What's Happening At Leyv Ha-Ir

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Free Introduction To Mussar Workshop

posted Sep 26, 2019, 7:26 AM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Oct 7, 2019, 2:51 PM ]

On Tuesday, October 29, Leyv Ha-Ir, together with the Center for Contemporary Mussar, is co-sponsoring an exciting, free Introductory Workshop to Mussar. 

Mussar is a centuries-old tradition of Jewish spiritual practice that supports living an ethical life. The central cornerstone of Mussar is the commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself."  

Awaken to a Jewish spirituality that is compassionate, life-affirming, and generous. Learn to create stronger, more positive relationships in every sphere of your life.  Mussar can indeed change your life. 

The program will run from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM at WeWork, 1601 Market Street.

For more information and to register, go to https://ccm.wufoo.com/forms/mussar-can-change-your-life/. 


Celebrating Sukkot and Simchat Torah

posted Sep 24, 2019, 8:00 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Oct 2, 2019, 2:51 PM ]

We'll celebrate Sukkot on Sunday, October 20, from 2PM to 4PM, and Simchat Torah on Monday, October 21, from 6PM to 8PM.
For Sukkot, we will gather in the lovely garden behind Sue Frank's home in the Fitler Square neighborhood. Rabbi Dayle will lead our Sukkot services.  Please bring a snack to share.  Contact Sue Frank by email suefrank4@gmail.com or by phone 215-732-9280 for her address and to let her know that you plan to attend.

or Simchat Torah, Society Hill Synagogue has graciously invited us to join them on Monday, October 21, from 6 PM to 8PM, for a light dinner followed by a Simchat Torah service.  Society Hill Synagogue is at 418 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA.  Please RSVP to Leyv Ha-Ir at info@leyvhair.org or 215.629.1995 by no later than October 13 so they are certain to have enough food.  (There is no cost for the event although any small donation to help offset the cost is welcome.  You can donate by check payable to Leyv Ha-Ir sent to Leyv Ha-Ir, P.O. Box 15836, Philadelphia PA 19103, or via PayPal or credit card at http://www.leyvhair.org/donate, and specify that it is for Simchat Torah.)

Rabbi Dayle Friedman's Fall 2019 Education Series

posted Sep 1, 2019, 3:13 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Oct 11, 2019, 6:48 PM ]

Join Rabbi Dayle Friedman for her fall Education Series.  The timely and important topic is Be Strong and of Good Courage: Finding Our Grounding in Dark Times.

We are living in tumultuous times.  We face challenges to our democracy, our moral norms, and the very future of our planet.  What practices and attitudes did our ancestors bring to the challenges they faced that might sustain us as we navigate these rough seas?  We will investigate the concept of bitachon-trust, and how we might draw upon it.  We will explore daily practices, such as morning gratitude and evening prayers.  And we will investigate how taking action can be a source of encouragement and a spiritual practice.

Our discussion will follow a light brunch.  This fall Education Series will cover three topics; you need not attend all to participate:

Session I–November 3, 2019:  Cultivate Hope: Bitahon/trust As a Spiritual Practice:  We will investigate how the Mussar tradition has developed bitahon/trust as a grounding practice, and explore how we might integrate this into our lives.

Session II–November 10, 2019: Evening and Morning, Each and Every Day: Daily Practices to Ground UsWe will look at practices from the tradition for awakening and going to sleep, and explore how we can adapt them to suit our idioms and spiritual sensibilities.

Session III–December 8, 2019: Healing the World: Tikkun Olam As a Spiritual Practice:  How is activism or volunteer work a spiritual practice? We will explore how setting an intention, and taking time to reflect on the work, can bring sustenance and healing to us as we work to heal the world.

Advance registration: $10 - members, $15 - guests

Walk-in registration: $15 - members, $20 - guests
See our Calendar for details on location, time and RSVP information.

Rabbi Julie's October 2019 Letter to the Congregation

posted Sep 1, 2019, 2:51 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Oct 11, 2019, 6:44 PM ]

Dear Chevre, I am writing this message in the week before Rosh HaShana and you will be reading it just after Yom om Kippur. I can imagine the satisfying feeling we will share having come through the awesome passage of the holy days together. It is such a journey into the New Year -- abundant thanks to all who lent helping hands to make our community an inviting space. Huge shoutouts to Joe Fishman, Bobbi Cohen, Meryl Wein, Evy Simon, Iris Newman, Frann Shore and John Mason (the connective glue of our leadership), and to all our many members who showed up and made a difference. You are the best.

I will be taking a break from writing newsletter messages as I step into my sabbatical year. Now that many of you have witnessed Rabbi Dayle Friedman in action I hope you see what good hands you'll be in for this year. Rabbi Dayle will be leading our rabbi-led Friday night and holiday services, teaching in our Sunday morning brunch series, engaging in pastoral care and she will offer a message every month. So you have a great year to look forward to. Many blessings for Dayle and for the community. I promise to come back before our next holy day season with enrichments for all.


Rabbi Julie

Ronstructionism 101: I Was a Reconstructionist All Along And Didn't Know It

posted Sep 1, 2019, 2:36 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Oct 11, 2019, 6:56 PM ]

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City cordially invites you to a seminar I Was a Reconstructionist All Along And Didn’t Know It:
Reconstructionism 101.

