In This Issue
Looking Ahead

Erev Rosh Hashanah
Sunday, October 2nd 
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM 

Rosh Hashanah Day 1
Monday, October 3rd 
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

Rosh Hashanah Day 2
Monday, October 4th 
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

Erev Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre
Tuesday, October 11th 
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM 

Yom Kippur 
Wednesday, October 12th 
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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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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.

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

Center City Kehillah on facebook - please "like" this page.

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Dear Chevre,

As I return to our congregation from a summer of hiking, camping and visiting family, I am more committed than ever to facing the important issues of the day together as a Jewish community. What is the purpose of Judaism if we cannot talk about the things that matter most, both personally and politically, with Jewish language, values and relationships? Even when it's hard to do, let's keep trying.

One of the many significant events of the summer is an explosion of Jewish-Black dialogue connected to the release of the Black Lives Matter platform. Big questions arise about how to be allies when we don't agree on every thing, how to do the work that needs to be done even when we hurt each other, how to keep listening through our own distress and most of all how to continue to uproot anti-semitism and racism until we have a world that includes and respects everyone. Let's make room for these conversations this year in our community.

Alongside the big political issues of the day there are always the deeply felt dramas of our every day lives. We have people in our congregation who could use a kind phone call or helping hand. While the challenging public issues of the day are sometimes baffling, complex and intransigent, each one of us has the power to be a positive force in the lives of others with simple acts of kindness. It's amazing how a mitzvah can make a hard time a little easier and how meaningful it can be for the giver and the recipient. I'd like to hear stories of your own experiences reaching out to someone else.

Our Jewish calendar is turning from the mourning of Tisha B'Av, through the comfort of the Shabbat of Consolation and now towards the New Year of 5777. Let's start turning together to face the New Year with all that it holds.

Love and Blessing,

Rabbi Julie
President's Message
Dear Friends:

The Jewish month of Elul is traditionally a time for personal reflection and spiritual preparation for the New Year. It offers a structured opportunity to examine what is holding us back from being who we really want to be. If we use the period of Elul to take concrete steps towards becoming advocates for change, together we can make a difference!

Some things to consider as we begin to think about the High Holidays:
  • Relationship With God
  • Human Relationships
  • Shofar
  • Psalm 27
  • Kol Nidre
The word Elul can be understood as an acronym for the Hebrew verse Ani L'dodi V'dodi Li - "I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me." Think about your relationship with whatever you conceive of as the Divine Presence. Try to imagine a more intimate relationship, as if God were your beloved.

The teshuvah [repentance] process operates on two levels, one involving human relationships and the other involving our relationship with God. According to tradition, one resolves human relationships during Elul by asking forgiveness for wrongdoings. If one earnestly asks three times, the obligation is fulfilled.

The shofar (ram's horn) is blown at the conclusion of every weekday morning prayer service during Elul. Use this month to listen for the shofar's rousing call. Carve out some time to think through the kinds of changes you want to make in the coming year.

Psalm 27 - which begins with the words "God is my light and my helper, whom shall I fear?" - is recited every day from Rosh Hodesh Elul (the beginning of the month) through the middle of Sukkot. 

Kol Nidre (the first prayer recited on the eve of Yom Kippur) serves to annul all existing vows and prepare us to begin the New Year with a clean slate. The Al Chet prayer enumerates the specific ways we have missed the mark. Take some time to re-evaluate your participation in the community. Try to be more conscious of how you spend your time and money. Do your calendar and checkbook reflect your values and priorities?

Please join us throughout the month of Elul as we prepare ourselves for the High Holidays. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Preparing for the High Holidays

Fall Workshop

Every Jewish holiday has its unique form of preparation. We spend Elul, the month before Rosh Hashanah, preparing our spiritual and relational houses for the New Year. 

In this workshop, we will explore traditional and new forms of spiritual preparation with special melodies for the High Holidays, rooting ourselves in the history of these holidays from the Temple-based ritual through the communal and personalized priestly traditions.

Please join us on Sunday, September 11th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Penn Center House second floor Leisure Lounge, 1900 JFK Boulevard, for a special workshop led by Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer.

The cost to attend the workshop and brunch is $10.00 for members and $15.00 for guests. Make a reservation now by email ( or phone (215-629-1995). Reservations must be received by Thursday, September 8, 2016.
High Holiday Information 
We invite you to join us for our High Holiday Services. 

Services will be conducted by Rabbi Julie Greenberg and Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer. All services will be held at the Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.

Reservations are REQUIRED for all attendees, members and non-members alike. Please click here for more information and details, or call 215-629-1995 or send an email to

Membership is not required. In lieu of tickets, a donation is requested for each adult. No one will be turned away for financial reasons.
An Uplifting Experience
The Jewish holidays have extra-special meaning when you are helping to plan and organize them for the community. Volunteer to help us out for the upcoming High Holy Days by contacting Bobbi Cohen ( or Donna Finkelstein ( or by calling 215-629-1995.
Torah Leyners Needed for High Holidays
We have a dedicated -- and growing! -- group of volunteers who read sections of the Torah portion for High Holiday services (both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Day) as well as Erev Simchat Torah services. We welcome your participation! If you are interested in joining our Torah Leyners group, please contact Jessi Roemer via email and let her know your schedule and interests.
Book of Remembrance - Yizkor Form
This booklet will be used on Yom Kippur as well as the three other Yizkor services during the year. It is a Book of Remembrance in which we commemorate the names of departed relatives, friends and other loved ones. We hope you will join in making these memorials a vital part of our tradition by printing, completing and returning this form (and payment) before September 23.
Thank you to the following members for renewing their commitment to Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City. 

