The Pulse of Our Congregation April 2009

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

March Bagels & Books a Resounding Success: a Harbinger for Next Year's Brunches!

April 2009 Activities

Message from Rabbi Julie

LHI Member Profile: Patricia Goldentyer

Purim Revelry!

Last Chance for Community Seder - April 9, 2009

March Bagels & Books Draws Full House

Featured Recipe: Carrot-Orange Bread


Looking Ahead

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

At the President's meeting of the Center City Kehillah, everyone agreed that no one should feel excluded from any of our synagogues because of financial shortfalls during this difficult time. This diverse group of synagogue leaders agreed that community is the antidote to this crisis. In the Torah, our leaders asked people to give from their hearts to sustain the Mishkan. They did and there was more than enough. In the past, I have used this reference to appeal for money. While money is an important measure of value and a congregational need, I am asking you to bring all of your other values to synagogue life as well. Please consider how you sustain your community, and do it.

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

  • March Bagels & Books a Resounding Success: a Harbinger for Next Year's Brunches!
  • Rabbi Julie wrote to me that "I heard such rave reviews of the wonderful Bagels and Books [in March, featuring Diana Spechler, author of WHO BY FIRE: A NOVEL.] Rabbi Julie continued, "I heard that she was fascinating and that many people want to read the book now." Glimpse excerpts from Diana's book, including live interviews, at: Also, her novel is available at Border's, Barnes & Noble,, and the library. I owe special thanks to Myrna Schlanger and Joanne Perilstein for their hard work.

    Submitted by Margie Wiener

  • April 2009 Activities
  • Thu - April 2 - 2009, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Council Meeting
    All members are welcome at our Council Meetings at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.

    Sat - April 4 - 2009, 10:00 AM
    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 veggie/dairy lunch.

    Thurs - April 9 - 2009, 6:00 PM
    Community Seder
    Our community Passover seder will be led by Rabbi Julie with Jessi Roemer, musician. We'll be at the Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Fri - April 17 - 2009, 7:30 PM
    Kabbalat Shabbat Service with Rabbi Julie
    Join us as we welcome the Sabbath Bride at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square. Rabbi Julie will be leading the service.

    Fri - April 24 - 2009, 6:30 PM
    Friday night services and dinner
    We'll meet at a congregant's home for a lay-led service and pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner.

    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.
  • Message from Rabbi Julie
  • Dear Chevre,

    This month we will celebrate the holiday that enlists more participation among Jews than any other holiday in the year. The Passover seder is a vehicle for telling a freedom story, year after year, generation after generation. The story starts at the very beginning of the book of Exodus with two righteous midwives, Shifra and Puah. Through their brave acts they protected the Jewish babies.

    The leadership of these two women, who were probably marginal in their own society, speaks through the centuries to me at Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City. The other day I had the enjoyable experience of meeting with one of our new members, an interesting young man in his twenties, to welcome him to the congregation. In explaining our community to him, I said that one of the special aspects of this congregation is the strong leadership of women, many of whom are in a demographic (older, single, female) that is typically dismissed and disregarded.

    The wise elders who lead our community follow in the footsteps of Shifra and Puah. They act powerfully to create and sustain community. They help birth the future of Judaism. The men who step up to work with them recognize and respect the gift of their leadership. I am so proud to be part of a congregation that honors these voices. The freedom story is still unfolding as we make central those who have been seen as peripheral.

    Happy Spring,
    Rabbi Julie

    Read more from Rabbi Julie
  • LHI Member Profile: Patricia Goldentyer
  • Patricia Goldentyer describes herself as "a Philadelphia girl, born, bred, and raised" in West Oak Lane. She graduated from Germantown High and received a scholarship to go to Temple University. "At the time, I was interested in Art," she says, "so I went to Tyler (School of Art) and got my BFA (Bachelor of Fine Art) and a BS in Education, for teaching." She married while at Tyler and taught Art at Shore Junior High for a year, and gave birth to two sons, Josh and Philip, and then taught at Overbrook.

    "It really began to annoy me," Goldentyer recalls, "when the kids didn't take the class seriously, they treated it like fun and games. I liked the kids, but that kind of attitude bothered me. So I got my Masters in Guidance Counseling, and then I worked for the School District as a counselor for twenty-three years."

    Meanwhile, she and her husband split up, and Goldentyer received no support for her sons. "I met a woman, with whom I'm still friendly," she says, "who worked at Community College (of Philadelphia) and she said, 'You know, Patty, we hire counselors to teach Introductory Psychology.' She said I should apply, and that's what I did." She has recently completed thirty years of teaching at Community College. She also received a Doctorate from Temple in Psycho-Educational Processes.

    In childhood, Goldentyer attended a Conservative synagogue, Adith Jeshurun on Old York Road, where her father had his confirmation, as she did, as well as her two sons. After she divorced her husband, she moved around several congregations, including Penn Hillel for a while, "Until a friend of mine," she recalls, "said she read of a synagogue in Center City, which she would try for High Holy Days, and would I like to come, too." (That was when Leyv Ha-Ir held its services at 1616 Walnut Street.) Rabbi Rayzel Raphael, she recalls, was "extremely supportive" during some life changes Goldentyer went through at that time. "That, combined with the way the Aliahs are done, the way they're so inclusive, that absolutely won me over." She attended services for several years before she formally joined.

    Article submitted by John Oliver Mason

  • Purim Revelry!
  • About fifty people had fun at our Purim party at the William Penn House on March 8. Rabbi Julie set the framework and Hazan Jack Kessler provided an extremely free translation of the Megillah (Book of Esther).

    Our uproarious Purim spiel was written by Myrna and Roy Shenberg and directed by Karen Zeitz. Sue Frank always brings terrific costumes for us.

  • Last Chance for Community Seder - April 9, 2009
  • It is not too late to sign up for our Annual 2nd Night Passover Seder.

    The cost is $60 per person (deadline for $55 was March 31). Bring friends, family.

    The date is April 9, 6 PM, at the Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Community Room. Rabbi Julie and Jessi Roemer are conducting services. Call 215-629-1995 for further details.

    Download our Community Seder reservation form

  • March Bagels & Books Draws Full House
  • At the March 1st "Books & Brunch" event, Diana Spechler spoke about her debut novel, "Who By Fire: A Novel". She drew a packed audience, despite inclement weather. One critic wrote: "Who by Fire is a well- written, astonishing novel that keeps readers on the edge of their seats throughout and is difficult to put down. It gives readers an interesting insight into the different sects of Judaism and how complex life really is." "Who By Fire: A Novel" is available at Border's, Barnes & Noble,, and the library. Glimpse excerpts from Ms. Spechler's book and live interviews (both video and audio) at: or the publisher's web site.

  • Featured Recipe: Carrot-Orange Bread
  • At the last Friday evening service/dinner, member Annette Marks offered her carrot-orange bread. It made such a hit that requests were made for the recipe. Here it is:

    Carrot-Orange Bread by Annette Marks

    1 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cups sifted flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. baking powder
    2 egg whites, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup orange juice
    4 tbsp. unsaturated oil
    1 cup grated carrots
    1/2 cup chopped nuts

    Sift thoroughly dry ingredients. Add nuts and carrots to beaten egg whites. Add oil and orange juice. Fold into the dry mixture. Pour into loaf pan sprayed with Pam for baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

    :: 215-629-1995