BAGELS & BOOKS
August 30, 2009, 11AM
Location to be
Rabbi Julie will lead
the discussion on "The
Flying Camel" - essays on
Identity of Women of
North African & Middle
Eastern Jewish Heritage -
edited by Loolwa Khazoon.
Get your hands on a copy
and join a lively discussion.
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 Friends and Members of Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City,
It is Shavuot, the celebration of
revelation at Sinai. Our Jewish tradition
teaches us that our revelation on Shavuot is
as great as our liberation on Passover. So
during spring time, we examine the ways in
which we are slaves, and the means for ending
that bondage. Then seven weeks later we are
given a clearer understanding of the
universal truth (Torah) explained by our
earlier state of bondage. Our egos and
brains often want an explanation before we
are willing to cross the red sea. We ask why
should we change? The truth is that we
change because we can no longer stand the
status quo. The fuller understanding can
only come later from the position of freedom.
So in your Jewish spiritual practice, today
you have arrived at a greater understanding
of what you dealt with 49 days ago. Chag
Someach! Happy Shavuot.
Michael Meketon, President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
|Leyv Ha-Ir Art Expedition!
A group of LHI members visiting
the Woodmere Art Center to view
Marci Fleet's photo. Marci is the
third person from the left, standing
in front of her art.
|June 2009 Activities
Sat - June 6 - 2009,
Our lay-led service will be at the Ethical
Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq. Stay and
schmooze at our potluck dairy/veggie lunch.
Sun - June 7 - 2009,
10:30 AM (Bagels) 11:00 AM (Meeting)
Elections, budget, brunch and shmoozing.
We'll be at the Kennedy House, 1901 JFK Blvd,
Community Room. A jewelry swap will take
palce from 10:30 to 11:00. Come early!
Fri - June 19 - 2009,
We'll meet at Roby's home for a lay-led
service and pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner,
2519 Pine Street. Contact Roby at
email@example.com or 215-546-8965 to let her
know what you'll be bringing.
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
This will be my last newsletter message
until September because I am off-duty for two
months in the summer. So let me take this
opportunity to talk about the High Holy Days
which will be upon us before we know it.
Our congregation has a tradition of
opening its doors wide to welcome all seekers
for the High Holy Days. We collectively
become an extraordinary vessel that expands
to include all who are drawn to us. To make
this possible, our members start working now,
months ahead of the big event. Each person is
encouraged to find a niche for your
contribution: learn songs, plan logistics,
prepare registration, practice Torah reading,
design outreach, write Torah talks, and more.
The process of working together to
welcome literally hundreds of guests for the
Holy Days can be profoundly engaging,
exhausting, exhilarating. It is really an
experience not to be missed. It's what
community is all about. So......whether you're
ready to take a tiny step or a big leap into
sharing the "production" of the Holy Days,
talk to an active member about how to get
involved. If you'd like to take on some
ritual leadership, talk to me about your
interests and desires. We are especially
seeking a shofar blower.
I hope to see all members at our Annual
Meeting, an important venue for the voice of
the congregation. At this meeting, we invite
people to join our One Book, One Congregation
program in which we all read the same book
and then meet at the end of the summer to
discuss it at a session of Bagels and Books.
This year our book will be The Flying Camel:
Essays on Identity by Women of North African
and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage, edited by
Loolwa Khazoom. I will be introducing the
book at the Annual Meeting and facilitating
the discussion at the end of the summer.
With many blessings,
||Read more from Rabbi Julie
|After the Race
The Leyv Ha-Ir "Race for the
Cure" Ladies enjoying
brunch on Mother's Day.
|Get a Taste of Limmud
Limmud is the Hebrew word for learning.
LimmudPhilly is a panoramic learning
experience, encompassing many facets of
Jewish life. LimmudPhilly 2009 took place in
February and was a huge success with over 650
attendees. Planning for LimmudPhilly 2010 is
You can get a "Taste of Limmud" at an
event on Wednesday, June 17 from 6:30 PM to
9:00 PM at the Gershman Y at Broad & Pine
Streets. At Taste of Limmud you can get a
flavor of the vibrant Jewish community in
your own backyard. The program is free of
charge and will include light refreshments.
The program that evening will include your
choice of a Panel Discussion about
Building Jewish Community or a Presentation
by Mark Leuchter on
"Tradition of Disagreement among the Biblical
Prophets," then a choice of participating in
Building Jewish Community break-out sessions
or text study led by Mark Leuchter related to
the themes of his presentation.
RSVP is requested at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (267) 235-4083.
I am very proud to be serving as the
co-chair for LimmudPhilly 2010.
For additional information or if you would
like to volunteer to help out with Limmud,
please feel free to contact me at (215)
236-0689 or email@example.com
(do not hit "reply" to this email). I hope
to see you at Taste on June 17.
