Full High Holy Days Services Coming
All are held at the Ethical Society, 1906 S.
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
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
of your choice. Contributions can be sent to our
regular P.O. Box address, or contact Evy
215-561-7474 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you'd
have an acknowledgement card sent.
Newsletter Design and eMail Marketing:
Dear Friend of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City,
Mordecai Kaplan writes in The Future of the
American Jew: "The First Principle is that
all who definitely desire to see Jewish Life
fostered, regardless of how they conceive the
form or content of that life, should be
eligible for membership."
It surprises me a
little that a scholar like Rabbi Kaplan,
whose writings provide the seed of
Reconstructionist Judaism, articulates such a
basic and broad first principle. If you
think Judaism is a good idea, you are a
member. We live in an era with many
obstacles to affiliation. Everybody wants to
be an independent. It seems obvious the ways
in which fundamentalism obstructs
affiliation, but I believe that it is
worthwhile to examine ways in which we
progressive Jews restrain people from forming
a sense of connection. Do we make our guests
feel uncomfortable? Do we fail to explain
our practices and beliefs? Are we too
iconoclastic -- not iconoclastic enough? As
you receive this e-newsletter, the month of
elul is starting, and we Jews seek to
celebrate creative energy in the universe.
What are the forces which restrain creation?
What can we do this year to break down
Michael Meketon, President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
|September 2008 Activities
September 1 MONDAY
September 4 THURSDAY
September 6 SATURDAY
September 12 FRIDAY
September 19 FRIDAY
Service and Pot Luck Dinner
September 27 SATURDAY
September 29 MONDAY
September 30 TUESDAY
Adult Service 10:00 AM
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,
out the link to Center
||Click here for a complete look at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir activities for the upcoming two months.
|Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg
During the first half of
this summer, my family went through a month
of medical crisis. It started when my twelve-
year- old son Joey had a high fever and
severely swollen elbow. After several all-day
or night expeditions to the ER, two emergency
surgeries and a few weeks at Children's
Hospital, he was eventually diagnosed and
treated for osteomyelitis, a bone infection.
I am glad to say that he is one hundred
percent up and running now, no worse for the
Since so many of us have experienced
medical scares ourselves or in relation to
loved ones, I thought I'd share some
reflections on healing. In Judaism, Refuah
Shlaymah "a complete healing" is what we
wish for each other in times of illness. This
blessing basically means "May your situation
be as complete and whole as possible." If
your destiny is to recover in body and spirit
may it be a complete and integrated recovery.
If your destiny is to move from the physical
world into the realm of spirit, may that
transition be one of peace or shalom.
Refuah shlaymah is a way of saying
"I'm standing with you through whatever you
need to go through. I'm here for you, wishing
Another expression of Jewish hope for
healing takes place during the
mi'she'berach moments of the Torah
service (and in our congregation we add these
moments into each of our services even when
we aren't reading Torah.) Mi'she'berach
literally means "may the One who
blessed..." It's a way of calling on the merit
of our ancestors and the Power that Makes for
Salvation. The theology behind this prayer is
not one of expecting a transcendent God to
intervene to change the course of nature
through a miracle, but rather to rally our
own intention, caring and commitment on
behalf of those in need.
Jewish communities are powerful centers
of healing. When we gather, we share news of
members who are in various medical
conditions. The Chesed / Caring
Committee is alerted about who needs company,
rides, soup or a phone call. Often the gift
of helping is at least as meaningful to the
ones offering the help as it is to those
receiving. It's such a gift to be needed.
Finally, there is a political aspect to
Jewish values about healing. Even through the
exhaustion, fear and challenge of my family's
ordeal, I felt overwhelming gratitude for the
access we had to the best possible medical
care. There was no question that Joey would
receive thorough treatment from a team of
professionals. I felt so sad about fellow
citizens in this rich and advanced nation who
lose a home to pay for medical bills or who
forgo treatment for lack of money. I
recommitted to support solutions for sharing
the basic human right of decent medical care.
As we enter this New Year together, may
there be a refuah shlaymah, a complete
healing, for our fragmented and unequal
||Read more from Rabbi Julie
|Annual Membership Drive - Join the Journey!
It's the season for our annual membership
campaign again. Join the journey!
Do you want Judaism to be interwoven
into your life? Synagogues keep Judaism
alive. Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City helps
Judaism evolve into its future.
Do you want to learn more about Jewish
values and wisdom? Synagogues are places
that transmit stories, ethics and spiritual
practices from generation to generation. Leyv
Ha-Ir~Heart of the City's active community
and vibrant Rabbi make life-long education a
Do you want a community to embrace you
and your family through the ups and downs of
life, drawing on the deep well of Jewish
tradition? Synagogues help people live by
the sacred cycle of the year and of a life.
Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City is a
multi-generational circle of individuals
wanting to care about you.
We invite you to make all this happen
by joining Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City.
|Welcome to baby Nati!
The Leyv Ha-Ir family welcomes baby Nati, the
member of Josh, Jessi and Hannah Rose
Our Choir Director,
gave birth to baby Natan Jacob Roemer-Block
at the family's home on August 12, 2008.
Holding Natan is big sister Hannah Rose.
|September 12 Happy Hour Preceeds Shabbat Service
Join with your Leyv Ha-Ir friends for happy
hour at a local restaurant before our next
Friday night services on September 12th.
We'll meet from 5:30 to 7:00 within walking
distance of the Ethical Society, the place
soon to be announced. All are welcome, save
|A New Leyv Ha-Ir Monthly Event
This year, we're going to follow many
people's suggestions by reinstituting Friday
night services and potluck dinners in
congregants' homes.They'll be informal, warm,
and fun. We'll have one per month, normally
on the third Shabbat of the month, with short
lay-led services. The first one will take
place on September 19. Of course, Kabbalat
Shabbat services with Rabbi Julie will
continue - the first one will be on September 12.
Want to volunteer your home for September
or another evening? Call/email Iris at
email@example.com or 215-561-0228.
Our lay-led Shabbat morning services will
be held once a month, on the first Saturday,
at the Ethical Society.
|Annual One Book - One Congregation Discussion & Brunch
Rabbi Julie discussing Aaron Lansky's book
"Outwitting History" for Leyv Ha-Ir's Annual
One Book - One Congregation discussion and
brunch on Sunday, August 24.
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.