Shir Libeynu Logo
E-Update September 18th, 2013
In This Edition 


1. Upcoming Shir Libeynu Events

a) Our Next Service: A Shabbat Sukkot - Saturday, September 21st

b) Gathering: A Sukkot Festival - Give Me Shelter - Tuesday, September 24th 

c) Shabbat Morning Service and Bar Mitzvah of Zev Turner - Saturday, October 5th

d) Machatunim: A Suite of Stories About Making Queer Jewish Family - Wednesday,              October 9th 


2. 5774: A Very Good Year 


3. Help Wanted

a) Kiddush Helpers for October 5th

b) Volunteers for Machatunim on October 9th 


4. Shir Libeynu People

a) Paula Wolfson


5.  Other Items of Interest

a) Sukkahville

b) For Israel's Sake: Raising the Voices of Progressive Zionists in Canada

c) PJ Library Sukkot Celebration 

d) Yes You Can: Jewish Perspectives on Organ DonationsSukkotService



Our Next  Service


Shir Libeynu Logo

Shabbat Sukkot Service


Saturday, September 21st @ 10:30 a.m.


 This celebration of the harvest festival of Sukkot will include a visit to the rooftop sukkah, weather permitting, to shake the lulav.


Our children will be decorating the sukkah in preparation for our visit, as well as enjoying stories and crafts about the holiday.


A Kiddush lunch will be served afterwards. 


The Kiddush is sponsored by Gita Schwartz

in memory of her parents, 

Yehudit (Ida) Grunberger Schwartz

(Yarzheit:  3 Adar Sheni, 1967)

and Moshe (Moric) Schwartz

(Yarzheit: 1 Kislev, 1991).




The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Avenue @ Bloor and Spadina
(across from Spadina Station)
in the Michael Bernstein Chapel on the 3rd floorSukkot


Other Upcoming Shir Libeynu Events
Give Me Shelter
Tuesday, September 24
8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.


Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre


With Lorne Blumer and Elaine Cooper


If the sukkah is a "shelter," then how come it's raining inside?  Through meditation, chanting and other Jewish mindfulness practices, we will explore joy and meaning amidst
impermanence and hole-iness.


The MNjcc is offering a week-long series of activities throughout Sukkot. This event is co-presented with Congregation Shir Libeynu.


Shabbat Morning Service  

Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m. 


First Unitarian Congregation

175 St. Clair Avenue West


This special service will include the bar mitzvah of Zev Alexander Turner, son of Carol-Ann Granatstein. He will be chanting from Parshat Noach.


All are welcome.


Our children will be travelling on Noah's Ark, with crafts, stories and games about animals.

All are invited to the  Kiddush lunch immediately after the service. Bearbeargman

Please note that this service takes place at First Unitarian Congregation, 175 St. Clair West.


Machatunim: A Suite of Stories About Making Queer Jewish Family  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m. 


Wolfond Centre for Jewish Life

36 Harbord Street


Written and performed by


Shir Libeynu member S. Bear BergmanMachatunim explores family -- how we create it, nurture it, and are nurtured within it; whether our family is original, chosen, or a hearty blend. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors below, this is a FREE show.

Congregation Shir Libyenu is delighted to present
Machatunim, in conjunction with Hillel of Greater Toronto and the following University of Toronto departments and organizations -- The Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, The Ecumenical Chaplaincy,

The Multi-Faith Centre, The Sexual and Gender Diversity Office and The Women's and Gender Studies Institute -- as well as the generous co-sponsorship of our member, David Townsend.





5774: A Very Good Year


Shir Libeynu's motto for the High Holy Days is "Don't just congregate - participate!" This year, more than ever, people did just that. Our thanks to all those who read, spoke, sang, played instruments, conducted workshops, led prayers, chanted Torah and blew the shofar. Even our kids got involved -- singing songs, making challah and adding to the final t'kiyah gadolah with shofarim they made themselves.
Participation did not just come from those who were on the bimah - our congregation was active, engaged and involved. Thank you to everyone for making these High Holy Days so significant for everyone.


Many thanks as well to all those who, on top of the cost of their membership(s) and or ticket(s), also donated money to the Shir Libeynu Fund.  Click here to donate or make out a cheque to Congregation Shir Libeynu and mail it to Congregation Shir Libeynu, P.O. Box 73509, Toronto ON, M6C 4A7.





