The Pulse of Our Congregation October 2011

In this Issue

Looking Ahead!

Founding Convention POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild)

LHI Calendar October 2011

Rabbi's Message

Quote of the Month

October Yahrzeits

Reserve now for our High Holy Day Services


Looking Ahead!


Thursday, November 3, 7 - 9 PM, Jewish Teaching on Sex and Sexuality -- Continuation of Rabbi Julie's discussion (See October 2011 Activities listing)

Thursday, November 10 and 17, 7 - 9 PM, Rabbi Julie addresses the Zohar: Mystical Jewish Stories from the Zohar and how the Kabbalistic process differs from other traditional forms of Judaism. TBA: Place and fee for the course.

Friday, November 4, 7:30 PM - Ethical Society, REPAIRING THE WORLD THROUGH INTERFAITH ACTION
Special Interfaith Kabbalat Service co-sponsored with InterFaithways Family Support System. A speaker from Philadelphia POWER will discuss how, as a community, we can change the needs and priorities of Philadelphians.

Sunday, November 13, 11:00 AM , Bagels and Books
Myrna Shemberg/Myra Schlanger - discussing famous Jewish authors and screen celebrities. Place to be determined.

Sunday, December 4, 11 AM, One Book, One Congregation Rabbi Julie leading a discussion about two of Rabbi Naomi Levy's books, "To Begin Again" and "Hope Will Find You". Place to be determined.

You can get all of the latest information about upcoming Leyv Ha-Ir services and other events on our web based calendar. Events are posted through June, 2012. Many thanks to Iris Newman for maintaining this calendar for us!

Marking Lifecycle Events

Please remember Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City when you have any occasion to send a greeting card to someone. While we are happy to receive contributions in any amount, for a minimum $10 contribution we will gladly send one of Marci Fleet's lovely art cards created for this purpose to the recipient of your choice.

Make a donation to your congregation and honor someone you care about at the same time. It might be a note of sympathy, a message of congratulations, get well, or a shout-out on a happy occasion. Sue Frank will gladly send along either one of Marci's cards, or one she will customize one based on your suggestions. Sue will also compose a note that carries your thought to the recipient.

Please use the new contribution form on our website, which contains the mailing address for your contribution, PO Box 15836, Philadelphia PA 19103. You can also reach Sue at 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.

Find us on Facebook

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

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

This is a wonderful time of year, with Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, bringing us opportunity for renewal and with Yom Kippur bringing us time for reflection and rededication.

At these High Holy Days, we pray in the company of hundreds of people throughout the Philadelphia area. It is not too late to join us for services (please register at As the year continues, our services and activities are with a smaller number of friends. We invite you who have not done so to join us in our programs throughout the year so that you can experience the special qualities of being part of a community. Our calendar of activities is always available on our website.

We wish each of you the New Year's blessings of peace, happiness, health and good sustenance. L'Shanah Tovah! - A good year!

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

  • Founding Convention POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild)
  • Annual Meeting Photos

    Several members of Leyv Ha-Ir took part in the founding convention of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER), held at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, Broad and Fitzwater Streets, on Sunday, September 25, 2011.

    POWER is a coalition of religious congregations - Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim - banding together to address the social problems of Philadelphia, with an emphasis on unemployment, housing, safety, and education. POWER is based on the model of Faith-Based Community Organizing, rooted on the principles of justice in society with in the various faith traditions. It also follows the methods of popular education based on people's everyday experiences.

    Along with Leyv Ha-Ir, other Jewish congregations participating in POWER include Kol Tzedek, the Reconstructionist congregation in West Philly; Rodeph Shalom; Society Hill Synagogue on Spruce Street; and Mishkan Shalom in Roxborough. POWER has received start-up funds from the William Penn Foundation, the Bread and Roses Community Fund, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, the Philadelphia Foundation, the Allen Hilles Fund, the Presbyterian USA Fund for Congregational-Based Community Organizing, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

    John Oliver Mason

  • LHI Calendar October 2011
  • Saturday, October 1, 2011,
    Shabbat Morning Service will not take place!


