The Pulse of Our Congregation August 2008

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

August 2008 Activities

Annual One Book - One Congregation Discussion & Brunch

Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg

A Thank You from Enid Adler

A Shabbat Birthday Celebration!


Ways to Save Money


Looking Ahead

Full High Holy Days Services Coming Up!

All are held at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse, All led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg.
Rosh Hashanah:
September 29 - October 1
Yom Kippur:
October 8 - October 9

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.

Newsletter Design and eMail Marketing:

Ilene Hass
Creative Solutions
for Business Marketing

Dear Friend of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City,

"Let us remember that to lack a home is one of the worst human tragedies; to have a home is the greatest blessing of all." - Rabbi Julie Greenberg, Kol Nidre 5766

If you agree with the quote from Rabbi Julie at the top of this letter, it is time for you to join us. For us, being Jewish means having an awareness of the human condition, doing something about it, and harvesting the benefit we derive by doing it. In Jewish tradition, we believe that beggars do a greater mitzvah (good deed) than donors because they inspire growth in the other person. We at Leyv Ha-Ir are constantly using our connection with the "other" to foster a greater sense of self.

We learn early in our Jewish education that the word shalom means hello, goodbye or peace, but it means much more. In reality, shalom is a kind of fulfillment, wholeness or integrity. When we are looking for shalom in ourselves and in the world, we are looking for the missing pieces that will make us whole. At Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City, at our best we offer shalom - not peace, but maybe a missing piece.

Many of you will be receiving our membership letter shortly. Feel free to e-mail or call me or Rabbi Julie. Contact information is available on our website I wish you the sweetest of New Years.

With warm regards,

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

  • August 2008 Activities
  • August 2 SATURDAY
    Shabbat Morning Service
    10:00 AM
    Lay Led

    August 6 WEDNESDAY
    Council Meeting
    7:00 PM

    August 9 SATURDAY
    Tisha B'Av Service
    Iris Newman's Apartment
    8:00 PM
    Lay Led
    See Rabbi Julie's Message below for more information

    August 16 SATURDAY
    Shabbat Morning Service
    10:00 AM
    Lay Led

    August 24 SUNDAY
    One Book - One Congregation
    Rabbi Julie
    11:00 AM
    See article below for more information.

    Click here for a complete look at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir activities for the upcoming two months.
  • Annual One Book - One Congregation Discussion & Brunch
  • Rabbi Julie's selection this year for "One Book-One Congregation" is Aaron Lansky's Outwitting History. Lansky, a MacArthur fellow, founded the National Yiddish Book Centre and appealed for unwanted Yiddish books. Jews all over North America responded; it is a compelling epic about how Lansky and a few volunteers saved Yiddish books from extinction.

    Rabbi Julie read it, loved it and will be leading the discussion.

    Date: Sunday, August 24th
    Time: 11AM to 1PM
    Location: Penn Center House, 1900 JFK Blvd,, second floor lounge. A lovely brunch will be served for a charge of $5.00.

    Bring Friends. The More the Merrier!

  • Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg
  • On August 9 our community will commemorate Tisha B'Av, a sometimes neglected, significant Jewish holy day. Tisha B'Av is a 24 hour period, starting in the evening of the 9th, during which we mourn all the losses that are part of living. The symbol for these losses is the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. This period reminds us that loss, grief and remembering are all integral parts of life.

    When reading Echa, the Biblical text assigned to Tisha B'Av, notice that the text is written in the form of an acrostic. In Chapter One, the sentences are organized, sequentially, each starting with a successive letter in the aleph-bet. One sentence starts with aleph, another with bet, another with gimel, another with dalet, in an orderly fashion. Except, mysteriously, one of the 22 consonants in the Hebrew alphabet is left out of the acrostic. Can you figure out which letter is missing?

    In the following chapters, notice what happens to the acrostic. The letter that was originally left out reappears but it is out of order; it is reversed with another letter, as though we were saying the ABCs by saying "L M N O Q P."

    By the last chapter of Echa, there is no order at all. The acrostic has completely broken down as the sentences start with random letters of the aleph bet. The order of the aleph-bet is no longer present. There are still 22 verses: the building blocks are there but the structure has been destroyed.

    It is amazing to see the very print on the page mirror the theology in Echa. It's also illuminating, as people living in today's age of uncertainty and world suffering, to see that our ancestors also lived through troubled times and were even able to create beauty and wisdom from their experience to pass on to our generation.

