In This Issue
Looking Ahead

June 11-12 
The Center City Kehillah Jewish Night of Learning for Shavuot will be held at Moore College of Art & Design. Stay tuned for more information.

June 12
All members are welcome to attend our Annual Meeting when we will review the past year, elect new officers, and look at the year to come.
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 List Server

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 web calendar.


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

Contact if there are questions about the List Server.

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
Marking Lifecycle Events
Join Our List
Find us on Facebook!
Center City Kehillah
Jewish Exponent
Contact Leyv Ha-Ir

APRIL 2016
Dear Friends and Members:

"For me, life is about being positive and helpful, choosing to be joyful, choosing to be encouraging, choosing to be empowering."
Billy Porter

When I came across this quote last week, I just knew that I needed to share it with all of you!  This is my goal each and every day and I am sure yours as well.  It is what we should all strive for each day  ... being positive and helpful, smiling, encourage those around us and to be empowering.

I always think about how this not only relates to our lives, with family and friends, but how we can relate it to our congregation ... the goals should not be any different.  

Many of us just spent hours working to get ready for Purim, making hamantaschen and sharing with others.  If you stop and think about the reason that we share hamantaschen and shelot manot ... it's not just about making sure that everyone has enough food for the Purim feast ... it's also a way to share love and friendship among Jews and our neighbors.  We all grow because we are empowered to take on a task and get it done ... we may get to the end on different paths, but as long as the task is completed is all that counts.

My hope is that we all are positive, helpful, encouraging and empowering...not only in our homes and congregation, but to each other ... and our families, as well, this week and in all the weeks to come.  It works in every facet of your lives.

And, as Purim is behind us, we are all focused on the cleaning, shopping and cooking for Pesach....we do need to keep this quote in mind!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Community Seder!

Larry Finkelstein
Saturday, April 2, 10:00 AM, Shabbat Morning Service
Join our lay-led minyan for a Shabbat morning service, Torah discussion and potluck veggie/dairy lunch. 
Location: Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq, 2nd floor Collier Room

Friday, April 8 through Monday, April 11, Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood Shabbaton and Conference
Presented by The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, in conjunction with RRC, JRC and several area synagogues.  Full details are available here.  Our own Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer will present a Shabbat Sing on Saturday prior to Havdalah at BZBI.  LHI members are welcome at no charge.

Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders. 
Location: Evy Simon's home in Center City 

Friday, April 15, 7:30 PM, Kabbalat Shabbat Service 
Join us for Friday evening shabbat services led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg and 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, April 17, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Rabbi's Spring Education Series - One Biblical Sentence as a Window to a World
Second 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. Registration is requested.
Click here for more information on the complete series.

Saturday, April 23, 6:30 PM, Community Seder
Join us for a full seder led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg with Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer. A complete kosher Passover dinner will be served. There will be food and wine galore, along with some spirited singing. Full details and registration form are available at  You can also see the article below by clicking here.
Location: The Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., 2nd floor Social Room A.

Sunday, May 1, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, Anti-Racism Allies Group
The session will focus on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.
Location:  Claire Dubin's home in Society Hill. 

Saturday, May 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 

Tuesday, May 9, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders. 
Location: To be announced.
April 2016

Dear Chevre,

I want to share with you some reflections on my recent ten-day trip to Jordan, which turned out to be a fascinating and beautiful country. The invitation to visit Jordan came from my first- born daughter, Rosi, who has been living there for two years, working with Syrian refugees. She is in charge of evaluating all non-formal education in the Kingdom of Jordan (that is, education for refugee children who lost years of schooling while in transition --- how do you get them back on track?) Rosi's husband, Richard, also works there. Both Rosi and Richard are fluent in Arabic and were able to spend a full week touring around with my sister and me so we had quite the excellent guides.

In addition to seeing the daily life and work of Rosi and Richard, we did a Biblical pilgrimage through the pathway on which Moses, Aaron and Miriam led the Israelites in the ancient journey from slavery towards freedom in the Promised Land. It turns out that Moab and Edom and Mt. Nebo where Moses viewed the new land and died, are all in Jordan. We saw Elijah's hill which is where John the Baptist set up camp to baptize the Jewish sect leader, Jesus.

Not only was it meaningful to see these sites that resonate so deeply with our great freedom story, but also the land itself is stunningly beautiful. We camped out under the stars in beautiful red-sand desert and floated in the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side. We hiked in wadis and wandered through art museums, parks and mosques in Amman. And we ate a lot of falafel.

Rosi and Richard will be returning to the U.S. for graduate school in a few months. I was grateful to have this opportunity to see what they've been doing while they are still there and how timely, on the eve of our Passover month, to be able to experience and share these adventures.

Looking forward to this season of Spring and Celebration,

Rabbi Julie
Rabbi Julie with sister and daughter in UN project office, Amman, Jordan

Rosi Greenberg and partner Richard with view of Amman, Jordan
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.
Passover seder plate
Saturday, April 23

Experience an evening of familial warmth with a traditional Passover meal and inspirational service led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg. Musical merriment with Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer is an integral part of the festivities.

