The Pulse of Our Congregation March 2010

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

Shabbat Across Center City

March 2010 Activities

Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg

B'SHERT! (destined): Celebrate LHI's Extended Relationship with Rabbi Julie

Lighting the Birthday Cake

What is Dialogue?

Join us for the LHI Annual Second Night Seder

Discounted Parking for Ethical Society Events

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

LIMMUDPHILLY'S Almost Here - There's still time to register!

Member Profile: Michael Meketon


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.

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.

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

I love Purim. I love that even the most devout Jews drink alot one night a year. I like that one day of the year, we turn the habitual on its head. It has always been a favorite at Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City. We sing, we wear funny costumes. We just don't take ourselves too seriously.

Next Year in Philadelphia!

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

  • Shabbat Across Center City
  • On Friday March 12, Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir will host a Home dinner/Shabbat service at the apartment of Beverly Hayden. Pot luck and open to residents of Center City. Space is limited; call 215-629-1995 by March 8th.

  • March 2010 Activities
  • Saturday, March 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.

    Saturday March 6 & Sunday, March 7, 2010,
    Limmud Philly Learningfest at the Gershman Y, Broad and Pine Streets

    Friday, March 12, 2010, 6:30 PM
    Shabbat Home Service/Dinner
    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 congregant Beverly Hayden.

    Friday, February 19, 2010, 6:30 PM
    Kabbalat Shabbat Service and Covenant with Rabbi Julie
    This special Friday night service will celebrate Rabbi Julie's new seven-year contract with us. Join us at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 7:30 PM
    Community Seder
    Our second night Passover seder will feature Rabbi Julie and Cantorial Soloist Jessi Roemer.

    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,

    We are coming upon a holiday that has question-asking at its core. The Four Questions are a key component of every seder. The Tamud teaches that if you don't have anyone to ask you questions about Passover, you should ask them of yourself. (Pesachim 117a) Steve Greenberg teaches in Wrestling with God and Men "When we ask good questions the Torah is given anew on Sinai at that very moment." What are your questions at this season? What are your Big Life questions? What are you curious about? What do you want to learn and discover? Let's ask each other these questions at this season of freedom.

    I'll leave you with these inspiring words of Torah from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, "...have patience with everything unresolved in your heart... try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to LIVE everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday in the far future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." I hope to see you at our very special Passover seder on Tuesday, March 30 (reservations required.)

    Looking forward to crossing the sea together,
    Rabbi Julie

  • B'SHERT! (destined): Celebrate LHI's Extended Relationship with Rabbi Julie
  • Rabbi Julie Greenberg and Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City are in a long-term relationship!

    Rabbi Julie joined us in 2001 - we are now celebrating her new seven-year contract with us.

    Join us for Kabbalat Shabbat services and festive refreshments,7:00 PM, Friday, March 19, 2010 at the Ethical Society Building, Philadelphia.

    Donations in Rabbi Julie's honor may be made to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir, PO Box 15836, Philadelphia PA 19103.

    Let us know by March 12 if you are able to attend. Services are on the first floor of the building; the reception is up a flight of stairs.

    Questions? Contact us at or 215-629-1995.

  • Lighting the Birthday Cake
  • bagels & books

    A good time was had by attendees at a Leyv Ha-Ir event, "Brunch & A Film", held on a snowy Sunday in February. The film was "A Mighty Wind" and the birthday lady is Iris Cutler.

  • What is Dialogue?
  • "Dialogue is both a powerful, practical tool and a spiritual practice. Dialogue enables people to communicate and build healthy relationships across differences  political differences, religious differences, and differences of any kind. Dialogue creates a supportive environment in which people can explore challenging ethical and intellectual questions and clarify their own views. Dialogue provides an opportunity for people to act on and cultivate important Jewish values: honoring each other; listening deeply; developing patience, kindness, and humility; giving other the benefit of the doubt; speaking with courage; and seeking ways to build community and pursue justice."