If you’ve spent any time at Leyv Ha-Ir, you already know what it feels like to be in a Reconstructionist community. But what is it exactly that makes our community Reconstructionist? In this seminar, we will explore the underlying components of a Reconstructionist approach to Judaism that form the building blocks of our congregation’s ever-evolving expression of Jewish life. This class is open to everyone, free of charge.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
7:00 PM
Penn Center House Leisure Lounge (2nd floor)
1900 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia

Light refreshments will be served.

About our presenter:

Rabbi Micah Weiss is the Assistant Director for Thriving
Communities and Tikkun Olam Specialist at
Reconstructing Judaism and a life-long Reconstructionist.
Please register by email to info@leyvhair.org or by phone to 215.629.1995.

One Book, One Congregation Brunch August 18, 2019

posted Jun 11, 2019, 8:33 AM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Jun 11, 2019, 9:24 AM ]

Please join us as we welcome Rabbi Julie back from summer vacation.  We'll have brunch and discuss the book we are reading over the summer:  How to Cure a Fanatic by the Israeli journalist/writer/intellectual Amos Oz.
This is a slim book of three short essays. We'll particularly focus on the third essay, an interview with Oz called "The Order of the Teaspoon." Amos Oz was born in Jerusalem before the state of Israel existed; he lived his life as a passionate Zionist who experienced the tragedy of idealism degenerating into oppression. He died this past year so this is a good time to review some of his stellar work. For more background, please see the recent New Yorker article here. We'll come together to discuss this book over brunch on Sunday morning August 18 in the William Penn House community room.  Please RSVP to info@leyvhair.org or 215.629.1995 by Thursday, August 15 to let us know if you are coming.

Jewish Night of Learning

posted May 11, 2019, 6:55 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir

Join the larger Jewish community in Center City for the annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot.  You can attend for any part of it or stay all night for the full experience before coming to Leyv Ha-Ir's Annual Meeting.  Full details and registration are at https://centercityjews.org/shavuot/.

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir's Annual Meeting Sunday, June 9

posted May 9, 2019, 9:24 AM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated May 9, 2019, 9:44 AM ]

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir will hold our Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 9th, at 10:30 AM in the Community Room at the William Penn House, 1919 Chestnut Street.  Brunch is included.   

Please join us as we elect new officers, approve the annual budget, review last year and look ahead to the coming year.  This is a very important and informative meeting.  Your attendance does matter!

RSVP by Thursday, June 6th to info@leyvhair.org to register for this event. 


Sunday, June 9

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM
William Penn House Community Room
1919 Chestnut St.



Rabbi Julie Greenberg's June 2019 Letter to Our Congregation

posted May 5, 2019, 12:23 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir   [ updated Jun 5, 2019, 1:21 PM ]

Dear Chevre,

As we approach Shavuot, it's a time to reflect on the essential intertwining of the agricultural, historical and ethical in Judaism and see what this means for our lives. Shavuot, like so many Jewish holy days, celebrates the cycle of sowing, tending and in this case, harvesting. It's also a reminder of the peak historical moment of standing at Sinai, eyes lifted, hearts open to Torah pouring in and entering the world through us. And as Shavuot returns every year, we receive the ethical reminder to act from the highest realm of Self (even if we also have many other feelings and urges). So how do we live into all this today?
   I think Shavuot reminds us to reflect on our own cycles of sowing, tending and reaping. Where are you now in this process both personally and politically? Are you planting seeds to ready yourself or the world for change? Are you growing something in your inner life or supporting something in the world to grow? Or is it time to take stock of what has already been planted, a time of reflection and harvesting where you have been? 
   In any case, I hope all Leyv Ha-Ir-niks will be together on the actual day of Shavuot this year because it happens to be the Sunday of our Annual Meeting, June 9. Let's stand at Sinai together, harvesting our past year, living into our best selves for the congregational year to come. We'll also have some moments for Yizkor, a time of remembrance that takes place five times a year, including on Shavuot. See you then and there.
Love and blessing,
Rabbi Julie

Annual Community Passover Seder

posted Mar 8, 2019, 6:02 PM by Bobbi Cohen   [ updated Apr 7, 2019, 7:17 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ]

Join members and friends of Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir ~ Heart of the City for our annual Passover seder, to be led by Rabbi Julie Greenberg and Cantor Sharon Sigal.  All are welcome, including children.  There will be afikomen prizes for the kids.

Saturday, April 20, 6:15 pm sharp

The Philadelphian Social Room, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., Philadelphia

Your seder meal will include: 


Matzoh Ball Soup

Gefilte Fish with Horseradish

Choice of Brisket of Beef, Baked Salmon or Stuffed Eggplant (vegetarian)

2 side dishes


Passover pastries

Passover wine

Coffee and tea

You are welcome to bring your own table wine.

Complete seder plates will be provided.

Price: $58 per adult, $21 per child 3-12 years

Full payment is required no later than Friday, April 12 by check, credit card or PayPal.  Cancellations received by Friday, April 12 will be fully refunded.


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