A Kosher dinner will be provided by Panache Catering of Foodarama. Choice of entrees includes beef brisket, salmon fillet and eggplant with mushroom stuffing (vegetarian). Passover wine is included and you are invited to bring your own dinner wine.

Become a Seder Patron! Donations for scholarships and to help with the Community Seder are greatly appreciated!

The registration form can be found by clicking here. Reservations and payment must be received by Monday, April 18th.


DATE: Saturday, April 23
TIME: 6:30 PM
COST: $55.00
PLACE: Social Room A at The Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., Philadelphia.
PARKING: There is street parking all around the building and the surrounding neighborhood.
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, 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.

Advance registration is requested at or 215.629.1955 so we can plan the brunch appropriately.

A New Weekly Communication

Our congregation has a new communications vehicle to help keep you informed. THIS WEEK at Leyv Ha-ir, which will be delivered to your in-box every Monday beginning April 4, provides a concise weekly listing of upcoming activities. For members, this new format replaces the separate event emails sent previously. We hope THIS WEEK will prove useful, and that you will plan to join us for Shabbat, holidays, education programs, and other worthwhile events.
What is Jewish Peoplehood? Join us in April to Find Out!

You're invited to the "Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood" conference and Shabbaton in Philadelphia. We hope you'll join us as we wrestle with the concept of Jewish Peoplehood. What does it mean? Why does it matter? Join the conversation on one of the hottest themes in Jewish life today.

Connect with other Jewish people from around the world! Engage with big ideas and lively conversation, both at the Shabbaton and at the two day conference that follows.

At the Shabbaton, you'll experience:
  • Friday night services at Mishkan Shalom, with Rabbi Shawn Zevit and area rabbis
  • Saturday services at Temple Beth Zion Beth Israel, with multiple worship options
  • Three lovely communal meals
  • "Do We Speak Jewish?" A mid-afternoon panel and breakout sessions
  • A musical program with Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer, followed by Havdalah (no charge for Leyv Ha-Ir members)
At the conference, you'll find:
  • Roundtables and workshops
  • Plenaries with national and international speakers
  • Musical experiences featuring a concert by Hankus Netsky, scholar, composer and author of "Music and Community in Twentieth Century Jewish Philadelphia," and a performance by the Philadelphia Klezmer Heritage Ensemble

April 8-9, 2016  (Shabbaton)
April 10-11, 2016  (Conference)


Shabbaton: Friday Night - Mishkan Shalom 

Saturday - Temple Beth Zion - Beth Israel (BZBI)

Conference: Sunday/Monday The National Museum of American Jewish History

For more details, and to register, please visit
Time to Help Your LHI Community

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir is looking for enthusiastic, creative members ready to step forward and assume a leadership position on Council or as a Committee Chair. If you are interested, please contact Beverly Hayden at


Until March 23 the state's 2015-16 budget impasse continued. Even now, with Governor Wolf allowing the markedly reduced budget to take effect, the system is failing our children and our schools. Education funds have been further reduced by $200 million. Our elected officials have failed to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to adopt a full-fair education funding bill. Without new revenues in the next budget, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes that Republican budgets have brought upon Pennsylvania for over five years now. That is to say: school cuts, credit downgrades and diminished human services. Now a 2016-17 budget, including $400 million more for education funding, must be developed and adopted by June 30.

POWER refuses to continue passive cooperation with such a flawed system. On April 13, POWER supporters will go forward with a protest in Harrisburg to let legislators know that there is a compelling need to pass this year's budget on time and with a significant increase in school funding.

In order to get extensive media coverage we need many participants. Let's have a number of LHI congregants attend. There will be free buses from the POWER office to and from Harrisburg. We will leave around 9 and return about 4 p.m.

Please join us to make your voice heard. Contact Susan Thompson,, to confirm and/or for more details about the action.

On May 13 there will be an anti-poverty summit: "Poverty Summit: Philly Solutions for Philly Poverty." POWER and LHI are hoping to have an excellent turnout for this event. More details to follow.


POWER and EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team) held a 45-minute protest on Wednesday, March 23rd, at PECO's Market Street headquarters to demand that the utility support solar-energy development in North Philadelphia.  Shown below are our Rabbi Julie Greenberg, along with LHI member, Roby Jacobs.

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir has moved our list server to a new web host. Now, when sending a message to the list server, please address it to

All members and friends that currently receive messages from the list server will continue to receive messages.  The only change is the email address used to post messages to the group.
Earn donations for LHI

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir. 

To sign up, please visit AmazonSmile (, and start shopping.  AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir.
Everyone in attendance had a great time at our Purim celebration on Sunday, March 20.  We prayed, sang, heard a unique megillah reading and laughed at a political Purimshpiel!

Many thanks to all who contributed to this, especially our Purimshpiel writer-producer-director extraordinaire, Karen Zeitz!

Our Purimshpielers

Everyone singing along

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: Monday, April 4, 2016
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Location: National Museum of American Jewish History, 5th & Market Streets

Topic: "American Jewish Passover - How We Tell Our Story" with Rabbi Abe Friedman (Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel) and Ronit Lusky (National Museum of American Jewish History)
Cost: $10 per session 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.
May these souls be bound in the Book of Eternal Light:   

Irving Gussman

Samuel Goldberg

Susan Budenstein