Shir Libeynu Logo
E-Update January 28, 2014
In This Edition 


1. Upcoming Shir Libeynu Services and Programs

a) This Saturday, February 1, 2014, 10:30 a.m.: Shabbat Morning Service at the MNJCC 

b) Jewish Learning Program - Inclusive Practices: No Shir Libeynite Left Behind, Saturday, February 1,  2014, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the MNJCC  

c) Contemplative Chanting Service and Havdallah Ceremony at the MNJCC  - Saturday, February 15th, 6:00 p.m.

d) Other upcoming services

e) Food and drink in the Chapel 


2. Help Wanted

       a) Kiddush help for our upcoming services

b) Purim carnival helpers


3. Other Shir Libeynu Items

a) Shir Libeynu's New Officers

b) Topsy-Turvy Purim Carnival, Sunday, March 2,  2014, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the MNJCC  


4. Other Items of Interest

        a) Heart to Heart Community Gathering - Sunday, February 23, 2014

b) Kulanu LGBT Trip to Israel



Our Next Shabbat Morning Service  


February 1, 2014 / Rosh Chodesh Adar 1

@ 10:30 a.m.


This Saturday, banish your midwinter blues at our warm celebration of Shabbat.The service includes the parsha (Torah portion) Terumah.


 Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

Michael Bernstein Memorial Chapel (3rd floor)

750 Spadina Avenue (@ Bloor)

Co-led by our rabbinic leader, Aviva Goldberg and our member and volunteer
chazzan, Paula Wolfson.

 Shabbat: The Junior Edition

Brachot (blessings) are a way to make everyday things special.
Learn how to say them, what they mean and why they are
important. Rebecca will lead crafts and other activities and
Eden will tell stories. At the end of the service, teach the grown
ups what you learned.
 (This program was originally scheduled for last month, but was postponed. We are happy to have Rebecca back and hope you will be there, too.)


  A light Kiddush lunch will be served afterwards.





 Inclusive Practices:

No Shir Libeynite Left Behind

This is an informal series of Jewish learning workshops on various topics that our members say are important and relevant to them.  They will take place after the kiddush, in the chapel, usually starting at 12:45 p.m. and ending at 2 p.m. You do not need expertise in any of these topics in order to participate. If they are of interest to you, please join us whether or not you make it to the Shabbat service in the morning.


 *THIS* Saturday:  Finding Your Way Around The Basic Structures of the Prayer Book - led by Aviva;


Please note that the workshop THIS SATURDAY begins at 12:30 p.m. sharp, and will end at 1:30 p.m.


Here is a list of upcoming workshops, subject to change:    


March: Torah Study - The Parsha and Its Connection to Pesach Ritual - Connecting to Passover - led by Aviva;


April: Tefillah 101 - Innovation/Appropriation in Jewish Ritual, led by Aviva, with the participation of other members;


May:  Torah Study, Facilitator TBA;


September:  Finding Your Way Around the Machzor (High Holy Days Prayer Book), led by Aviva.







Other Upcoming Services


Contemplative Chanting Service

Where Prayer, Silence and Melodious Soul-Jamming Meet
February 15th, 2014/15th Adar 5774
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  


Join us on a joyful journey to "an island in time," as Abraham Joshua Heschel has described Shabbat.  Through music and chanting, with some grounding in silence, we catch our breaths, we pray, and find innovative ways to navigate our way to the pleasures of connecting to the here and now, to Shabbat and to community.
These services are led by Lorne Blumer, with the assistance of fellow Shir Libeynu soul jammers Justine Apple, Helen Bauer, Lorne Gould, Harvey Weisfeld and Penny Winestock.
Light refreshments will be served after the service.
Childcare will not be available.
Other dates for contemplative chanting services in 2014: April 19th; June 7th.
Please note that this service is on February 15th, not the 25th, as was originally announced.
 Shabbat Morning Services This Spring

March 1, April 5 and May 3

@ 10:30 a.m.

