Sunday, May 16, 2010
calendars now!! Election of New Officers to
Kennedy House, 10:30 AM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Rabbi Julie. 7:30 PM at the Ethical Society
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Program with Susan
Budenstein, our beauty expert. Details to
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.
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 email@example.com.
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
Newsletter Design and eMail Marketing:
Dear Friends and Members of Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City,
Happy Passover. Our nominating committee has
been very active helping our community
restructure its leadership moving forward.
Thank you to
Beverly, Bobbi, Karen and Evy for your
exhaustive interview and assessment project.
Organizationally, we are ready to change
things around, and to create more excited
energy about our future. Every
transition is difficult, and I imagine that
even our ancestors leaving Egypt mourned
their familiar former habits. So it is as we
are planning to leave behind our current way
of doing things. I am so grateful for this
committee prodding me and the rest of our
congregational leadership. It can seem
easier to stay in Egypt than to move on, but
move on we must.
If this committee does not contact you,
please contact them. We are seeking to
understand the needs and the ability of each
of our community members so that we can
provide meaningful synagogue life for each
other and our selves.
Michael Meketon, President
Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City
|THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM: Our Wonderful 2010 Trip to Israel.
By Iris Newman
Beverly Hayden and I have recently
returned from two weeks in
Israel, starting with a Hadassah mission on
February 22, and staying a few
days on our own. We saw a lot of the country,
including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem,
Safed, Tiberias, and the West Bank.
Jerusalem is always a high point,
though it was mostly cold and rainy (praying
for rain apparently works!) We
left messages in the Western Wall, and
visited the grave of Henrietta Szold
on the Mt. of Olives. Of course we toured the
Hadassah Hospital complex, an
amazing place built with many, many
contributions. Our trip to Bet El, a
West Bank settlement on the site of Jacob's
dream of the ladder, exposed us
first-hand to the religious fervor of many of
the settlers. For the megilah
reading, we went to a synagogue affiliated
with the American Conservative
movement, with chanting by several cantorial
students - lots of fun. Purim
is a big holiday in Israel - people take off
work and children show off
their costumes at the malls.
We were driven to Safed in the north
through the Jordan valley. Safed was
the height of Jewish mysticism, beginning as
a refuge for some of the Jews
expelled from Spain in 1492. A synagogue
marks the spot where mystics
created the Kabbalat Shabbat service that we
love. There were devoted
prayers said at the tomb of Rabbi Yochanan
Ben Zakkai on nearby Mt. Meron.
The Arbel hill nearby held the caves used by
Jewish rebels against Roman
power. Tiberias has a small monument to the
Nikud, the little vowels used
under and around Hebrew letters, invented
there. Everywhere we went was
beautiful, with new green grass and
wildflowers thanks to the winter rains.
Naturally, there were lots of beautiful
hand-made Judaica, jewelry, etc. to
buy - we did a little damage.
Some impressions: the security situation
is much better than in my last
previous visits in 2002 and 2006. Then there
were security guards
everywhere, much concern about bombs and
general nervousness. Now, the
concern with security is much muted and Jews
can go places in or near the
West Bank where we couldn't readily go
before, such as the Mt. of Olives.
This calm is said to be due to the
Wall/security fence, whatever else you
might think of it. The state seems very much
a going concern, but I don't
think peace is coming in the short or medium
term. Note that the trip we
were on did not deal with the many problems
in Israeli society or the lives
of the Palestinians.
|April 2010 Activities
Saturday, April 3, 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, April 11, 2010,
Council Meeting at Iris N.'s,
1919 Chestnut St. #2507. All LHI members are
Friday, April 16, 2010,
Service with Rabbi Julie
Our service welcoming the Sabbath Bride will
be held at the Ethical Society, 1906 S.
Rittenhouse, with Rabbi Julie Greenberg and
the Leyv Ha-Ir Choir.
Friday, April 23, 2010,
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 a congregant. Place to
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
Thank you for the outpouring of
celebration in honor of our
Rabbi-Congregation covenant. So much
wonderful energy went into an
evening full of Shabbat song, stories, and
roasting, not to mention
the gigantic yellow cake enjoyed by all.
Donations are still flowing
in, with appreciative notes and Mazel Tovs.
Long term relationships
aren't so easy in this world. I am immensely
proud of the one we are
growing together as Rabbi and congregation.
As the Torah says in Deuteronomy, when the
Jewish people are
reaffirming their covenenat on the verge of
entering the promised
land, "I make this covenant...not with you
alone, but both with those
who are standing here with us this day before
our God, Yud Hay Vahv
Hay, and with those who are not with us here
this day." Our actions to
build sacred community are on behalf of our
ancestors whose legacy we
hold in trust, and on behalf of our people's
descendants whose future
wellbeing is entrusted to us. Our commitment
to Jewish continuity is
our Jewish way of partnering with God to be
holy human beings.
