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. Come for part or all of the night.  Full information and registration at

June 12, 10:30 AM - 12:00 Noon
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. There will also be a Shavuot celebration. We'll be at the William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut Street. 
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.
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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
Marking Lifecycle Events
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MAY 2016
Dear Friends and Members:

Chag Sameach!  I hope everyone enjoyed their Passover Seders with family and friends.  Many of us gathered for our annual Community Seder at the Philadelphian where we enjoyed song, wine and rituals as we retold the story of our exodus from Egypt and began our journey towards becoming a people on our way to the promised land.

This is especially relevant this year as many congregants were able to attend the Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood Shabbaton and Conference earlier in the month.  Leyv Ha-Ir was well represented throughout the conference and we learned much more about what it means to be Jewish people in the 21st century.

As we emerge from "the narrow place," we begin our counting of the Omer as we move closer to Shavuot and the receiving of the Torah.  This year, our Annual Meeting will take place on Shavuot and will include a special Shavuot program in addition to the election of leaders of our congregation for the coming year.

I want to take a moment to thank the members of the Nominating Committee (Beverly Hayden, Iris Cutler and Donna Finkelstein) who succeeded in putting together a complete slate for next year.  More information will be provided in the coming weeks about the slate and the Annual Meeting.

I also want to thank the Community Seder committee (Donna Finkelstein, Susan Thompson, Karen Zeitz and Howard and Beryl Kravetz) that was able to put together another great seder.  Our annual Community Seder continues to be our second largest community outreach event (after the High Holidays).

It is through these programs that Leyv Ha-Ir is most successful in serving the needs of our larger community.  Many attendees have expressed their thanks for the existence of this seder, people who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in a seder.  This is what continues to give me the strength ... the knowledge that we are doing good for our community and providing opportunities for participation and growth in all of our events.

Larry Finkelstein
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 potluck veggie/dairy lunch. 
Location: Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq, 2nd floor Collier Room

Monday, May 9, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders. 
Location: Phyllis Gottlieb's home in Center City 

Friday, May 13, 6:30 - 9:00 PM, Home Shabbat Service/Dinner
Join us at a member's home for lay-led Friday night service followed by a pot-luck veggie/dairy dinner. Please arrive on time as service will start at 6:40.
Location: Joan and Phil Steel's home in Society Hill
RSVP: to by Thursday, May 12.

Saturday, May 14, 6:00 - 9:00 PM, Sounds of Peace & Justice: Triumphant Multicultural Musical Event
Mishkan Shalom's mulitfaith musical community reunites for another amazing evening of celebratory songs and inspiring stories of peace and justice. Experience the oneness of shared faiths, peace-makers and justice-shapers with music to make your heart soar! Click here for full details on performers, auction highlights, tickets & more.
Location: Mishkan Shalom Synagogue, 4101 Freeland Ave., Roxborough

Sunday, May 15, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Rabbi's Spring Education Series - One Biblical Sentence as a Window to a World
Third 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.  In this session we will explore the first sentences of VaYikra, BaMidbar and Devarim
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.

Friday, May 20, 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

Saturday, June 4, 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 
May 2016

Dear Chevre,

I hope you had wonderful seders with family and friends in this beautiful spring season. The freedom messages of our seders were not just ancient stories from the distant past. They are a call to be an on-going part of liberation until every human on the planet is free from poverty, hunger and ignorance and free to live a life of love and dignity.

That's why Leyv Ha-Ir ~Heart of the City members were in Harrisburg recently to charge Fiscal Child Neglect to legislators who have refused to fund adequate education for our public school children.

That's why I hope you will join me at two POWER events this month:

May 10, Power Local Green Jobs 4:00 at the PECO Building at 2301 Market Street calling on our electric utility to get solar energy from North Philadelphia roof tops.

May 19, Anti-Poverty Summit 8:00 a.m. throughout the day and evening at Community College of Philadelphia, learn about ways we can challenge poverty at the local level.

One last invitation, as we move towards our congregation's Annual Meeting in June, I welcome anyone who is contemplating stepping into more leadership in this community to meet with me to explore the ways in which you can grow by co-creating spiritual community. Believe me, there are great riches to be experienced by stepping in! We offer support, training and friendly companions to help you with the journey of engagement.

With blessings for enjoying this spring,

Rabbi Julie
You can read Rabbi Julie's D'Var Torah on Metzora honoring the marriage of Daniel Johnson and Edwin Greenlee here.

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! 
Our last session will be on Sunday, May 15 when we will explore the first sentences of VaYikra, BaMidbar and Devarim.

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

The 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.

Have you received the newly-recharged monthly e-newsletter of the Reconstructionist movement? Reconstructionism Today boasts news from across the Reconstructionist communities and more. If you aren't already on our email list, sign up at 
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 in our larger community. A light dinner is served.

The next session will be:

Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Location: Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St. (at Pine St.)

Topic: "What do American Public Institutions Mean for Jews and Judaism?" with Rabbi Seth Goren (Repair the World) and Professor Lila Corwin Berman (Feinstein Center - Temple University)
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, topics, and registation, are available here.

April 19 Leadership Assembly Outcome

Several of our congregants attended this important meeting, where the following decisions were made based upon a vote from each congregation present:
  1. POWER will pursue vote engagement for the general election in November.  The decision was unanimous.
  2. POWER will continue to research the feasibility of getting a 501(c)4 designation in addition to the existing 501(c)3.  Arguments for and against were heard, and was passed by a 28-4 majority.
April 21 Education Funding Action in Harrisburg

LHI was again well represented at this action, where we chanted around the state capital building and "charged" several legislators with fiscal neglect, and child endangerment for failing to fund a moral budget for education. 

Please see Rabbi Julie's message in this newsletter for upcoming Tikkun Olam actions in which you can participate.
Saturday, April 23

The Leyv Ha-Ir community and its friends came together to celebrate Passover at the annual Community Seder, held in the Philadelphian, 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Rabbi Julie Greenberg and Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer led the congregation in the reading of the Hagaddah, where members spoke of the Exodus from Egypt and slavery, and the telling of things people are enslaved with today, mixing the traditional reading with contemporary issues.  The members followed the traditions of the four cups of wine, the children's hunt for the Afikomen, and the singing of the traditional song "Dayenu."

Congratulations to member Daniel Johnson on his wedding to his partner of 38 years, Edwin Greenlee.  Several members had the opportunity to attend and participate in the ceremony at Sanctuary of the Fleisher Art Memorial.  The interfaith ceremony was officiated by Reverend Nate Walker and Rabbi Julie Greenberg.

In this world, it is important to recognize all contributions to our children because their futures are compelled by the examples we leave. It is important we recognize gifts as blessings and donations as salvage from current hardships.  We are gracious to know that our community partners at Leyv-Ha-Ir envision our everyday quest and duty to guide our children to a brighter future.

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

Gloria Goldstein

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir | P.O. Box 15836 | Philadelphia | PA | 19103