In This Issue
Looking Ahead
November brings:

Shabbat Sing! on November 14

3rd session of Rabbi's education series - November 22.

POWER's Fall Fundraiser - November 12, article on the right at bottom. 

Global Day of Jewish Learning on November 15. Reconstructionists will meet at Temple Beth El in Newark, DE from 12noon - 3PM.  More information on LHI website calendar.

Lots to look forward to!
The First of Tishri, 
A Poem
by John Mason

This is the time
I look back-
Why did I do that?
So stupid!
From decades
                still follow me
Can I lose it?
Can I get it out of
                the way?
Are my mistakes
                all I am?
Have I done Good?
Can I do it?
What does it look like?
I look for what is right
                and good
I don't know
But I am on
                my way.
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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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Dear Friends and Members of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City:

"It only takes one person to make another feel welcome and special."
-- Laura C. Monteiro

I want to give a big todah rabah to Rabbi Julie and Cantor Jessi for leading us during the High Holiday services. Also, a huge thank you to Bobbi, Roby and Donna for helping to coordinate all of the detailed logistics for the High Holidays.

Most importantly, thanks to all of you for doing everything you did to make these High Holidays enjoyable and such a wonderful experience! Thanks to all of the organizers, ushers, greeters, break fast committee, Torah and Haftorah readers and all of the volunteers. Yasher Koach and Todah Rabah!

I hope that each of you had an easy fast, meaningful services and came away with a feeling of excitement as this new year, 5776 has begun. It will soon be Sukkot, the holiday where we get to share meals with friends in either your own sukkah or a friend's sukkah. The underlying premise is that Sukkot is when we welcome friends and family to come join us to eat under the stars as so many generations before us have done.

In thinking about Sukkot and our upcoming membership event at the first Shabbat Sing!, this is the time of the year to welcome our members to our "tent"....our home. We are reaching out to all within our community to welcome them to join us. Regardless of which portal of entry interests a member, they all need to be welcoming..and not only for Sukkot but throughout the year. So, whether someone's interests are in prayer, education, singing, meditation, or one of our other programs - there should and needs to be a place for everyone within our community.

So, I pray that this year, as Sukkot comes to an end...that the premise of welcoming all to our "tent" continues throughout the year.

Wishing you a sweet, peaceful and meaningful Sukkot and Simchat Torah!

Larry Finkelstein
Saturday, October 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. Before the service Daniel Johnson will be leading the first Jewish Meditation session (see article below for more details).
Location: Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq, 2nd floor Collier Room
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.

Sunday, October 4, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, Sukkot Service
Join us as we observe Sukkot with Rabbi Julie in Sue Frank's Sukkah. Pot luck snacks and beverages are welcome. 
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.

Monday, October 5, 7:30 - 9:00 PM, Simchat Torah Service and Celebration
Cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer will lead us on the second floor Assembly Room at The Ethical Society Building to conclude the Torah cycle and start it again. There promises to be lots of dancing with our Torahs, and potluck snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and not). 
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.

Saturday, October 10, 10:00 AM, Bat Mitzvah Service
A Double Simcha Shabbat Morning Service with Enid and David Adler and Family. Rabbi Julie Greenberg will lead the services. Enid will chant Torah for the first time, commemorating the 67th Anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah. Granddaughter, Rachael Adler, will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah. Additional details are in the article below.

Monday, October 12, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders.
Location: a member's home in Center City
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions and exact location.

Friday, October 16, 6:30 PM, Home Shabbat Service and Dinner
Join us at Roby Jacobs's home for a short lay-led Friday night service followed by a pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner.
RSVP as a courtesy to Roby and let her know what you will be bringing,

Friday, October 23, 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: The Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., first floor auditorium

Saturday, October 24, 5:00 PM, Shabbat Sing!
Come and bring a friend or two to our new monthly music program.  See details in the article below.

Sunday, October 25, 11:00 AM, Rabbi's Education Series: Think Like a Rabbi
Read more about Rabbi Julie's fall education series is in an article below.

Sunday, October 25, 12:00 noon, JRC Visit to Israeli Art Exhibit
Visit to Israeli Art Exhibit "Visions of Place": Complex Geographies in Contemporary Jewish Art at Stedman Art Gallery, Rutgers University, Camden N.J. This visit is open to Reconstructionist Community members, Rabbinical students and the staff of RRC and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities (JRC). There will be individual viewing time, time for lunch and discussion, and group discussion.

