In This Issue
Looking Ahead

April 8-9
The Mordechai M. Kaplan Center, in conjunction with RRC/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and other local synagogues, are organizing a pre-conference Shabbaton in Center City and Roxborough/Manayunk.

April 10-11, following the above Shabbaton, The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) and McGill University are convening a conference titled "Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood," to be held at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Complete information and registration is now available here.
Parking Informaion
On-street parking permits are available for our Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning services held at the Ethical Society Building.  Discounts are available at some garages.  For complete info and to download the required, street permit, click here.
I'm Okay! Program

I'm Okay! is a program designed for people who would like to check in with another member of LHI daily to offer friendship and reassurance. If you are interested, contact Evy Simon, Coordinator, at (home) 215-561-7474, (cell) 215-593-5248 or email
Donate via PayPal
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 Bobbi or Beverly 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
Join Our List
Find us on Facebook!
Center City Kehillah
Jewish Exponent
Contact Leyv Ha-Ir

MARCH 2016
Dear Friends and Members:

"For success, attitude is equally as important as ability."

What is success?  A full room of "members" at a membership event?  Everyone that has a part in our High Holiday Services being on time for their part?  Having a Shabbat Morning service and 10 members attend?  Increasing our membership from the previous year?  Breaking even on a fundraising project?  Welcoming a new member to our congregation?  Having a list of volunteers to help with the Kabbalat Shabbat Oneg?  

The response, is YES ... each one can be a success!  What?  Each one is a success??  Absolutely ... because our attitude is what makes all of these scenarios a success.  Being successful does not mean having a full room, though it is nice. However, being successful is touching congregants, one by one.  Being thankful for each member that takes the time to participate, attend and volunteer.  Being successful is putting forth the effort with the best attitude you can.  And, with a great attitude, each and every scenario will be successful ... for regardless if you have two, twenty or one hundred ... everyone is important to the future of our congregation.

So ... keep mindful of your attitude..and let's make it a good one!

Larry Finkelstein
Saturday, March 5, 10:00 AM, Shabbat Morning Service
Join our lay-led minyan for a Shabbat morning service, Torah discussion and potluck veggie/dairy lunch. 
Note: There will be no Jewish Meditation before this service.
Location: Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq, 2nd floor Collier Room
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.

Sunday, March 13, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Rabbi's Spring Education Series - One Biblical Sentence as a Window to a World
First in a series of three sessions.  We will take the first sentence of each of the five books of the Torah and use it as a window into that book.
Location:  William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut St., 1st floor
Cost: $10/member, $15/guest 
Brunch is included.
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or to register or for questions.
Click here for more information on the complete series.

Monday, March 14, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders. 
Location: Beverly Hayden's home in Center City
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions and exact location.

Friday, March 18, 7:30 PM, Kabbalat Shabbat Service 
Join us for Friday evening shabbat services led by cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer. Please stay for oneg following the conclusion of services. 
Location: The Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., first floor Auditorium

Sunday, March 20, 2:00 - 4:00 PM,
 Purim Celebration
Join us for the retelling of the story, drama, costumes, hamentaschen and more goodies. Rabbi Julie Greenberg and cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer will lead the festivities.
Location: William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut St., 1st floor
All are welcome.  There is no charge for this program.
See article below.

Friday, March 25, 6:30PM, Home Shabbat Service and Dinner
Join us at the home of Elaine and Ron Erenhouse at the Phoenix at 1600 Arch Street. The entrance to the building is between 16th and 17th Streets on Arch St.
RSVP to Elaine at or 267-687-8656 to let them know that you are coming and so that you can be placed on the list to get access to their apartment. Of course it is helpful to tell Elaine what you will be bringing for the potluck veggie/dairy supper.

Saturday, April 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. A meditation program, led by Daniel Johnson, will precede the service at 9:00 AM promptly.
Location: Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., 2nd floor Collier Room 
Contact LHI at 215-629-1995 or for questions.  
March 2016

Dear Chevre,

This month we encounter the 9th of Adar in our calendar which historically was a time of commemorating the constructive conflict between the followers of Rabbi Hillel and the followers of Rabbi Shammai. On just about every subject imaginable, these two leaders disagreed. They disagreed vigorously and repeatedly; their contentious struggles were recorded in the Talmud.

And yet, Hillel and Shammai celebrated Shabbat together, attended life cycle ceremonies together and stayed engaged in respectful dialogue despite their differences. These guys are amazing models for us today. Can we keep our humanity and yet disagree? Can we stay connected and not be clones of one another? Can we even share a community and a spiritual life that honors our diversity?