    Remind me next year to do part two of this introduction to Echa. There's lots more to be said about this moving Tisha B'Av text. In the meantime, I hope to see all of you at our Bagels and Books discussion of the book Outwitting History on Sunday, August 24. On that day, you can let me know if you'd like to take on some Torah reading for High Holy Days (or e-mail me if you can't be there.)

    With many blessings,
    Rabbi Julie

    Read more from Rabbi Julie
  • A Thank You from Enid Adler
  • "I wish to thank the Leyv Ha-Ir Board for honoring me at the annual meeting. It was unexpected and greatly appreciated. Knowing how much we enjoy plants, it was perfect. The plant's variegated leaves add color and life to our living room."

    ~ Enid Adler

  • A Shabbat Birthday Celebration!
  • Leyv Ha-Ir President, Mike Meketon and Acting Treasurer, Sol Volk celebrate their birthdays at our Shabbat morning service at Myrna Schlanger's.

  • Written by Margie Wiener in collaboration with Enid H. Adler, Esq.

    On August 8th, the 2008 Summer Olympics will launch in Beijing, China. Just a few months ago, Steven Spielberg withdrew as artistic adviser for the Games. In protest against China's backing of Sudan's criminal policies in Darfur, Spielberg pronounced that his conscience could not allow him to continue with "business as usual".

    Related to Spielberg's pointed objections, two significant events recently occurred. On July 14th, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Al-Bashir, charging him with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes over the past five years in Darfur. One week later, the Bosnian Serb leader, Karadzic, finally was captured 13 years after fleeing from an arrest warrant for his horrific war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.

    Adler called me about an impromptu rally scheduled for the next day at the UN. The Darfur Alert Coalition of Delaware Valley (to which Enid is a legal advisor) was organizing a trip to the rally.

    In the morning, Enid and I squeezed into two vans heading for New York City. Our group was composed primarily of members of the local Darfurian community.

    By 1 PM, we found ourselves joining an enthusiastic crowd in support of the ICC prosecutor's indictment of Al-Bashir and calling for justice for those in Darfur. For two hours we chanted, wearying our arms holding up large posters, urging the African Union and the UN Security Council to actively support the ICC's indictment against Bashir. I was so into it, that the organizers allowed me to take the microphone. I tried to inspire the crowd that if Karadzic could be caught after so many years, Bashir and his fellow murderers also could be brought to justice.

    When a local TV crew approached me for an interview, I dashed for Enid (happily enjoying a chocolate ice cream soda) to ask her to be interviewed instead of me. She did such a great job, that an Italian TV crew (which broadcasts throughout Europe) interviewed her next.

    Since the ICC's inception in 1998, Enid has been a continual representative to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Coalition for the ICC. The ICC is a permanent, independent, international criminal court created by 150 nations at the 1998 treaty conference in Rome. Because the ICC specifically was created to have jurisdiction over those accused of the most egregious acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Therefore, in 2005, the UN Security Council passed a resolution referring the Darfur case to the ICC.

    Why the urgency to act now? China plays a huge role in empowering Bashir and his government. While Sudan provides China with almost 80% of its oil, China is a major supplier of Sudan's weapons. Furthermore, China has repeatedly impeded stronger action by the UN Security Council against the Sudanese government.

    On the eve of the Olympics, what can you do to protest China's support for Sudan's continued genocide against Darfurians?

    Here are four simple actions:

    1. Email your objections to President Bush at Urge him not to attend the opening ceremonies.
    2. Call Senator Arlen Specter at 215-597-7200. Urge him to pressure President Bush not to attend.
    3. Email H.E. Mr. Wang Guangya, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Security Council at to voice your opposition to China's collusion with Sudan President Al-Bashir.
    4. Email UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at to publicly pressure Sudan's government to cease its attacks and to cooperate with the ICC.

    The Statute of the International Criminal Court states: "No one is above the law", not even heads of states, when it comes to crimes of this magnitude.

  • Ways to Save Money
  • With gas now over $4 a gallon, ways to save money are always desirable. Here are some tips:

    • Email your text messages: It's free to send text messages to a cell phone from your computer. Type the cell phone address into the "to" box in the email header. For Verizon Wireless users, the address is the; for T-Mobile,; for Sprint,; for ATT,
    • There are free WIFI Hotspot Directories that can help you find free Web connections. They are, and

    Have any tips? Send them to the Editor.

    :: 215-629-1995