(Special activity for ages 8-11 in the service)



Shabbat Morning Service
Saturday, January 2 at the  MNJCC : 10:30 a.m.

Shabbat morning service led by Rabbi Goldberg, and chazzanut by Paula Wolfson, with a special call-out to our eight-to-11 year olds to join us for Torah talk in the chapel.
As always, there is a free children's program for the younger set, who are also welcome to join us in the chapel during the service.
Light Shabbat kiddish snack in Room 318, starting at noon.

Contemplative Chanting Service
Saturday, January 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the MNJCC
As always, we'll chant, settle into some quiet, chant and sing some more.  We all do so as voluntary castaways on the "island in time" known as Shabbat.  New to chanting?  Only vaguely familiar with quiet?  No problem!  Please join us.
Led by Lorne Blumer, with the participation of music volunteers.
Please note that Torah will not be read at the service, however there will be opportunity to recite the Mourner's Kaddish.  Light refreshments will follow.  Child care will not be available.

Sunday, January 17th @ the Wolfond Centre,
1- 4:30 p.m.

Have YOU played a part in the Dialogue?
A community-wide discussion/dialogue that took place on November 29 attracted more than 40 people who are interested in the future of our shul. The facilitator (and long-time Shir Libeynu member), Danny Nashman, guided us through a presentation of themes and ideas. Many of us shared moving and meaningful anecdotes to illustrate the significance of the shul community in our lives, and our visions for its future.

We went away with commitments from most of us there to discuss this with and interview at least one, but with hope more, members, occasional congregants and others over the next six weeks. For those who were not able to attend, but are interested in being an interviewee so you can contribute to the visioning exercise, please write to shirlibeynu@yahoo.ca . We will pair you up with a designated interviewer. We do not need more interviewers at this stage. Attaching your name to the answers is optional. There is still time to get involved with this important part of Shir Libeynu's life right now.
On January 17, we will re-convene at the Wolfond Centre (36 Harbord Street,Toronto, 1:00 to 4:30 pm) for a summit examining the answers that participants are generating from this process.   We will be discussing many issues, including: What are the opportunities we see for Shir Libeynu to play an even more meaningful part in the lives of our members and congregants? What would we most want to participate in, and/or be part of orchestrating for our shul?
During the next three weeks, we hope you can answer "yes" if asked, "Have you been part of the Shir Libeynu dialogue on creating our future?" 

AdultInclusive Practices: No Shir Libeynite Left Behind
This is an informal series of Jewish learning workshops on various topics that our members say are important and relevant to them.  They usually take place after the kiddishes, in the chapel or classroom at the MNJCC, starting at 12:45 p.m. and ending at 2 p.m; occasionally they will take place at other times. You do not need expertise in any of these topics in order to participate. If you have enough expertise to lead a session or if you have specific questions, write to: (Jonathan Silin-Education Director)  adulteducation@shirlibeynu.ca .

Upcoming Adult Education Program

**NEW** Saturday, February 6, at  MNJCC
12:45 - 2 p.m., after the kiddish, in Room 305
All Welcome!
" Funny Pictures - in Jewish ", presented by Carol Zemel

Everyone knows about Jewish humour; it has a lengthy history and it ' s widespread - and in every language that Jews speak. There is even plenty of humour in Tanakh.  But Jews and visual humour? Funny pictures from a people often thought to be aniconic or against images generally?   

Professor Zemel will explore Jewish visual jokes, as they appear in graphic novels and comics (a genre in which Jewish artists led the way), as well as their presence in contemporary art. We ' ll begin with a very early example, the medieval Birds' Head Haggadah (ca.1300), then consider some contemporary art, and finally think about the issue of humour in Holocaust imagery.
Carol Zemel is Professor Emerita of Art History and Visual Culture at York University, Toronto. Her book Looking Jewish: Visual Culture and Modern Diaspora was published in  June, 2015, by University of Indiana Press . Current projects include a study of visual humour, and Art in Extremis, a study of images made by prisoners in ghettos and camps during the Holocaust. Professor Zemel is a member of Congregation Shir Libeynu.

