The Pulse of Our Congregation February 2010

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

Jewishing skills - Deepening our Jewish practices

February 2010 Activities

Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg

February 7, 2010 - Make a Day of It with Leyv Ha-Ir

Mutual Support Network!

More Connection to the Heart of the City

LimmudPhilly Update

Discounted Parking for Ethical Society Events

Classified: Let Jack-of-All-Trades Help You Get Things Done


Looking Ahead

Annual Second Night Seder, March 30 , place, time, price to be announced shortly. Mark your calendar now!!

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,

I would like you to alert you to two upcoming events:

1) On March 19, 2010, we will be celebrating our continuing relationship with Rabbi Julie. As you all know, last year we entered into a seven year contract with her. After seven earlier years with her as our Rabbi, we want to share our joy about this renewed commitment. Please join us for a kabbalat shabbat service and a party to follow. Please consider honoring this relationship by making a donation in honor of it. Send a check to our mail box at P.O. BOX 15836, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

2) We will be partnering with our sister organizations, the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Jewish Dialogue Group, in order to learn how to discuss the Situation is Israel constructively without the headaches and belly aches we currently get. The tentative date for this event is March 23, 2010. This event is open to our wider communities, but seats are limited, and we will give preference to Leyv ha-Ir and Ethical Society members. Please send me an e-mail at to express interest. You will receive a survey from the Jewish Dialogue Group via e-mail to confirm your interest. This event is funded in part by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

After we finish with these two events, we'll all celebrate our liberation from Egypt (Passover is closer than you think).

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

  • Jewishing skills - Deepening our Jewish practices
  • Many Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City folks are interested in deepening our Jewish practice. From time to time I will share material to facilitate the development of "Jewishing" skills in our community. If you have topics you'd like me to cover, please let me know. Judaism has a high entry threshold because of all the elaborate ritual and the Hebrew. It is our goal to de-mystify Judaism, to make it inclusive and open to all who care about it. As Reconstructionists say, "Judaism is for the people, not the people for Judaism." This is a religion that can make sense and give support to all who seek it.

    Care of Torah Scrolls

    Carrying "Ezra the priest brought the Torah before the congregation." (Neh. 8:2)

    • Carry the scroll when it is tied and covered
    • Lean the scroll against your right shoulder and use your whole body to support it
    • Carry it upright, vertically, with both hands underneath the rollers
    • Lay the scroll down with the writing facing up

    Reading "He read from the men and the women" (Neh. 8:3)

    • Use a pointer, the "yad" to touch the parchment, not your hand
    • The pointer should not touch the letters
    • Those saying blessings are welcome to touch a tallis or siddur (prayerbook) to the margin of the column

    Lifting (Hagbah) "Ezra opened the scroll in the sight of all the people" (Neh. 8:5)

    • While scroll is lying down, open it to the width of one to three columns and position it so the seam is in the middle
    • Pull the scroll down towards you, push down on handles, bend knees and lift up, using the table as a fulcrum to lever scroll into air
    • Turn around to show the open scroll to the congregation
    • Carefully lower it, back into a chair and sit with the scroll vertical, the opening facing you

    --Rabbi Julie (Adapted from an article by my colleague Rabbi Adam Zeff)

  • February 2010 Activities
  • Saturday, February 6, 2010, 10:00 AM
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Join us for a lay-led service back at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, followed by a dairy/veggie potluck lunch.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010, 10:30 AM
    Brunch and Movie
    For a nice brunch and a funny movie, "A Mighty Wind", join us at Joan Goldberg's, 1901 JFK Blvd., #2226. Pay $7 at the door.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010, 1:30 PM
    Executive Council Meeting at Beverly Hayden's Apartment, 1900 JFK Blvd #1209 (across from the movie); 215-557-3777. At 2:00, an open Council Meeting. Everyone is invited to attend!

    Friday, February 12, 2010, 7:30 PM
    Kabbalat Shabbat Service
    Kabbalat Shabbat Service Join us as Rabbi Julie leads our Friday night service at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square. Participants of the "Gateway to Religious Communities" organization have been invited to our service to learn about other faiths and our practices.

    Friday, February 19, 2010, 6:30 PM
    Home Shabbat Service/Dinner
    We'll hold a lay-led, 45-minute service followed by a pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner at the home of Jetty Beim. Located at 2213-25 Race St ( in Logan Court, #219.) Phone number 1-973-945-1002. Call her for reservation.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010, 7:30 PM
    Purim Party/Megillah Reading
    We'll read the Book of Esther and party like it's 5770.

    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.
  • Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg
  • Dear Chevre,

    Our congregation is part of an exciting experiment designed to build relationships and understanding across religious boundaries. We have joined the Interfaith Center of Philadelphia in a program called Gateway to Religious Communities. Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City is hosting guests on Friday night, Feb. 12. If you'd like to, you are welcome to visit other congregations on future dates.

    In addition to Judaism, featured religious communities include Islam, Christianity, Bahai', Hindu, Sikh, Buddhism, Lenape and Quaker. At each event a tour of the congregation will be offered, you'll be able to attend a service with members of the religious community, and you'll be able to ask questions, reflect and de-brief afterwards. The purpose of this program is to build bridges of understanding and co-operation. To get involved, contact Andrea Brooks at or 215-222-1012.

    Because this is a new venture, we don't know how exactly it will work out. Please join in and we'll discover together what is possible.

    With Love and Blessings,
    Rabbi Julie

  • February 7, 2010 - Make a Day of It with Leyv Ha-Ir
  • "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 presenting it. On Sunday, February 7th at 10:30 AM at Joan Goldberg's apartment, 1901 Kennedy Blvd, Apt. 2226. Brunch and a movie for $7.00. Come and enjoy! Immediately following, at 2 PM, there will be a council meeting at Evy Simon's apartment, same building, Apt. 2818. This is open to all.

    Call voicemail for more info at 215-629-1995
    ~Myrna Schlanger

  • Mutual Support Network!
  • bagels & books

    "Mutual Support Duo" between Rabbi Julie and Bev Hayden at the Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir Annual Meeting.

  • 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 insight.

    To join the listserv, send your first and last name and e-mail address to Sharon Cooper at 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 information.

  • LimmudPhilly Update
  • The 2nd annual LimmudPhilly Learningfest is rapidly approaching. On Saturday evening and all-day Sunday, March 6-7, 2010 in center city Philadelphia, you can immerse yourself in all things Jewish and take another step in your own Jewish journey. Presenters from near and far will conduct sessions on arts & culture, contemporary Jewish life, text study, history and much more! Presentations will include music programs, film, workshops and lectures, all with an intent to enrich your life. Additional activities and kosher food are included in the program. Young Limmud offers dynamic Jewish learning experiences planned for children aged 3 to 10. Many adult sessions are appropriate for the teen population. Following a successful premier event in 2009, this should be a stellar event!

    Early bird pricing is now in effect through February 8. Take advantage of these discounts by registering now at You can also sign up for the email list to receive LimmudPhilly updates. The link is on every page of the website,

    For additional information about LimmudPhilly, please call 267-235-4083, email or visit to register for LimmudPhilly, volunteer, donate or sign up for the mailing list.

  • Discounted Parking for Ethical Society Events
  • EZ Park, located at 2101 Chestnut Street in the River West Condo Garage (covered), has offered Congregation Levy Ha-Ir discounted parking.

    The cost is $6, weekdays after 5PM; Weekends all day for $6. All tickets must be stamped with an Ethical Society Stamp.

  • 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 Leyv Ha-Ir member John Mason at (215) 271-2982. Thanks.

    :: 215-629-1995