Every two Weeks
In this Newsletter:

. Virtual Pride Havdallah service with Rabbi Goldberg and Paula Wolfson on June 13
. And two more presentations by members!
. Rabbi Lithwick will lead High Holiday services for Congregation Shir Libeynu
. B’nei Mitzvah Learning Program for Children 11-12
From the Board
Dear Members:

We are once again, or still, or always, living in a difficult time, both because of the pandemic and the shattering events happening in the US and closer to home. But we must not look away. If we believe in tikkun olam , then we have to find a way to be allies. The struggle for equality, access, respect and dignity is one that Jews have always had in our lives. Hillel reminds us, “if I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” The poet Adrienne Rich adds “if not with others, how?” 

Penny’s Shabbat Healing Circle ( https://youtu.be/vrnWHriawZs) reminded us how we need to heal our world and ourselves to keep a “song in our hearts.” Thank you, Penny, and Lorne, for your flute. We are continuing with virtual offerings, including our annual Pride Havdallah Service on June 13, led by Rabbi Goldberg and Chazzan Paul Wolfson. On June 17, member Judith Mintz will talk to us about how she found tikun halev in Łódź. On June 21, member Lorne Blumer will be presenting a workshop on jewish gratitude practice. (See all the details below.) Stay tuned for more virtual services and sessions over the summer.
Our tireless, Zoom Master and Board member, Jamie, has been hosting our virtual sessions and working briefly with the presenters before their sessions to iron out logistics. If you know Zoom and would like to volunteer to host some sessions, please email us:  slboard@shirlibeynu.ca .
We are excited to announce that Rabbi Dara Lithwick will be leading our (very likely virtual) High Holiday Services. Rabbi Lithwick received her rabbinic ordination from Aleph, Alliance for Jewish Renewal in January 2020. She is an advocate for LGBTQ2+ inclusion within diverse Jewish and non-Jewish spaces. She is currently chairing a Canadian Council for Reform Judaism group to develop a tikkun olam strategy for Canada, and since 2010 she has been active in spiritual and lay leadership at Temple Israel in Ottawa. We will be introducing you to Rabbi Lithwick in the next newsletter and future ones.

On behalf of all our members, the Board thanks the members of the Rabbi Search Committee, the Education Committee, our amazing presenters of virtual sessions and all our other volunteers for your commitment and contributions. Thank you!
Stay well,
Board of Directors
Experiential Learning for Children
From Tzedakah to Challah Making:
Shir Libeynu’s B’nei Mitzvah Learning Program
For Children Ages 11-12

Now in its sixth year, the Bnei Mitzvah Learning Program explores topics of Jewish philosophy and ethics, including tikkun olam , different understandings of tzedakah and other Jewish perspectives on justice. Students make tangible connections to these ideas through our partnership with Ve’ahavta, which brings them along to do outreach and distribute food to people who are homeless. The program includes classes on the Jewish year and life cycle, rituals and holidays, and a much-loved challah-making workshop. While not a requirement to take the program, most participants go on to celebrate their bar or bat mitzvah with the community and their own circles. Please see our website  page  for more information. To inquire about participating in our future program, please email us: education@shirlibeynu.ca .
Upcoming Events
To participate in any of our virtual offerings, you will need to have a Zoom account and register for the program. Email shirlibeynuzoom@gmail.com for details on how to get Zoom and register.

Pride Havdallah Service
Rabbi Goldberg and Paula Wolfson
Saturday, June 13, 7:30-8:30 pm

Please join us for our annual Pride Havdallah service. Led by Rabbi Goldberg and Chazzan Paula Wolfson, this year’s pride will be a virtual celebration. At these most difficult times, we will focus our words, songs and prayers on the themes of diversity, healing and repair of our fractured world. All are welcome. 

For more Pride events, check out Pride at the J.

Healing Our Hearts from Intergenerational Trauma Through Presence
Judith Mintz
Wednesday, June 17, 7:30-9:00 pm

The concept of tikkun halev in Judaism refers to the repair and opening of our hearts. For trauma survivors, this can be a big ask, but there are opportunities where we least expect it.

In this presentation and discussion, Judith will share the story of her journey from rejecting her identity as a Jew as a result of the effects of the Holocaust on her family, to embracing her role as the family of survivors. Last August, Judith travelled to Łódź Poland for the week-long 75th anniversary commemorative ceremonies of the closure of the ghetto (Litmanstadtt Ghetto).

Through an anti-racist feminist lens of a visual presentation of her photos and video footage she collected on the trip, Judith will speak about how she found tikkun halev in Łódź. Not only has Judith’s family been touched by the holocaust, but Łódź is the same city where her family had lived both before the war and also from where they were deported to Auschwitz.

Judith Mintz, PhD, in addition to being a member of the Shir Libeynu community and mother of two, is a Quality Assurance and Decolonization Analyst with Native Child and Family Services Toronto. She taught yoga for two decades and in 2019 completed her dissertation on healthism, cultural appropriation and yoga in North America for her PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University. 

Jewish Gratitude Practice in Troublesome Times
Lorne Blumer
Sunday, June 21, 4:00-5:00 pm

There’s a tradition that Jews are to recite a hundred blessings a day. And while this might be an ambitious number for most, one could certainly make the case that engaging with gratitude, even or especially in these troublesome times, benefits both us and others.  

In this workshop, among the everyday Jewish gratitude practices we’ll explore are those for what we eat, what we see, the “mere” act of waking and putting on a facemask before stepping outside. Along the way, we’ll look at some of the barriers that get between some of us and tradition, including God-language (and God-as-masculine language), Hebrew and the sense of merely going through the motions.No prior knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish tradition is required.

Lorne Blumer, in addition to being a long-time member of Shir Libeynu, is the leader of Hineinu, a community for Jewish contemplative practice, and a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s program in Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training.
From Our Members
If I Let It: A Kavanah for Kabbalat Shabbat
Trisha Arlin

It grows dark.
I light two candles and drink a sip of wine
And the world changes for one day,
If I let it.

There will be music
And friendship 
And food,
If I allow it.

There will be Torah
And wisdom
And God-ness,
If I permit it.

There will be quiet
And napping
And deep rest,
If I open up to it

There will be study
And expansion
And new ideas,
If I consent to it.

There will prayer
And blessings
And meditation,
If I give in to it.

There will be hope
And renewal
And clarity,
If I walk toward it.

If I let it
If I allow it
If I permit it
If I open up to it
If I consent to it.
If I give in to it.
If I walk toward it
The world changes for one day.
Shabbat happens,
If I let it.

Thanks to member, Jonathan Silin, for sharing this poem with us for our newsletter. If you would like to share something with other members, please email us: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca .
Congregation Shir Libeynu