email Signup


The Mekor Habracha Shabbat Newsletter

Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Mekor Habracha
Pesach II
April 20-22, 2014
21-22 Nisan 5774
Omer 6-7

Sunday, April 20
Candle Lighting Time: 7:26 PM
Monday, April 21
Candle Lighting Time: AFTER 8:28 PM
Tuesday, April 22
Yom Tov Ends: 8:29 PM

Center City Eruv status:

Sunday, April 20
Evening services: 7:00 PM

Monday, April 21
Morning services: 9:15 AM
Evening services (tentative): 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 22
Morning services: 9:15 AM
Yizkor: approximately 11:00 AM
Evening services (tentative): 7:30 PM


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

Pesach at Mekor Habracha



Kiddush on the last two days of Pesach are still available to be sponsored. Please send a return email if you would like to sponsor kiddush.

Recent News


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: Morning minyan will NOT take place on Chol Hamoed Pesach).

Mekor Day at the Phillies
Join us for a day at the ballpark. Sunday Aug 10 Mets vs. Phillies 1:35pm Tailgate begins at 11:30am. Tickets: $25 (Kids under 2 are free!) Ticket With Tailgate: $35  (Kids are FREE!) (All tickets include a donation to the shul!). 
RSVP by Friday, Apr 25 to or

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.  

Supermarket Scrip/Gift Cards for Pesach
Before doing your Pesach shopping, please keep in mind that Mekor Habracha sells ShopRite, Superfresh and Acme scrip  dollars, available in $25, $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.

Carlebach Friday Night and Dinner 

The next Mekor Habracha Friday night Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat will take place on Friday night, May 23 at 7:00 PM, followed by Shabbat dinner at 8:15 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, May 21. Everyone is welcome to attend.

ATTENTION AMAZON.COM SHOPPERS: SUPPORT MEKOR WITH 'AMAZON SMILE'!! now 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 exact 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:

CSA at Mekor Habracha
Join the Mekor Habracha CSA today! The CSA will be available in a regular share (delivered every week) or a half share (delivered every other week).The CSA season will run 21 weeks, from June through October. Pickup will take place each Wednesday afternoon, from noon to 6pm. We have reached the minimum number of member confirmations!  If you know of anyone else that may be interested, please forward this information on to them. To reserve a share for the 2014 season, please email the shul or email ASAP, and indicate if you would like a full (every week) or half share A half share is every other week, but please be aware that there is at least one person who would like to share a full share every week with someone else, so if this is something you're interested in, or If you have any other questions, please email the shul or

New Center City Hebrew Day School 
Please spread the word regarding the Abrams Center City Hebrew Day School initiative to anyone you think may be interested in the school and encourage them to contact us to obtain info. Email should you have any specific questions about the new school. See for info about Abrams Academy.

Center City Mikvah Project
The Center City Mikvah project is in high gear, but we need everyone's help to get it completed. For a limited time, you can make your donation count three-fold: two generous donors will match every dollar given, with two for every one dollar given, yes two for one! More information to come. Donations for this vital project for our community can be made at or sent to the shul with a memo specifying that the donation is for the mikvah. You can "like" their Facebook page here. If you would like to become actively involved in this project, please contact the shul. Thank you! 

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! 

Mekor Winter Basketball Team and Now Summer Baseball!
We are trying to recruit men for the Mekor Habracha men's Winter Basketball Team. The games will be played on Sundays at either 3, 4, or 5 PM. All games will be played at Sporting Club at the Bellevue. Previous experience preferred (but all efforts welcomed!). Cost is $95 per player.

Mekor will be joining a spring season of Softball at Donald Finnegan field from Mar 23-May 31. There are two options, Sun or M/W:  or contact Joel Frisch at for questions/details about either team. 