- Bobbi Cohen
|Member Profile: Sue Frank
Sue Frank grew up in Woods Hole, on Cape
Cod, Massachusetts, but was born in
Charleston, South Carolina: "I went to first
grade there," she recalls, "so I have a
feeling for the Low Country." (Charleston has
one of America's oldest Jewish
congregations). Sue went to public schools in
Woods Hole and Falmouth. She recalls, "Cape
Cod in the summer fills up with people from
all over the world who study the waters off
Cape Cod, where you can find all kinds of
(sea) creatures. Special conditions related
to the Gulf Stream make for a wide variety of
habitats. My Dad ran the laboratory of the
Federal Bureau of Commercial Fisheries
(now NOAA), and my mother taught in the local
public school for years."
Sue is a Jew-by-choice. "My Dad came from
an old, New Englandy family. Their religion
really was science, inquiry. My mother came
from nice old Boston Brahmans who were
Episcopalians, because that's what you do. I
went to Sunday school because of her. She
didn't attend church herself, but she had an
affection for it. I realized soon enough that
I didn't want to be confirmed in the church,
and I wasn't baptized in it, so I felt no
real commitment, except to appreciate what it
brought to the life of the town in lots of
Of her conversion to Judaism, Sue says, "I
knew I wanted to be a Jew
when I was about ten. I always loved the
stories of the Bible. I had figured out that
the Jesus story did not work for me. But I
always had this religious something going on,
and I knew I wanted to identify somewhere,
find a place to root."
Sue studied Hebrew from a book she found
in a second-hand bookstore. She loved the
music of Israel that she heard folkdancing.
During her high school years she found
inspirational young people's discussion
groups at local Epicopalian and
Conmgregational churches, early experiences
of high level, respectful dialogue.
One of the prevailing themes of her life
is the compassionate, intellectual support of
Christian mentors in her quest to make
meaning of her Jewishness. "One of the things
that reached me as a youngster was a small
volume I lucked on to, The Sayings of the
Fathers (Pirke Avot), edited by a non-Jew, R.
Travers Herford.It was presented in the
original Hebrew with English translation and
the lovely commentary of an admiring
Christian. Wow, went Sue. "This is for me.'"
When she got to Smith College in
Northampton, Massachusetts, Sue
studied Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. She met
Rabbi, Yechiael Lander, and worked with him
towards conversion. "He gave me a wide
ranging reading list," she says, "and met
with me weekly during the school year.
Everything I read moved me. I was at last
doing something I had always wanted to do."
She also remembers a visit from Elie Wiesel
giving a talk at the college. "That was
enormous," she recalls, "and made me want to
It was also while at college that she met
her future husband Ken.
"In the meantime, I decided I needed to go to
Israel, so I went in 1975
and spent half a year at the Ulpan, Hebrew
language-work program, in Kibbutz Ruchama."
She describes her time in Israel as
"beautiful, strange, and scary, and exciting."
Deciding to attend rabbinical school in
1976, she inquired about admissions to the
seminaries of the Reform and Conservative
movements, as well as an Orthodox yeshiva in
She also found, in the Jewish Encyclopedia,
the address for the Reconstructionist
Rabbinical College on North Broad Street in
Philadelphia. "I was really taken," she says,
"by what I started learning about the
Reconstructionist movement. I am a peculiar
sort of a Jew and thought I should pick my
home carefully." The school was small, a
couple of Philadelphia rowhouses joined
together. The innovative ideas of Mordechai
Kaplan combined with the romance of gritty
North Philly made the decision easy.
Sue eventually became the librarian at the
college after being a library assistant
during her years of study there and then
earning a degree in Library Science at
Drexel. And she did finally complete that
doctorate in religious studies at Temple
University, shepherded through by Father
Gerard Sloyan and Professor John Raines!
Sue took part in Leyv Ha-Ir from the
beginning, happy to see one of the dreams of
RRC President Ira Eisenstein come to reality.
She fondly remembers going with Roby Jacobs
to those inaugural services at First
Unitarian Church at 21st and Chestnut. It has
been a joy for her to see over the years how
RRC graduates strengthened the congregation
succeeding one another as rabbis for the
group. Rabbi Julie's recently renewed
commitment to Leyv Ha_Ir is a thrilling
She has been particularly active in Purim
programs, bringing costumes for members to use.
by John Oliver Mason
|Torah Scribe Visits LHI
Rabbi Kevin Hale, Torah scribe, visited Leyv
May 3rd. Interested members & friends spent
of hands-on experience of writing and
the Torah. Betsy Teutsch, calligrapher,
joined Rabbi Kevin Hale.
|Classified: Let Jack-of-All-Trades Help You Get Things Done
I am available for all forms of
jack-of-all-trades, general-purpose work you
need done. Please call John Mason at (215)