In This Issue
Looking Ahead
HEVREH: A Community of Adult Jewish Learners
July 20-24 
Hevreh will hold its second conference/retreat at Capital Camps in Waynesboro, PA (near Gettysburg). It's an opportunity to study with master teachers of Judaica; reflect and rejuvenate; pray, sing and dance; reconnect with friends and make new ones; encounter nature; and celebrate Shabbat.  Hevreh is attended by Reconstructionist and Reform Jews. More information and a registration link can be found at

Hold Saturday evening, August 13, for our annual Tisha B'Av service and commemoration.
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.

Pat Wisch 215-563-1894
Marking Lifecycle Events
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Check in with the Center City Kehillah to see what's happening in our larger, diverse Jewish Community.

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JUNE 2016
Dear Friends and Members:

Just a year ago we were asking the question, where do we go from here? How could we possibly survive as a congregation? I'm proud of the work that we have all accomplished as we have all come together as a community to do what needed to be done to ensure the vitality of our community and keep the heart pumping in center city.

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir has done many wonderful things this past year, both within our own community, as well as within the larger Center City community. We started the year with our One Book, One Congregation discussion of "Waking Up White". Along the way, we continued our discussion on racism and continued our Tikkun Olam efforts, raising almost $1000 for the Spring Garden School. We were also active participants in the "Wrestling with Jewish Peoplehood" Shabbaton and Conference as we continue our discussion of Judaism in the 21st century.

In between, we opened our doors to the larger community for High Holidays, celebrated Simchat Torah and Sukkot, enjoyed Chanukah with blazing menorahs, remembered Martin Luther King's contributions, spent the coldest weekend of the winter in Ocean City for our retreat, held a Purim celebration, and once again opened our doors for a Community Passover Seder.

With all this activity, the year has certainly gone by quickly. This year's Annual Meeting which will set the tone for the upcoming 2016-17 year will be held on Sunday, June 12th starting promptly at 10:30 AM.

See you at the meeting,

Larry Finkelstein
Saturday, June 4, 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, 1st floor 

Monday, June 6, 7:00 PM, Council Meeting
All members are invited to our monthly Council meeting with Rabbi Julie and congregational leaders. 
Location: Pat Wisch's home 

Saturday, June 11, 8:00 PM - Sunday, June 12, 8:00 AM, Center City Kehillah's Jewish Night of Learning
Celebrate the holiday of Shavuot with the Center City Jewish community! Enjoy delicious dairy meals and snacks, learn from leading local rabbis, educators and community members.  Stay for some or all of the evening, concluding with sunrise services.  Complete details and registration are at
Location: Moore College of Art, 1916 Race St. (at 20th St. and the Parkway)

Sunday, June 12, 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM, Annual Meeting
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.
Location:  William Penn House Community Room, 1919 Chestnut St., 1st floor
Brunch is included.

Sunday, June 12, 1:30 PM, Racism is a Sickness
Ethical Society Leader Hugh Taft-Morales will lead us in a discussion and tour of their new exhibit.  See here for more information.
Location:  The Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

Friday, June 17, 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

Friday, June 24, 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 potluck veggie/dairy dinner. Please arrive on time as service will start at 6:40.
Location: Susan Thompson's home in Fairmount
RSVP: to Susan at or 215.923.4040 by Thursday, June 23.

Saturday, July 9, 10:00 AM, Shabbat Morning Service
Join our lay-led minyan for a Shabbat morning service, Torah discussion and potluck veggie/dairy lunch.
Location: To be determined 
June 2016

Dear Chevre,

Once again we are about to stand together at Sinai to receive Torah. I imagine Torah pouring through Moses and through the Israelites of that time and through all the generations unto this day. I imagine all the ways that Torah, learning in all its forms, has flowed through each of us. What are the ways that you receive Torah?

Personally, I appreciate the Torah of ideas that I get from reading books, magazines, going to lectures, listening to NPR. I appreciate the Torah of beauty and meaning that I get from the amazing cultural offerings in our city. I appreciate the Torah of nature, especially at this season when we witness the renewal of plants and species. I appreciate the Torah of justice and hope. And I appreciate the collection of complex, enduring stories that make up our particular Five Books of Moses.

As you prepare to stand at Sinai spiritually, are there new ways you would like to open yourselves to Torah of any kind? Some extra walking in the beautiful weather? Learning something new? How about joining in our community Torah discussion at the Shabbat morning minyan? I look forward to celebrating Shavuot in our community~ honoring the ways in which we receive Torah together, now and everyday.

