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Pride Havdallah Service and Reception

Friends and Family celebrate at Pride Shabbat, 2015
Allies and members of the LGBTQ community are welcome to join us at our 10th annual Pride service, a great tradition at Shir Libeynu. This year we will be having a Havdallah service on Saturday, June 18th, 7:30 p.m., MNJCC, third-floor chapel.
Service led by Rabbi Aviva Goldberg with music from Chazzan Daniela Gesundheit and Paula Wolfson. We will also hear from JIAS rep Lia Kisel, who will talk about what life is like for refugees landing in Canada, as well as Roman Konoplev-Esgenburg, who will discuss the plight of LGBTQs in Russia today. Children may enjoy this very musical service and are welcome in the chapel, while free childcare will also be provided down the hall for ages three and older.
A reception of desserts and fruits will follow in Room 318, where we can continue the conversation, and catch up.


Shabbat Morning Service

Saturday, July 2, 10:30 a.m.

Join us as we usher in the summer with a service and light kiddish afterwards. 

MNJCC, third-floor chapel. 

Shavuot Contemplative Chanting Circle

Sunday, June 12, 2-3:30 p.m.

An experiential, meditative, musical and joyful event relating to Shavuot, and led by long-time member Lorne Blumer.
MNJCC, third floor, Bloor and Spadina.



In Memoriam: Dr. Nathan Kaufman

We send our sincere condolences to the family of Shir Libeynu's oldest member, Dr. Nathan Kaufman, who died on May 11th, 2016, in Toronto, at the age of 100. The funeral was held on May 15th, with burial in Kingston, Ontario. 

To Miriam Kaufman, Roberta Benson, Aviva Kaufman and Jacob Kaufman: May the memory of your beloved father, father-in-law and grandfather, Nathan, be a blessing.

Read about this remarkable man and his legacy here.

The Mitzvah of Performing Tahara: Our Renewed Chevra Kadisha/Gemilut Hasadim Group
Would you like to learn how to perform what our sages describe as a "good deed of truth," chesed shel emet?  This is the mitzvah of tahara, the task of ritual cleansing of a deceased and the subsequent dressing for burial according to Rabbinic law.  This practice is considered to be a most laudable one, as tending to the dead is a mitzvah truly devoid of ulterior motives or expectation of gratitude.
Congregation Shir Libeynu is hoping to organize a small group to learn this holy task.  Our goal is to have at least six men and six women who will be available as the need arises to perform all aspects of tahara for deceased members of our congregation.
Please  contact  Rabbi Goldberg if you are interested and for further information regarding classes on tahara, which will take place in the new Jewish year.
This group will be part of our renewed chevra kadisha (sacred society) and gemilut hasadim (loving-kindness society) circle, a dedicated coterie of people who honour the deceased, and comfort the bereaved by supporting families during the shiva (traditional week of mourning). Comforting the bereaved may include the leading of prayer services and/or attending at shiva and also providing food and help during this time. This group may also participate in palliative care before death, as required and requested by the family. These are some of the important ways that members can provide chesed (compassion and grace) to other members in need, and they are essential elements of Jewish tradition and practice.
If you would like to fulfil the mitzvah of participating in one or more of our other renewed groups: for prayer leading (knowing how to read Hebrew is a requirement), write to: , or to offer help to the bereaved for shiva, write to:   .To be part of the group offering palliative care, as needed, please write to:
If you would like to speak to Rabbi Goldberg confidentially about any of these groups or about matters to do with death and dying, please write to:

Community-Partner Program, MNJCC
Saturday, June 11, 2016, at the MNJCC

Shir Libeynu is once again a proud co-sponsor of this event.  Rabbi Goldberg and Eden Nameri will be presenting at the festival.

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 teens. All are welcome!  Advance registration recommended. 

Volunteers Wanted: The MNJCC is looking for outgoing people who can greet participants, as well as kitchen helpers who can set up and clean up snack service through the night. Volunteer duties for the night of the event will be scheduled in shifts so you'll still have a chance to learn in sessions. To sign up for a shift, please contact Deanna Di Lello at Heart-Heart

Heart to Heart is looking for host families!

Since Heart to Heart's beginnings in Toronto, Congregation Shir Libeynu has been supporting this program, which brings a group of 20 Israeli teenagers to Canada every summer, half of whom identify as Palestinian Israeli, and half as Jewish Israeli. The group spends two and a half weeks living together at Camp Shomria, an overnight summer camp near Ottawa, and the program's aim is to cultivate a generation of leaders who will both recognize the importance of creating a truly shared society and possess the skills they need to make that a reality. The teens stay with host families in Toronto for four days while they tour the city. As the program heads into its sixth year, Heart to Heart has equipped 100 alumni with the perspectives, skills and motivation they need to determine for themselves what solutions are possible to create an equitable, shared society and what their role is to contribute. 
                                                                         -Amy Herskowitz

From Maria Meindl, Shir Libeynu member, on her experience as a host:

It was a joy and a privilege to host two young women from Camp Shomria in the summer of 2014. The program was organized down to the last detail and we felt very much part of a community through the activities we shared with the campers, organizers, supporters and other hosts. We learned so much from these exceptional young women, who discussed the complex situation in their country with intelligence and subtlety. I was impressed that they were able to feel such pride in their country, at the same time as they could see ways to improve it. Read More

Heart to Heart is looking for additional host families during the teens' stay in Toronto, July 25-29th. For detailed information about being a host family, please visit the Heart to Heart site. To volunteer as a host family, please complete this survey. Thanks for your continued support! PrideMovie

W e are co-sponsors, with the Jewish Diversity Committee and Darchei Noam, of: Jewish Pride Movie Night  - Two movies from Israel, plus popcorn! 

June 19th, 2016.  Location: 854 Sheppard Ave, North York.  Doors open: 6:15 p.m. for 6:30 p.m. start.   $5.00 for members, $10.00 general public, FREE for fathers--its Father's Day! 

  For more information

Newsletter Editor:  Harriet Eisenkraft
Congregation Shir Libeynu
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Congregation Shir Libeynu
Mailing Address: 
8171 Yonge Street # 122
Thornhill, Ontario   L3T 2C6
(416) 465-5488