The Pulse of Our Congregation April 2006

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

April 2006 Activities

Share a joyful Passover with Leyv Ha-Ir

Tu B'Shevat 2006
by John Mason

Race for the Cure: The Leyv Ha-Ir Team

Exciting News from Rabbi Julie


Looking Ahead

Here are a few upcoming events you might consider participating in:

Sunday, May 7, 9:00AM we will be sponsoring participation in the Jewish Relief Agency monthly efforts. Contact Sibyl for more information.

Kabbalat Shabbat honoring a Sandy Brown's Simchat Chochmah, Friday Evening, May 12, 2006, 7:30 PM at the Ethical Society

Annual Meeting and Brunch, Sunday, May 21, 10:30 AM, Penn Center House Meeting Room, 2nd Floor

Shavuot Shabbat Service Friday, June 2, 7:30 PM

Bagels and Books Sunday, June 11, 11:00 AM

For more information call our voice mail or visit 215-629-1995

We Welcome Your Simchas

If you have a special occasion coming up such as a birthday, anniversary, retirement or recovery celebration, Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City would love to be part of it. There are a range of ways to integrate your celebration into the life of the community, from a simple candle-lighting on Shabbat to making a presentation at a service, co-leading a service, being called to the Torah or bringing in klezmer music for dancing. By working with me you can craft a moment of ritual that works for you, ensuring that your milestone will be noted in a spiritual framework. In this way the Torah of our lives is shared and recognized. Be in touch!

--Rabbi Julie

Dear Friends,

In our tradition, as part of our central prayer the shema, we quote torah saying, I placed before you a blessing and a curse, choose life...Sometimes the extent of our free will is the choice to see our situation as a blessing.

I am using this space this month to expound on our little congregation's financial blessing this year. One member donated $5000 to offset some of the cost of having a choir director and cantorial soloist. Another member donated $2000 to bring in a guest Rabbi to lead ten meditative maariv services. A third member donated $300 to pay for the room in which these services were held. Another member donated $500 to fund oneg shabbat for our Friday night services. Yet another member wrote a grant to get us $2500 for our seder sing-along event. A different member wrote a grant bringing us $5000 to extend loving kindness to Jews living in institutional settings. These are considerable blessings. Our programming this year reflected the considerable generosity and hard work of our members.

If I were inclined to focus on curses instead of blessings (which I'm not) I would point out that there is no guarantee that we will be able to raise this money again. I would point out that our budget is also sustained by a distribution of $10,000 from a donation by another anonymous donor, and that we still budget at a deficit drawing on savings from previous year's revenues.

The reason I am able to focus on the blessings of the generosity of last year and not the challenging prospects of next year is because I know that year after year, you respond from your hearts when Leyv Ha-Ir asks for your help. I am asking each of you to write the biggest appeal check you have ever written, and send it to us at P.O. Box 15836, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Secondly, I am asking you to expand our appeal by asking someone you know if they would make a donation, maybe in your honor, to this synagogue that means so much to you.

Thank you,

Michael Meketon, President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City

  • April 2006 Activities
  • Some of the events listed below have flyers with more detailed information about each activity. You can view these fliers as .pdf files and print them. The events with associated flyers are underlined with clickable hyperlinks to the associated flyers.

    April 1 SAT
    Shabbat Services
    Ethical Society, 10:00 AM
    Lay led

    April 5 WED
    LHI Council Meeting
    Ethical Society, 7:00 PM

    April 12 WED
    First Seder

    April 13 THURS
    LHI Community Seder
    Ethical Society, 6:30 PM
    Rabbi Julie

    April 15 SAT
    Shabbat Services
    Ethical Society, 10:00 AM
    Lay led

    April 19 WED
    Prayer Class
    Ethical Society, 7:00 PM
    Rabbi Julie

    April 22 SAT
    Shabbat Services
    Home, 10:00 AM
    Lay led

    April 26 WED
    Prayer Class
    Iris N.'s home, 7:00 PM
    Iris N.

    April 30 SUN
    Bagels & Books
    Joanne's, 11:00 AM
    Lots of fun, good food and all for $5.
    M. Schlanger

    As part of the Kehillah of Center City we are invited to attend all of the events that are sponsored by the Kehillah and our larger community. To learn more about The Passover Haggadah and the Jewish Imagination Wednesday, April 5th, 7:00 PM at Congregation B'nai Abraham; A Family Volunteer Opportunity Sunday, April 2nd, 1:00 PM at the JCCs Steiffel Center; and more, Check out the link to Center City Kehillah.

    Click here for a complete look at activities for the next two months...
  • Share a joyful Passover with Leyv Ha-Ir
  • Led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg

    Thursday, April 13, 2006
    6:30 PM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

    Call Myrna Schlanger at 856-795-6956 for more information.

    Reservations and payment ($45 for members and their guests; $50 for non-members) are required immediately.

    Please download the reservation form and mail along with payment, to:
    Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir
    P.O. Box 15836
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

  • Tu B'Shevat 2006
    by John Mason
  • In a spirit of better late than never, Leyv Ha-Ir celebrated its Tu B'Shevat seder in the thirtieth floor community room of Kennedy House, 1901 John F. Kennedy Blvd., on Saturday, February 25, 2006.

    Rabbi Anna Rosenfield, a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, published her own seder for the evening's service. The seder displayed the four worlds in Kaballisitic tradition, with the accompanying fruits-one with a hard shell and soft inside, one with a soft outside and hard inside, and one soft all the way through.

    The service began with the Havdalah service, closing shabbat. Residents of the building joined Leyv Ha-Ir members in the festivities.

  • Race for the Cure: The Leyv Ha-Ir Team
  • On Sunday, May 14, 2006 (Mother's Day morning), the Third Annual LHI Team will meet at the team booth at 8-8:15AM, to the right of the Art Museum steps. Look for team mates, wear your team shirts and bring your team spirit. New LHI members and friends are welcome. Call Susan Berger at 856-751-5574, or email her for registration information.

  • Exciting News from Rabbi Julie
  • Rabbi Julie Greenberg

    Dear Chevrah,

    Exciting news at the Heart of the City: some Leyv Ha-Ir-niks, including me, will be helping launch a Torah Playgroup for very young children. We will do Shabbat and holiday activities and lively Torah stories. Our first meeting is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, 3:00 - 4:30 in the home of one of the families. Please call Kat or Michael at 215-235-1175 if you or someone you know would like to bring a child aged 2 - 4. My hope is that reaching out to young families will eventually enrich our community with new friends and with intergenerational life cycle ceremonies. Jewish community flourishes when it is multi-generational!

    Speaking of multi-generational, we'll be celebrating the Simchat Chochmah of Sandy Brown on Friday evening May 12. The Simchat Chochmah ceremony is a relatively new Jewish life-cycle ceremony designed to elevate and honor elders as sharers of wisdom in our communities. The Simchat Chochmah is celebrated from age 60 on.....Sandy will teach us about the Torah portion, talk about how she reached this day and sponsor an evening of delicious food and dance. All are welcome.

    Chag sameach, Happy spring,
    Rabbi Julie Greenberg

    :: 215-629-1995