Special thanks to Jessi Roemer for the
beautiful song she wrote for
me, to all of
Ha-Ir~Heart of the City for
the gift of a framed menorah from S'fat, and
to the Covenant Committee
for all they did to make this meaningful
Love and Blessings to all,
|Leyv Ha-Ir's 14th Gathering - Shabbaton in Fairmount Park
Saturday, May 1st, Chamounix Mansion
Services led by Rabbi Julie, a catered
lunch, followed by Rabbi Rayzel Raphael
"Meeting our Jewish Angels"
The price remains the same as in the past -
If mailed by April 20, send $50 to PO Box 15836,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
A flyer will be mailed out to you as well.
family are encouraged to attend.
|Mi Zeh Chacham - for Rabbi Julie Greenberg
The song below was written for Rabbi by
our choir director:
Text: Pirkei Avot/Jessi Roemer
Music/Arrangement: Jessi Roemer
Mi zeh chacham? Me she lomed mi kol adam.
Mi zot morah? Zot she me'ira et ha neshama.
Who is wise? One who learns from everyone.
Who is a teacher? One who awakens the soul.
|Where Kabbalah Began
The Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue is located in
Safed, Israel. Built in the sixteenth
century, the synagogue is named after Rabbi
Isaac Luria,(1534-1572)) who was a
great kabbalist who arrived in Safed in 1570.
(He was also known as Rabbi Ari). A Hebrew
inscription above the entrance lintel reads:
"How awe-inspiring is this place, the
synagogue of the Ari of blessed memory." The
synagogue is known for its colorful and
ornate Holy Ark. It may be the oldest
synagogue in Israel that is still in use.
The synagogue was established by Sephardic
immigrants from Greece who
arrived in Safed during the sixteenth
century. When Rabbi Isaac Luria
arrived he prayed in this synagogue on the
eve of the Shabbat. During the
service, he was accustomed to leave the
synagogue with his disciples and
walk to a nearby field to welcome the
Sabbath. The Ari's tradition of
welcoming the Sabbath during Kabbalat Shabbat
is still echoed in Jewish
communities around the world during the
singing of Lecha Dodi, when
worshippers turn toward the entrance of the
synagogue to "greet" the
In the eighteenth century, with the
arrival of the Hasidim from Eastern
Europe, the synagogue came to serve the
Ashkenazi community. The synagogue
was destroyed in the Galilee earthquake of
1837, and was rebuilt 20 years
later. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War a
bomb is said to have fallen in the
outside courtyard. Shrapnel flew into the
synagogue while it was packed with
people seeking shelter, yet miraculously no
one was hurt. This event was
considered one of many miracles said that
took place in Safed. Though the
synagogue is associated by name with the
Ashkenazi community, today it
serves as a place of worship for Hasidic and
Sephardic Jews and remains
popular among worshippers of different
The Holy Ark was carved from olive wood by
a craftsman from Galicia, in the
style of the synagogues of Eastern Europe. It
includes an anthropomorphic
image of a lion, alluding to Rabbi Luria's
acronym Ari, which means lion.
|Bagels and Books!
Bagels & Books to be held Sunday, April 25th,
11 AM at Joan Goldberg's Apartment, 1901
Kennedy Blvd., #2226.
New Jersey author Michelle Cameron, and
Evy Simon's cousin, will
discuss her writing life and her novel, THE
FRUIT OF HER HANDS, based on her 13th Century
ancestor, Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg, as
narrated by his fictional wife, Shira. After
her talk, Michelle will answer questions and
sign copies of her novel, which will be
available for $25.
|Embrace simplicity with the LHI Declutterers
The Leyv Ha-Ir Declutterers Group started as an
outgrowth of last year's Shabbaton/retreat.
We are 8 members, who have collectively over
the year gotten rid of enough clothes, boxes,
papers, and clutter to fill a house (OK,
maybe a small house). We marked our first
year anniversary with a lovely tea party at a
member's home. We can accommodate a few more
LHI members who would like to join us on the
3rd Monday evening of each month to talk
about simplifying. Contact Evy at 215-561-7474.
|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.
|Discounted Parking for Ethical Society Events
EZ Park, located at 2101 Chestnut Street in
the River West Condo Garage (covered), has
offered Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir discounted
The cost is $6, weekdays after
5PM; Weekends all day for $6. All tickets
must be stamped with an Ethical Society Stamp.