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E-Update November 1st, 2012
In This Edition 


1. Holocaust Education Week Shabbat Service - Saturday, November 10th, 2012


2. Upcoming Services


3. Other Shir Libeynu Events


4. Other Holocaust Education Week Events 






In partnership with The Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, join us in our commemoration of Culture of Memory, part of the 32nd Annual Holocaust Education Week.


Our Shabbat service will honour and feature an address by survivor and philanthropist Alex Eisen, regarding his role in the formation of the Megillat Hashoah, read on Holocaust Remembrance Day.


Alex Eisen, born in Krakow, Poland in 1927, spent the war in concentration camps during the Holocaust, when his entire family was murdered. Mr. Eisen conceived and spearheaded the campaign to create the Megillat Hashoah and has been recognized internationally for his support of Holocaust education.


Please note this service is taking place on the second Saturday in November.



Our Kiddush is sponsored by Amy Herskowitz and Cecile Lapowich to honour the memory of Sam Lapowich, Cecile's father and Amy's Zaidye.




The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

750 Spadina Avenue @ Bloor and Spadina

(across from Spadina Station)

in the Michael Bernstein Chapel on the 3rd floor 







*NEW* Contemplative Shabbat Service

Saturday, November 17th 

4:00 p.m.


The intention of this late afternoon Shabbat service is to help us quiet our minds, catch our breaths, and settle more deeply into themes of Jewish prayer. We'll be getting there through chanting, meditation and even some silence. We may also slip in a little joy.  No musical or chanting experience?  No problem!  All are welcome.


The service will be led by Lorne Blumer, along with contributions from others. Lorne took us through some guided meditations at this year's High Holy Day services, and has periodically co-led other services for Shir Libeynu.


Please note that child care will not be available for this service. Light refreshments will be served afterwards.



Shabbat Morning Service

Saturday, December 1st 

10:30 a.m.


In December, we go back to our regularly scheduled services on the first Saturday morning of the month. Please join us for our Shabbat morning service, led by Aviva Goldberg.


Free child care during the December Shabbat morning service will include activities in preparation for Chanukah. A Kiddush lunch will be served immediately after the service.


*NEW * Contemplative Shabbat Service

Friday, December 7th 

7:00 p.m.


This Erev Shabbat service will include chanting, meditation and other creative techniques to help still the mind and focus on prayer. Lorne Blumer, who will be leading this service, took us through some guided meditations at this year's High Holy Day services, and has periodically co-led other services for Shir Libeynu.


Please note that child care will not be available for this service.










Downtown Jewish Family Info Fair

Tuesday, November 20, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

(750 Spadina Avenue)

As part of Toronto's vibrant downtown community, Congregation Shir Libeynu is delighted to be participating in the Downtown Jewish Family Info Fair. Please come by to visit our information table. Meet other families and let them know why Shir Libeynu is an important part of your family's Jewish life. The program includes "Neighbourhood Stories" by children's authors Andrew Larsen. At 7:00 p.m., Andrew will speak about ways that parents and children can play and create in a manner that enriches us all.


Shir Libeynu's AGM

Sunday, December 2nd @ 12:30 p.m.

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

(750 Spadina Avenue)

Room  218


Stay tuned for official notice of our annual general meeting. Meanwhile, please save the date. We look forward to your active participation.


How To Do Chanukah

Sunday, December 2nd @ 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

(750 Spadina Avenue)


* Especially for parents and grandparents *


Congregation Shir Libeynu is a co-sponsor of this practical step-by-step approach to celebrating Chanukah. Explore the meaning behind traditions and learn to celebrate at home in a way that actively engages children in family celebrations. It includes "how-to" materials and/or resources such as recipes, blessings, projects, music and more! Free. Space is limited and advance registration is suggested. For more information, contact Yudit Timbo, x 277 or Presented with the Downtown Jewish Community School, Congregation Shir Libeynu, First Narayever Congregation, Paul Penna DJDS and City Shul.


*SAVE THE DATE* Erev Chanukah/Shabbat

Friday, December 14th


Make sure to join Shir Libeynu for an evening of songs, stories, celebration and, of course, latkes. Stay tuned for further details.


Chanukah Candle Lighting

Saturday, December 15th @ 6:00 p.m.

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

(750 Spadina Avenue)


The Shir Libeynu choir is honoured to be lighting the candles on the eighth night of Chanukah at the MNJCC. The candle lighting will include Chanukah songs.




The theme of the 32nd annual Holocaust Education Week (November 1st to November 8th, 2012) is Culture of Memory. In addition to Shir Libeynu's HEW service on November 10th, there are diverse educational, cultural and community programs offered throughout the week. The following programs may be of particular interest to members of Shir Libeynu:

The Bird of the Ghetto (Der foigl fun veto)

Sunday, November 4th @ 2 p.m.

Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street


Threshold Theatre will present a staged reading in English of the only play written by award-winning Yiddish-Canadian author Chava Rosenfarb. A passionate historical drama depicting the 1943 Vilna Ghetto uprising, The Bird of the Ghetto raises questions about personal and political choices that speak to us today.

Chava Rosenfarb (1923-2011), survivor of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Bergen-Belsen, was one of the most important Yiddish writers of the second half of the twentieth century. Threshold Theatre, founded by Mark Cassidy and Suzanne Hersh, is known for creating adventurous, thought-provoking theatre.

Co-presented by Committee for Yiddish UJA Federation, Workmen's Circle, Friends of Yiddish in Toronto and the Sharna Foundation.   

More information is available at or


Queering Voices from the Holocaust

Monday, November 5th @ 7:00 p.m.

Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto,

115 Simpson Avenue


Inspired by his experience making Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in 1994 to gather video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust, including survivors persecuted for their homosexuality.


Among the archive of 52,000 testimonies, more than 400 include reference to the gay and lesbian experience - including representations as rescuers, victims, survivors, perpetrators and liberators. Understanding the voices in the archive requires that we listen carefully and consider multiple frameworks, including what we have learned from queer theory.


Co-presented by Kulanu Toronto & Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. For more information, call 416-819-7431.

Shir Libeynu Fund

Proceeds from the fund will go towards ensuring that Shir Libeynu continues to thrive while ensuring access to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.


Click here to donate to the Shir Libeynu Fund (please note that we do not have credit card capability - just PayPal). 


Alternatively, you can make out a cheque to Congregation Shir Libeynu (please write "Shir Libeynu Fund" in the "Memo" or "Re" section on the cheque) and mail it to


Shir Libeynu, 

P.O Box 73509

Toronto, Ontario

M6C 4A7


Please send an email message to 

stating the reason for your donation so we can acknowledge it in the Shabbat handout and on our website. Donations in any amount are welcome and income tax receipts will be issued.




The congregation holds Shabbat services on the first Saturday morning of each month, in the Michael Bernstein Chapel, on the 3rd floor of the Miles Nadal JCC, followed by a Kiddush. Free childcare is available during the services. We also offer adult education workshops and programs, the possibility to participate in our choir and chanting events, as well as holiday celebrations and Oneg Shabbat dinners throughout the year.



Congregation Shir Libeynu is unaffiliated, liberal, inclusive and egalitarian. Our participatory services combine tradition and innovation. Shir Libeynu is Hebrew for "song of our hearts," and our services include prayers and music both ancient and modern. Our diverse community is a welcoming one.

Need more information? Please contact us at: or at (416) 465-5488


Congregation Shir Libeynu

Our New Mailing Address:

P.O Box 73509

Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7