The Pulse of Our Congregation April 2008

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

April 2008 Activities

Reserve NOW for our Community Seder - April 20, 2008

Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg

April 4 Shabbat Dinner - All are Welcome

Learn Beauty Secrets at Chai Tea

"GOD watches over musicians!" by Roy Shenberg


Looking Ahead

May 11 - Mother's Day & Race for the Cure - Ben Franklin Parkway at 8 AM.

May 18 - Israel Independence Day Parade and Festival, 12-5 PM, The Parkway - Join the Philadelphia Jewish community as we celebrate the milestone 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel with a parade from 16th and the Ben Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval. Join the Israel Festival at Eakins Oval and experience Israel at its finest. For more details contact Beth Razin at 215-832-0536 or . You can also visit

June 1 - Leyv Ha-Ir Annual Meeting, 11 AM, place TBA

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.

by Maria Mackey 1994


Newsletter Design and eMail Marketing:

Ilene Hass
Creative Solutions
for Business Marketing

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

This e-newsletter initiates our membership drive for this coming fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2008. If you join now, you can become a member for the remainder of this fiscal year for no additional cost.

In the life cycle of a synagogue, there are certain natural times when membership spikes. These times include its founding, the purchase of a new building and the hiring of a new Rabbi. None of those things are happening now. In fact the structure of our community and its underlying values suggest that we will not find growth in those places. We cannot start over again. We have been a successful synagogue for 17 years. We do not own a building and will not any time soon quite intentionally. We are not a showy synagogue. We are a modest synagogue. Our Rabbi does not foster a cult of personality. She finds her authority in her principle, wisdom and empowerment of others.

So in order for there to be membership growth, you must become committed to this organization. You must collect up a group of friends and decide to develop this community. Please do this.

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

PS I started a Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City Facebook page. Join that group and we can talk about how to grow this synagogue.

  • April 2008 Activities
  • April 2 WEDNESDAY
    Council Meeting
    Ethical Society
    7:00 PM

    April 4 FRIDAY
    Shabbat Dinner
    William Penn House
    1919 Chestnut St.
    6:30 PM

    April 5 SATURDAY
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Ethical Society
    10:00 AM
    Lay Led

    April 6 SUNDAY
    Chai Tea
    1901 JFK Boulevard #2818
    4:00 PM

    April 13 SUNDAY
    Choir Rehearsal
    6:30 PM
    Call Beverly, 215-557-3777

    April 13 SUNDAY
    Family Torah Group
    10:00 AM
    Call 215-629-1995

    April 19 SATURDAY
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Ethical Society
    10:00 AM
    Lay Led

    April 20 SUNDAY
    Community Seder
    The Philadelphian Community Room
    4:00 PM
    Rabbi Julie

    April 24 THURSDAY
    Spirituality Group
    Member Home

    April 26 SATURDAY
    Shabbat Morning Service
    10:00 AM
    Lay Led

    April 27 SUNDAY
    Choir Rehearsal
    6:30 PM
    Call Beverly, 215-557-3777

    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.
  • Reserve NOW for our Community Seder - April 20, 2008
  • Please join us for our Annual Second Night Community Seder.

    Led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg, Singer Jessi Roemer
    and the Leyv Ha-Ir Choir.


    SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008, 4 PM

    NON-MEMBERS, $60
    CHILDREN 3-10, $15

    Send check to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir
    P.O. Box 15836
    Philadelphia, PA
    Indicate your Entree Salmon or Vegetarian

    Download our Community Seder reservation form
  • Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg
  • Dear Chevre,

    "Let all who are hungry come and eat:" powerful words from the Passover hagaddah (story.) We invite all who are hungry for meaning, for beauty, for transformation, for community to join us for the Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City Passover seder. If you aren't available on that day, then come join the spiritual feast at our other spring events. You are welcome!

    In order to continue being a welcoming community, we are launching an intensive membership drive that will take place between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. If you have been considering becoming an official Heart of the City member or if you have considered asking a friend to join, now is the time. Membership info is available through the web site, When we stand together we can support each other through the seasons of the year and the seasons of a life.

    Speaking of the seasons of a life, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank member Karen Zeitz who taught a three-part series on end-of-life issues with her usual thoughtful and insightful competence. As a lawyer, Karen understands the legal issues involved in creating end- of- life documents but more than that she communicates about the ethical issues of enabling your values to keep living after you are gone. According to Karen, if you do nothing and don't make decisions about your end- of- life wishes, you may end up facing medical interventions you do not want and your belongings may end up with the government. Thank you, Karen, for sharing your wisdom with us.