David and Enid Adler
Barbara Askinas
Ron Collman
Larry and Donna Finkelstein
Sue Frank
Phyllis Gottlieb and Natan Szapiro
Beverly Hayden
Etta Risch
Susan Ross
Patricia Saddier
Evy Simon
Phil and Joan Steel
Margie Wiener

You can find a printable copy of the membership form on our web site. Click here to download and print.
The Month Ahead
Saturday, September 10
10:00 AM Shabbat Service - Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.
Lay-led service with Torah discussion and potluck veggie/dairy lunch

Sunday, September 11
11:00 AM Preparing for the High Holidays - Penn Center House, 1900 JFK Boulevard
Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer will lead this workshop as we explore traditional and new forms of spiritual preparation for the High Holidays

Monday, September 12
7:00 PM Council Meeting - Pat Wisch's home

Friday, September 16
7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat - Ethical Society Building
Join us for Friday evening Shabbat services led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg and Cantorial Candidate Jessi Roemer. Stay for oneg following the conclusion of services.

Friday, September 23
6:30 PM Home Shabbat - Roby Jacobs' home
Lay-led service followed by a potluck veggie/dairy dinner

Saturday, September 24
8:00 PM - Selichot Services - Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel, 300 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
We'll start with Havdallah, then move into the service, which will be primarily musical, interspersed with rabbinic offerings -- one from each of the rabbis of the 4 participating synagogues.

Saturday, October 1
10:00 AM Shabbat Service - Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.
Lay-led service with Torah discussion and potluck veggie/dairy lunch

Sunday, October 2
7:00 PM Erev Rosh Hashanah Service - Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

Monday, October 3
10:00 AM Rosh Hashanah Service - Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.
5:30 PM Tashlich Service - Schuylkill River at Locust Street

Tuesday, October 4
10:00 AM Rosh Hashanah Service - Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

Tuesday, October 11
7:00 PM Kol Nidre Service - Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

Wednesday, October 12
10:00 AM Yom Kippur Services - Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq.

Please see the Leyv Ha-Ir calendar for more details, or look for the "This Week at Leyv Ha-Ir" message. 

You can always call 215-629-1995 or email if you need additional info.
Tisha B'Av
Speaking up by Joseph Fishman

At the Tisha B'av service a poem was recited which dealt with the result of not speaking up for others. A person is silent as three different groups of people are rounded up and taken away. Next the person and the group of people the person belongs to are rounded up and taken away. No one is left to speak up for the person and the group of people the person belongs to.

Events in the news inspire me to speak up for the Syrian people suffering from the civil war there. I saw a pregnant Syrian woman who had been injured in a bomb attack. She and her unborn baby were in danger of dying. The medical team in the hospital performed a cesarean section. Both the mother and the baby lived.

I would like America to make a greater effort to bring in Syrian refugees fleeing from the war there. President Obama has called for bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years. Maybe that number could be doubled to 50,000 Syrian refugees. I understand that there is a legitimate concern that terrorists may try to take advantage of American goodwill by attempting to sneak into the country along with the real Syrian refugees. I also realize that a vetting system to determine if a person is a terrorist will not be perfect. But I think the need to help the Syrian refugees is important enough to make a greater effort to help them.
Board Development Session
August 15, 2016

By John O. Mason

Tresa Grauer, representing Jewish Reconstructionist Communities in Wyncote, led a class of Council and other members on the function of a synagogue board.

Grauer stated that all the work of the synagogue's board is part of developing Jewish community, and how the board carries the image of the congregation. "The board," said Grauer," is responsible for the direction and strategy of the congregation." We discussed how a congregation could grow, and how the board could make decisions as a group, along with establishing a shared mission for the congregation and our values. Grauer gave the group examples from other Reconstructionist congregations on how they manage their councils.
Every month, many of our members and supporters make generous contributions in honor of a specific life cycle event.  Thank you to everyone that made a contribution to recognize these events and to support Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir. 
General FundIn Memory Of
Sylvia Fein
Evy Simon
Bertha and Isaac Cherong
Paul Jaffe

Get Involved - Voter Registration Drive with POWER
The deadline to register to vote in PA is October 11th - are YOU registered? At your current address?

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir is an active member of POWER, and as part of a city-wide effort, is planning its voter registration campaign leading up to the election. We need your help! Here are ways you can get involved:
  1. Volunteer your time to register voters - Please contact Susan Thompson at if you can help.
  2. Make sure you and your friends and family are registered. If not, go ahead and REGISTER NOW.
September Member Yahrzeits

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

Lee Schlanger