The Pulse of Our Congregation May 2011

In this Issue

May 2011 Activities

Rabbi's Message

Leyv Ha-Ir Community Seder!


Find us on Facebook

Be sure to join and visit Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City's Facebook group

Marking Lifecycle Events

Friends, this is an invitation to keep Leyv Ha-Ir close in your thoughts when you have any occasion to remember someone with a card. Make a donation to your cherished congregation and honor someone you care about at the same time. It might be a note of sympathy, a message of congratulations, a shout-out on a happy occasion. Let me know, and I will gladly send along either one of Marcy Fleet's lovely art cards created for this use, or one I will customize based on your suggestions. I will also try to compose a note that carries your thought to the recipient.

Please direct checks to our PO Box 15836, Philadelphia PA 19103 and details to me. You can reach me at

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:

Ilene Hass
Creative Solutions
for Business Marketing

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

As a congregation, we have been working for years with issues relating to peace with security for Israel and her neighbors. This has been a joyful struggle for us which has reinforced the high quality of our relationships as we engage each other in discussion. Over the years we have had speakers. Our congregants have participated in dialogues. We have read and discussed books. Our Rabbi has taught classes using Israeli poetry, and founding political documents.

Last fall, at our dialogue, participants requested a follow-up event which would bring new voices to our community, including Palestinians and Israeli Jews who advocate, while still acknowledging the fundamental humanity of the other side. We want to hear from Palestinians who are sensitive to Israeli needs for Peace and Security; and we want to hear from Israelis who acknowledge the sensitivities of their Palestinian neighbors.

Since that time, Beverly Hayden, our matriarch and former president searched for speakers. She has identified two speakers from Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. This Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 3PM, we are featuring these speakers. This event will take place at the Ethical Society building.

It is our intention to continue this discussion we have been having. We do not wish to enter a debate. These speakers are not the first speakers nor the last who will address these issues with us. We will listen to them, and each audience member will make his or her own decisions about how to use the information. We welcome you to this event. We welcome you to be part of our community as we challenge ourselves and each other with respect.

Michael Meketon
President, Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir

  • May 2011 Activities
  • Sunday, May 1, 2011, 3:00 - 5:00 PM
    "Fresh Voices from Israel and Palestine"
    Join us at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

    In an effort to obtain some clarity in the Israeli-Palestinian turmoil, LHI and the Ethical Society have invited guests for the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.

    The speakers will be two Israelis, one Jewish, one Palestinian. One speaker, an Israeli former soldier, is very involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement. The other is a Palestinian woman who grew up in the State of Israel, has been working in Jerusalem to promote dialogue and mutual cooperation with Palestinian and Jewish organization. Please spread the word! Should be fascinating.

    Friday, May 6, 2011, 6:30 PM
    Shabbat Home Dinner/ Service
    Join us at Iris Newman's home for our lay-led 45-minute service and delicious veggie/dairy pot-luck dinner.

    Saturday, May 7, 2011, 10:00 AM
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Join us at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq. for our lay-led service and veggie/dairy pot-luck lunch.

    Monday, May 9, 2011, 7:00 PM
    Council Meeting
    All members are invited to join us at a congregant's home

    Friday, May 20, 2011, 7:30 PM
    Kabbalat Shabbat Service
    Join us as Rabbi Julie and the LHI Choir lead the Friday night service. We'll be at the Ethical Society building at 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.

    Sunday, May 22, 2011, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    LHI SPRING RETREAT ~ A day of fun and frolic at Chamounix Mansion in Fairmount Park

    Let's have a joyous day together as a community. Rabbi Julie will lead us in "Bible Fun and Games" in the AM. After a tasty lunch, Rabbi Sigal will lead us in "Sh'ma Yoga: Integrating Kabbalah & Yoga to Nourish Body, Mind and Soul".

    Guaranteed to be a fun, relaxing and meaningful day. Flyer to be mailed out with more details.

    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 upcoming activities.
  • Rabbi's Message
  • Dear Chevre,

    I'd like to share a touching comment that my 14 year-old son, Joey, made recently. He comes to many of our Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City services and shares freely during our "shamanu" time. At one Shabbat service, Joey spoke about experiencing racism in his daily life. (He's a big, male teenage child of color, Latino-Jewish, and unfortunately racism is alive and well in our city.) After the service, many congregants connected with him, offering their concern and support.

    As we left the service that night, Joey said to me, grinning "Ma, I feel like I have eleven grandmothers." It meant so much to him to feel the response of his caring community to his pain.

    I think that caring responsiveness is something Jewish communities do best. We can't change a terrible diagnosis or rid the world of racism or put an end to loneliness. But a caring response makes all the difference. As the New Year prayer U'ntanetokef says, " Responsiveness, clarity and right giving avert the evil decree. Teshuva, tefillah, tzedakah ma'arivin ha'g'vayra." This is a great time, at the opposite end of the year from the Jewish New Year, to renew our understanding of this key prayer that is designed to live with us throughout the year.

    This month we have wonderful opportunities to be together in community, developing our capacity to respond. I am especially looking forward to the May 1st program exploring Muslim Perspectives on Peace and our May 22 Play Day in the park (Come play Bible games with me).

    Wouldn't you like to have (or be one of) eleven grandmothers?

    Rabbi Julie

  • Leyv Ha-Ir Community Seder!
  • A great time was had by 49 people at our Community Seder at the Philadelphian on April 19. Rabbi Julie and Jessi Roemer led the service and sang, and the LHI Choir was excellent.

    Here's the Leyv Ha-Ir Choir in harmony with their Director!

    Plan to Join us next year!

    :: 215-629-1995