Our Next Shabbat Morning Service at the MNJCC :

May 6, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Join us for our service, led by Rabbi Goldberg, with chazzanut by Paula Wolfson. We thank Harvey Worth for chanting Torah at the service.
A children's program (ages three to eight) will take place during the service, but they are also welcome to join us in the chapel.
We are grateful to Harvey for sponsoring the kiddish lunch, after the service, honouring the memory of his family members whose Yahrtzeits will be observed.

Our Next Adult Education Program
Saturday, May 6, 1:00 p.m., MNJCC Chapel
(Please, no food or drinks except for water in the chapel)

Entreat Me Not to Leave You: The Story of Naomi and Ruth
Storytelling by Eden Nameri, with discussion to follow

Naomi, bereft of her husband and sons, returns to Judah during the barley harvest, with her Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth. Is Ruth's devotion to Naomi merely daughterly? This ancient tale is one of regeneration - both personal and familial. 

Eden Nameri tells stories from the Bible that incorporate a mix of 
traditional and original midrash, along with plenty of personal perspective. She can often be heard telling stories at Congregation Shir Libeynu, at  1001 Friday Nights and at the Toronto Storytelling Festival. Eden studied storytelling in New York with the late Diane Wolkstein.

Bat Mitzvah of Sophia Rottman
May 27, 2017
First Unitarian Congregation. 175 St. Clair Avenue West.
10:30 a.m.

Our 11th Annual Pride Service
June 17, 2017
Shabbat Evening Havdallah & Reception

**Seats Still Available for April 30th Screening**

We are pleased to announce three free screenings in our new series, to take place at The 519, a community centre on Church Street (Room 301), on the following Sunday afternoons, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.:  April 30th, May 28th and June 18th.

The first screening, this Sunday, April 30th, will be the German-Jewish comedy, Go for Zucker (Alles Auf Zucker), a hilarious, award-winning film, which has had screenings at the TJFF. This G erman comedy film, released internationally in 2004, is one of the very few movies about German Judaism that does not have the Shoah at its core, but instead is a comedy about the crazy twists and turns of fate that befall a family, which finds itself again.   (English subtitles)

RSVP to: slmovies18@gmail.com, or attend the April 30th screening without  making reservations.  

If you wish, please bring your own snack and beverage.



Our chazzan, Daniela Gesundehit, teaching a song to children in the kids' program at Rosh Hashanah
Our chazzan Daniela_with children at Rosh Hashana.
Shir Libeynu has always provided free or nearly-free programs, events and classes for our children that run alongside the Saturday morning and High Holy Day services (which they are always welcome to attend, as well, with their parents).  From friendly, fun childcare to  more elaborate classes that might include songs, storytelling, crafts  - and always a snack - we have made teaching and participating with our young ones a priority during our year's events and services. And for our tweens, the ongoing bnei mitzvot program has proven to be an enriching process. Now we are broadening our offerings, with the following opportunities, to start at our September, 2017, Shabbat service at the MNJCC:

-A Junior Congregation Program, whereby young people ages eight to 11 will learn from an experienced teacher about the prayers, Torah reading, themes and music that are part of the service that day, while their parents are attending services. With a deeper understanding of what is occurring during Shabbat, they will have the opportunity to join the congregants in the chapel part way through the service.

-A Young Children's Program, led by an instructor with a background in Jewish learning, for ages three to eight: this is an enhancement of the programming we have been doing for years for those whose parents and grandparents have come to shul and are down the hall in the service.  These sessions will feature crafts, music, reading books together and storytelling, and may have activities relating to that day's Shabbat  service content.  The children's adults are always welcome in the children's room as well.

Shir Libeynu holds monthly services, usually on the first Saturday morning.


-The Shir Libeynu School:  This weekly pilot project will start in September for ages eight through eleven years old, promising a wonderful pre-bnei mitzvot educational experience. This supplemental school will feature distinct modules that may include sessions on holidays, history, Jewish ethics, as well as Hebrew language instruction. There will be a reasonable fee charged for the Shir Libeynu School program.

Rabbi Goldberg will oversee these children's and youth's educational programs.

Our rabbi Aviva dancing with children at Chanukah.
Please spread the word, and hold the dates. We will be telling you more as the months unfold and we solidify plans.  For more information write
, talk or phone us.  



Shir Libeynu sends its sincere condolences to Fiona MacCool upon the recent death of her father, Joseph Edward MacCool.  Mr. MacCool was also the father-in-law to member Jennifer Garber, Fiona's wife, and grandfather to Belle and Sam MacCool-Garber.

May the memory of Mr. MacCool be a blessing.


Dorothy Rusoff

Long-time member Dorothy Rusoff will be performing in an autobiographical theatrical piece as one of four presentations at Soulo Theatre, on Friday, May 26th, 9:30 p.m. This is part of the Soulo Festival, running from May 25th-28th. The venue is at the Red Castle Theatre, at 922 Queen Street East, near Logan.

