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The Mekor Habracha Shabbat Newsletter

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Mekor Habracha
Parshat Ki Tavo
September 12-13, 2014
18 Elul 5774

Candle Lighting Time: 6:56 PM
Shabbat Ends: 7:54 PM

Center City Eruv status:
Friday evening: 7:00-8:00 PM 

Shabbat morning: 9:15-11:45 AM followed by a delicious, hot kiddush & Bagel Brunch & Fruit Platter

Tot Shabbat: 10:45 - End of Services

Mincha/Third Meal/Ma'ariv: 6:45 PM


Shabbat at Mekor Habracha
Recent News
Mekor Habracha Programs, Events & Services
Sponsorship and Member Info
Member Bullletin Board
Other Programs

Shabbat at Mekor Habracha


This week’s Kiddush & Bagel Brunch & Fruit Platter is sponsored by Mark & Michelle Gershon & Deborah Goldfarb in honor of their son Toby's upcoming marriage to Laura Liss. Mazal Tov to the Gershon, Goldfarb, and Liss extended families on this wonderful simcha!

Kiddush is also sponsored by Yah-el Har-el & Andres Catalan in celebration of Uri's first birthday! Yay!

Kiddush is additionally sponsored by Sharrona Pearl & Ben Knepler in celebration of Aria's and Melilla's birthdays. Happy birthdays! 

This week's Third Meal is still available to be sponsored.

Please send a return email if you would like to sponsor kiddush or Third Meal.

Recent News

Congratulations to Laura Liss & Toby Gershon upon their upcoming marriage. Mazal tov!

Mekor Habracha Programs, Events & Services

Weekday Morning Minyan 

Mekor Habracha's weekday morning minyan schedule: Sunday: 9:00 AM, Monday & Thursdays & Rosh Chodesh : 6:45 AM, Tuesday, Wednesday & Fridays: 7:00 AM. We do not have a daily Mincha/Ma'riv at this time.

*NEW Rabbi Hirsch's High Holiday Class TODAY
Rabbi Hirsch will be leading a discussion on the topic "Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur: What's the Difference and What Difference Does It Make?" TODAY, Thursday, September 11 at 6:30 PM at the shul. Everyone is welcome to attend.

*UPDATED Renew Your Membership & Reserve Your High Holiday Seats
Mekor Habracha membership expires on Rosh Hashana, so NOW is the time to renew your membership! All membership info can be found here.  Please note: Current members do NOT have to fill out another application unless their info has changed. 

Limited reservations for High Holiday services at Mekor Habracha are being accepted on a first come, first served basis. Shul members attend High Holiday services free of charge, but members MUST reserve seats by emailing the shul at; reservations will NOT be made automatically. All High Holiday info can be found here.

*COMING UP  Selichot Reception
Mekor Habracha will be hosting its annual Selichot Reception on Saturday night,September 20 at 9:45 PM, featuring a delicious light buffet including sushi, desserts and wine. Selichot will follow at 10:45 PM. The event is free, but RSVP by emailing the shul is appreciated. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Delivery From Pomegranate in Brooklyn!
A group in Lower Merion is arranging a delivery from the amazing Pomegranate supermarket in Brooklyn, NY to Lower Merion on Sunday, September 21. If you are interested in receiving more info or if you would like to place an order, please contact Rebecca Adlerstein: at

*NEW Dedicate a Machzor
Artscroll Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur machzorim (High Holiday prayer books) are available for dedication at $50 each. Email to make your dedication.

*NEW Lulavim and Etrogim
Arba'ah minim will be made available once again at a cost of $54 per set. ($57 if via PayPal. Please do NOT pay via Network For Good since you are receiving goods in return.) Please send an email to the shul by Wednesday, October 1 if you would like to place an order.

*NEW Help Build Our Sukkah
We are in need of volunteers to help put up our shul sukkah. We meet at the shul on Sunday morning, October 5 at 9:45 AM (following morning services).  If you can help, please send a return email, or just show up at the shul at that time.

The shul's sukkah will be located once again at 1922 Ranstead Street (small street between Chestnut and Market) and available to the community over the Sukkot holiday. You can obtain the combination to the lock needed to access the sukkah on the shul bulletin board or by emailing the shul at after Yom Kippur. 

*NEW Pizza in the Hut
Save the Date! Join Mekor Habracha community members on Thursday night, October 9, at 6:15 PM for evening services, followed by our annual Blackbird Pizza dinner in the Mekor Habracha Sukkah, 1922 Ranstead Street, at approximately 7:00 PM. Cost for the dinner is $7 for shul members and $15 for non-members (for Paypal payments to, cost is $8/$16 pp). Payments and reservations to are required by Tuesday, October 7. Hope to see you there! 

