Here are a few upcoming events you might consider
Wednesday, August 2, Iris Newman's Apartment
Saturday, August 5, Beverly's Apartment
Wednesday, August 9, Bobbi's Apartment
Sunday, August 20, Susan Berger's Pool in NJ
Bagels & Books, with Rabbi
Sunday, August 27, Joanne's Apartment
For more information call our voice mail or visit
Hazak, Hazak, Ve-Nithazek -- from strength to
strength, may we be strengthened. We just finished
another great book in Leyv Ha-Ir's history. As we
finish one book, of course we start another one. The
year 5767 is just around the corner. Let's build on our
strength and create an even better year next year. In
order to build on our strength, we need to nurture the
relationships that have made us who we are. Give
your friends at Leyv Ha-Ir a call, e-mail or visit. Check
in with each other to strengthen the relationships
which build the core of this community. Then, from
that solid core of relationships which have formed the
basis of our congregational life, grow our community
by creating new relationships. Tell people why you
come to this synagogue. Encourage them to attend
some of our services or outreach events.
Speaking of starting new books, for the third
consecutive year, we are reading a book together.
This summer we are reading Exploring Judaism
by Rebecca Alpert and Jacob Staub. We will be
meeting together in August to discuss this clearly
written description of Reconstructionist Jewish values
and practices. I am asking you to get your hands on
this book right away, start reading it, and talk about it
with everyone you know who might be interested. If
you are an informed and energized member of our
community, you will be our best marketing strategy. I
look forward to continuing this conversation.
On behalf of the officers and staff at Leyv Ha-Ir
~ Heart of the City, I wish you a restful, enjoyable
summer. I look forward to hearing from each of you.
Michael Meketon, President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
|July 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
July 1 SAT
LHI Shabbat Service
Sibyl's, 10:00 AM
July 5 WED
LHI Council Meeting
Sibyl's, 7:00 PM
July 15 SAT
Joan Goldberg's, 10:00 AM
July 21 FRI
Erev Shabbat Service & Pot Luck Dinner
Bobbi's, 7:00 PM
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:
The 2nd annual Independence Eve Study
Session: An interactive encounter with the great
texts of American independence and democracy. We
will be led in an interactive learning session on our
American "Torah" (the Declaration and the
Constitution) by Dr. Michael Zuckerman of the
University of Pennsylvania. See Dr. Zuckerman's bio.
Location: Congregation Mikveh Israel ("the
Synagogue of the Revolution") 44 N. 4th
and time: July 3rd, 6-8 PM, the eve of
Day. Admission is FREE. All are welcome! For more
information, call 215-832-0597, or e-mail
Join the Kehillah of Center City and the Jewish
Relief Agency to help feed those in need in our Center
City community! They are currently registering people
for Sundays, July 9th and August 6th, Time:
am-1:30 pm; Meeting Place: Congregation
Abraham, 527 Lombard Street.
To learn more about these events,
out the link to Center City Kehillah.
||Click here for a complete look at activities for the next two months...
|Joys of Yiddish
Have a "yiddish" phrase that sticks with you and needs
some explanation? Just submit that phrase and our
resident expert, Maria Mackey, will research it for you.
|Message from Rabbi
Hello friends. I hope everyone is joining me in
reading Exploring Judaism by Rabbis Rebecca Alpert
and Jacob Staub. This book, available from
Amazon.com is a terrific introduction to Judaism from a
Reconstructionist perspective. It will help you explain
what Reconstructionism is all about. Check our web
site for the Bagels and Books discussion on this book
that I'll be leading on August 27th. This will be the
third year in which we've undertaken a "One
Congregation, One Book" program. It's been a great
way to learn together. Enjoy the summer!
|Leyv Ha-Ir 2006 Annual Meeting Minutes
Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
May 21, 2006
1900 JFK Blvd., Philadelphia
Present: Rabbi Julie Greenberg, Joanne
Perilstein, John Mason, Roby Jacobs, Mike Meketon,
Marci Fleet, Richard Yaskin, Karen Zeitz, Bobbi Cohen,
Beverly Hayden, Iris Cutler, Iris Newman, Patty
Goldentyer, Susan Berger, Louise Simons, Joan
Goldberg, Joe Fishman, Sol Volk, Polly Gussman, Evy
Simon, Sandy Brown, Maria Mackey, Frann Shore.
