In This Issue
Looking Ahead
Your Leyv Ha-Ir community needs you!
There is still time to present yourself as a candidate for our Council (LHI's equivalent of a Board of Directors), either Council-at-Large or an executive position. Please contact Bobbi Cohen at or 215.514.7329 if you have questions or would like to help lead your synagogue into the future.

Shavuot plans
As we did last year, this year we will commemorate Shavuot with the larger center city Jewish community in a Tikkun Leil Shavuot.  Please see the Kehillah update article for more information.
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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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APRIL 2015

Dear Friends of Leyv Ha-Ir,


The days are getting longer, more light cheers us up, green and spring flowers are starting to bloom. This all tells us that the winter is (hopefully) behind us and Passover is around the corner. While planning for this important holiday and our annual Community Seder we wish everyone a zissen, sweet Pesach.
Best regards,

Bobbi, Roby, Larry, Phyllis and Claire

Your Leyv Ha-Ir Executive Committee 


Saturday, April 4, 6:30 PM, Community Passover Seder

We look forward to seeing many of you at the seder. Thank you for reserving and paying in advance. 

Location: The Philadelphian Social Room, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., 2nd floor

Questions? Contact LHI at 215.629.1995 or


Saturday, April 11, 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. 

Please note the change from the 1st Saturday of the month to the 2nd Saturday for April only!    


Sunday, April 12, 10:45 AM, Singing Circle
Join our Cantorial Soloist Jessi Roemer and 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, April 13, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting.
Location: Pat Wisch's's home in Center City
Contact Pat at 215-563-1894 for exact location.      


Friday, April 17, 7:30 PM, Kabbalat Shabbat Service 

Rabbi Julie and Jessi Roemer will lead us in prayer as we

welcome in Shabbat. All are welcome.  

The service will be followed by Kiddush and Oneg Shabbat. 

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


Friday, April 24, 6:30 PM, Home Shabbat Service and Dinner  

Join us at Iris Newman's home in Center City for a short lay-led Friday night service followed by a pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner.
Contact Iris at or 215-561-0228 for the exact address, to RSVP and to tell her what you are bringing. 


Sunday, April 26, 11:00 AM, Rabbi's Education Series, Jewish Personal Growth 

Please see the article below for a description of the program, which will be led by Rabbi Julie. 

Cost: $10/member, $15/nonmember, Brunch is included.  

Location: William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut St., 1st floor

Please register by leaving a message at 215.629.1995 or sending an email to


Saturday, May 2, 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.



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

April 2015

Dear Chevre,

Are you ready for the warmth and renewal of spring? Let's greet the Passover ritual that celebrates this long-awaited season with the fullness of all senses. Get ready for the crunch of matzah, the resonant melody of Dayenu, the bitterness of maror, the visual beauty of the seder table. Passover gives us sensual reminders to draw us into both this very moment, and into the eternal story of liberation.

As we enter this season, the leadership of Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City is also going through a renewal process, taking some time to reflect on our working relationships and what we can do to make them as excellent as possible. Since we are in long-term relationships building a sacred home together, naturally we each sometimes bump into obstacles to caring connection. People sometimes get irritated, make assumptions, speak harshly and respond reactively.  This diminishes the joy of building the mishkan/the sanctuary.

I'm proud that we can take time for calm reflection, skill building in communication and self-management, and for re-pledging to the holy work we are doing to build Jewish community. This is literally how we practice Judaism, which is the practice of treating each other well in community. This truly feels like the spirit of spring re-birthing.

May you too be filled with the renewal of spring.

Rabbi Julie
New Action Next Saturday


Thank you to everyone who generously donated to the book drive.  The students at Spring Garden School will be so happy with their new books!

New topic, so come even if you didn't attend the first two sessions

Jewish Personal Growth
Judaism has a strong tradition of supporting personal growth. These teachings are especially embodied in a movement called Musar. The central premise of Musar is that the ultimate purpose of each of our lives is to make this world a better place, and that integral to the work of repairing the world (Tikkun Olam) is the work of elevating the level at which we each individually behave in the world (Tikkun Middot). Through Musar practice, we are offered a way of becoming more patient, more trusting, more reliable, more forgiving and so on. Each character trait that we cultivate is called a middah (virtue or value). Rabbi Julie will guide the group and also offer some individual guidance for staying emotionally well regulated by using spiritual tools from Jewish tradition.

Date: Sunday, April 26
Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Location: William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut St., 1st floor
Cost: $10/members, $15/nonmembers, Brunch is included.

Please RSVP to 215.629.1995 or

A Cross Cultural Conversation

Join Rabbi Julie who will be part of a dynamic group of panelists to discuss race in America including Peter Conn (Temple U.), James Peterson (Lehigh U.), with Sonia Sanchez (Poet) and Lorene Cary (Penn) as readers, to recite select writings from Pearl Buck's large body of authorship that reflect her unique perspective on race and discrimination.  These readings will guide the questions and answers. Please come! 


African American Museum of Philadelphia on Sunday May 3rd, 2015 from 3:00 - 4:30 PM, followed by a reception.  

More Community Activities

Opportunities are still available for the Tikkun Leil Shavuot program on Saturday evening, May 23 at the Gershman Y.

The Kehillah will be taking over the Tikkun Leil Shavuot program that LHI participated in last year.  If you can help with any of the following, please let me know and I will gladly forward your information to the Kehillah:
  • Participating in the planning committee
  • Soliciting teachers for the learning sessions
  • Providing volunteers during the event
  • Service leading for maariv (evening services) on Saturday night
  • Service leading and/or Torah readers for shacharit (morning services) at dawn on Sunday morning
  • Other
I know I say this often, but it's true that you will find getting involved to be very rewarding.

Thank you,
Bobbi Cohen or 215.514.7329
A Great Time was had by All

Leyv Ha-Ir once again held a raucous Purimspiel on Sunday, March 8th, at the community room of the William Penn House, 1919 Chestnut Street.

Those in attendance paused to dedicate our celebration to Solomon Volk and Marcia Fleet, two of our beloved members who passed away recently; they were avid participants in the Purim celebrations of the past.
Just some of the stars of our Purimspiel.

Leyv Ha-Ir rocked the house with a wild and crazy reading of the Megillah of Esther, followed by a marvelously mad Purim skit, commenting on recent issues of police abuse in minority communities. Joe Fishman played Mordechai, Claire Dubin played Haman, Frann Shore played the king, Iris Newman played Vashti, Karen Zeitz played Esther, and John Mason played the Guard.

Many thanks to Karen Zeitz, Sue Frank, everyone who brought snacks and drinks or contributed to this fun event in any way!
With a Wide Variety of Music

Joe Tayoun taught us lively Middle Eastern drumming, Rabbi Julie taught us about "Finding the Music in our Lives," and Jessi taught us Passover songs in a multitude of languages and styles.

You can listen to Jessi singing and teaching us an Iraqi Passover song  by clicking here.
May these souls be bound in the Book of Eternal Light:  



Susan Budenstein

Samuel Goldberg