Mazel Tov, Dorothy!


Scotiabank CONTACT: De/Generative
The Queer-Jewish Photography of Oscar Wolfman
Curators: Mahrokh Ahankhah & David Townsend
Queen Gallery, Toronto

May 2- May 26, 2017
Tuesday to Saturday 3:30-7:30 p.m., Sunday & Monday by appointment only
Opening reception:  Wednesday May 3rd, 2017, 7:00-9:00 p.m - ALL WELCOME!

Photograph by Oscar Wolfman
The photographer, teacher, dancer and mensch, Oscar Wolfman (1965-2011), was a devoted and much-cherished member of Shir Libeynu for five full years before his untimely death. Many of us remember when we first saw him, as part of the 2007 panel at the shul's first Holocaust Education Week co-sponsored event, "Gay Sons of Holocaust Survivors," and then his subsequent appearance at our Pride service a few months later. Reclaiming his Judaism in a shul he could call home, Oscar became an active volunteer and participant for the rest of his life, while he also was establishing his legacy as a brilliant and innovative photographer. Now, long-time member David Townsend, and Mahrokh Ahankhah, a good friend to our community and owner of Queen Gallery, have curated a show of his work that is also part of this year's Contact Photography Festival.

The retrospective focuses on Oscar's transgressive yet deeply reverent queering of Jewish spirituality and culture.  Large-format archival prints reference the the Italian settecento, in lush reimaginings of biblical scenes. Meditations on Jewish ritual practices provocatively emphasize their homoerotic valence. The deeply humane relation of Wolfman's camera to the inner life of his subjects is perhaps the purest distillation of his spirituality.

Please honour Oscar's memory by attending the show, where you will see an array of images that include portraits of several Shir Libeynu members.  Many photographs will be available for purchase.

More Information: 416-900-6383


The ReelAbilities Film Festival
May 11-18, 2017

The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNjcc) is pleased to announce the programming lineup for the second annual ReelAbilities Film Festival (RAFF) in Toronto, showcasing disability and Deaf cultures through film.


Shabbat Together
LGBTQ Intergenerational Shabbat
Friday, May 19, 2017
Miles Nadal JCC,  750 Spadina Avenue 

Alternative egalitarian service and candle lighting at 6:30 p.m. | Potluck dinner from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Free with potluck registration
Register here with a potluck item to secure a space.

Updates on Facebook.

Come alone or with your whole family for a relaxed, soulful, and playful Shabbat experience. LGBTQ individuals, families and allies of all ages, backgrounds, and Jewish affiliations are welcome.

Dinner is preceded by a  contemplative chanting Shabbat service, led by Kohenet Annie Matan of Matanot Lev. 

More Information: Annie Matan or 416-924-6211 x 388.

Congregation Shir Libeynu is pleased to be a co-presenter of this event.

Downtown Tikkun Leil Shavuot: All-Night Jewish Learning Festival
Tuesday, May 30- Wednesday May 31
8:00 p.m. - 8:30 a.m. | Doors open at 7:30 p.m. | FREE AND ALL ARE WELCOME!
Miles Nadal JCC (750 Spadina Ave at Bloor St. W.)
Where Sinai meets Spadina: a full night of community, study, singing, snacking and more! Over 50 sessions reinterpret and reimagine traditional Jewish texts and open up new community conversations. Special programs for kids and tweens/teens. All are welcome! 

The myriad of learning opportunities includes a session by our own Eden Nameri:  A Celebration of Foolishness: Tales from Chelm, 2:00 a.m. in Room 301.

Shir Libeynu is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event again this year.

Pre-registration strongly encouraged online: www.mnjcc.org/tikkun

Volunteers needed for hosting the event! Email deannad@mnjcc.org to help out. 
Volunteer orientation session on Monday, May 15th, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. 


(Items listed in this section have been included at the request of Shir Libeynu participants and/or are considered to potentially be of interest to our congregation. Listed items are not  necessarily endorsed by Congregation Shir Libeynu or its  members. Listings appear at the discretion of the newsletter editor.)

Camp Keshet (B'Gesher) Upcoming Queer Jewish Family Weekend
September 8-10, 2017

This weekend aims to be inclusive and accommodating.   It will be a two-night weekend retreat that welcomes all families embracing LGBTQ+ and Jewish spectrum.

The community members are invited to spend a beautiful outdoor weekend with us. Together we will share Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdallah ceremonies, hikes, Eco-activities, Rikkud, lake swimming, boating, song circles, storytelling, visual and dramatic arts, and more

Newsletter Editor:  Harriet Eisenkraft
Congregation Shir Libeynu
416-465-5488 | shirlibeynu@yahoo.ca | http://www.shirlibeynu.ca
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Congregation Shir Libeynu
Mailing Address: 
8171 Yonge Street # 122
Thornhill, Ontario   L3T 2C6
(416) 465-5488