    Friday, October 7, 2011, 6:00 PM
    Kol Nidre
    The beautiful chant of Kol Nidre will be heard at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, with Rabbi Julie Greenberg, Cantorial Soloist Jessi Roemer, Enid Adler and the LHI choir. A ticket is not needed, but please register on our website.


    Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10:00 AM
    Yom Kippur
    Our service will be at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, with Rabbi Julie Greenberg, Cantorial soloist Jessi Roemer and the LHI choir. A ticket is not needed, but please register on our website.


    Monday, October 10, 2011, 7PM - 9PM
    Council Meeting
    All members are invited to join us at us at Donna & Jay Butler's Rittenhouse Square location. Questions? contact Jay at or 484-410-9060.


    Sunday, October 16, 2011, 2PM
    Sukkot Celebration
    We'll celebrate the Festival of Booths with Rabbi Julie at a congregant's home.


    Monday, October 17th, 2011, 6:30-8:30PM,
    Mother Bethel AME Church, 6th & Lombard Sts. A POWER Cluster of Center City Congregations meeting to begin our work, as a community, to mentor/educate its residents, in order to give them the tools to achieve employment. For more information, contact Beverly Hayden, 215-557-3777, (Transportation may be available.)


    Thursday, October 20, 2011, Time TBD
    Simchat Torah
    This holiday celebrates the annual beginning of the Torah-reading cycle. We'll be celebrating with Minyan Tikvah at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.


    Thursday, October 27, 2011 (and Thursday, November 3, 2011, 7PM - 9PM
    Jewish Teachings on Sex and Sexuality
    Join us to delve into the topic of sex and sexuality in Jewish tradition. Using sources from the bible, the Talmud and the Jewish Sages, Rabbi Julie will offer a variety of Jewish perspectives on this enticing topic. We'll be in the Community Room at Park Rittenhouse, 225 S. 18th Street. The cost to attend each session is $10 members; $15 non-members. A dessert reception to follow. Please register in advance at or our voicemail at 215-629-1995.


    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,

    What a holy time of year! This portal between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur is full of inner potential for turning ourselves towards what is of value in life. This time of year invites us to pour kindness into the universe: picture a scale with two arms, there's a lot of good on one side, there's a lot of harshness on the other. Our tradition teaches that your next deed weights the universe in one direction or the other.

    Unfortunately, life, as we all know, is often much messier than good on one side and evil on the other. The image of the scale is profound in a larger, metaphorical way. When it gets down to the nitty gritty of figuring out real-life problems, usually things are more complicated; good and bad are more intertwined; the right decision is hard to untangle. A homeless person on the street reaches out a hand for help---is it the kind thing to give him or her a few dollars or is it really the kind thing to say no and make a donation to a homeless program that can provide services?

    Being part of a community can help each of us peel away the layers of complexity to get more and more clear about the call to engage in acts of loving kindness. We look forward to a year of drawing deeply from the well of Judaism to inform ethical discussion and learning, to cast a wide net of good deeds and to live together in community. We welcome your questions, doubts, imagination, creativity, and energy. Together let's load the scale on the side of justice and goodness.

    May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for this coming year.

    Rabbi Julie

  • Quote of the Month
  • Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude. - Confucius

  • October Yahrzeits
  • May This Soul be Bound in the Book of Eternal Life
    Sylvia Goloff

  • Reserve now for our High Holy Day Services
  • Our High Holy Days schedule and Registration Form has been posted to our website. Be sure to sign up yourself and your guests.

    All services held at the Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq. and led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg, with Cantorial Soloist Jessi Roemer and the Leyv Ha-Ir Choir.

    Rosh Hashanah Services - Wednesday, September 28 - 7:30 PM; Thursday and Friday, September 29 and 30 - 10:00 AM

    Kol Nidre Service - Friday, October 7 - 6:00 PM

    Yom Kippur Service - Saturday, October 8 - 10:00AM

    :: 215-629-1995