email Signup

The Mekor Habracha Shabbat Newsletter

Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Parshat Toldot/Mevarchim Chodesh Kislev
November 22, 2014
29 Marcheshvan 5775

Candle Lighting Time: 4:22 PM
Shabbat Ends: 5:24 PM

Center City Eruv status:
Friday evening: 4:25-5:30 PM 

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

Tot Shabbat: 10:45 - End of Services

Mincha: 12:25 PM (after kiddush)

Third Meal: 4:20 PM

Ma'ariv/Havdalah: 5:10 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  Irit, David & Leora Goldman and Rebekah and Avi Rasooly in memory of Ilan Rasooly, z"l, whose shloshim was observed this week, and in honor of the siyum on Sefer Bereishit studied by members of the community in Ilan’s memory. The family would like to thank the community for their support and learning. My Ilan's memory be a bllessing. 

Third Meal 
This week's Third Meal is sponsored by Rebekah and Avi Rasooly in commemoration of the shloshim of their dear son, Ilan z"l.

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

Recent News

New Members
We welcome new members Rebecca Herzberg and Ari & Miki, Raya & Lenny Moskowitz. Welcome to the Mekor Habracha community!

Message from Rabbi Hirsch
For a special message from Rabbi Hirsch about the terrorist attack in Har Nof, click here.

Board Report
The Mekor Habracha Board of Directors recently emailed a report to shul members. If you are a shul member and did not receive the report, please email

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. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT HAVE A DAILY MINCHA/MA’ARIV. The closest Mincha/Ma’ariv minyan is at UPenn Hillel at 215 S 39th St., off Walnut St. There is also an early Mincha M-Th at 1818 Market Street (lobby) at 1:50 PM & 1420 Walnut Street (2nd floor) at 2 PM.

*THIS SHABBAT In Memory of Ilan Rasooly Z'l
This week we will commemorate the shloshim of Ilan Rasooly, z"l, with a siyum on Sefer Bereshit studied by members of the community under the organization of Sharrona Pearl, Yoella Epstein and Gabi Kattan. Yoella will be giving a Dvar Torah related to the learning done in Ilan's memory. Our hearts and prayers remain with the entire Rasooly family during this difficult time and we wish them our sincerest condolences. May his memory be a blessing. 

Kabbalah for Life - Rabbi Hirsch's New Class!
Rabbi Hirsch will begin teaching a new class on Thursdays entitled "Kabbalah for Life". Everyone is welcome to attend.

Winter CSA at Mekor Habracha
The summer CSA at Mekor Habracha is winding down, but now it's time for the winter CSA! The winter CSA will run for 14 weeks starting the first week in December until the last week in March. (There will be a three week holiday break from Dec. 22- Jan. 10). Some items you can expect in your box are fresh greens,{kale, spinach, lettuce mix, swiss chard, radishes,}  root crops, {sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, beets} winter squash, apples and citrus. You can sign uphere: Convenient pick at the shul. Email with any questions. 

Mekor Habracha Cholent Cookoff
Everyone is invited to the Inaugural Mekor Habracha Cholent Competition, hosted by David Morley and Orly Coblens at 2202 Saint James Street on Shabbat, December 6 after Kiddush.  We are looking for cholent-makers and cholent-judges.  $54 to enter a cholent, $18 to be be a judge.  Winner receives $100 gift card to Citron and Rose and the prestigous Jew Stew Award. All extra proceeds benefit the shul. Please contact David Morley ( ASAP if you want to participate. 

SAVE THE DATE: Annual Mekor Habracha Gala - Sunday, Jan 25!
We are thrilled to announce that the Annual Mekor Habracha Gala will take place on Sunday, January 25 at Helium Comedy Club. Please join us for a night of laughs, cocktails, good food and a great cause. Details and invitations to follow. Please contact Jon Mann ( or Joel Frisch ( with any questions.

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
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 Jon Newcombe and Yah-el Har-el, 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 and taking leadership roles upon themselves. 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

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. Adam Romanosky and Andrew Feigenblatt  lead the program. Students of all levels are welcome and are encouraged to come regularly or whenever schedules permit.

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 at, 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
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 aThursday 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 

Apartment Available
Looking for someone to sublet or take over lease for one room in beautiful, light-filled two-bedroom apartment in Graduate Hospital. Apartment has balcony, spiral staircase, dishwasher, AC, and kosher (dairy) kitchen (if you would like to cook meat, you'd need to bring your own dishes). Laundry in building two doors down, close to public transportation, Suburban Station, and local synagogues (Mekor Habracha, BZBI). Within Center City eruv. Will be out of Philadelphia for at least six months (January - June), and willing to negotiate subletting or giving up lease, furnished or unfurnished room, and move in date in December or January 1st. Roommate is friendly, respectful female Grad student. Rent is $700 plus utilities.

