregation holds Shabbat services on the first Saturday morning of each month, in the Michael Bernstein Chapel, on the 3rd floor of the Miles Nadal JCC, followed by a Kiddush. Free childcare is available during the services. We also offer adult education workshops and programs, the possibility to participate in our choir and chanting events, as well as holiday celebrations and Oneg Shabbat dinners throughout the year.



Congregation Shir Libeynu is unaffiliated, liberal, inclusive and egalitarian. Our participatory services combine tradition and innovation. Shir Libeynu is Hebrew for "song of our hearts," and our services include prayers and music both ancient and modern. Our diverse community is a welcoming one.

Need more information? Please contact us at: or at (416) 465-5488


Congregation Shir Libeynu

Our New Mailing Address:

P.O Box 73509

Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7