Saturday, November 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, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., 2nd floor Collier Room 
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.  
Sunday, November 8, 11:00 AM, Rabbi's Education Series: Think Like a Rabbi
See the article below for complete information about this series.

Monday, November 9, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders. 
Location: a member's home in Center City
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions and exact location.  
See Center City Kehillah events here.
October 2015

Dear Chevre,

We've entered the gates of the New Year with abundant song, praise and prayer. We've celebrated the Pope's message of human dignity for all and we're ready for our harvest festival, Sukkot.

This New Year in the Jewish calendar is the year 5776 which in Hebrew letters is spelled Tav, Shin, Ayin, Vahv or TaShaV. The vahv at the end of the word is used throughout the Bible, at the beginning of many, many sentences to mean "and." So our New Year's name, this year, starts with a dangling "and" at the end of the word.

Rabbi Shawn Zevit suggests that this year we take the "and" message to heart seeing how we can connect with each other and with issues we care about. When you are about to say "but," what would happen if you substituted the word "and?"

In Improv Theatre, which my daughter Zoe has passionately studied and enacted, every actor enters a scene by connecting with what is already spontaneously unfolding on stage and adds a "Yes, and...." in order to build on the drama. Can we live this year in the spirit of "Yes, and...?"

Let's focus on the interconnections and help build what is caring and cooperative. I look forward to joyful partnering in the year to come.

Blessings for All,

Rabbi Julie
How you can help the Syrian refugees

Here are links to 2 pieces that can help you determine how to best help with this crisis.
  • For FAQs from HIAS, including several Jewish organizations recommended for their work in this area, click here.
  • For the HIAS flier that was mentioned and available by Rabbi Julie during High Holy Day services, click here.
Please heed the words of Rabbi Julie by giving generously to aid the refugee crisis by donating to HIAS - the only Jewish organization whose mission is to assist refugees - whoever they are and wherever they are, or another Jewish organization.  Donate at  


Thank you!
New program starting

On Saturday, October 3, starting promptly at 9:15 AM before the Shabbat Service, we will have the first meeting of our Jewish Meditation Group upstairs at The Ethical Society Building. This will be a time to learn about and practice Jewish meditation together. We plan to begin each session with an introduction of a theme/approach (about five minutes), around twenty minutes of meditation, and five minutes or so of reflection together. You don't have to be a member of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir to join with us!

Afterwards the group will help prepare the room for Shabbat Service which follows immediately at 10:00 AM. Participants are not required to stay for Shabbat Services. But if you do plan to stay, remember to bring something to share with others at the veggie lunch which occurs afterwards!

Judaism has a long history of meditation. It is arguable that kavanah ("intention") is itself a form of meditation providing focus situated within our rituals. Jewish Meditation can be focused within, observing the mind, simply being silent, counting breaths, and 'being present' as in Mindfulness Meditation. Or it can be a form of 'training the mind' using practices of focus such as a Niggun (wordless song), a name of G-d, or a sacred phrase. It is best practiced consistently and in community.

The long term goal of the program is to assist each other to develop a 'tool box' of meditative techniques which will make a positive impact in your life. One short term goal is to provide the time and space for this to happen in the context our community.

Feel free to contact Daniel Johnson at 215-284-8474 if you'd like more information. Or just drop by The Ethical Society Building, 2nd Floor Collier Room, on the first Saturday of October by 9:15 AM for the experience!
No explanation necessary

A new music program for everyone

LHI is excited to introduce Shabbat Sing!, our first in a series of events led by cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer. Shabbat is the most joyous time of the week, and Jessi will lead us in celebration from 5:00 to 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 24 at the Ethical Society, Collier Room (2nd floor), just before Shabbat closes to seal in its sweetness for the week to come. Newcomers are most encouraged, and we welcome members to come, each with a guest. This first event is free, and refreshments (sweets!) will be offered. If you would like more information, call Frann Shore at 215-964-5924 or Daniel Johnson at 215-284-8474.

The next two dates in the series are Saturday, November 14 and Saturday, December 19.  Please mark your calendars!
Rabbi Julie's Fall Education Series

Join us for this informative program about when rabbis were a specific kind of leader, different from early Jewish priests and ancient and contemporary prophets.  Judaism has been a rabbinic tradition for so long, we forget that the rabbis were a specific kind of leader, different from the Jewish priests of an earlier era and different from both contemporary and ancient prophets. What is a rabbinic mind? Through an exploration of early Talmudic texts, we will explore the nature of the rabbinic decision-making process, mindset and structure of authority. We will use texts in Hebrew and in English translation; no pre-requisites needed. All are welcome to one or more session but ideally the sessions will work as a set with cumulative learning.