Shir Libeynites and Syrian Refugees to Canada: 
An Opportunity to Get Involved

We applaud the efforts and successes of several of our members (Roberta Benson/Miriam Kaufman and family; David Townsend; Ariela Weisfeld) who are participating in groups that are sponsoring Syrian refugees during the crisis.  Read all about their projects here, in their own words, and find out how you can help them.  (Please write directly to them, and not to us, about the initiatives):
Roberta Benson/Miriam Kaufman and Families 4 Families  
We are a group of 34 Toronto households that includes several SL members (Nathan, Miriam and Jacob Kaufman; Roberta Benson). F4F is sponsoring Syrian refugees through Lifeline Syria and Metropolitan Community Church. Fundraising is complete, but if SL members have household goods or furniture that are new or gently used that they want to donate, contact Miriam Kaufman at miriam.kaufman@sickkids.ca and put "Syrian Newcomer" in the title. 
David Townsend and Team Uli
We are a web of eight friends who've come together as "Team Uli" to sponsor a Syrian claiming refugee status on the grounds of persecution as a sexual minority. My heart swells with love of our country for the open-heartedness with which our neighbours and fellow citizens are rising to the challenge of one of the great humanitarian crises of our present moment. We're not doing enough, we can never do enough, but this is our imperfect and partial effort of Tikkun Olam. In answering this call, we are, of course, simultaneously engaging in the healing of our own souls as well.

We won't have a name or a face until our application is approved by the Federal government and we are matched with an individual, who will probably arrive in Canada  in the summer. Then will come the deep rewards and deep challenges of helping a new resident settle in a new country.

If you feel moved to join us in this effort, we will welcome gratefully your donation toward the $12,000 in settlement funds we are required to have on hand prior to our friend's arrival in Canada. You can make registered charitable donations through our link: http://bit.ly/1OrSWEN

Ariela Weisfeld and United Neighbours
Dear Shir Libeynu Community:  I am part of a community group that started with a few neighbours here in the St. Clair West area, called United Neighbours, which has come together to privately sponsor a Syrian refugee family.

It will be our responsibility to meet the family at the airport and help them in any and every way possible to successfully begin anew in Toronto after being forced to flee their home in war-torn Syria.

For one year, we will be legally obligated to support this family financially, find housing, help adults find work, enrol any school-age children in schools and connect the family members to dental and health care, as well as helping them transition to life as permanent residents of Canada.

In order to do this, we need to raise $50,000.   If you would like to help my group and me realize this goal, please consider donating however much or little you can afford (every bit helps!). Donations will be processed through St. Matthew's United Church, as they are providing us with their charitable status in order to allow us the opportunity to offer tax receipts (for donations of $20 or higher).

Please make your cheques payable to St. Matthew's but be sure to note "United Neighbours" in the memo field of the cheque.  Cheques can be mailed to St. Matthew's church at 729 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto  M5C 1B2. You can also donate online in a very secure site; www.canadahelps.org/dn/25110
. Later on, you will have the opportunity to contribute time and skills or/and donate furniture.


Shema & Iqra': The Jewish-Muslim Text Project presents:

Blood, Milk, and Tears: Menstruating, Nursing, and Mourning in Islamic and Jewish Sources

Tuesday, January 26-March 8, 2016
Multi-Faith Centre, Multi-Purpose Room, 3rd floor, 569 Spadina Road

Text-study:7 - 8:30 p.m.
Arts collaboration 8:30-9:30 p.m.

This 7-week text-study course for Muslim and Jewish women will explore issues of gender and embodiment in Jewish and Islamic texts. The group will also form the basis of an arts collective featuring the art, music, and writings of participants. *
Students - free; co-curricular credit also available; Others - $15 per class  
*Taught by Shari Golberg, PhD, in collaboration with guest scholars, experts, and artists, including Dr. Nevin Reda, Dr. Sharon Unger, Rochelle Rubinstein, Farida Zaman, Aviva Chernick, Karen Shenfield, and others TBD.
Capacity is Limited - Please register at Multifaith Centre Blood, Milk & Tears

Shir Libeynu is pleased to be a promotional/community partner of this event.

(I tems 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.)

Call for Participants

Do you identify as LGBTQ and Jewish?  The MNJCC, UJA and Kulanu Toronto are conducting confidential one-on-one interviews to hear from a broad cross-section of the community, including: people who actively participate in the queer Jewish community, LGBTQ people seeking but struggling to find the right space within the Jewish community and LGBTQ people who participate in the Jewish community but would like more LGBTQ / Jewish-specific integration.

The data you provide as part of your interview with the research lead,  Andi Yumansky, will be reported anonymously and seen by Andi only, although an assistant may be hired to process the numerical data.  A planning committee, consisting of Sharoni Sibony of the MNJCC, Justine Apple of Kulanu Toronto (the sponsoring organizations) and Professor Randal Schnoor, of York University (who is also advising on the research) will have access to the summaries that the researcher will provide.

More information click here.
Contact:  andiy@mnjcc.org or 416-924-6211 x344

Newsletter Editor:  Harriet Eisenkraft
Congregation Shir Libeynu
416-465-5488 | shirlibeynu@yahoo.ca | http://www.shirlibeynu.ca
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Congregation Shir Libeynu
P.O. Box 73509
Toronto, Ontario, M6C 4A7
(416) 465-5488