1 br opening up in 3-br Rittenhouse apartment:
We have a room opening up in our 3-bedroom apartment soon.  We are mid-20s males who keep a kosher kitchen and Shabbat-friendly apartment, looking for someone similar.  Rent is $675 per month for a large bedroom, approximately 17x14 feet; rent includes utilities exc ept for cable, which is a bit extra.  There is no closet in the room but there is a large closet in the living room that may be used. The apartment is up one flight of stairs of a four-unit walkup. The apartment has hardwood floors, a large living room, large kitchen, and washer and dryer in the unit.  There is one bathroom/shower.
The apartment is very conveniently located off of 19th & Chestnut, with Rittenhouse Square, SEPTA, and shopping (including CVS and Trader Joe's) within a few blocks.  It is also a few blocks from Mekor Habracha (Orthodox) and BZBI (Conservative) synagogues. The apartment is right above a restaurant/bar so it tends to be relatively noisy on Friday and Saturday nights when the bar has a DJ (usually until 2 AM these nights).  This room is also over the street so there tends to be noise then from people gathering outside as well.  We are currently working with the managers to reduce the noise, but have found that the noise is something you can get used to quickly, and that the benefits of low rent, amenities, and location offset the downside of the noise. Please email Sam at or Hal at for information..

Other Programs

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

Upcoming Events sponsored by ESHEL:
Saturday Night, November 22, Parents' and LGBTQ Gathering at home of Sunnie and Ken Rosenstein at 7:00 p.m.  Contact Sunnie at for more information.
Sunday, December 7, Community Inclusion Conference -- Kindness Counts: Welcoming LGBTQ Jews and Their Loved Ones into the Mishkan.  1:00 - 5:30 p.m. at Congregation Kol Ami. ESHEL will be represented at this conference.

Chabad of the Arts Chaukah Benefit Concert 
We are organizing a musical production, which will feature current students and young alumni of the University of the Arts, who will perform “Hebrew/Israeli Art Songs” at an Israel pride program.  The event is a Jewish women’s function, with a 200-person capacity at the Hamilton Building on the corner of Broad and Pine.  There will be an elegant dessert reception before the music performance begins.  All of the ticket proceeds from the event will be sent directly to families in Israel that were affected by the war this summer.  Our goal is to send $5,000 in direct aid, ideally $1,000 to 5 different families. The performance will take place on Sunday, November 16th at 7 pm. The Facebook event can be found at 

Buy Chanukah Candles & Support Pancreatic Cancer Research
Perform yet another mitzvah in celebration of Chanukah by buying purple,tapered, hand-dipped candles to benefit Pancreatic Cancer Research Enterprise America (PANCREA). One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to support the early detection and cure research of Dr. Jonathan Brody, Director of Surgical Research and Co-Director of the Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary, and Related Cancer Center.  The women who founded PANCREA, one of whom lives in the Rittenhouse Square area, believe that tying Chanukah candles to their cause helps raise awareness of the fact that people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have higher incidents of developing pancreatic cancer, perhaps because of an inherited BRCA genetic mutation. Each of them knows this from personal experience, having lost a loved one to this disease, the deadliest of the major cancers and the least funded.  Each box of candles costs $20 ($11 tax deductible).  If you are interested, please contact Eileen Sklaroff, or 215-545-3841. Home delivery is included.

 Makom Community
Makom Community has two great ways for families with young children to connect with other Jewish families! All these exciting programs happen at 2125 Chestnut Street. Family Shabbat Celebration Friday 5-6pm Join us for a joyful and family-centered Shabbat celebration—grandparents and special guests are always welcome. Our services and activities are geared for 3-8 year olds, though their siblings will have a great time participating, too. RSVPs appreciated. we’ll make sure to have plenty of yummy snacks to share with you!   Reccomended $5 donation. 5pm Explore our learning centers including challah baking and crafts. 5:30pm Family Shabbat Service. Upcoming dates: 11/14. 11/21. And Me! Toddler Music & Movement Classes Tuesday & Thursday Mornings at 10:30am Sing, Dance, and Play with your Kids! (Geared for 0-3 year olds) Hebrew and English Children's Music Everyone is welcome! Space is limited RSVP to For more information about either of these programs or Makom Community's afterschool and camp programming for elementary schoolers, call (484) 278-1335 or email Beverly Socher-Lerner Founding Director Makom Community (484) 278-1335

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.