People who register early will be offered material to help prepare in advance for these sessions.

Session One - October 25

Rabbinic Judaism emerged at a time of crisis in the Jewish community. The concept of Rabbis and a text-based tradition was a response to the destruction of the Temple and the dispersal of Jews far from the holy land. These days our experience of being Jewish is mediated by two thousand years of rabbinic, text-based leadership but at some point these were new developments that served as creative responses to contemporary needs of that time. Studying the early formation of rabbinic leadership will help us understand Judaism as an evolving religious civilization. In this first session we will explore the context for the emergence of rabbinic Judaism and begin to look at the texts that emanated from this period.

Time for each session:  11:00 AM

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

Fee: $10/members, $15/guests, per session, includes brunch

A Double Simcha Shabbat Morning Service with Enid and David Adler and Family

Rabbi Julie Greenberg will lead the services.

Enid will chant Torah for the first time, commemorating the 67th Anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah.
Granddaughter, Rachael Adler, will be called to the Torah as a
Bat Mitzvah.      

Date & Place: Saturday, October 10, 2015, Promptly at 10 AM
Penn Center House, 2nd Floor Leisure Lounge
1900 JFK Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19103
** If planning to attend, it is important to RSVP by October 3,  to Enid at
Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City thanks the many, many individuals who made our profound Holy Days possible.

Larry Finkelstein for his presidential overview and inspiration

Rabbi Julie Greenberg for spiritual wisdom and leadership

Cantor Jessi Roemer for uplifting song and music

Donna Finkelstein, Roby Jacobs, Bobbi Cohen for attending to every single detail of the Holy Days with excellence

All the "Meeters and Greeters" who warmly welcomed people at registration

Susan Thompson, Patricia Saddier and Roby Jacobs for sensitive ushering

John Mason for managing the open mic and keeping people safe at the steps

Susan Thompson and Evy Simon for preparing apples and honey and Break Fast, and to Debi Pikulski and Myrna Schlanger for helping

Evy Simon, Karen Zeitz, Daniel Johnson, Roby Jacobs and Pat Wisch for appeal speeches that gently encouraged generosity

Iris Newman for preparing and sharing her insights in a D'var Torah

Joe Fishman, Daniel Johnson, Frann Shore, Iris Newman,
Rabbi Julie and Jessi for preparing and reading Torah portions

Karen Zeitz, Evy Simon, Frann Shore for reading Haftarot

Enid Adler for her beautiful rendition of Kol Nidrei

The many participants who did readings, performed honors at the Torah or carried them through our congregation

Pat Wisch for leading Yizkor with grace and superb skill

Roby Jacobs for arranging for her friend Vered Kater to teach a Yom Kippur Session

Daniel Johnson for helping lead the session on Jewish Meditation

David Brookman and Beatrice Beer for blowing shofar!

Larry Finkelstein for helping on the bima and taking care of our Torahs

Beryl Kravetz for creating beautiful new floral decor for the windows.

The many people for collating the High Holiday mailing. 

Pat Wisch for managing the voice mail messages, and Donna Finkelstein for managing the email messages.

Schleppers Larry Finkelstein, Joe Fishman, Howard Kravetz, Daniel Johnson, John Mason and Bryan Kravitz for bringing the ark and prayer books upstairs from the basement - and back down again.

It truly takes a village, or as we say, a community!

Rabbi Julie Simulates Shofar Blowing

On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Julie led us in a vocal shofar call. We belted out "tekiyah," "truah," and "tekiyah gdolah" with all our might. 

POWER's Fall Fundraiser

Reception and Silent Auction

Proceeds to benefit POWER's work for full, fair funding for our public schools, fair wages for workers and racial justice in our region.

When: Thursday, November 12, 2015
5:30 - 7:30 PM

Where: Penn's Landing Caterers
1301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia 19147  (free parking)

Speaker: Helen Gym, Philadelphia City Council Candidate, Co-Founder, Parents United for Public Education, & Founder, Philadelphia Public School Notebook.

Tickets: $75 ($35 tax deductible)

Contact:  Beverly Hayden for more details at

Registration available by clicking here.