The Pulse of Our Congregation September 2007

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

September 2007 Activities

Reminder - Yizkor Book deadline

Family Torah Group and High Holy Day Children's Services

Ethics Workshops (Legally Speaking)

Successful Book Through Bars Program Renews This Year


Looking Ahead

Please note that we are holding a special Children's High Holy Day service on September 13th and September 22nd, 9AM at the Ethical Society at 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square. Leader of the Family Torah group, Jessi Roemer, will be conducting the services.

Get ready for Mitzvah Mania day, October 21st! Begin collecting personal hygiene items (trial size soaps, shampoos, combs, etc.) to pack kits for the homeless. Bring these items to our events at Ethical Society or contact Evy Simon, 215-561-7474.

Collecting books for Books Through Bars program. Bring books to our events at Ethical Society. Appropriate books are on Books Through Bars Website

Marking Life Cycle Events

Making a financial contribution to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir is a great way to mark special life events, simchas, yahrzeits, etc. We are happy to send an acknowledgement of your contribution to a designee of your choice. Contributions can be sent to our regular P.O. Box address, or contact Evy Simon, at 215-561-7474 or, if you'd like to have an acknowledgement card sent.

Thank you.

Dad's True-Bond Wondrous Glue
İRoy Shenberg 2007 1.
Just a kid's model airplane
But I dreamed that I could fly it
Far from my sick bed
Down to Timbukto

I flew from Rome to Lapland
'Till one day the plane flew from my hand
It crashed against the wall
I cried: "It's broke up, just like me!" 3.
Dad said "Don't you cry, son
My special glue will fix it
Then he fixed my plane to fly again
With his True-bond Wondrous, Glue

Now that I'm grown I miss him
Precious moments when we bonded then
I often wondered what it was
So special 'bout his glue?

Dad's True-bond Wondrous Glue
He can fix anything with it
Make it just like new

He can mend a broken heart
Or a dream that fell apart
All he needs is his loving hands
And Dad's True-bond Wondrous Glue

I guess the little kid still in me
Needs a caring dad to bond with
Someone to make me feel whole again
When I'm feeling small and blue

So dad if you're listening
Thanks for your heart and loving hands
And for leaving me the secret of
Your True-bond Wondrous Glue

Dad's True-Bond Wondrous glue
It can mend a broken heart;
Or a dream that fell apart,
And the special ingredients
Of Dad's True Bond Wondrous Glue
Are the Dads that have the time and love for you.

The House of Healing by the Shore
İMaria Mackey 1989

In the sunbeam
Through the window
Dust motes lift
And glide
Distant seagulls
Over a shimmering sea

Newsletter Design:

Ilene Hass
Creative Solutions
for Business Marketing

Dear Friends and Members of Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City,

In addition to the spiritual and liturgical content of High Holy Days, I am asking you to attend to the social or civilizational experiences you have at synagogue this year. It is not by coincidence that many of the prayers we recite this time of year are in the first person plural. We have sinned (more aptly missed the mark). We cannot enter into this level of spirituality until we build a community.

As a child attending High Holy Day services at my parents' synagogue I noticed that there were talkers and shushers. The talkers talked and the shushers shushed. Being a fairly uptight kid, I aligned myself morally with the shushers. This is serious stuff! We are here to take an inventory of our past year, to assess our life and to identify areas of growth and change. How can I do that if you are talking all through the services?

I transitioned from a shusher to a talker twenty-five holiday seasons ago when I returned from college for the first time. Upon losing the luxury of regular contact, catching up became as important to me as the service.

In our Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City community, over three quarters of the High Holy Day attendees are welcomed guests rather than members. This means that there is greater challenge when it comes to building community for the purpose of this first- person-plural communal introspection. Can we honestly account for the way in which we have fallen short collectively if we do not know each other?

Therefore, I am asking you to use Rosh Hashanah, just as productively as a talker as you do as a shusher. If we are going to be ready for the Yom Kippur spiritual marathon, we need to get to know each other on Rosh Hashanah.

So please, when you arrive at services, look around and see if you can find anyone you know. Philadelphia is not that big, you will not be surprised to find someone you know. Greet them demonstratively, with a loud hello and a hug - it will encourage others. Next, over the evening and two mornings of Rosh Hashanah services, meet at least five new people. Go up to strangers and say, "Hi, my name is Seymour (might not be your real name), L'shanah tovah - To a good year." One of these five strangers should look different to you - more observant, less observant - older, younger - you get my point. Make a date to see someone next week at Yom Kippur. Finally, if you enjoy worshiping with us, bring family or friends.

In this way, when the book is sealed, we will be together, in relationship, doing what we must to make this new year the best it can be.

L'Shanah Tovah,

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

  • September 2007 Activities
  • September 1 SATURDAY
    Shabbat Services
    Ethical Society
    10:00 AM

    September 5 WEDNESDAY
    Council Meeting
    Ethical Society
    7:00 PM

    September 8 SATURDAY
    Ethical Society
    8:30 PM


    Wednesday, September 12
    Erev Rosh Hashanah
    7:30 PM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square

    Thursday, September 13
    Rosh Hashanah Children's Service*
    9:00 AM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.

