What is an Eruv?
Eruv, meaning to "mix or join together," is a device that integrates a number of private and public properties into one larger domain, thereby permitting Jews, under Jewish law, to carry items and wheel strollers within its borders on the Sabbath each week. This larger domain is created by delineating physical boundaries, often by utilizing a combination of wires, posts, and other existing structures and incorporating them into the Eruv's construction.
Just as it joins physical spaces together into one large domain, the Eruv allows a "joining together" of a Jewish community as well. It allows parents of young children, who must be carried or pushed in a stroller, to reach a synagogue on the Sabbath. It allows people to meet with friends at neighborhood homes and bring food or other items to share as part of festive Sabbath meals. It benefits the elderly whose use of canes, wheelchairs and other ancillary items is not otherwise permitted. It allows people to bring a tallit (prayer shawl) or siddur (prayerbook) to synagogue, or to carry glasses, house keys and other items. Thus, it encourages greater interaction and participation in Jewish life by members of the community.
The Center City Eruv is maintained by community volunteers. The Eruv requires regular repairs and maintenance, and occasionally expansion projects as the Jewish community in Center City grows. Please consider donating to the Center City Eruv Corporation (links provided to the right).