Shir Libeynu is a liberal, egalitarian congregation, unaffiliated with any particular stream of Judaism. Our participatory services combine tradition and innovation. Shir Libeynu is Hebrew for "song of our hearts," and our services include prayers and music both ancient and modern. Our diverse community is a welcoming one.

The congregation holds Shabbat services monthly, in the Michael Bernstein Chapel, on the 3rd floor of the Miles Nadal JCC, followed by a light Kiddush. A free Shabbat program is offered for children during services. We also offer adult education workshops and programs, the opportunity to participate in our choir and chanting events, as well as holiday celebrations and Oneg Shabbat dinners throughout the year.

If you have any questions, just leave a message at (416) 465-5488 or shirlibeynu@yahoo.ca

Sound Hidden

May 31st, 2015 Posted in front page | No Comments »

The Songs of Our Hearts

Shir Libeynu means “song of our hearts,” so music is an important part of all of our services. You can live stream our chazzan, Daniela Gesundheit, singing a number of the songs, prayers and chants that make our Shabbat services so special. Daniela includes possible variations, including suggestions for singing harmony.

A Message from our Chazzan

To the Shir Libeynu community and beyond,

I have always felt that my role as a Chazzan is to be a guide leading each congregant to his/her own voice by way of the vast and stunning musical canon that Judaism affords us.  While leading services,  congregation participation is my highest aim.

In an effort to unite our congregation — a congregation that comes from highly diverse backgrounds — I gathered these recordings of the most frequently sung prayers, chants, and songs from our Shabbat services.  My hope is that you might visit the site from time to time to become ever more familiar with the liturgy, allowing you to fully participate in the services when you attend.

Looking forward to singing with you.

All best,

Daniela Gesundheit

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Meet Sophie Dee Hazzan Hollis

May 19th, 2015 Posted in Upcoming Services | No Comments »

Meet Sophie Dee Hazzan Hollis

On Saturday, June 13, 2015 (26 Sivan, 5775) Sophie Hazzan Hollis will become the first individual Shir Libeynu bat mitzvah.* As well, 2014/15 was the launch year of our congregation’s b’nei mitzvah program and cohort, and Sophie is its first graduate.

Being a Shir Libeynu pioneer is nothing new to Sophie’s family. Her cousin Doran Hazzan Green was our congregation’s first bar mitzvah. At the time, he wrote that having a bar mitzvah is a great way to show others that no matter who you are or where you come from, you will always be included. Doran said that his cousin Sophie was considering becoming a bat mitzvah and he hoped she would see how much fun it was. Apparently she did: at Sophie’s urging her family joined Shir Libeynu in preparation for Sophie’s milestone.

Although Sophie and her family joined our shul quite recently, she said that becoming part of the Shir Libeynu community was one of her favourite things about preparing to become a bat mitzvah. Sophie would like to volunteer to work with our kids’ program to strengthen her involvement with the congregation after her simcha

As part of the Shir Libeynu program’s learning component, taught by Marilyn Arkin and developed by Jonathan Silin, our five candidates made sandwiches for distribution to homeless people by Ve’ahavta (http://www.veahavta.org). They also took turns riding in the van, distributing food and warm clothing. While doing so on a cold February evening, Sophie had the opportunity to interact with many people who live on the streets, and she says she was struck by the differences between the ones she met.  As part of her commitment to

Tikkun Olam, Sophie and her family are planning to decorate the tables at her evening party with centrepieces made up of items that will later be sent to the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She hopes this will encourage her guests to donate to SickKids.

Sophie really enjoyed learning to read Hebrew and finding out more about another culture from her tutor, Nirit Gruber. The most challenging aspect has been pulling everything together, especially compiling the booklet that will be used at her bat mitzvah service. In this regard she had a helpful and calm guide in Rabbi Aviva, she now says, adding: “It was a relief working with a rabbi that I knew I liked.” She will be reading Parshat Shlach, in which a few brave people were sent into the land of Canaan to report back about what it was like. They returned with abundant fruit and descriptions of a land flowing with milk and honey, but also, to the terror of the inhabitants, a place populated by giants. Sophie thinks the parsha shows that the people were still mentally enslaved. They feared defeat and the prospect of enslavement again, and so were terrified to fight.

In Grade 8 at Glen Ames Public School, Sophie especially enjoys physical education and languages. She plays soccer and spends time reading, writing and watching “Netflix.”
Please join Sophie, her parents, Linda Hazzan and Jason Hollis, and her brother, Grady, on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at First Unitarian Congregation (175 St. Clair Avenue West @ Avenue Road).
We thank the Hollis/Hazzan family for sponsoring the Kiddish lunch that follows.  All are welcome at both the service and the Kiddish, but please RSVP by May 27th if you wish to attend at the Kiddish, so that the family can prepare and plan. If you wish to send Sophie best wishes, click here.
-Sophie was interviewed by Eden Nameri
* A few years ago, several women in our congregation fulfilled a long-time dream and chanted Torah together. Also, many members have invited and involved the community in their children’s bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies that have been led by Rabbi Goldberg over the years.


Annual Pride Shabbat Service – June 27

May 5th, 2015 Posted in front page, Upcoming Services | No Comments »

 Shir Libeynu’s 9th Annual Pride Service 

For All of Us, including Allies! 

 Join us as we celebrate great Queer Jews and also focus on the world-wide persecution of   GLBTQs.
Saturday, June 27 @10:15 a.m.
(*Note New Date and Time*)
Says Rabbi Goldberg:”Allies (non GLBTQ, but supportive always), please show the love by attending this very special service.”

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
3rd Floor, Michael Bernstein Chapel 

We thank Elizabeth Abraham for sponsoring the light kiddish lunch that follows the service.

 Then, join a group of us as we head over to the Dyke March.

April 26th, 2015 Posted in front page | No Comments »

News about 2015 High Holy Day Services

Tribute Speeches to Aviva Goldberg Delivered at Ordination Celebration – November 22 , 2014

November 30th, 2014 Posted in front page | No Comments »