Sunday, March 8th
William Penn House
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:
There will be no letter this month from
our president, Michael Meketon. Michael
suffered the loss of his mother last month.
Our thoughts and condolences are with him at
Beverly Hayden, Vice President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
|SAVE THE DATE: Sunday Brunch, March 1, 2009
Don't miss this opportunity to meet
dynamic author Diana Spechler,
arriving for the Philadelphia Premiere of her
debut novel, "Who By
According to HarperCollins, which sponsors
her nationwide book tour,
"Diana is definitely exceptional! She has had
unusual success in
promoting her novel, toured widely with the
Jewish Book Council,
received excellent reviews (particularly from
the Boston Globe),
published in Moment and Lilith, and enjoyed
widespread attendance at
This "Bagels & Brunch" event will occur
from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm at the parlor of Dr.
Joanne Perilstein, 1901 Walnut Street, Apt.
16F. Admission is $7.00.
To capture a feel for this gripping book,
Please RSVP to Margie Wiener at 215-925-1577
if you plan to attend.
|February 2009 Activities
Thu - Feb 05 - 2009,
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
All members are welcome at our Council
Meetings at the Ethical Society, 1906 S.
Sat - Feb 07 - 2009,
Shabbat Morning Service
Our first-of-the-month lay-led Shabbat
morning service will be at the Ethical
Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sqare. Join us
afterwards for kiddush and a pot-luck
Fri - Feb 13 - 2009,
Friday Night Home Dinner and
We'll meet at a congregant's home for a
lay-led service and pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner.
Fri - Feb 20 - 2009,
Kabbalat Shabbat Service with
Join us as we welcome the Sabbath Bride at
the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse
Square. We will have a speaker, Janet
Newfeld, from Hosts for Hospitals. Rabbi
Julie will lead the service.
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.
|Message from Rabbi Julie
I'm still aglow with warm
memories of our service honoring Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua
Heschel, which fittingly led us into a
magnificent inaugural week. It's special to
be developing an on-going relationship with
the Masterman Highschool Gospel Choir. Those
bright faces have brought joy to the Heart of
the City for two years now.
At our MLK service, I promised to put
something in writing about the theme of my
talk that evening, "Jews Come in Many
Colors." Many people in our community come
from a particular slice of Jewish background,
that is, from Caucasian eastern European
roots. It may be hard to remember that for
most of Jewish history a huge proportion of
Jews around the world have been Jews of
color. Ever since the destruction of the
first Temple in 586 BCE Jews have lived all
over the middle east, North Africa and Asia.
The majority of Jews in Israel were Jews of
color until the 1990s when there was a huge
influx of Russian Jews.
Many Jews in our world-wide community are
Arabs known as "Mizrachi" or "Sephardi" Jews.
The idea of Jew versus Arab is entirely
alien to our own Jewish history. Frequently
people from eastern European backgrounds have
not had the privilege of learning about
Jewish Arabic culture and history. I hope to
draw on some of that resource in the future.
Jews of color also join Judaism through
conversion, interracial marriage and
adoption. If you ever catch yourself saying
"so and so looked Jewish," think again
because Jews come in all colors and from all
backgrounds: African, African-American,
Latino, Asian, Caucasian. It does a
disservice to the diversity of Jewish life to
imagine any one picture of "what a Jew looks
So, let me reiterate our welcome to Jews of
all colors and all backgrounds as we learn to
be an increasingly inclusive community.
All the best,
||Read more from Rabbi Julie
|Shabbaton, January 31, 2009 in Fairmount Park
Our 12th Annual Retreat - and
in Fairmount Park - was held on Saturday
January 31, 2009.
Above: Roby Jacobs, Joan
Goldberg, Karen Zeitz
and Pat Wisch reading the Reverend V. Gene
Robinson's remarks at the Lincoln Memorial
Inaugural Event, January 18, 2009
(excerpts) "O God of our many
understandings, we pray that you will...
Bless us with tears - for a world in which
over a billion people exist on less
than a dollar a say, where young women from
nay lands are beaten and
raped for wanting an education, and thousands
die daily from malnutrition,
malaria and AIDS.
Bless us with anger - at discrimination,
at home and abroad, against refugees
and immigrants, women, people of color, gay,
lesbian, bisexual and
Bless us with discomfort - at the easy,
simplistic "answers" we've preferred to
hear from our politicians, instead of the
truth, about ourselves and the world,
which we need to face if we are going to rise
to the challenges of the future.
Bless us with compassion and generosity -
remembering that every
religion's God judges us by the way we care
for the most vulnerable in the
human community, whether across town or
across the world."
Teutsch, noted artist and environmentalist,
addressing Shabbaton guests about "Being
Jewish and Green".