In This Issue
Looking Ahead
The Jews of Shanghai
Bobbi Cohen will be presenting her talk on this fascinating piece of Jewish history on February 1. Please look for more information on the exact time and location.

The Annual Book Drive for Spring Garden School will be in early March. Your contribution will help provide books to the students to take home
for the summer and keep. Details to follow.

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Leyv Ha-Ir Listserv

To Post a Message - just send an email to Attachments are accepted.


Leyv Ha-Ir Event Postings - will be sent by designated people using the information on our


Other Postings - You can post information about other events or information of interest by sending an email to  


Contact Beverly or Bobbi if there are questions about the listserv.

Chesed Reminder
A reminder that we have a Chesed (acts of loving kindness) committee who will do their best to offer assistance to LHI members in need. If you find yourself in that situation please call and we'll see how we can be helpful.

Joan Goldberg 215-561-5193
Pat Wisch 215-563-1894
Margie Wiener 215-563-8998
Marking Lifecycle Events
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Contact Leyv Ha-Ir

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


What are your New Year's resolutions for the 2015 secular year?  Your executive committee has a suggestion for you.  Even though we may live in a world of consumerism with numerous choices, we suggest that you identify yourself not as consumers but as "citizens" of a worthwhile spiritual home. Joining the community as a stakeholder, bringing your talents, participating in a variety of activities, and reaping the benefits of support and friendship all contribute to a sense of belonging in the fullest sense of the word.

We wish you a very happy and healthy 2015.

Best regards,

Bobbi, Roby, Larry, Phyllis and Claire

Your Leyv Ha-Ir Executive Committee 


Saturday, January 3, 10:00 AM, Shabbat Morning Service

Join our lay-led minyan for a Shabbat morning service, Torah discussion and pot-luck veggie/dairy lunch.  

Location: Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., Collier Room, 2nd floor front

Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.  


Sunday, January 4, 10:45 AM, Singing Circle

Join a dedicated group of people who love music regardless of their ability.
Cost: $5 to defray the cost of the meeting room
Location: Penn Center House Leisure Lounge, 1900 JFK Blvd., 2nd floor
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions. 

Monday, January 12, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting

All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting.
Location: Joan Goldberg's home in Center City. 

Contact Joan at 215-561-5193 for exact location.  


Friday, January 16, 7:30 PM, Annual Kabbalat Shabbat Service honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.    

Rabbi Julie and Jessi Roemer will lead us in prayer as we honor the work and messages of Dr. King.  Our guest speaker will be Judith Bernstein-Baker, Esq., MSW, Executive Director of HIAS who will speak about  "Why Jews Should Support Immigrant Rights: A Frontline Perspective." 

See more information in an article below. All are welcome.  

The service will be followed by Kiddush and Oneg Shabbat. 

Location: Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., first floor auditorium  

Friday, January 23
, 6:30 PM, Home Shabbat Service and Dinner
Join us at Beverly Hayden's Center City home for a lay-led Friday night service followed by a pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner.

Please contact Bev at or 215.557.3777 for the exact address, to RSVP and let her know what you are bringing. 

Saturday, Febuary 7, 10:00 AM, Shabbat Morning Service

Join our lay-led minyan for a Shabbat morning service, Torah discussion and pot-luck veggie/dairy lunch.  

Location: Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., Collier Room, 2nd floor front

Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.


Sunday, February 8, 10:45 AM, Singing Circle
Come be a part of it.  You don't need ability, just a love of music. Jessi Roemer will lead us in song. This is part of our monthly series. All are invited; bring your friends and a beverage for yourself.
Cost: $5 (to cover the cost of room rental)
Location: Penn Center House Leisure Lounge, 1900 JFK Blvd., 2nd floor
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.  


Take a complete look at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir upcoming activities. 

January 2015

Dear Chevre,

We are entering a new secular year at an auspicious time in this country. Issues that have lurked in the background are becoming foreground as consciousness clarifies about racial violence and polarization, about climate disruption and about inequality. Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City is right there on the front lines, building relationships across difference and engaging in social justice campaigns to work for positive change. We will be engaging in several different powerful actions on Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday and hope you will join the efforts for service or for organizing.

At the same time, we have a deep and personal inward gaze as each of us finds opportunities to grow spiritually and to connect with others in caring community. During the course of the year I sometimes offer office hours for one-on-one consultation with congregants who would like to check in about personal or community issues. I'll be meeting with people for half hour sessions on Monday, Jan. 12. If you'd like to schedule with me, please be in touch at

May this be a year of learning, connection and good deeds.

All the best,

Rabbi Julie

Two MLK Day Activities and More in January

Activity #1
What are you doing on January 19?  Some LHI members and others plan to paint the cafeteria at Spring Garden School from 11 am to 1 pm. We need a total of 15 people to help out. This project is in memory of Marci Fleet, a prime mover in this cause from day one.

Contact Beverly Hayden by January 12 at or 215.557.3777
Pizza will be provided.

Activity #2

We are living a historic moment and we want to ensure that you are a part of this growing movement.

In the past weeks, POWER clergy and staff have served as the conveners of an inclusive coalition of many different activist groups in the city to build a broad-based racial justice coalition. That coalition has started planning for a large-scale march and action in Philadelphia on Martin Luther King Day, January 19.