    Thursday, September 13
    Rosh Hashanah First Day Morning Service:
    10:00 AM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square

    Thursday, September 13
    Tashlich (sponsored by Kehillah of Center City)
    4:00 PM
    Schuylkill River at Walnut Street

    Friday, September 14
    Rosh Hashanah Second Day Morning Service
    10:00 AM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square


    Friday, September 21
    Kol Nidre: 6:30 PM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square

    Saturday, September 22
    Yom Kippur Children's Service
    9:00 AM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square*

    Saturday, September 22
    Yom Kippur Morning Service 10:00 AM
    Yizkor Service: approximately 1:00 PM
    Break/Study Session: 2:30 PM
    Mincha/Neilah: 5:30 PM
    Break Fast: 7:45 PM
    Ethical Society
    1906 S. Rittenhouse Square

    *Children's Services, led by Jessi Roemer, are for 3 - 8 year olds accompanied by one or both parents.

    **Make reservations today to attend High Holiday Services with Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir! For Security purposes, reservations are necessary. Call 215-629-1995 or

    September 26 WEDNESDAY
    Erev Sukkot
    Roof of Penn Center House following services in Bev's apartment
    Call voice mail at 215-629-1995 for more information
    7:30 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. To learn more about these events, check out the link to Center City Kehillah.

    Click here for a complete look at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir activities for the upcoming two months.
  • Reminder - Yizkor Book deadline
  • September 5 is the deadline to submit your contributions and names to be included in our Yizkor Book for Yom Kippur. If you need a form, please contact Bobbi Cohen at or 215.236.0689.

  • Family Torah Group and High Holy Day Children's Services
  • Families are cordially invited to attend High Holy Day Children's Services, led by our fabulous Family Torah Group leader, Jessi Roemer. Jessi will bring her blend of song, story, and interactive games to a half-hour of developmentally-appropriate programming designed for children ages 3-8. Services will take place at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square (1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, 2nd floor) at the following times:

    Rosh Hashanah: Thursday, September 13, 9:00 am
    Yom Kippur: Saturday, September 22, 9:00 am

    For security purposes and for information about parking, please register at or call 215-629-1995. You are, of course, welcome to attend the "grown-up" services with your children immediately following Jessi's program.

    Our next scheduled Family Torah Group meetings will be held in Center City on October 14 and November 11 in Center City at 10 AM. Please call 215-629-1995 for more information.

  • Ethics Workshops (Legally Speaking)
  • Karen Zeitz, Esq., a Leyv Ha-Ir member and Estate Attorney, offers 2 workshops, both held at the Philadelphia City Institute, 19th & Locust Streets, from 6:15-7:45PM. THIS IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - BRING FRIENDS!

    Wednesday, October 10th:

    Learn about Ethical Wills, why people write them, to whom, and their oral and textual history. We will read examples of ethical wills and spend a portion of the workshop drafting our own. Even if you do not have children or property, find out the value of writing an ethical will and how you can leave your own unique legacy.

    Wednesday, October 24th:

    You don't have to be a millionaire to leave money or assets to a charity or non-profit in your will. We will read some of the Biblical text regarding "giving" as well as the basic tax advantages to your family and estate.

  • Successful Book Through Bars Program Renews This Year
  • Please help those prisoners who are starving for books expand their worlds through words again. Many see education as their opportunity to find employment upon discharge. Last year's Books Through Bars (BTB) program and volume of books collected were successful way beyond our dreams! This year, we will continue this worthy mitzvah and declare Sukkot services as the Books-thru-Bars Collection time. Please look for suitable books in your homes (see below) and put them aside to bring to Sukkot services at on Wednesday, September 26 at 7:30 PM at the Penn Center House, 1900 JFK Blvd. Furthermore, we plan to request donated books at other congregation events, as well as in the monthly newsletter. So, stay tuned.

    In addition to donating books, several volunteers have particularly enjoyed going to BTB headquarters, reading the prisoners' letters, matching their requests with donated books from BTB's extensive library, and packing the books. Therefore, Bev Hayden has assured me that, after the Holidays, she will help round up a group of volunteers to go to Headquarters soon.

    BTB's website indicates the books they want. Please follow their guidelines:

    Dictionaries in English or a foreign language
    GED & ESL study guides
    Books in Spanish
    Yoga and Meditation
    Drawing & Painting
    High School Textbooks (all subjects)
    College Textbooks (intro level)
    Spanish, Arabic & Swahili textbooks
    Mexican & Puerto Rican History
    African & African American History & Fiction
    Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery

    They do NOT need hard cover fiction, out-of-date textbooks, or books in poor condition. Paperbacks are preferred.

    I know you will be moved when you read the prisoners' letters of need and gratitude. Please listen at High Holiday Services for our announcements about Books Thru Bars Collection Time at Sukkot services. Thank you in advance for your participation and generous contributions.

    Margie Wiener
    Tikkun Olam Chair

    :: 215-629-1995