    Stay tuned for more infomation about our dialogue about Israel this month.

  • Join us for the LHI Annual Second Night Seder
  • The date is March 30, 6 PM, at the Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Community Room. Rabbi Julie and Jessi Roemer are conducting services.

    The cost is $55 per person Bring friends, family. Call 215-629-1995 for further details.

    Download our Community Seder reservation form

  • 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.

  • LIMMUDPHILLY'S Almost Here - There's still time to register!
  • Saturday night March 6 & Sunday March 7, 2010 Gershman Y & UArts, Broad & Pine Sts., Philadelphia PA 19147

    For more information or to register, $54 for adults over 30; $36 for ages 19-30; $18 for students and 18 and under. Price includes all programs plus Saturday night dessert buffet and wine, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, and snacks & drinks throughout. All food is kosher. Financial assistance is available.

    LimmudPhilly is a community-wide Jewish learningfest--designed to enhance and deepen your connection to Judaism. Last year 650 people came to this event, and we are expecting even more this year! This is Jewish learning in the broadest sense you can imagine! Over 75 scholars, artists, and educators will present the vast landscape of Jewish history, text, art, culture, and life through a variety of dynamic learning approaches including lectures, workshops, performance, and more! This unique Jewish communal experience will engage new learners as well as seasoned ones in an open environment inspired by wisdom, enthusiasm, and a love of learning. In addition, there are great opportunities to meet new people, connect with old friends, shop a craft marketplace and bookstore, connect with community service organizations and find out about many more happenings coming up in the Philly Jewish community!

    Some of this years highlights include a performance by world renowned Jewish gospel singer Joshua Nelson; the comedy stylings of Joel Chasnoff; a talk with Ruth Messinger, the National Director of the American Jewish World Service; and a Saturday night wine reception with live music. And these are only a few of the 90 sessions that will happen over two days. Check out the WHOLE SCHEDULE here.

    LimmudPhilly is a program designed for all ages, so, bring your friends, your kids and grandkids, your parents, and your grandparents. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact LimmudPhilly at 267.235.4083, or through their website.

  • Member Profile: Michael Meketon
  • Article submitted by John Mason

    Michael Meketon was born in West Oak Lane and grew up in East Mount Airy: "We moved across Stenton Avenue when I was born," he says. He received his Bachelor's degree from George Washington University in American Literature, a Law degree from Temple University, and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. His family when growing up, he recalls, "were members of a Reform congregation, Beth Or. We were regular worshipers, and I went to Hebrew school and religious school regularly, and to services regularly. I was president of the synagogue youth group."

    What drew Meketon to Reconstructionism? "(At) my niece Rebecca's Bat Mitzvah, in the early 'nineties" he recalls, "My brother and his family were members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Congregation (now Or Hadash). I very much liked the rabbi Vivian's service." He saw an ad for Leyv Ha-Ir in the Welcomat newspaper (now Philadelphia Weekly) for the High Holy Days and became a member. Leyv Ha-Ir's greatest attribute, he says, is "its inclusiveness and the participation of its members, each member taking responsibility for their own spiritual journey, and the great tolerance that each member has for one another's spirituality."

    Meketon became President of Leyv Ha-Ir in November 2005; of his experience, he says, "It's been a wonderful experience that has nourished me, much more than I have given to the congregation. I continue to value my working relationship with Rabbi Julie Greenberg, as well as admiring the energy that our members put into building (the congregation)."

    Professionally, Meketon is a social worker; "I currently work as a case manager/supervisor at the People's Emergency Center (a shelter for women and children) in West Philadelphia. I'm also a clinical social worker, I see therapy clients two days a week in Delaware County, and I teach Social Work classes at Temple University, and the class I taught the most often is 'The Social Worker in The Group,' I teach Social Work students about the dynamics about therapy groups, task groups, and mutual aid groups." Also, "I've been married for seventeen years, and being a husband is a very important part of how I identify myself. I live with my wife Lana in South Philadelphia."

    :: 215-629-1995