These days the Pardes Institute, in Jerusalem, organizes a weeklong celebration of constructive conflict, centered on the 9th of Adar. I hope we in Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City will join the movement to treat each other well even when we do not see eye-to-eye. Most basically, we can assume that we each are doing our best and have good intentions; we can cultivate equanimity without taking personal offense; and we can speak to issues at hand without attacking the people behind them.

This is what it looks like to practice Judaism.

With Love and Blessing,

Rabbi Julie
You can read Rabbi Julie's High Holiday sermons from this and past years here. Just click on the year, and then the sermon you want to read.
One Biblical Sentence as a Window to a World

Literary scholars sometimes look at the first sentence of a book as a window into the whole story: for instance, do you recognize "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times?" In this mini-series, we will take the first sentence of each of the five books of the Torah and use it as a window into that book. Even one word in Judaism can open up such riches for spiritual exploration and discovery. Just imagine what we can find in a whole sentence! 
Mark your calendar for these dates:

Sunday, March 13
Sunday, April 17
Sunday, May 15

All sessions will be in the William Penn House first floor Community Room, 1919 Chestnut Street at 11:00 A.M.

Each session is $10 for members, $15 for guests, and includes brunch.

We're commanded to have fun and make merry on Purim. Leyv Ha-ir offers you the opportunity to do just that at our annual Purim Party. Join us on March 20, 2-4 PM at the William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut Street, for the retelling of the story, drama, costumes, hamentaschen and more goodies. Rabbi Julie Greenberg and cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer will lead the festivities.
Passover seder plate
Saturday, April 23

Plans are under way for a full seder, led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg with cantorial candidate Jessi Roemer. There will be food and wine galore, along with some spirited singing. Children are welcome and there will be afikomen prizes for them.

Join us and be part of the fun festivities!


TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Social Room at The Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., Philadelphia.
PARKING: There is street parking all around the building and the surrounding neighborhood.

A complete Passover dinner will be served. Choice of entree, including a vegetarian option, will be available. Passover wine is included, and you are invited to also bring your own dinner wine.

Final details with prices and dinner options will be available soon.

POWER Voter Registration Drive 

POWER is conducting a voter registration drive to increase the voter roles in Philadelphia. Bobbi Cohen and Susan Thompson recently completed voter registration training for Pennsylvania.

If you are not currently registered to vote, have moved since the last election, would like to change your party affiliation or know someone else who needs to register, please contact Bobbi Cohen at or 215.514.7329.

Your voter registration status and registration information will be kept confidential.  Voting is one of the most important rights we all have - make sure you are able to exercise that right!  The Pennsylvania primary election is on April 26.  The deadline to register is March 28; however we need to complete this by March 24.

Thank you!

Give the gift of reading to those who need books in their homes and school.

This campaign will give the school we support, Spring Garden School, and its 300+ students, the gift of books in 2016. Make a contribution to buy books from their Summer Reading List so we can ensure that each student has a book to take home.

The selection of books is made in March. Think ahead and mail in your donation now for the purchase of books.

Checks should be payable to Leyv Ha-Ir with a notation "Book Drive" and mailed to:
Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir
P.O. Box 15836
Philadelphia, PA 19103 

Center City Kehillah's Learning Experience

Each month the Kehillah presents chevruta-style learning on a different topic. Not only do the students pair up, the teachers for that month also present different aspects of the topic. This is attended by people our larger community. A light dinner is served.

The next session will be:

Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Location: Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, 2100 Arch Street
Topic: "The Crisis of Transmission in Judaism and the Biblical Precedent of the Hakhel Event" with Rabbi Yochonon Goldman (B'nai Abraham) and Eli Schonfeld (Katz Center)
Cost: $10 per session or $50 for the series which will continue through June, including a light dinner. Registration requested, although walk-ins are accepted.

Full details, including the entire schedule and topics, are available here. Registration can be completed here.
Spiritual, Fun, Relaxing

The weekend of February 12-14, about 20 LHI members gathered in Ocean City, NJ for a retreat with the theme "Love and Laughter."  The survey results received have all been positive with many highlights.  We ate (too much), prayed, played, sang, learned, had fun, and did a Tikkun Olam project.  Read on for more information about that.

Here are some photos from the retreat:

Winter Retreat Tikkun Olam Project

On Sunday, February 14th, members of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City shared the love by creating cozy fleece blankets for Project Linus. A non-profit organization, Project Linus is dedicated to "Providing Security Through Blankets," for ill or traumatized children and teens. They have donated more than 5 million handmade blankets to help comfort children in need in hospitals, shelters, and hospices.

May this soul be bound in the Book of Eternal Light:   

Morton Beck

Roy Shenberg