The Center City Kehillah is Back!
The Center City Kehillah is a collaborative effort that seeks to develop Jewish cross-institutional relationships, to enrich the Jewish community in ways no one organization can do alone, and to expand the reach of Jewish life in Philadelphia. The Kehillah will bring together clergy, lay leaders, and professional staff from synagogues and other institutions and will develop programs for the entire Center City Jewish community. Mekor Habracha is an official member of the Kehillah. For more information or to get involved, contact Miriam Steinberg-Egeth (who is now heading the Kehillah - yay!) at or 267-225-8701.

Mekor Habracha Email Services
Mekor Habracha has set up emails for various services we offer:

  1. for general shul info
  2. to contact our hospitality committee
  3. to contact our sisterhood
  4. for all kiddush info 
  5. for info regarding our weekday morning minyan
  6. to sign up to lain for the shul
  7. to order your Mekor Habracha New Year's cards
  8. to contact our mishloach manot committee 
  9. to contact our board of directors
  10.  to contact the rabbi

Dedicate a Machzor
Artscroll Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur machzorim (High Holiday prayer books) are available for dedication at $50 each. Email to make your dedication. 

Friday Night Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat and Dinner 
The next Mekor Habracha Friday night Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat will take place on Friday night, October 24 at 6:00 PM, followed by Shabbat dinner at 7:15 PM. Cost for the dinner is $15 for shul members and $25 for non-members (for Paypal payments to, add a $1 processing fee, which comes to $16/26 for each reservation). Reservations, payments and requests for vegetarian meals to are required by Wednesday, October 22. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Mekor Habracha Sisterhood
Mekor Habracha now has a Sisterhood! For more information about becoming involved, please email

Center City Mikvah Project 
The Mekor Habracha Center City Mikvah committee, led by Aliza Sadiky, Jon Newcombe and Rabbi Hirsch, is working hard to get the project started. Mekor Habracha has been at the forefront of these efforts, raising a serious amount of money from within our community (~$30K!), and now Mekor members Yah-el Har-el, and Arielle & Jon Newcombe have volunteered for the CC Mikvah building committee! The Mikvah project still needs volunteers to help with the building stage, so please send a return email if you would like to volunteer for this vital community effort. 

Hospitality & New Baby Email List
If you would like to be added to the hospitality/new baby email list, please send a return email. Those on the list will receive hospitality requests made to the shul and meal preparation and other requests to help families who recently had a baby. We have now combined the lists, so if anyone would prefer to be left off the list or if you know of someone who would like to be added, please email the shul.


Calling all Lainers and Haftarah Readers
In order to provide the community with a quality Torah and haftarah reading, we need capable people from the community to provide this invaluable service. If you know how to read Torah or haftarah, and would like to volunteer to lain, please contact for more information. We would love to hear some new voices! If you are a little rusty or do not know how to read Torah and would like to learn, please reach out to Jonathan Newcombe at, and he can arrange some quick lessons, free of charge, and provide resources to help you learn.  

SUPPORT MEKOR WITH 'AMAZON SMILE'!! has a new program to support non-profits called "Amazon Smile". Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization (in this case Mekor Habracha of course!), every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop, you’ll find EXACTLY the same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price (.05%) to your favorite charitable organization. To sign up and support the shul, visit this link TODAY! (For details and info:

Weekly Study Group Topic: The Rabbis of the Talmud and their Aggadot
Please contact Susie Ratner at or Yoella Epstein at if you are interested in joining in the weekly study of the aggadot of the Talmud, viewed through the lens of the Rabbis who taught them. We will begin with Hillel and Shamai and then work our way through the Tanaim and Amorim.  We will be using the Encyclopedia of the Rabbis of the Talmud and the Ein Yaakov as our sources.  All are welcome! 

Join the Mekor Habracha Book Club
The Mekor Habracha book club meets every 4-6 weeks at a member's home to discuss that month's book selection.  If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please email Alexandra at

Practical Jewish Philosophy
Rabbi Hirsch's "Practical Jewish Philosophy" class will not take place regularly over the summer, but stay tuned for announcements for if/when they will occur. 

Tot Shabbat Now Every Shabbat
Hey Parents! In response to the many requests received from shul members, we have expanded Tot Shabbat to EVERY SHABBAT and moved the time to 10:45 AM. Join us every Shabbat at 10:45 AM and we'll sing, dance and play in honor of Shabbat. All kinderlach (baby-7 yrs.) and their parents are welcome to attend.

Shul Facebook Page
Mekor Habracha has a Facebook page, now with over 350 members, where people can communicate and share relevant community info with one another. Join today by visiting this page (It's free!). 

Eruv Checkers Needed
The community is in need of Eruv checkers. If you could help for about one hour on a Thursday orFriday every 2-3 months, please send a return email.  

Sponsorship and Member Info

Dedicate a Siddur
Artscroll siddurim (prayer books) are available for dedication at $50 each. Email to make your dedication.  

