In This Issue
Looking Ahead
December brings:

Chanukah Kabbalat Shabbat service - bring your Chanukkiah and we will light candles together for Shabbat and Chanukah! The service will be on Friday, December 11 at 7;30 PM at the Ethical Society Building.

Shabbat Sing! on December 19
Watch for more information.

Lots to look forward to!
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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:

WOW! It has been a busy few months at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City. All through the month of Tishrei, we were very busy with our High Holiday services, continuing on through Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Now, we have entered the month of Cheshvan, and I would have hoped that I had a few moments to catch my breath, but at Leyv Ha-Ir, we keep right on going.

We have just completed the successful launch of two exciting fall programs, our new Shabbat Sing! with Jessi Roemer and Rabbi Julie's Education Series: Thinking Like a Rabbi. We have events scheduled every weekend in November and December, and I personally invite you to get more involved and experience all of the wonderful activities that are taking place at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir!

Larry Finkelstein
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. Before the service Daniel Johnson will be leading a 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, November 8, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM,
 Rabbi's Education Series: Thinking Like a Rabbi
This education series continues with Session 2. The complete session description is available here. Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions or to register.

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

Friday, November 13, 6:30 PM, Home Shabbat Service and Dinner
Join us at Evy Simon's Center City home for a short lay-led Friday night service followed by a pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner.
RSVP as a courtesy to Evy and let her know what you will be bringing,

Saturday, November 14, 4:30 PM, Shabbat Sing!
Come and bring a friend to our new monthly music program led by cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer. Full details can be found here.
Location: The Ethical Society Building, 2nd floor Collier Room
Cost: $10/member, $12/guest, $15/member and guest coming together
Payment requested by November 11 by check or PayPal.
Checks should be payable to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir and mailed to Leyv Ha-Ir, P.O. Box 15836, Philadelphia, PA 19103.  You can pay on PayPal here, specifying in "Special Instructions" that you are paying for November 14 Shabbat Sing.
Snacks will be served.

Sunday, November 15, 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM, Global Day of Jewish Learning
The JRC Mid-Atlantic Area will present a program at Temple Beth El in Newark, DE.  Dr. Joel Hecker will speak about "A Kiss is Just A Kiss? Mystical Union, Personal Salvation, and World Redemption through Kabbalistic Kissing."  The program will also be live streamed.  Additional information is available on our web calendar here

Friday, November 20, 7:30 PM, Kabbalat Shabbat Interfaith Family Service
Rabbi Julie and Jessi Roemer will lead us in prayer as we welcome in Shabbat. The service will be followed by Kiddush and Oneg Shabbat.
Location: The Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., first floor auditorium

Sunday, November 22, 11:00 AM, Rabbi's Education Series: Thinking Like a Rabbi
This education series concludes with Session 3. The complete session description is available here. Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions or to register.

Tuesday, November 24, 7:00 PM, CCRA Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
This annual Center City Residents' Association organized service will feature speakers from many faiths.  See article below for details.  
Location: BZBI, 18th & Spruce Streets

Saturday, December 5, 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.  

Tuesday, December 8, 5:15  to 5:45 PM, Center City Kehillah Chanukah Candle Lighting
Come to Rittenhouse Square for the lighting of the big menorah, music and fun.
November 2015

Dear Chevre,

I recently re-discovered a wonderful midrash about how God created ten miracles just before sundown on the sixth day of creation. The miracles included things like Noah's rainbow, Moses' staff and Miriam's well, all special Jewish items that would play an important role in our story. God also created human beings on the sixth day.

Then for a moment, the entire story of humankind played out in front of God. God could see all the suffering and contention and harm that would be part of the human story. Just then the sun set and it was time for the very first Shabbat.

"God, you are the Creator of All; why didn't you create fixes for all the problems you forsaw? Why didn't you create more miracles so they would be available when  humans needed them?"

God explained, "That would have meant violating the very first Shabbat. When the sunset and the seventh day arrived, it was time for rest. Shabbat is the greatest miracle I can give to the world."

Shabbat is the miracle that is right here every week for each one of us if we choose to embrace it. Please join me on Friday, Nov. 20 for a special Shabbat service of Thanksgiving. Bring a poem or song or paragraph of thanksgiving to share, from any faith tradition. Our multi-faith offerings of gratitude will prepare us for the Thanksgiving holiday. Come one, come all!

Many Blessings,

Rabbi Julie
From Daniel Johnson

The meditation group will again meet on the second floor of the Ethical Society on November 7th (the first Saturday) from 9:00 to 9:30 AM, prior to the 10:00 AM Shabbat Service. Please note the change in time from last month.