Help Wanted


 Kiddush Helpers for Shabbat Morning Service

on Saturday, October 5th


We need an energetic person to come in a little early to help our board volunteer and our staff person prepare for the Kiddush and clean up afterwards.  Help would be required from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. AND 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. This is a great way to get involved and to give back. We also give credit to high school students for their community hours requirement.

HeartPlease email if you would like to volunteer for the October Kiddush.HelpM



Helpers for Machatunim on the

Evening of Wednesday, October 9th


Several volunteers are needed to help with this unique performance. We need two or three people to help with the setup and take-down of the event (seating, tables, etc.) and someone to pick up light refreshments.



Please click below to email us if you can help with any of these tasks: setup, take down, or food pick up.


Shir Libeynu People


This section provides a chance for our congregants to get to know more about each other. If you are engaged in a project, have an interest, have experienced a life cycle event or know of a congregant who has, please let us know.
We request that submissions be in before the THIRD MONDAY. of the month. Editorial considerations include -- but are not limited to -- length of items, scheduling of listed events, frequency of submissions, and generality of interest.


Paula Wolfson is a longtime member of Shir Libeynu who often acts as our chazzan "understudy". Paula has enriched our High Holy Day services for the past several years with her beautiful singing and generus spirit.

There are currently three opportunities to catch the lighter (and more secular) side of Paula. She will be playing Mrs. Strakosh in a concert version of Funny Girl on September 30 and she will also be participating in There's No Business Like Irving Berlin on November 3. Botht these shows are presented by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre. Throughout the winter break, you will have an opportuniy to see Paula in The Musicals of Musicals: The Musical, the smash hit of this summer's Fringe Festival. Mirvish Productions presents it at the Panasonic Theatre December 18 to January 4.




Other Items of Interest 


(Items listed in this section have been included at the request of Shir Libeynu participants and/or are considered to potentially be of interest to our congregation. Listed items are not necessarily endorsed by Congregation Shir Libeynu or its members. Listings appear at the discretion of the newsletter editor.)sukkahville





Celebrate Sukkot in a unique blend of the contemporary and the traditional. Please join the Kehilla Residential Program in re-imagining the sukkah while supporting the cause of affordable housing

Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street

September 22nd, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Awards ceremony begins at 3:00 p.m.  


Part design competition, part family event, altogether amazing. To donate, volunteer or for more information please go to their

 RaisingSukkaville website:


Sunday, October 6, 2013, 9:00 am to 4:30 am 

Register at: 


Join JSpace Canada to explore the

Jewish Progressive movement. 


Speakers include Professor Janice Stein of the University of Toronto, Professor Avishai Margalit of Hebrew University andpj Gideon Aronoff, Chief Executive Officer of Ameinu.




 PJ Library's

Super Sukkot Celebration


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Schwartz/Reisman Centre

Lebovic Jewish Community Campus

9600 Bathurst Street, Vaughan

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


An afternoon of fun and music as we celebrate Sukkot. Festivities include a special Sukkot story time, music, crafts, cookie decorating and, of course, a visit to the sukkah.



 This is a FREE event but registration is required at 





Ready for the Ultimate Mitzvah?


Contrary to common belief, Judaism permits organ and tissue donation.



Jewish Perspectives on Organ Donation


Organizers from nine downtown Jewish congregations and community groups -- including Congregation Shir Libeynu -- have joined forces with the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada - Toronto Section to invite Toronto Jews to an event that will offer important insights into one of the most difficult, misunderstood aspects of Jewish life. 

Organ donation saves lives and is considered a mitzvah by all of the movements within Judaism. Yet, many Jews have concerns both within Judaism and more generally. Rabbi Miriam Margles (Danforth Jewish Circle) and Rabbi Aaron Levy (Makom) will each share a brief, unique perspective on Judaism's views about organ donation. They will be joined by Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman of St. Michael's Hospital and three donors and recipients who will each discuss how a person's decision to donate changed lives.


Click here to see more.


Save the date (and you could save a life!)


Monday, October 21, 2013, 7.30 p.m.

Wolfond Centre, 36 Harbord Street


This program is presented free of charge as a community service and is co-sponsored by Congregation Shir Libeynu. 


One person can save up to 8 lives and enhance as many as 75 more. 


Register your consent today at

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.



Join Shir Libeynu's New Facebook Group     



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


Congregation Shir Libeynu

Our Mailing Address:

P.O Box 73509

Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7