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The Mekor Habracha Shabbat Newsletter

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Mekor Habracha
Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah/Parshat Breisheet/Mevarchim Chodesh MarCheshvan
October 15-18, 2014
22-24 Tishrei  5775

Eruv Tavshilin is necessary on Wednesday, October 15 to permit cooking on Friday for Shabbat (for info about Eruv Tavshilin, click here)

Candle Lighting Times:
Wednesday, October 15: 6:03 PM

Thursday, October 16:
AFTER 7:01 PM (from another fire source lit prior to Yom Tov)

Friday, October 17: 
6:00 PM

Shabbat Ends: Saturday, October 18:
 6:58 PM

Center City Eruv status:
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings: 6:00 PM. (Thursday evening services followed by kiddush & Hakafot; Shabbat Mincha followed by Third Meal.)

Thursday, Friday & Shabbat mornings: 9:15 AM followed by a delicious kiddush. 



Shabbat at Mekor Habracha
Recent News
Coming up
Sponsorship and Member Info
Member Bullletin Board
Other Programs

Yom Tov/Shabbat at Mekor Habracha



Kiddush on the first day of Sukkot was sponsored by Leah Weiss and Alex Cohen in celebration of the birth of a baby girl, named Gavriella Adi. The naming took place in shul on the first day of Sukkot. Mazal tov!

Kiddush on Shabbat Chol Hamoed was sponsored by Hersh Waisbord in memory of his parents and siblings who were murdered in the Holocaust on Sukkot. May their memories be a blessing.

Kiddush on Shmini Atzeret is sponsored by the Gradman family in celebration of Jon's birthday. Happy birthday!

Kiddush on Shmini Atzeret is also sponsored by Ellen and Sharon Geller in commemoration of the yahrtzeit of their aunt, Gertrude Potler, which took place  on chol hamoed. May her memory be a blessing. 

Kiddush on Simchat Torah evening and morning and on Shabbat as well as Third meal on Shabbat are still available to be sponsored. 

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

Recent News

Congratulations to Leah Weiss & Alex Cohen and Yael & Issac upon the birth of a baby girl, named Gavriella Adi. The naming took place in shul on the first day of Sukkot. Mazal tov!

New Members
We welcome new members, Raphael & Jennifer Caroline and Talia Stark. Welcome to the Mekor Habracha community!

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, TuesdayWednesday & Fridays: 7:00 AM. We do not have a daily Mincha/Ma'riv at this time.  Early Mincha M-Th at 1818 Market Street (lobby) at 1:50 PM and 1420 Walnut Street (2nd floor) at 2 PM


*UPDATED Mekor Habracha Sukkah
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

*NEW Sukkah Take Down
We will be taking down our Sukkah on Saturday night, October 18 after evening services or on Sunday morning, October 19 after 9 AM morning services. Please keep in contact over the holiday to find out when we will be taking down the Sukkah. Everyone who can help is asked and encouraged to please do so.

*COMING UP Simchat Torah After Party - PLEASE RSVP
Eliezer Hirsch and Miriam Ort invite the Mekor Habracha community to the annual Simchat Torah Party following Hakafot on Simchat Torah night, Thursday night, October 16. We will be walking to the party location after services at shul. Please feel free to bring a kosher certified beverage or dessert of your choice. RSVP is requested. Please click here for details and to RSVP.

*COMING UP Post Sukkot Community Potluck
A community organized potluck Shabbat lunch to welcome in the new year and usher out the chagim will take place THIS Shabbat, October 18, at Fitler Square. Please contact Yoella Epstein at if you are interested in attending. The Google Doc to sign up can be found 
hereItems brought should be hechshered or prepared in a kosher kitchen. Please note: The shul is not responsible for the kashrut of independent community potluck meals, If you have questions regarding kashrut of a particular dish, please communicate directly with the person who brought it. 

*NEW Winter CSA at Mekor Habracha -Catch the Early Bird Discount!
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. Sign up before Oct. 20 and receive the early bird discount. You can sign up here: . Convenient pick at the shul. Email  the shul with any questions. 

Scholar-in-Residence to Visit Mekor Habracha on Shabbat, October 25!
Save the date! Please join us as we welcome Scholar-in-Residence, Mazal Renford (bio below), who will give a lecture during services 
before Mussaf at about 11:00 AM on Shabbat Parshat Noach, October 25. The talk will address the topic: "Eradicating poverty through the development of micro-enterprises". Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Mazal Renford's bio:
Mazal Renford is the immediate past Director of the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center, an adjunct of Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. Ms. Renford  has organized hundreds of training courses at MCTC designed to promote women's leadership, poverty eradication and socio-economic development, throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean Region, She also helped develop, in cooperation with YABT, the Young American Business Trust an on-going training program, promoting entrepreneurship and job creation for youth in Central and Latin American countries.

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
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 now only $20 for non-members (for Paypal payments to, add a $1 processing fee, which comes to $16/21 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 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 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 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

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 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. 

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.

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

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. 

*NEW Ralph Lauren Collection Fashion Show and luncheon benefits OROT
Takes place 
October 29, at 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at SAKS Fifth Avenue 2 Bala Plaza Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. OROT is raising money to provide an executive functioning training to our talented and nurturing educators. Executive functioning is a set of skills needed to achieve a goal in an efficient manner. Teachers will learn about the skill set, how it applies to cognitive functioning in the classroom and how to implement strategies to strengthen executive functioning skills in their students. Contact Info: Marisa Cohen (276) 767-5277

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 

*UPDATED The Friendship Circle Walk-a-Thon
The Walk is just one week away, spread the word! Join The Philly Friendship Circle's 7th Annual Walk-a-Thon and Fun Fair to be held on Sunday, October 26th from 1:00 - 3:30 pm on the campus of the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr with a special theme celebrating Philly's own Mummers! Come for food, fun and friendship! Two separate walk routes: a family-friendly 1.5 K loop and a 5K loop around the beautiful, wooded campus. All proceeds benefit The Friendship Circle, which connects teen volunteers to youth with special needs. For more information and to register for the Walk (it's free!), visit If you are interested in volunteering at the event, please sign up a


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

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.