Your monthly news & updates
In this newsletter: Special virtual offerings from Shir Libeynu members for Shir Libeynu members--the first two this Saturday, May 16; a heartfelt message from Linda Zelicki’s family; and a poem for our times from member, Penny Winestock
From the Board
What perfectly awful weather! April showers in May, a polar vortex on the weekend. We are inside when we long to be outside. Hopefully, this will change soon. In the meantime, your Board is working hard to keep you informed and connected. We will be sending out newsletters more frequently when we have announcements or news.

Thank you to Daniela and everyone who participated in and attended the inspiring Shabbat service on May 2. We had a full house!

We have been reaching out to members who may be interested in volunteering to host virtual sessions so that we can come together as a congregation. The response has been great.

This Saturday morning, Shoshana will lead us through movement and dance. In the afternoon, Eden will tell us A Hagar’s Tale. On May 30, Penny will help us share some healing energy. (See all the details below.) Please stay tuned for more programming in the coming weeks and months. And please let us know if there is something you would like to offer.

We are also talking to other congregations to learn what preparations they are making for the High Holidays, although no one knows for sure yet. Perhaps we will all offer a combination of in-person and virtual services.

We will be hosting a series of conversations about the future of our congregation in the coming months. Do you want us to grow and how? What do you want to maintain or change about Shir Libeynu? Our intention is to hold small, online conversations, perhaps using the breakout room technology that worked so well after our May 2 service. 

If you have questions or want to tell us something, please get in touch: .

Stay well,
Board of Directors
Upcoming Events
A Shir Libeynu Virtual Offering: Creating Joy on Shabbat Through Movement & Dance
Saturday, May 16 , 10:30-11:10 am (40-minute workshop). “Doors” will close at 10:35.
Start your morning by moving your body to music, as you release yourself into the spirit of Shabbat. Being in tune with how your body needs to move and increasing your repertoire of movements with others is healing and energizing. We’ll start with slow music, build to a higher energy and return to a slower pace, feeling revitalized and calm. The movements will include individual self-expression and mirroring exercises. This is an opportunity to have fun and connect with others from our Congregation Shir Libeynu community.
Choose a space in your home where you can place your lap top computer or other devices and move freely. Wear loose comfortable clothing.
Shoshana is a long-time member of Shir Libeynu. She has been involved in free-style dancing for over 30 years. She currently co-organizes and DJ’s a free-style dance venue. She has also participated in choirs for the past eight years. Music and dance are her passions.
A Shir Libeyu Virtual Offering: A Hagar’s Tale
By Eden Nameri

Saturday, May 16, 2:00-2:30 pm

When Sarah could not provide her husband Abraham with children, she sent her bond woman, Hagar, to his bed. It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Hagar steps out of the shadows and takes centre stage in this story of love, duty, jealousy and rivalry. Tune in to Zoom for the live telling of an ancient tale about family dynamics. 

Eden Nameri is a long-time storyteller. Her renditions of Bible stories incorporate midrash (traditional and original) and plenty of her personal perspective as a queer Jewish feminist. Eden’s stories often illuminate characters usually relegated to the background. Eden was the featured teller at last year’s festival of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, Canada. She has also performed at the Toronto Storytelling Festival, StoryFusion Cabaret, Ottawa Storytellers’ Signature Series, Word on the Street and the Toronto Jewish Storytelling Guild. 
A Shir Libeynu Virtual Offering: A Shabbat Zoom Healing Circle
By P enny Winestock
Saturday, May  30 , 10:30-11:30 am
During these turbulent times it can be a challenge to connect, both with each other and with our own hearts. We’ll use simple yet powerful tools from our own and other wisdom traditions to relieve some of the loss and uncertainty we face, and to remind us of possibility.
You might be surprised to find that the current necessity of ‘techno-distance’ has some perks. For instance, the ‘mute button ’ means that you’ll be able to sing along to a couple of familiar Hebrew prayers, - at the top of your lungs if you feel like it.
Penny looks forward to seeing you, hearing from you, and sharing some healing energy.
From Our Members
The Late Linda Zelicki
Jim Gibbs, Debbie Barman and family would like to thank all the members of Shir Libeynu who supported us during the recent loss of a beloved partner, sister, aunt and great aunt. So many people stepped up in a multitude of ways. Some visited Linda in the hospital, talking and singing to her, making sure that she felt surrounded by love. Some accompanied us to the funeral home and helped with the difficult decisions. 
We were overwhelmed to see the turnout at the funeral service. Everyone loved that funeral: Aviva’s heartfelt speech, Shoshana’s emotional letter, Maria’s moving rendition of Auden’s poem, the beautiful singing by Helen, Maria and Rena. It was unique, like Linda, and she would have loved it.
Many of you came to the house after the funeral and to the shiva. Harriet toiled in the kitchen behind the scenes, Shir Libeynu sent us a delicious dinner, and we all talked a lot. We were so grateful for your presence, your sympathy, and your kind words. There were donations made to causes that were dear to Linda’s heart. In Judaism it is important to be support mourners, and that is because it makes such a huge difference!
So thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We are cheered to know how deeply loved and appreciated Linda was by our community.

Sincere apologies to Debbie and family for not including these lovely words of thanks in our April newsletter.
I’m Covid Good Enough
Penny Winestock

There is much learning in this Covid 19 experience
      “How are you?”
                           asked my adult son when we were on the phone today
      “I’m………Covid good enough”
And I am
Grateful for a home, a family, and nutritious food
Grateful for Work that I love
                             that is needed
                             that doesn’t endanger me
Grateful for the times that I can step outside
Grateful for the times that I can step outside
                                                                    the weight of Fear and Grief that hangs in            
                                                                    the air of our sparsely peopled streets
Grateful for the times I can access my heartful, bellyful, soulful, mindful
                vision of and belief in
                the rise of our human community
                to humbly create cultures in which
                loving kindness and compassion
                are at least a couple of steps ahead
                of the horrors we can spawn from
                our angry hubris
When I can’t step outside the Weight I am
Grateful to be able to wail, weep, and otherwise release the Wait enough to
                                                                        return to love and remember joy
Congregation Shir Libeynu