Sponsor a Kiddush or Third Meal

Please send a return email if you would like to sponsor Kiddush or Third Meal:   

Standard Kiddush: $125 for shul members, $150 for non-members.
Third Meal: $50 for members, $75 for non-members.
Please inquire via return email about our reasonable rates for special kiddush and Third Meal sponsorship options such as bagels and spreads, various platters, and more! 

Mishebeirach list
If you know of someone who is ill and would like to add their name to the shul mishebeirach list, please email the shul here with the person's Hebrew name and their mother's Hebrew name. Please note that their name will remain on the list until the end of the secular calendar month, before which another request must be made or it will be removed from the list. Wishing a refuah shelaima to all those who need it!  

Membership, Donation and Payment Links

See this link to join Mekor Habracha. To donate or pay sponsorships/dues online (ONLY if no goods or services received): Click here: Network for Good . To pay for dinners, luncheons etc. (services received) please send money via to We respectfully request that all payments made through the Network for Good website include the 5% service fee, and all Paypal payments include an additional 5% charge to cover the Paypal fee. All payments by cash or check do not require any additional charges.  

Supermarket Scrip/Gift Cards

Mekor Habracha is selling ShopRite, Superfresh and Acme gift cards, available in $50 or $100 increments. When you buy gift cards, the supermarket donates 5% back to Mekor Habracha. The gift cards have no expiration date and can be used at any ShopRite, Superfresh or Acme (respectively). Please contact Rhona Gerber at for info and/or to get some.

Maternity/Baby Gemach
Want to clear out some space?  Looking to borrow (and return!) maternity or baby items?  If you have maternity or baby items to loan to the community, list them on our new baby gemach at:  New and expecting parents: check back frequently for your baby needs and wants!

Hospitality/New Baby Email List
If you would like to be added to the hospitality/new baby email list, please send a return email. Those on the list will receive hospitality requests made to the shul and meal preparation and other requests to help families who recently had a baby. We are planning to combine the lists, so if anyone would prefer to be left off the list or if you know of someone who would like to be added, please email the shul. 

Correct Our Newsletter!
If you see any incorrect information or misspellings in this newsletter, please do not hesitate to let us know via return email. Thank you!

Kashrut Etc.

Grow and Behold Chicken and Meat (and now Cheese!)

Grow and Behold Foods will now be providing bi-monthly deliveries of their OU Kosher, humane, pasture raised poultry, beef, lamb turkey and now cheese to Center City. For order deadlines and delivery dates, visit

Kosher Lamb Bacon
Pavel Khazanov is receiving orders for artisinally crafted Kosher Lamb Baaacon, made by Chaim at the Knish Shop in Baltimore, MD. Please contact Pavel at if you would like to place an order. 

Kosher Dining

A list of kosher establishments in Center City and Philadelphia (as well as the local Mikvaot and hotels) can be found here. Please patronize these and other local kosher sellers so that they will continue to carry kosher products. When you visit a kosher place, be sure to mention to the owner that you are a kosher consumer!

Member Bulletin Board 

Driver For Pay Needed
A shul member is looking for someone available weekday mornings from 8:30-10:30 AM to drive a toddler from Center City to Mainline. You would to to own a car and have a clean driving record. Please send a return email if interested. 

Seeking Apartment Rental Close to the Shul
Very responsible adult female looking to rent a FURNISHED studio or one-bedroom apartment in the Rittenhouse Sq. area for the month of August only. Must be within short walking distance of 20th and Walnut.  Call 215-568-6878 or email

Roommate Sought
A Shomeret Shabbat female grad student in her 20's is seeking same in a roommate for an apartment close to the shul for the coming school year.

Apartment Available
A shul member has informed us that a nice two bedroom apartment in graduate hospital next to their apartment is opening up at the end of this month.

Contact the shul if you know of anyone interested in any of the above.

Bala Cynwyd House For Rent
Twin on quiet street, private driveway; walkable to synagogues, shops, Lower Merion schools, R6 Cynwyd station & 44 bus.  3 BRs, 2 bath, sunroom, fireplace; small eat-in kitchen plus breakfast bar, brand new refrigerator, built-in microwave. Washer/dryer in finished basement. Small rear yard & detached garage.$1900/month Tenant pays utilities and is responsible for snow removal.  Credit check required. Available end of summer. Contact Deborah at: or 215-725-7772.