Many blessings,

Rabbi Julie
Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir will hold our Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 12th at 10:30 AM at the Community Room of the William Penn House, 1919 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.

Please join us as we elect new officers, approve the annual budget, review last year and look ahead to the coming year. This year's program will also include a musical presentation and Shavuot observance. 
  • 10:30 AM Brunch
  • 11:00 AM Musical Program/Shavuot Observance
  • 11:30 AM Meeting
Thank you to our Nominating Committee (Beverly Hayden, Iris Cutler and Donna Finkelstein) who worked diligently to put together this proposed slate of officers. 

Larry Finkelstein (2nd year of 2-year term) 
1st Vice President Pat Wisch 
2nd Vice President Daniel Johnson 
Secretary Phyllis Gottlieb 
Treasurer Donna Finkelstein 
Council-at-large Joe Fishman 
 Roby Jacobs 
 Iris Newman 
 Patricia Saddier 
Nominations from the floor are welcome. If you intend to nominate someone from the floor please get their agreement in advance.

Our Annual Meeting this year will include a musical presentation, as well as a special Shavuot observance.

And, immediately following the Annual Meeting, please join us for a special, private tour of the new Racism is a Sickness exhibit at the Ethical Society at 1:30 PM.

Isaac Singer, Rabbi Julie's recent Bar Mitzvah student, will play the saxophone for our Shavuot celebration at the Annual Meeting on June 12.


With all of our plans for the upcoming year, we need volunteers to help with many different activities; some small, some more involved. If you have any time to give to your community, please let us know how you can help. I'm sure we can find a place (or two) where we could use your assistance. You don't need to be a member to volunteer. Please write to or call 215-629- 1995 to let us know how you can help. Thank you.

In March, we conducted a survey of our membership asking a number of questions about what attracted members to Leyv Ha-Ir, what made them join the congregation, and what keeps the members coming back to Leyv Ha-Ir.

Please join us at the annual meeting on June 12th, as our membership committee will be sharing the complete results of the survey and we will learn what steps we all need to take to keep the Congregation energized and engaged.

Through a series of photographs of 14 Philadelphians, prompts about race that invite community comment, and several mixed media works, #RacismIsASickness is a commentary on the challenges and struggles we all face in regard to race, and the costly problem of police brutality. Tieshka Smith sees racism as a contagious virus that infects and incapacitates us all in some way, shape or form; an insidious force that has seriously weakened and eroded our social, political and economic institutions; and a phenomenon that compromises our global standing as the standard bearer for democracy, freedom and justice for all.

Please join Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir for a community discussion and tour of the #RacismIsASickness exhibit with Leader Hugh Taft-Morales on Sunday, June 12th at 1:30 PM immediately following the Congregation Annual Meeting.
Center City Kehillah's Tikkun Leil Shavuot

You're invited to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot with the Center City Jewish community! Enjoy delicious dairy meals and snacks, learn from leading local rabbis and educators, and be part of the biggest Shavuot event Center City has ever seen.

Stay for some or all of the evening, concluding with sunrise services.  All are welcome!

This year we'll be at a new location, Moore College of Art, 1916 Race St. (at 20th St. and the Parkway).

The suggested donation for adults is $18-$36 and includes all food.

Leyv Ha-Ir is one of the sponsoring organizations for this event.

Details, including a schedule, registration, and volunteer form can be found at

Invitation to Join Rabbi Julie

Please join me in Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 28, as the State Budget decisions are finalized. POWER is keeping the spotlight on fair and full funding for public education. There will be buses with reservations required. If you are interested, let me know and I'll keep you posted with more information.

Center City Kehillah's Learning Experience

Each month since December the Kehillah has presented 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, which will also be the last for this year, will be:

Date: Thursday, June 2, 2016
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Location: Jewish Federation Building, 2100 Arch Street

Topic: "Revelation - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," with Rabbi Albert Gabbai (Congregation Mikveh Israel) and Rabbi Jill Maderer (Congregation Rodeph Shalom)
Cost: $10, including a light dinner. Registration requested, although walk-ins are accepted.

Full details and registration are available here.
May these souls be bound in the Book of Eternal Light:   

Sylvia Bell

Jacqueline van Zantin Hawkins