You don't have to be a member of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir to join with us; you don't even have to be Jewish! But you do need to have an interest in exploring Jewish Meditation!

We are using the book "Jewish Meditation for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting With God," by Rabbi Jeff Roth (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Light Publishing, 2009) for the program.

Feel free to contact Daniel Johnson at 215-284-8474 or if you'd like more information. Or just drop by The Ethical Society Building, 2nd Floor Collier Room, on the first Saturday of November at 9:00 AM for the experience!

Also, please note that the meditation group will not be meeting in December.

Rabbi Julie's Fall Education Series Continues

Following a successful first session, we look forward to the next two sessions in this series. 

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

Session Two - November 8
We will access conversations the rabbis created across generations and add our questions and voices to them, joining a very traditional intergenerational process of Jewish discovery.

Session Three - November 22
What conversations are needed today and how can we structure them to be true to our Jewish past and relevant to today?  What can the study of ancient Jewish solutions offer to our needs today in our own period of global crisis?

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 music program for everyone

After a wonderful premiere event in October, we look forward to Shabbat Sing!, our second 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 a singing celebration from 4:30 to 6:00 pm on Saturday, November 14 at the Ethical Society Building, 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. 

The cost for this program is $10/member, $12/nonmember, $15/member and guest together.  Payment is requested by Wednesday, November 11.  You can mail a check payable to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir to us at P.O. Box 15836, Philadelphia, PA 19103.  Or, you can pay by PayPal or credit card here, specifying Shabbat Sing Nov. 14 in the Special Instructions.

Snacks will be served. If you would like more information, call Frann Shore at 215-964-5924.

The next date in the series is Saturday, December 19.  Please mark your calendars!

Sun, November 15, 12pm
Temple Beth El in Newark, Delaware

Join the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and the Global Day of Jewish Learning for an event with RRC professor Dr. Joel Hecker. He will present on: "A Kiss is Just A Kiss? Mystical Union, Personal Salvation, and World Redemption through Kabbalistic Kissing." 

Join us for Dr. Hecker's talk at 12:45pm and follow-up workshops led by rabbis in the mid-Atlantic region. The Global Day of Jewish Learning is free and open to the public, though as always, donations are always accepted and appreciated. Begin the program at noon with a light lunch. The cost is $10/person.

For further questions or to RSVP by November 8, email Jackie Land at 
Organized by CCRA

As in previous years, Leyv Ha-Ir is participating in Center City Residents' Association's Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in Center City.

It will be held on Tuesday, November 24 at 7:00 PM at BZBI, 18th and Spruce Streets.

This is an open invitation to all, a moving and enjoyable occasion you will like to attend!

Roby Jacobs 
Available for Reading

You can find Rabbi Julie's High Holidays sermons on the LHI website here.  Once on that page, just click on 5776 for this year's sermons.  You can also revisit past sermons for Rabbi's words of inspiration and teaching.


We want to thank all of our friends at Leyv Ha-Ir for their interest, caring, many kindnesses and overall support for our Double Bat Mitzvah on October 10. To those of you who were there in person, we appreciated your presence. You all were so much a part of the "village" that it took to make this ceremony a success. From the beginning, it was Rabbi Julie's enthusiasm and encouragement for the idea of twinning Enid's chanting Torah for the first time on the 67th Anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah, with a Bat Mitzvah for her granddaughter, Rachael. By now, everyone knows that Rachael did not celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at 13 due to a kidney transplant. Rachael has been recognized as an advocate for organ donors since her successful transplant. It truly was a memorable simcha.  

We love you all. 
Enid and David Adler and Family

At the request of several members, contributions on behalf of Rachael Adler may be made to:

Northeast Kidney Foundation, Inc.
501 New Karner Road, Suite 6 
Albany, NY 12205
Executive Director - Carol LaFleur 
October 23 Celebration

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary with our friends at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir. The outpouring of love, the kind wishes and the generous contributions made in our honor all mean so much to us. We appreciate every smile and everyone in the circle of caring that surrounds us. 

With sincere gratitude, 
Larry and Donna


The rain held off and attendees were able to sit in Sue Frank's beautiful sukkah. Rabbi Julie led the service and gave instruction on shaking the etrog and lulav. Pictured are Rabbi and a LHI member. 

We also had a joyous Simchat Torah led by Jessi Roemer. Several members read Torah. We danced, prayed, schmoozed and snacked.  

Many thanks to all who participated and made these two holiday celebrations happen!
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.
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The next POWER Leadership Meeting is Thursday, November 19.  Please watch the listserv message for more information.
May this soul be bound in the Book of Eternal Light:   

Sibyl Cohen