    I look forward to spring festivities. Love and blessings,
    Rabbi Julie

  • April 4 Shabbat Dinner - All are Welcome
  • Some of us have memories of Sabbath dinners with lots of family and friends, and what a good time we had. In April, we're going to have a big potluck Shabbat dinner with Rabbi Julie, singing, and stories, and you're invited. Come to the Community Room of the William Penn House, 1919 Chestnut Street, on Friday, April 4th, 6:30 PM. Everyone is welcome, with or without a Jewish background. We welcome you to schmooze, nosh, learn and have a fun Shabbat with friends.

    The meal will be veggie/dairy. Some suggestions about what you might bring (enough for 6-8 people): dips and crackers, salads, quiche, kugel, blintzes, cut-up fruits and vegetables, fish filets, fish salads, cooked vegetable dishes, cakes, cookies, fruit desserts, ice cream, bottles of wine, fruit or vegetable juices...

    There will be no charge, but we ask that you let us know how many will be coming and what you are bringing. Please call 215-629-1995 or send an email to We won't be having a service, but there will be traditional blessings.

  • Learn Beauty Secrets at Chai Tea
  • -Attention Leyv Ha-Ir Women and All Who Are Interested-

    You Are Cordially Invited to Participate in a CHAI*-TEA and To Experience The Delightful and Fun SECRETS OF NATURAL BEAUTY Presented by Consultant and National Speaker SUSAN BUDENSTEIN Author of Look Good, Feel Great, Fast!

    You'll Learn:
    Natural Facelifts
    How To Give Yourself a SPA Massage
    Aromatherapy From Your Kitchen
    Move Gracefully At Any Age
    The Value of Touch
    Yoga At Your Desk
    Fast Energy, Good Snacks
    Quiet Your Mind, Any Time, Any Place

    plus + plus + plus +

    Wear a fancy, special, or fun hat and win a prize!

    Location: 1901 JFK Boulevard #2818

    You'll have a great tea-time (with fancy noshes, of course!) And you'll learn so much about how to be Jewishly Beautiful!

    The cost? Just *18.00 (because this *chai is a tax-deductible donation to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir)

    "Secrets of Natural Beauty showed everyone in our group how easy it is to preserve and enhance our beauty and vitality. We were transformed...We learned how to keep ourselves more beautiful and vital..." Sheila Marguson, Women's Business Retreat, Arlington, VA

    Call Myrna at 610-896-7776 with your reservation or questions.

  • "GOD watches over musicians!" by Roy Shenberg
  • I wrote this song a while back part to honor "Poopsie/Zonkers," the dog Richard rescued. I always felt "Poops" would use that unique bark of his for a good 'cause and that he would have been great on stage (accompanying Richard?). Just like the dog in the song, rescued dogs, cats and people, have a way of rewarding their rescuers when the right time comes. They are GOD'S gifts and deserve a second chance. Just as we do.

    The title to this song was in part inspired by King David's Prayer to Hashem: "To The Master Musician." I have a CD of the song. Arrangement and vocal by Ben Gruder: "GOD WATCHES OVER MUSICIANS":

    Driving in a snowstorm
    Dog by my side
    Trying to make a big gig
    Trying to survive

    Outside New Hope town
    My old van breaks down
    My hopes like snowflakes tumble to the ground

    I'm saying: "Lord, hear my prayer
    Me and Dog toured everywhere
    We need your help, desperately

    I heard a voice somewhere
    Answering my prayer
    I'm singing and dog's singing harmony


    We're singing: God watches over musicians
    God loves the sounds they make
    Heaven lends a helping hand
    To musicians in a jam
    "Cause LORD knows musicians
    Need a break!

    Suddenly the snow stopped
    The engine came alive
    It 's a TEN minutes drive
    We're on the stage in five

    I gave it my best shot
    But it's a rowdy throng
    But they settled down when dog
    Sang our song

    We're singing: (repeat CHORUS)

    The whole club's cheering
    They're singing with us now
    I think I see dog smiling
    He even takes a bow

    They loved us at the club
    Signed us to a three year stint
    And next to my signature is
    Dog's paw print!

    GOD loves musicians
    Even mathematicians
    Even technicians
    Perhaps politicians.
    'Cause GOD loves the sounds they all make!

    :: 215-629-1995