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The Mekor Habracha Shabbat Newsletter

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Mekor Habracha
Parshat Shoftim
August 29-30, 2014
4 Elul 5774

Candle Lighting Time: 7:18 PM
Shabbat Ends: 8:17 PM

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

Shabbat morning: 9:15-11:45 AMfollowed by a delicious, hot kiddush 

Tot Shabbat: 10:45 - End of Services

Rabbi Hirsch's Talmud Class: 6:15 PM

Mincha/Third Meal/Ma'ariv: 7:00 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 is sponsored by Leah, Alex, Yael & Isaac Cohen and Bracha, Seth & Meir Rosenstein  in honor of Alex Prombaum on his last Shabbat in Philly before moving to LA. We will miss you dearly!. 

This week's Third Meal is sponsored by Alex Prombaum in honor of the Mekor minyan makers!

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

Recent News

Mekor Habracha Programs, Events & Services

Weekday Morning Minyan 

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

*IMPORTANT Renew Your Membership!
Mekor Habracha membership expires on Rosh Hashana, so NOW is the time to renew your membership! All membership info can be found here. In addition to attending High Holiday services free of charge, members will be listed in and have access to the shul directory and be entitled to attend and have a voice and a vote at special shul meetings and elections. They will also receive discounts throughout the year on shul related offerings such as community meals and programs, kiddush and other sponsorships, and use of synagogue space for special occasions. If you are unable to pay the full membership fee for any reason, we are happy to make accommodations that will fit your budget. Please send an email to to request a flexible payment plan, or for any question you have about membership, sponsorships or contributions to Mekor Habracha. Please note: Current members do NOT have to fill out another application unless their personal info has changed. 

*IMPORTANT High Holidays
Reservations for High Holiday services at Mekor Habracha are now being accepted. 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. Also, current members do NOT have to fill out another application unless their info has changed. All High Holiday info can be found here.

*LAST CHANCE Last Chance To Order Your Mekor Habracha Rosh Hashanah Cards!
Wish your friends and family a "L’shana Tovah" with beautiful Mekor Habracha New Year’s cards!  
* For just $54, you can send a New Year’s card to everyone on our membership list. 
* For $4 per card, you can purchase and send a Mekor Habracha holiday card to additional family and friends (these cards and envelopes will be delivered to you one week before Rosh Hashanah to allow time for you to send them out before the holiday). Please respond to by THIS Tuesday, September 2nd with your New Year’s card orders, indicating whether you would like to send to all synagogue members and/or if you would like to purchase additional cards. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year from Mekor Habracha/Center City Synagogue!

*COMING UP Friends of the IDF Event - Co-sponsored by Mekor Habracha
A special event has been planned for Tuesday, September 2 at 6:30 pm to pay tribute to two IDF organizations, Lone Soldiers and Lone Parents of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.  This evening of "Israeli Wine, Cheese, Dessert and Music" will be an opportunity to connect our congregation with the brave young men and women who choose to leave the comforts of home to serve in the IDF and protect the Jewish homeland. The tribute will be hosted by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Pennsylvania & Southern NJ Israel Club,and Congregation Beth Or Israel Committee. It will be held at Beth Or, 239 Welsh Rd., Maple Glen, PA.  The Program will also include an Israeli wine auction.  For more info about the event, see this link
Because Mekor Habracha is co-sponsoring this event, we have been given a few free tickets available exclusively to shul members. If you are a shul member and would like to attend for free, contact the shul ASAP. 

*NEW 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 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

Local Yoetzet Halacha Coming to Center City
On Tuesday, September 9, Tova Warburg Sinensky, the local 
Yoetzet Halacha and the Gemara and Halacha Chair at Kohelet Yeshiva High School, will be teaching a class in Center City (location TBD) on September 9 on the topic of "Eit Le’ehov: Perspectives on Intimacy and Its Challenges." For more info, contact Yah-el Har-el at

High Holiday Wine Tasting 
Mekor Habracha will be represented at the Philadelphia Jewish Federation annual Wine Tasting event with light hors d'oeuvres on Wednesday, September 10 from 6 to 8 pm. $5 in advance for students, $10 in advance for non-students ($15 at the door for walk ins) at the JFGP building, 2100 Arch Street.

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.

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 Rabbi Hirsch and Aliza Sadiky, and now Jon Newcombe, 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. 

Tuesday Night Talmud 
Each Tuesday night at 7 PM, 'Tuesday Night Talmud' takes place at Mekor Habracha. The class studies Mesechet Kiddushin and focuses on Talmudic structure in a group learning environment. Alex Prombaum and Andrew Feigenblatt  lead the program. Students of all levels are welcome and are encouraged to come regularly or whenever schedules permit. 

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 ThursdayorFriday 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 AMto 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