Michael Meketon, Acting President,
opened the meeting. We reviewed the many, many
highlights of the past year.
Rabbi Julie reviewed the year's events
of our very active congregation. Her hopes for next
year include more Simchat Hochmah ceremonies, more
involvement of parents and toddlers, and outreach for
Yizkor on Yom Kippur.
Appreciation of Joanne Perilstein. Mike
thanked Joanne for her service as past President. He
presented her with a gift from the congregation: three
CDs of Jewish music.
Joanne presented the Nominating Committee's slate of
officers for next year:
- Michael Meketon:
President (two-year term)
- Bobbi Cohen: First
Vice President (two-year term)
- Sibyl Cohen:
Second Vice President
- Iris Newman: Secretary
- Sol Volk: Assistant Treasurer
- Council at large: Marci Fleet, Theresa Candelaria,
Myrna Schlanger, Maria Mackey
There were no nominations from the floor. The
slate was elected unanimously.
Bobbi presented the proposed budget for 2006-07.
Total revenues are budgeted at $50,650, expenses at
$58,980. This year, income and expenses were close
to budgeted amounts. We have been operating with a
deficit budget for several years, making up the
difference with some surplus funds for previous years.
Eventually, we will have to either reduce expenses or
increase income by increasing our membership. We
have faith that indeed membership will grow. Mike and
Rabbi Julie will begin to look at legacies, inheritances
The budget was unanimously approved. Bobbi
was thanked for her excellent work.
Conversation About Congregational
We want to be a congregation that speaks
respectfully to each other, particularly when we
disagree with each other. We should bear in mind that
we do not share the same political beliefs.
The meeting was adjourned.
|Sandy Brown: Simchat Chochmah
Simchat Chochmah is a celebration; it is said to be
life transition, or naming.
It is significant that the biblical Sara was known as
Sarai prior to her pregnancy, and when she gave birth,
G-D re-named her Sarah. I am going to take this
celebration of my life as an opportunity to re-take the
name that some of you knew me by as a child. You
may remember that my father named me Sarah, and
my mother went along with it, until I went to school.
On that first day, she told me that from now on my
name was Sandra. And so, for those in this room who
knew me as Sarah, and had a difficult time changing to
Sandra, and then Sandy, feel free to call me Sarah if
you like! You may even recall that I resisted that name
for a long time.
On Friday evening, we celebrate the end of the
week, and enter Shabbat. Having worked for 6 days,
we look forward to rest and prayer on Shabbat, the
7th day, and then we begin the cycle again; a new
week, new experiences, new -----.
Today, I am celebrating 7 decades of life. There
are friends and family in this room who represent each
of those decades of my life; my cousin, Jackie, since
she is a bit older than I, has been here since my first
decade, actually since my birth; Sheila came in the
second decade; we met when we were 13, have been
thru much both separately and together, and we are
still as close as sisters. She shared the most difficult
time when my mother died.
In my 3rd decade I went to school, became a
nurse, and desperately tried to find a place for myself
professionally. This was another difficult time for me,
until the end that that decade when things began to
change and I found my place professionally working
w/parents and their brain injured children at the
Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential.
During the 4th decade I began to learn about me,
what I was capable of, what my own potential might
be. This was the decade in which I met my Institutes
friends, some of whom are here today, as we are still
close and see each other regularly. I began to travel
to many faraway places that I never dreamed I would
In my 5th decade I took great professional risks
which took me to even more of the world, to teach
others. I grew professionally and personally during
The 6th decade brought a godson, Matthew; then
Allison, Jesse, and another godson, Stephen came as
well; and finally, in the 7th decade came Max, Brady,
Alex, Eli, Abe, and now Marvin and Ayla. This has
been the continuum of my life and those I love. And
the cycle goes on.
The Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21-24, which
we will read tomorrow, deals with laws which exist
until today, and reveals another type of continuum.
This Parsha is a record of law and a chronicle of
change. There are 3 categories of laws: Laws
that are integral in our lives, Laws that have obvious
wisdom, but require transition into new circumstances
in order to be relevant, and Laws that appear to have
This is the Parshat in which we read about an
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. This
law was an improvement over the time that people
were killed as punishment. The law now decreed that
nothing more than an eye could be taken for an eye.
But as time passed this also evolved; for instance, if a
blind man’s eye is taken, he doesn’t have an eye to
give up. And so it was worked around and evolved
over time to mean that people could pay a fine
of being hurt, which is pretty much how civilized
people deal with all types of injury today.
This third category contains a law which
prohibited those with deformities or deficits to serve,
although they were permitted to eat at the Temple. (I
can see your eyes popping) Having spent my entire
professional life working with disabled children and
adults, you all must have a pretty good idea how I
was affected when I read it. I was actually horrified
and upset. But as my studies continued, I learned that
the reason we maintain this law is that it gives us an
opportunity to examine it, discuss it, and learn from it.
The rejection of imperfection that is inherent in the
law is very human and very much within us today. By
looking into this law we come face to face with our
fear and rejection of those that appear on the outside
to be different; different by color, religion, physical or
mental deficit. How many times have you looked away
from a person who appears to be different? Are we
embarrassed, afraid, do we think it is communicable
and we might catch it? We are reminded of the
controversy regarding the statue of FDR. Many, many
people were opposed to showing him in a wheel chair,
as we know he did not want to be seen as being
unable to walk.
But it also makes me aware that in all of life there is a
continuum: the continuum of human development such
as the new born infant who develops into a full fledged
human being by advancing thru the normal
developmental stages, the development of a people
from primitive, such as the natives that Sheila and I
in the Amazon, to the highly sophisticated human
beings that we profess to be. There is also the
continuum of our beliefs. When I was disturbed about
disabled people being excluded, I discussed it with
Rabbi Julie, and she informed me that in later years,
after the destruction of the Temple, the Rabbis looked
at this passage and were uncomfortable with it. They
interpreted it by identifying that we are all disabled,
spiritually, because none of us has the Temple to go
to anymore to purify ourselves. And now none of us
can serve at the Temple, which is fine, because there
is no Temple.
It reminds me that as everyone of us goes thru
that developmental continuum, each of us reaches a
certain point, our individual potential, but none reach
the ideal - that unique human being who is perfect in
every way – physically, intellectually, spiritually,
emotionally, and morally. I don’t know this person, do
you? So in fact we are all imperfect, to
varying degrees. Our development as an empathic
human being can be fast or slow, because it is an ever
changing process – it can be slowed, discouraged, or
stopped by teaching prejudice, racism, ignorance and
hatred; or it can be encouraged by education,
learning, understanding, participating, speaking out,
And so our religion has also moved along in a
continuum, the way we observe our religion has
evolved, the manner in which we observe the laws
changes with the times; and we all observe it even
today in very different ways. And so we continue to
evolve and move along that continuum of life.
Now that I am entering my 8th decade, I accept
my self as I have developed and evolved, as I am
today. I acknowledge my mortality, and celebrate that
I am healthy and willing to keep moving thru the
continuum of life, wherever it takes me.
In honor of this Simchat Chochmah I have made a
donation to Rabbis for Human Rights for the planting of
Olive Trees for Peace.
In addition to Rabbi Julie, I would like to thank Pat
Wisch for the insight and teaching she has given me
for this Simchat Chochmah.
Sandy Brown 5/12/06