The Pulse of Our Congregation June 2010

In this Issue

Looking Ahead

Understanding the Koran

June 2010 Activities

Rabbi's Message: Rabbi Julie Greenberg

Mitzvot are alive and well at the Heart of the City.

2010 Leyv Ha-ir Annual Meeting Officers Elected

Find Us on Facebook!

Shabbaton in Fairmount Park

Discounted Parking for Ethical Society Events

Marking Life Cycle Events


Looking Ahead

Sunday, June 13, 2010
3:00 PM
Program with Susan Budenstein, our beauty expert - CANCELLED!

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 Sue Frank, at, 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.

Newsletter Design and eMail Marketing:

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

Last week, my friend Joey D. died at the age of 51. Joe was a dad and a husband and a public servant. He chose this life trajectory and career. He was talented and passionate enough to do anything. I have experienced grief as a selfish emotion. After the rational thought, the empathy, the understanding of others' loss, my feelings turn to me. I question decisions that Joe and I have made to localize our impact on the world -- and to choose professions which don't make much money. It's hard to see the rewards of humility at the end of a life. Joe was on the board of directors of the Friends of the Free Library (in addition to other organizations). His survivors identified the FFL as a charity well wishers could support to honor his memory. I wish that enough donors would give money to keep the libraries open forever, and to give Joe a legacy. I wish this in the same way that I want my living and dying to have an enduring impact. I wish that my life, with its relatively small gravitational pull, could change the course of the universe.

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

  • Understanding the Koran
  • Several Leyv Ha-Ir members met with two students and to discuss the history and meaning of the Koran, explored what role it plays in Islam and how it is used by Muslims as part of daily prayer and ritual. Abbas Adekola, a native of Nigeria, is currently pursuing graduate studies in comparative religion at Temple University. Boris Dolin, in his fifth year at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, highlighted similarities between both Judaism and Islam.

  • June 2010 Activities
  • Saturday, June 5, 2010, 10:00 AM
    Shabbat Morning Lay-Led Service
    Home Shabbat Service/Dinner
    Join us at the home of Joan Goldberg, 1901 Kennedy Blvd, Apt. 2226, for a lay-led service and pot-luck veggie/dairy lunch.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010, 10:00 AM
    Council Meeting
    All members are invited to a LHI Council Meeting at Evy's, Kennedy House, 1901 JFK, #2818, 10 AM

    Friday, June 18, 2010, 6:30 PM
    Shabbat Home Dinner and Service
    Join us for a condensed service followed by a potluck veggie/dairy dinner. We'll meet at Michael Meketon's, 840 Earp Street, Directions? contact Michael at or 215-755-3259.

    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
  • Hello Dear Chevre,

    Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City has an action component to many of our holy days; the Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World) committee and the Rabbi work closely together to channel good deeds, connected to the holidays, into the world. This past season we chose to make a contribution to ending hunger at Pesach and to sharing educational resources with prisoners at Shavuot.

    John Oliver Mason was honored for his service this year educating our community about hunger issues. Rabbi Julie made a donation to Mazon:A Jewish Response to Hunger in John's name.

    Thanks to all of you who brought books to donate to Books Thru Bars, the wonderful program that takes literature, and especially dictionaries, into prisons. We brought books on Shavuot because Shavuot is a time of revelation and learning.

    Thank you to all who participated in making the values of Judaism come alive on these holy days.

    Love and Blessings,
    Rabbi Julie

    (Editor's Note: Rabbi Julie will be on vacation for July and August.)

  • Mitzvot are alive and well at the Heart of the City.
  • On Tuesday, May 18, as part of the Shavuot service, Members of the Leyv Ha-Ir community collected books, mostly dictionaries, for Books Through Bars, the organization dedicated to sending books to prison inmates, so they may educate themselves and return to society. I took the books over to the A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue, where BTB is headquartered. This is a wonderful act for us to get into. Let's continue this tradition, so that inmates could free their minds as well as themselves.

    John Oliver Mason, Tikkun Olam Chair

  • 2010 Leyv Ha-ir Annual Meeting Officers Elected
  • bagels & books

    The Annual Meeting of Leyv Ha-Ir was held Sunday, March 16th when a new slate of officers were voted in.

    They are:
    President Michael Meketon
    Vice President - Susan Thompson
    Secretary - Iris Newman
    Treasurer - Polly Gussman
    Council At-Large - Myrna Schlanger, Roby Jacobs, Patricia Saddier, and Pat Wisch

    The photos are of: Rabbi Julie Greenberg and President Michael Meketon. The photo of bemused Karen Zeitz presenting the slate officers with a comment from the floor.

  • Find Us on Facebook!
  • Did you know that Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City has a Facebook group? There is not too much to see right now but, shortly, Michael Meketon and I will be revising it and bringing it up to date with many photos.

    Which leads me to the question - are you hoarding photos of Leyv Ha-Ir that can be posted on Facebook? If that is the case, please send them to me at

  • Shabbaton in Fairmount Park
  • In an idealic setting in the Park, Leyv Ha-Ir had its 14th Annual get-together, Saturday, May 1st at Chamounix Mansion.

    Rabbi Julie led the Shabbat service and Rabbi Emeritus, Rayzel Raphael, led us in a discussion of Jewish Angels and How Angels Guide Us. The day included a baby- naming ceremony and delicious lunch.

    It was a wonderful occasion!

  • 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 parking.

    The cost is $6, weekdays after 5PM; Weekends all day for $6. All tickets must be stamped with an Ethical Society Stamp, available at the check-in desk in the Ethical Society lobby.

  • Marking Life Cycle Events
  • Let's thank Evy Simon for the many years of service she has devoted to sending out Life Cycle event cards. This task will now be taken over by Sue Frank, a long-standing member of Leyv Ha-Ir. What a meaningful way to mark simchas, yahreits,etc. - send a donation to our P.O. Box 15836, Phila PA 19103, stating to whom the card should be delivered and for what occasion. The cards are beautiful, multi-purpose and designed by our very own Marci Fleet, our in-house artist. For further information, contact Sue Frank at

    :: 215-629-1995