Everyone is welcome at our inclusive, egalitarian and participatory Shabbat morning services. A free educational children's program is offered during each morning service and a light Kiddush lunch is served immediately afterwards, followed by our new afternoon discussion group.

Watch for further details about our upcoming Shabbat morning services.

Food and Drink in the Chapel

Please note that absolutely NO food or drink (other than water) is allowed in the Michael Bernstein Memorial Chapel, where our services are held. This rule applies not only during services but also during discussion groups, or any other time the chapel is being used. Shir Libeynu's continued use of this beautiful space depends upon compliance with this rule. 

  All services take place at 

 Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

Michael Bernstein Memorial Chapel (3rd floor)

750 Spadina Avenue (@ Bloor)




Kiddush Helpers for Shabbat Morning Services


 Saturday, February 1 or Saturday, March 1

We need energetic people to come in a little early to help our board volunteer and our staff person prepare for the kiddush(es) 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. 
Community service hours available for high school students.

Please email if you would like to volunteer for the February or March kiddush.



Volunteers for the MNJCC Purim Carnival


 Sunday, March 2


Shir Libeynu is hoping to bring the Story of Esther to life at the carnival with a whole cast of costumed characters to interact with the kids. If you can spend an hour or two being brave Esther, wise Mordecai, foolish King Ahaseureus, wicked Haman or independent Vashti, write to us.


Too shy to be a Purim character? Help is also needed with set up, clean up, running booths, and other carnival activities. Sign up here to provide hands-on assistance.  


High school students can earn community service hours by volunteering.







During its first meeting in 2014, Shir Libeynu's board of directors elected a new set of officers. Jamie Flagal, who has served a dual role as vice-president and secretary for the past two years, was elected president. Jessica Miller, who is now in her second year on the board, was elected  vice-president/secretary. Zev Frishman, who has served as treasurer for the past three years,  was re-elected to the position for a second term. Harriet Eisenkraft served as president for the past two years, following an eight-year term with the title of  vice-president, but the responsibilities of co-president, alongside Eden Nameri. Harriet is now immediate past-president. 


The board looks forward to increasing the participation of its members under the guidance of an executive that balances new leadership with continuity. Thank you to all our officers, new and returning, with special gratitude to Harriet. Her many years of hard work and vision have been instrumental in Shir Libeynu's growth; her ongoing warmth and compassion are a big part of what has turned our congregation into a community. 



Topsy-Turvy Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 2

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Put on your favourite costume and come to this very family-friendly Purim carnival! Musicians, games, prizes, hamentashen and special guests. 


Shir Libeynu is pleased to be participating in the annual MNJCC Purim Carnival. Stay tuned for further details.  





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.) 


Heart to Heart Community Gathering

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Nat'l Council of Jewish Women of Canada Building

4700 Bathurst Street

Heart to Heart is a program that brings a group of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli youth from Israel to a three-week co-existence program hosted by Camp Shomria, a lake-side sleepaway camp in Northern Ontario.


Lina Medlij is a 17-year-old Palestinian Israeli and a Heart to Heart alumnus. Isaac Kates Rose, who grew up in Canada, was the educational guide for the program. Lina and Isaac will be speaking about their experiences in the program and the resulting impact on their lives today.


Advance registration is required. Donations at the door are gratefully received. Register now!



Kulanu LGBT Trip to Israel
This 12-day trip to Israel, departing Toronto on June 5, 2014, will be customized for members and friends of the LGBT community. The itinerary will include visits to Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Masada, Safed, gay community centres, and partying it up in Tel Aviv for Gay Pride!

Only $3,685 for 12 days (includes flight, hotels, taxes).


Questions? Contact Claire Waxman (travel agent) at 416.960.1393 ext 18 or email Kulanu Toronto at

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


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 light 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 He
brew for "song of our hearts," and our services include prayers and music both ancient and modern. Our diverse community is a welcoming on





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