Other Programs

*NEW Mekor again co-sponsoring Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festival!
Mekor Habracha is thrilled to once again sponsor the Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festival: Liberty, Food & Justice For All! Join us for a day-long festival of DIY workshops, hands-on learning experiences, food demos, marketplace shopping, text study, and discussion on local food, sustainable agriculture, and Jewish living on Sunday, November 16th at Adath Israel in Merion, PA. Registration is now open! Learn more:

Good People Fund Grant
Jewcer has partnered with the Good People Fund to help those that help others. You don’t have to be a 501(c)3. Up to 5 selected finalists will receive $5,000 for your program as well as a mentor invested in your long-term success. You can work wherever you feel compelled to act. From feeding the hungry in your neighborhood to empowering struggling people around the country, Jewcer and Good People Fund want to help individuals and teams doing good in the U.S. and Israel.September 18, 2014—Submissions close. Important dates: October 6, 2014—Finalists announced, October 18, 2014—30 days of crowdfunding begins. November 20, 2014—You and the people you help will have $5,000 worth of reasons to be extra grateful this Thanksgiving! See this 
link for details. 

Leket Israel
Leket Israel provides fresh, rescued food to over 140,000 poor Israelis of all backgrounds each week. The food is collected, by volunteers, from hundreds of farmers, restaurants, caterers and more  across Israel (the food would otherwise be destroyed or left to rot in a landfill). Leket Israel is the only organization rescuing food en masse for Israel’s poor. To learn more about Leket Israel or support their critical food rescue work for the poor please

CASA Needs Volunteers
CASA (court appointed special advocates) of Philadelphia County is looking for
volunteers! We are part of a national organization dedicated to training volunteers 
from the community who are committed to advocating for abused and neglected 
children in foster care. Volunteers come from all walks of life and upon completion 
of training and appointment by a judge in Family Court become the “eyes and ears” 
for the court in making recommendations for what is in the child’s best interest. 
Our next evening training classes begin on Thursday, September 4, 2014. For more 
information, please contact: Cindy Blum, EdM Volunteer Coordinator 1501 Cherry St. 
Phila, PA. 19102 267.519.5325

The Friendship Circle Needs Your Help!
Looking for adult crew to benefit The Friendship Circle at its annual Walk-a-Thon: Held on October 26, 2014 at Barrack Hebrew Academy, this event raises awareness for youth with special needs and helps fund the various programs that the Friendship Circle holds throughout the year.Consider donating your day by helping on the trail, directing traffic, registering walkers, staffing a booth at the fun fair or by setting up and/or cleaning up. With over 700 guests, we need all hands on deck! Shifts are from 10AM-4PM, let us know how you’d like to help by emailing

For info on the next JRA (Jewish Relief Agency), see  

Makom: Center City Jewish After School Community
Makom: Center City Jewish After School Community brings a new model of Jewish education to Philadelphia. Our after school community provides daily, high-quality after school care and Jewish education for children ages 4-11. In our pilot year 2014-2015, we're enrolling students in Pre-K through second grade. In the future, Makom will serve students in Pre-K through 5th grade. Each student’s learning is project-based and child-led. Learning is immersive and applied daily in our communal setting. Our families participate together through family Friday night experiences and Shabbat retreats that build community among our Makom families. To learn more go to or contact Beverly Socher-Lerner

Reach out to those in need 
Presently Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia is seeking compassionate volunteers to lend a hand to your neighbors in the Center City area. The volunteer work you can do with us is both interesting and greatly rewarding. The greatest need for our seniors in Center City is help with transportation. Through Silver Wheels you can really make a difference in our clients’ lives. The program is flexible. There are no set schedules and you drive as much or as little as you choose. You can also work one-on-one with our clients is also a need. Right now we have about five Northeast individuals in need of a help: A senior with MS needs help setting up a filing system for her papers; An elderly lady would love to have a friendly visitor; A senior client needs someone to run errands for her occasionally; A woman with mental health challenges needs a supportive volunteer to help her as she learns to care for her home (no volunteer house leaning involved.) It is easy to become a volunteer for JFCS. Just contact Lisa Tischler, Supervisor of Volunteer Services, at 
267-256-2082. Thank you!   

Mitzvah Food Project
Interested in volunteering with a food pantry?  The Mitzvah Food Project is looking for volunteers at our food pantry in Center City (Jewish Communal Services Building at 21st & Arch).  We are looking for volunteers to assist with evening walk-in hours twice a month on Thursdays from 5 PM to 6:30 PM.  We are also looking for delivery drivers to deliver food boxes to seniors in South Philadelphia once a month.  If you are interested or would like more information, please call (215) 832-0831 or email

Jewish Family and Children's Services
With a rich tradition of 158 years, Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia offers a diverse array of services to help children, adults, seniors, and families cope with challenges that arise throughout the life cycle. JFCS' staff of caring and dedicated fully licensed clinical social workers is committed to providing quality services, compassionate support, and solutions that work. Everyone faces challenges and can occasionally feel anxious or discouraged. Timely help from a caring professional provides coping strategies and can help prevent problems from reaching serious crises. For more information, visit or call 1.866.JFCSNOW.