"A Mighty Wind" is a funny movie with a lot
of music in it. It contains one of the
funniest scenes I have seen.
That is why it is in my personal collection.
It has some Jewish content, and most folks
never heard of it.
That is why the Education Committee is
On Sunday, February 7th at 11 AM at Joan
Goldberg's. Brunch and a movie for $7.00.
Come and enjoy! Call voicemail for more info
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,
In Judaism we have lots of folk wisdom about
the coming of a messianic age. For example,
Moshiach will come if all Jews observed
Sabbath for just one week. Another one is
that Moshiach will come if the members
of one synagogue could avoid hurtful speech
for three weeks. Much of our prayer liturgy
focuses on that perfect unifying day. For
secular Jews, the concept of Moshiach can be
challenging. Believing in a personified
bringer of perfection feels inconsistent with
So we ask ourselves what does
it mean to have faith? What does it mean for
there to be the potential of Moshiach? I
don't know. However, I do believe that
people can change. I believe that
life can be better. I believe that my efforts
do not go to waste even if I see no immediate
results. I believe that if I do the right
thing, someone might be inspired to do the
right thing too. So the next question is how
does our secular Jew reconcile the apparent wrong
direction the world sometimes takes. How do
we avoid despair? I don't know that either.
The wisdom of our Rabbi Julie is that being
part of something bigger can soften some of
that despair. Having a safe place to go,
being in community, helping others all soften the
harshness of life's harder realities. Our
sacred writings identify long lists of things
we can do or refrain from doing to repair the
world. We know these things as Mitzvahs.
What surprises me as I get
older is that a great reason to do Mitzvot is
to make yourself feel better. May this
secular, American New Year be a happy,
healthy and prosperous year for you and the
ones in your heart.
Michael Meketon, President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) is a
compilation of the ethical teachings and
maxims of the Rabbis of the Mishnaic period.
It is the only tractacte of the Talmud
dealing solely with ethical and moral
principles with little or no halacha.
When I was studying for my Simchat
Chochmah when I turned 70 -- seven years
ago!! -- I started studying Pirke Avot for
two reasons: one was to practice Hebrew and
secondly, to read and understand why this
little book is so important. This was a
valuable experience for me and I want to
study it some more...That is why I am
suggesting a study group to focus on the
teachings of Pirke Avot.
Our first meeting will be (or if you are
receiving this after the date) or has been
held on Monday, January 4th, 2010 at my
apartment (1919 Chestnut Street, Apartment
1805) from 11:30 until 1:00 P.M. Future
meetings will be (or have been) planned at
If you have missed the first meeting please
contact me for further information.
Please feel free to bring your lunch and I
will provide beverages.
Let me know if you plan to attend either
by e-mail: email@example.com or
Phone: 215-563-1894; Cell: 201-574-6424.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
|January 2010 Activities
Saturday, January 2, 2010,
Join us for a lay-led service
back at the Ethical Society, 1906 S.
Rittenhouse Square, followed by a
dairy/veggie potluck lunch.
Sunday, January 3, 2010,
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
All members of Leyv Ha-Ir are
invited to join us at the Ethical Society,
1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.
Friday, January 8, 2010,
Shabbat Home Service and
We'll have a shortened lay-led service and
potluck dinner at the home of Roby Jacobs.
Call her at 215-546-8965 and tell her what
dish you will be bringing.
Friday, January 15, 2010,
Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Our Kabbalat Shabbat servoce honoring
the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King will be
led by Rabbi Julie with the Leyv Ha-Ir choir
at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse
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
Welcome to the secular New Year, full of
possibility for each of us and for the world.
Last month I had the opportunity to meet with
some of our new members for an hour before
services. In our small circle, three people
had mothers in their 90s. Reb Zalman, guru of
age-ing and sage-ing always says "Mid-life is
age sixty these days."
An exciting area of focus in Judaism is
how to serve congregations that include
people in mid-years and beyond. Recently I
was invited to speak on a panel at the
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College about
the "Silver Rabbinate," rabbinic ministry to
people in mid-life and beyond. This term,
"Silver Rabbinate," is a newly coined term by
Rabbi Dayle Friedman, director of the Hiddur
Center at RRC. She had identified our
community at Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City as
a shining example of such a practice.
I had never thought of myself as serving a
community in its silver years but there is
something to be said for the concept. We are
a multi-generational community with members
age 1 to over 80, but a normative cluster of
members is in the mid and older years. Unlike
some synagogues that are Bar Mitzvah mills,
we are here for the spiritual questing of
adults. We are not a pediatric community!
The possibility of extended life spans,
truly approaching the ages of our mythical
biblical ancestors, beckons us to consider at
each life stage, "how do I want to deploy
myself? what is my purpose at this time?"
These are active conversations in our
community. When I was in my twenties and
thirties I hungered to have mentors in the
older decades who could be role models of
what lives can look like. It is such a
blessing for people of all ages to learn from
Whatever your age, you are always welcome
at Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the city. Come join
With love and blessings,
|Super Sunday: Together, We Can Be The Difference
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2010
Sponsored by: Jewish Federation of Greater
Our Federation will once again bring
together the Greater Philadelphia Jewish
community at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
in Bryn Mawr to make and take calls that
raise vital funds for Federation's Annual
Campaign - the largest local campaign that
provides critical funds to support Jews in
need here, in Israel and in the Former Soviet
Union. Mark your calendar and plan to join
us for this unique and important
community-building effort. For more
information and to register, call 215-832-0630 .
