The Pulse of Our Congregation July 2011

In this Issue

Looking Ahead!

Scenes from the Annual Meeting

July 2011 Activities

Rabbi's Message

Membership for the Coming Year

Letter to Chesed and your LHI Community:

Shavout Service

Philadelphia Horticultural Society Has a Pop-Up Garden in Center City


Looking Ahead!

August 8, 2011, Tisha B'Av, 8 PM, home of Iris Newman. Beatrice Beer to sing Lamentations.

August 28, 2011, One Book, One Community, (see Rabbi's article for book selections).

Please note that activities during the summer will continue: Shabbat lay-lead services, first Saturday of July and August, and Friday Night Kabbalat Services and dinner, both services at a members home. Please check the events calendar on our website or our list-serv for places and times. Air-conditioning is promised!

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.

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

On Sunday, June 12, 26 members gathered for Leyv-Ha-Ir's Annual Meeting. It was an occasion worth remembering for many reasons. Michael Meketon, who has served our congregation so successfully as President for the past five years, was relinquishing this post. We showered him with appreciation for his years of service, including a gift certificate to Zahav, a lovely cake, a handsome certificate designed by Marci Fleet and "gelt" presented to Michael by Iris Newman. Many thanks, Mike, for your able leadership.

Instead of a pre-determined slate of officers, all nominations were taken from the floor. There had been much "buzzing" for months before as congregants wondered who would replace Mike as President. Although no one accepted this position, the meeting was filled with excitement and positive energy as members stepped up to fill vacant Council positions. Two vice-presidents were elected - Bobbi Cohen and Susan Thompson. Patricia Saddier is the new treasurer with Sol retaining his Assistant Treasurer position, and Iris Newman stays on as Secretary. The high point of the meeting was witnessing the selection of four congregants as new Council members. Congratulations to Jay Butler, Joan Goldberg, Marsha Hyman and Laura Jacobs for agreeing to take on this role. Of course Michael stays on Council as Past President. Judging from the enthusiasm in the room, it should be a great year.

Thank you to all who attended the meeting. There's a surge of energy throughout our congregation with this new Council. Let's keep the momentum going with lots of participation and a spirit of volunteerism. We welcome your ideas at any time, and are looking forward to this year!

Bobbi, Susan, Iris and Patricia
Your Leyv Ha-Ir Executive Committee

  • July 2011 Activities
  • Saturday, July 9, 2011, 10:00 AM
    Shabbat Morning Service
    Join us for our lay-led service and veggie/dairy pot-luck lunch. We'll be at Iris Newman's, William Penn House, 1919 Chestnut St. Contact Iris at 215-561-0228 to tell her what you'll be bringing.


    Monday, July 11, 2011, 7:00 PM
    Council Meeting
    All members are invited to our meeting at Bobbi Cohen's home on JFK Boulevard.


    Friday, July 15, 2011, 6:30 PM
    Shabbat Home Dinner/ Service
    Join us for our lay-led 45-minute service and delicious veggie/dairy pot-luck dinner. This dinner will be hosted by Beverly Hayden, at her home at the Penn Center House. Call Beverly at 215-557-3777, or the LHI number, 215-629-1995, and let us know what you will be bringing.


    Monday, July 18, 2011,7:00PM,
    Declutters' Group
    This members' group will be meeting at Evy's home.

    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,

    Here are the names of the books by Rabbi Naomi Levy that we'll be reading this summer. (Kudos to Joan Goldberg who guessed the name of the author ahead of time.) At the end of the summer let's gather for a delicious Bagels and Books brunch and discussion. Watch the calendar for details. "To Begin Again" and "Hope Will Find You". Levy is a conservative Rabbi. It will be interesting to see how we take in her approach to loss, challenge, growth and recovery. I will look forward to hearing your reactions.

    Have a great summer,
    Rabbi Julie

  • Membership for the Coming Year
  • Our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30, so now is a good time to make a commitment to Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City for the coming year 5772. We are lining up a great year of educational programs, holiday events, Shabbat services and other activities (please check our continuously updated calendar of events).

    If you are currently a member, you have received renewal material in the mail. For your convenience, our membership information and form are now available online. Please consider joining, and feel free to contact us by phone, email or via our website if you have any questions. We hope to see you all at High Holiday services and throughout the coming year. Thank you.

  • Letter to Chesed and your LHI Community:
  • Limmud Philly

    If you are fortunate to be a LHI member, but not so fortunate as to be ill, needing surgery, going through a treatment of sorts then the LHI CHESED is a bonus, call it a blessing, a benefit that is just invaluable, heart-warming and yes fun. I, for years, took it for granted that the Chesed committee, be it Pat Wisch or Susan Thompson or whoever in charge, would do a few niceties and inform the community of someones' well-being. Now that I myself have been under the knife, and in a slow process of recouping I know better. What a gem of a loving-kindness this committee is. Kind and uplifting words is one thing, but the practical doings is beyond words. I do not want to be too specific about what was done for me, but am sure that in every, individual unique personal situation the member receives the attention needed.

    This brings me back to being a member of this small Center-City synagogue, the one with Heart in its name: we are special, we are open-minded, we do wish new folk to join us and yes, we like all to have an active function in it. When one participates actively, you get to know others, own a share, feel useful, and it lifts your soul! I started way back volunteering doing Oneg after services because I thought feeling a stranger in a synagogue, I at least would know how to serve coffee and cookies! Did I learn!!

    With the High Holidays on the horizon -- and yes I will try to be its chair again -- I am asking each member AND prospective member -- AND those who like us and have been with us over the years -- to let me know that you would like to help, and what it is you might like to do. Looking forward to your response!

    Roby Jacobs

  • Shavout Service
  • LHI Choir

    A partial view of the LHI Choir, all dressed in white, for our Shavuot Service, June 7. Two of the songs were composed by our choir director, Jessi Roemer, and her mother, Cantor Sue Roemer, Z"L. Our thanks to the Butlers' for facilitating the event.

  • Philadelphia Horticultural Society Has a Pop-Up Garden in Center City
  • Garden in Center City

    No longer a vacant lot, the PHS planted a beautiful garden in Center City. The site is at the northeast corner of 20th and Market Streets, and will be around until October. Produce grown there will be donated to a food bank.

    Come visit it, as it will be open Wednesday and Thursday, 12 noon to 2 PM. Better yet, volunteer to water or weed Friday evenings, 4 to 6 PM.

    As an added attraction, free Tai Chi lessons will be held there for the next 5 weeks. Its hours are Monday evenings, 5:30-6:30 PM and Thursday mornings 9-10 AM.

    See you there!

    :: 215-629-1995