Shir Libeynu Logo
E-Update October 1st, 2013
In This Edition 


1. Upcoming Shir Libeynu Services

a) This Saturday: Shabbat Morning Service and Bar Mitzvah of Zev Alexander Turner - Saturday, October 5th at First Unitarian Congregation

b) Contemplative Shabbat Morning Service - Saturday, October 19th at the MNJCC


2. Other Upcoming Shir Libeynu Events

a) Machatunim: A Suite of Stories About Making Queer Jewish Family - Wednesday, October 9th at the Wolfond Centre

b) Meditation Through a Jewish Lens - Wednesday, October 16th to November 17th, 2013 at Eastminster United Church

c) Downtown Jewish Family Fun Fair - Sunday, October 27th,


3. Help Wanted

a) Kiddush Helpers for October 5th

b) Volunteers for Machatunim on October 9th

c) Ambassadors for the Downtown Family Fun Fair on October 27th


4. Other Items of Interest 

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

b) Yes You Can: Jewish Perspectives on Organ Donations NextShab




Our Next Shabbat 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 invited to the  Kiddush lunch immediately after the service. 



Noah and the Ark: The Junior Edition

Make your own ark, with your favourite animals marching in, two by two. Hear the story of Noah and the flood and find out why a rainbow is really a promise.


Our free children's program will run during the service.


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




RSVPs are greatly appreciated. If possible, please let us know via email by today, October 1st, whether or not you plan to attend Zev's bar mitzvah (of course, if you send regrets but end up being able to attend after all, please do). Personal messages of congratulations will be passed along to Zev and his family.Contemplative





A Contemplative Shabbat

Morning Service


Saturday, October 19, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m.


 Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

Michael Bernstein Memorial Chapel (3rd floor)

750 Spadina Avenue (@ Bloor)


This service, anchored by Lorne Blumer, provides a mid-month opportunity to quiet our minds, catch our breaths, and settle more deeply into themes of Jewish prayer. There will be chanting, meditation and even some silence. A little joy tends to slip in, too. No musical or chanting experience? No problem! All are welcome. 


Light refreshments will be served afterwards.


Please note that there is no children's program offered at this service.Mach





Other Upcoming Shir Libeynu Events

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.


Machatunim is a 90-minute, one-person show.

Its content is appropriate for all ages.

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.Mediation

Meditation Through a Jewish Lens


Wednesdays, October 16 to November 27

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Led by Elaine Cooper and Lorne Blumer 


During this seven-week program, we will apply a Jewish lens to meditation practice. Using silence, Jewish chants and prayers, and other techniques, it is our hope that you will acquire tools to live with greater awareness, gratitude and compassion, and more easily access the Divine, however you conceive of it.


Jackman Room, Eastminster United Church
310 Danforth Avenue
(just west of Chester subway)


Click here for pricing and registration information


Co-presented by Congregation Shir Libeynu and the Danforth Jewish CircleFamilyFun



Downtown Family Fun Fair

Sunday, October 27, 2013

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Miles Nadal JCC

750 Spadina Avenue (@ Bloor)



Kids can enjoy special activities while their grownups explore a variety of Jewish organizations (like Shir Libeynu!). Drop  by, say hello and see what downtown Toronto has to offer.
Preceding the Fun Fair, there will be a workshop for parents and grandparents, Shabbat GPS, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (childcare is available). To register, contact Belinda Keshen:


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. 

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




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.Helpf


 Ambassadors for the Downtown Family Fun Fair
Afternoon of Sunday, October 27th
 We need two or three Shir Libeynu enthusiasts to represent our shul at the Downtown Jewish Fun Fair. Recent post bar/bat mitzvah young people and/or high school students are especially effective ambassadors. .
To sign up for the Fair, please email us.
All Shir Libeynu volunteer opportunities include credit for volunteer hours for high school community service requirements. Students, please bring your forms with you when you help out.


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 itsIsrael2 members. Listings appear at the discretion of the newsletter editor.)

Sunday, October 6, 2013, 9:00 a.m .to 4:30 p.m. 

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.Mitzvah



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. 


This organ donor's parents take great comfort from their son's decision to help others. 
These parents are forever grateful to the donor whose generosity helped their daughter.
In just two minutes, a single person can save up to 8 lives and enhance as many as 75 more. Register as a donor TODAY.


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 one  Saturday morning of each month, in the Michael Bernstein Chapel, on the 3rd floor of the Miles Nadal JCC, followed by a Kiddush. A free Shabbat program is offered for children during 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.




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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