There are morning and evening calling
sessions or you can stay all day! Make
Super Sunday a full day of philanthropy and
|LimmudPhilly Update - A Great Learning and Giving Opportunity
LimmudPhilly is a Panoramic Jewish
Learningfest that will take place at the
Gershman Y And University of the Arts on
March 6 & 7, 2010. It's a great opportunity
to explore many facets of Judaism, including
history, text, art, culture, and life, using
a variety of dynamic and interactive learning
approaches including lectures,
workshops, group study, meditation, and yoga!
The LimmudPhilly website,
has all the details of
the event as well as lists of our presenters.
We are most excited that our very own Rabbi
Julie will be presenting this year, along
with Ruth Messinger, President of the
American Jewish World Service, and other noted
presenters. Registration is also now open
via the website or by phone at 267-235-4083.
We are also looking for volunteers both
before and during the event. You can take a
short shift at a Help Desk or get involved in
creating a wonderful experience for all.
Please contact Pat Wisch at
to learn more about
volunteer opportunities or to lend your
services. You can also volunteer using a
button on the website.
Want to experience a Taste of
LimmudPhilly? A sampling of the Panoramic
Jewish LearningFest will be offered during
the afternoon break at the Jewish
Federation's Super Sunday on January 10, 2010
from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Jack M. Barrack
Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr.
Adults are invited to tap into the spirit
of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with an
interactive work-shop on the relationship
between Jewish culture and social service.
Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Hermann, of Kol Tzedek
in West Philadelphia and the founding
co-chair of LimmudPhilly, will lead this
Children ages six years old and up will
have an opportunity to express their artistic
side while creating their own Shabbat
Blessing booklet. The children will be
guided by Ellen Kremer, an occupational
therapist and Hebrew School teacher, and
Jonathan Kremer, an artist and rabbinical
student. This project is certain to enhance
your family's Shabbat ritual.
Families with children six years old and
up will be engaged by an interactive workshop
on the topic of "Lashon hara" (telling of
gossip). Discussion will be led by Miriam
Steinberg-Egeth, Director of Hillel of
Greater Philadelphia's Jewish Graduate
I hope to see you at Taste of Limmud as
well as at LimmudPhilly in March!
|More Connection to the Heart of the City
One way to stay in touch with the daily
workings of Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City is
sign on to our listserv. The listserv is a
way to share thoughts, concerns, ideas and
events of interest to this congregation. In
addition, the Rabbi frequently writes brief
messages with uplifting tidbits of Jewish
To join the listserv, send your
first and last name and e-mail address to
Sharon Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please use the listserv in a respectful way,
posting short messages that are likely to be
of general interest. We hope you join this
internal conversation at the Heart of the City.
Call 215-629-1995 for more
|Ladies of LHI enjoy delightful Rosh Hodesh
Margie Wiener, Jetty Beim, Joan Goldberg,
Roby Jacobs (host), Susan Budenstein, Beverly
Hayden & Marci Fleet lighting candles
together. Our in-house photographer, Iris
Newman, took the photo. It was a splendid
time and our pollyanna grab-bag was lots of
fun. Roby did a great job of leading us in
song, prayer and a meaningful discussion.
|Kugel "met Peren"
It was December 2002 when LHI had its
first Kugel-at-Xmas party. As I recall it was
at the Hopkinson House, where Roberta Tansman
was than living. Myrna Schlanger was in
charge of the event, the kitchen and read
some funny stories.
She also challenged the Kugel makers into a
contest with prizes.
I had never made a kugel in my life, but in
my Dutch days, doing my Social Work practice
in the sixties in Amsterdam, I did have kugel
a few times at "Kleine Fietje" (Little
Sophie), called Kugel met Peren.
I won in the LHI contest a first prize
with a Tropical Fruit Kugel! Butter, cottage
cheese, sour cream and a large can of
Tropical fruit. How Jewish can you get??
I wrote Fietje about it, and asked for her
Kugel recipe. Her two page return letter is
something else. " Your kugel might have been
"lekker" (tasty) but oh...I laughed so
hard...of all the things you put into it!!
First I will give you the Original Recept of
Saartje Vos from the Israelitisch Kookboek
(1893/1908)...makes you also laugh!
So much fat! Even my mother (before WWII)
did not make it that way anymore! Fietje gave
me her recipe with elaborate detail of how
to do the cooking of stewing-pears,
add sugar, raisins, cinnamon; how to make a
thick batter of flour (no milk for a meat
dinner!), and the three hours of slow
cooking. The dish becomes pink-reddish.
Mmm..."lekker opeten." Please ask me any
questions if unclear.
A few years later Fietje gave me old
Saartje Vos, 4th print with preface that it
is exactly as the first except that the
Rabbi's of Amsterdam in 1907 forbid to use
gelatin. Saartje found a substitute:
cornstarch! The cookbook is a family
heirloom, full of penciled in notes. It
belonged to a great aunt, who with her family
took it to the Dutch Indies, it returned to
Holland with them, and cousin Jettie, who like
Fietje survived the Shoa, gave it to Fietje in
later years. It had totally fallen apart,
kaput! Fietje's husband had it rebound.
Fietje died a few years ago. In honor of
her and the Dutch Jewry I thought I should
make a Kugel met Peren for LHI. There is a
sad song: Amsterdam cries where once it was
laughing, (because of the Shoa)...the gein
(humor ) is gone... and it mentions this
Kugel! As I live in three
civilizations, Jewish, Dutch and American, I
made a kugel met peren, my (lazy) way. A very
basic Noodle Kugel, with a can of Trader
Joe's pears, sour cream, eggs, cream cheese.
It tasted very "ordinary", not fluffy as
Myrna's forever good peach kugel and nothing
like my Bundt-Pan noodle kugel of the last
few years: with 6 eggs, butter, pecans, milk
stuff...the kugel that tasted like an angel on
your tongue. I will see what to do next year!
Submitted by Roby Jacobs, December 2009