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. Join us every Shabbat at 10:30 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 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 or Friday 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 him 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

Seeking Apartment Rental Close to the Shul
Young, academic couple moving from Palo Alto to do a post-doc at the Katz center would like to join the MH community. They are looking for a two bedroom house/apartment (preferably with a basement or a small den) within walking distance to the shul. Their move-in date is flexible, but most likely July,2014 and move-out date would be in May 2015 (just two months short of a year's lease.) Neat, responsible and happy to provide recommendations from current landlord.

Roommate Sought
A male shul member is seeking a male roommate for a large, two bedroom house in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. The house is close to Mekor Habracha and other Center City locations. Available immediately. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact the shul or call 267-664-2844.
Kinderlach Rock Shabbat
KINDERLACH ROCK SHABBAT by Music Monkey Jungle is AWESOME Jewish Music for AWESOME Jewish Kids! Join Miss Lori on Fridays at 10:30 for songs, dances, games and super fun activities that get us into the Shabbat spirit. Lessons are 30 minutes in length, sessions run 8 weeks, with a make-up on week 9, the full cost is $120 (which includes a KR CD) and we are located at 15th and Bainbridge. Maximum number of children in a group is 15 and this group's age range is 5 mons. - 4yrs. For more information, please visit or write  

Other Programs

Society Hill- Hot and Healthy! 
365 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep  Ronald l. Kotler, M.D., D.A.B.S.M. Director, Pennsylvania Hospital Sleep Disorders Center Clinical Professor of Medicine Friday, May 9, 2014 2:30 p.m. at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia (East Side of Washington Square below Walnut Street) 219 S. 6th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106. Call 215-925-2688. Free, but reservations required.  Handicapped accessible. In inclement weather the Athenaeum will be closed when the Philadelphia public schools are closed.

Israel 360 Couples Trip
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's Renaissance Group and Center for Israel and Overseas are delighted to announce that the fifth cohort of Israel360 will be departing in May 2014 and will be for couples! Israel360 is an intensive 10-day Israel experience for young professionals ages 27 to 35.  They are looking for a select group of 20 couples from the five-county Greater Philadelphia region that are committed to learning about and becoming more involved in our Jewish community. During the 10-day Israeli adventure, participants can expect to experience Israel’s history, culture, politics, food, music, religion and much, much more.  The cost of this trip is $360 (per individual) and includes round-trip airfare, double-occupancy hotels, tours, activities and most meals. If you know someone interested in participating in this trip, please have them submit an application online at Questions can be directed to the Renaissance Group at 215.832.0852 or

BZBI Events
On the first Sunday of every month, Israeli folkdance teacher Don Schillinger will offer family dancing (5 pm to 6:30 pm), followed by instruction and dancing for teens and adults (7 pm to 9 pm.).. Open to all, located at BZBI (18th and Spruce.) Upcoming Dates:May 4, and June 1. Family Dancing: Pay at the door: $5 per person, $4 BZBI members, children under 4 are free Israeli Dancing for Adults and Teens: Pay at the door: $7 for adults, $6 for BZBI members, $5 for students under 21.For more information: Don Schillinger, Rak-Dan Entertainment,

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

JFCS/Keshet LGBT Parent and Family Connection
JFCS/Keshet provides a peer mentoring program for Jewish parents and family members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Jews. Parent mentors provide confidential peer support by phone, email, video chat, or in person for parents and family members dealing with any stage of their family member's coming out process, and for young adults who are struggling with how to tell their parents and other family members about their identities. The mentors are Jewish parents and family members, spanning the gamut of Jewish identities and affiliations from secular through Orthodox. Mentors have children and family members of various ages, at different points in the coming out process. Any questions about the program can be directed to or 267.256.2077.  


ESHEL is the national community for Orthodox LGBTQ Jews and their parents and families.  There are national retreats, ongoing communications, parent support groups with monthly calls, resources and so much else.  For more information and support, contact Sunnie Epstein (aka Rosenstein) at  Please also check out ESHEL at

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.