While we appreciate efforts to provide opportunities for service on the MLK holiday, we believe strongly that this should also be a day of action. While many of the details are yet to be ironed out, the working title for the day is "MLK Day of Action, Resistance, and Empowerment or MLKDare." It is our hope that of the thousands of people who show up on that day, POWER will turnout no less than 5,000 members to stand up and say that "Black Lives Matter" in Philadelphia.

We would like to include as many people into the planning process as possible to gather wisdom, ideas, and energy from our POWER leadership. There will be meetings every Monday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Mother Beth El Church on South 6th St. between now and the event. The large action itself is to take place on Martin Luther King Monday, moving from the public school administrative building at 440 Broad St., to City Hall, to the Liberty Bell. The tentative time for the march is 1:00 p.m. but stay tuned for all details as plans are unfolding at a speedy rate.

Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City is also partnering in an important hands-on project to paint the cafeteria of "our" neighborhood public school, the Spring Garden School. See information in this newsletter about this project which was planned even before the city-wide event had been conceptualized. The congregation made a commitment to get this job done and it's crucial that some strong helpers show up to make it happen!

The deep process at work of building relationships and working together for change underlies all of these activities. Our city is getting stronger, more caring, and more just as we build these faith-based alliances. Looking forward to seeing you on Martin Luther King weekend.

Rev. Mark Tyler
Rabbi Julie Greenberg

Training on "Race, Faith and Power"
POWER is offering special training workshops.  An eminent trainer, Rev. Alvin Herring, will create sacred space for vigorous examination of ourselves and our congregation as we seek to become leaders for racial justice.

Training for lay people will be 6-9PM, January 14th and 15th, at Friends Center (1501 Cherry St).  There is $5 parking available after 5pm on the lot on Spring St between 15th & 16th St. Click here to register.

Cost: $10 for the training and a light supper.
Call the POWER office at 215-232-7697 to register
or contact Beverly Hayden for more information;
215.557.3777 or
Please print new documents

Please click on the link below and print the 2-page document.  It includes the permit letter from the Parking Authority, allowing us to park around the Ethical Society for Friday Night Shabbat services and Saturday morning services for the next calendar year, as well as the required placard.

Both pages should be placed in your front windshield. Please be careful about the location where you park and the hours covered by the permit.  We can park on Fridays from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Friday, January 16, 7:30 pm

As part of the service and at the onset of the Martin Luther King weekend, Judith Bernstein-Baker, Esq., MSW, Executive Director of HIAS will gave a talk about "Why Jews Should Support Immigrant Rights: A Frontline Perspective."

Ms. Bernstein-Baker has published articles on refugee resettlement and immigrant youth, as well as other topics. She teaches Immigration Law at Community College.

HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) PA is the Jewish Voice providing legal, social and support services to immigrants and refugees. Since it's founding in 1882 HIAS has assisted over 320,000 new Americans, of over 60 nationalities. More information is available at

Be sure not to miss this Special Shabbat Service!

Roby Jacobs
An Invitation from the Ethical Society

Honor Martin Luther King Jr on Sunday, January 18, 5:30 PM, at the Ethical Society, with a free screening of the award winning documentary "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket", followed by a discussion and optional vegetarian dinner for $15.00.  Proceeds benefit Camp Linden.  For reservations visit

This program is sponsored by the Camp Linden Committee of the Philadelphia Ethical Society. Camp Linden, located on the Brandywine in Chester County, is owned and operated by the Ethical Society.  It provides an opportunity for inner-city children from Philadelphia and Camden to experience the wonders of nature for six weeks during the summer.  The program includes gardening, nature walks, swimming and swimming instruction, and Indian lore.  Leyv Ha-Ir member Sharon Wallis serves as volunteer program director, and her husband, Leonard Weeks, is chair of the Camp Linden Committee.  
Now considered a documentary classic, the film by Karen Thorsen premiered in 1990, and was recently restored in honor of James Baldwin's 90th birthday. An emotional portrait, a social critique, and a passionate plea for human equality, its extensive verite footage allows Baldwin to tell his own story: exploring what it means to be born black, impoverished, gay, and gifted in a world that has yet to understand that "all men are brothers." "On-camera witnesses" include the late Maya Angelou (she reads passages from the author's writings), Amiri Baraka, David Leeming, Bobby Short, and William Styron. The film runs 87 minutes.
With Joey Weisenberg, Niggun Master

Guest Leader Joey Weisenberg led more than 20 of us in a special Singing Circle program, a Niggunim Workshop. This Master teacher and composer took us on a musical, mystical journey, teaching us much about niggunim.

Many thanks to Jessi Roemer for bringing Joey to LHI!

A wonderful time was had by LHI members and guests alike.

We lit up a winter Shabbat evening

 We enjoyed a lovely Kabbalat Shabbat service which included menorah lighting and lots of song.

Oh yes, and there were lots of latkes and other goodies after services.
Photo by Judith Porter
On Tuesday, December 23 clergy and lay members of POWER communities throughout the area came together at 30th Street Station to light the menorah for the last night of Chanukah.

We prayed and spoke about changes we want for justice, equality and improvements to our city.

You might recognize Rabbis Julie Greenberg, Linda Holtzman and Shawn Zevit among the large crowd that participated in this peaceful action.
May this soul be bound in the Book of Eternal Light:  



Joan Appel