Upcoming Events

Calling All Fresh Produce Lovers: Sign Up for the BJ Hazorim CSA

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Tuesdays, June 10 – November 4 | 4:30-7:30PM | 88th Street Foyer/Sidewalk
Join us for our fifth season of wonderful organic produce. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a chance for you to pick up fresh, organic produce from Free Bird Farm once a week, beginning on June 10, at 88th Street. Choose from delicious vegetable, egg, fruit shares, and, new this season, butter shares. Register here. Our Community Gathering and Orientation will be on Tuesday, May 27. For more information, contact Larissa.

BJ Sings for Pesah

Saturday, April 19 | 1:00-2:30PM | 86th Street Parlor Room
Pesah and BJ Sings!  What a wonderful coincidence!  Join us after kiddush to sing some of our favorite seasonal songs.

Tze'irim Maimuna Celebration


Tuesday, April 22 | 7:30PM | The Parlour
Join Tzei’rim at The Parlour (250 West 86th Street) for the end of Passover. We’ll celebrate by consuming an inordinate amount of hametz and enjoying a happy hour special or two. $5 at the door for food and cash bar. For more information, contact Monty.

BJHS Open House

Thursday, April 24 | 5:00-6:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Thinking about Jewish education for the 2014-15 school year? Come learn more about the B’nai Jeshurun Hebrew School! Join Ivy Schreiber, Director of Education, to learn about the Hebrew School’s vision, tour the school and see classes in session, and hear from current parents and students. Register online, and email Kristen with any questions.

The Power of Song: A Tribute to Pete Seeger, Community Sing Out and Shabbat Dinner

Pete Seeger Sings at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Friday, April 25 | 8:00PM (after services) | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Panim el Panim presents an evening filled with songs of justice led by musicians Matt Turk and Gary Schreiner. Together we will celebrate BJ’s community organizing and advocacy efforts by lifting our voices in song, honoring Pete Seeger, and partaking in a joyous meal. Join with your BJ friends and community, and meet new people at this special Shabbat dinner. Matt Turk is a BJ musician, folk troubadour, and a singer-songwriter in his own right, who performed and recorded with his friend Pete Seeger, and has a long standing relationship with Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival. Gary Schreiner is a multi-instrumentalist and Emmy Award-winning composer and producer. Register now online.

Aliyah for Holocaust Survivors and Their Families

Yahrzeit Candle by sidknee2

Saturday, April 26 | at Shabbat morning services | 86th Street SPSA
On the Shabbat before Yom HaShoah, BJ invites Holocaust survivors, their families and descendants for a special aliyah that commemorates those who perished, pays tribute to those who survived and marks our commitment to Jewish life into the future.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga

Saturday, April 26 | 3:00-4:30PM | 89th Street Gym
Get your heart pounding and your legs kicking on this Shabbat from Eve to End. Elementary school children ages 7-12 are invited to join certified Krav Maga instructors for an afternoon of learning on the Israeli self-defense system. No registration required, but be sure to wear comfortable clothing.

Dreamcoat Experience Music and Play

dreamcoat experience

Saturday, April 26 | 3:00-4:30PM | 89th Street Third Floor Classroom
Families with young children (ages 0-6) are invited to participate in Dreamcoat Exeprience, an award-winning creative Jewish education organization, for a Shabbat program celebrating the arrival of spring. Together with educator Stav Meishar, children will explore concepts of spring, nature and tikkun olam (repairing the world) through story-telling, drama games, yoga poses and more!

Building Dialogue and Trust in The Middle East

Center for Emerging Futures

Saturday, April 26 | 3:30-5:00PM | BJ Community House, 89th Street
Join us to hear from Eden Fuchs and Ibrahim Issa from The Center for Emerging Futures (CEF). CEF specializes in holding large gatherings dedicated to the creation of dialogue, trust and partnership between Palestinians and Israelis living in Israel. In addition, they cultivate civil partnerships and organizational cooperation. Limited space. Please register.

Teen Seudah Shlishit

teens aids walk

Saturday, April 26 | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
Teens at BJ are invited to Seudah Shlishit (third meal of Shabbat) and an evening filled with singing, schmoozing, and snacks, leading up to Havdalah at 8:30PM with Ayala Wasser, Teen Coordinator. Extend your Shabbat afternoon experience and join us for the evening.

Yozma Spring Hike in Westchester

Hiking Boots photo credit: Arild Nybø

Sunday, April 27 | 10:00AM | Meet in Grand Central Terminal by the round information booth
Join Yozma for a 4-mile hike along the scenic Bronx River Parkway next to lakes and streams. Take the 10:25AM train from Grand Central Terminal to Bronxville, hike to Scarsdale where we’ll have lunch at a 1950′s-style small diner in Scarsdale, and then take the train back to Manhattan.  R.S.V.P. to Craig Rosenberg as soon as possible as only 20 people can be accommodated.

Jews and Baseball: Chasing Dreams Exhibit at NMAJH

Jews and Baseball

Sunday, April 27 | 11:00AM | National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia
Families with kids in grades K-7 are invited to join a special docent-led tour about the history of Jews in baseball. After our tour, gather on the mall across the street for a picnic lunch. Bring blankets, food and a ball for a game of catch. Cost is $12 per child and $16 per adult. Register online.

Greenmarket Scavenger Hunt

NYC GreenMarket by Barbara L. Hanson Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Sunday, April 27 | 1:00-3:00PM | 88th Street & Columbus Avenue Greenmarket
Join Yocheved Tupper in learning about sustainable, local, organic farming and why it is better for our bodies and for the world – especially when thinking about doing the mitzvah of feeding the hungry. We’ll meet at BJ, and walk to the Greenmarket at 81st Street and Columbus. R.S.V.P. directly to Yocheved.

Erev Yom HaShoah Commemoration Ceremony and One-Woman Play Decoding the Tablecloth

Decoding the Tablecloth

Sunday, April 27 | 6:45PM Service | 88th Street Sanctuary
Once again we come together to commemorate Yom HaShoah, when the BJ community, and their family and friends, are invited to participate in The Reading and Hearing of the Names of those killed during the Shoah. The reading will follow the evening service. Then we will present Decoding the Tablecloth by Gabriela Kohen, introduced by Myriam Abramowicz. This award-winning and critically acclaimed autobiographical one-woman play, explores the effects of the Holocaust and immigration over five generations in her family. Forced to flee Poland in 1938, Kohen’s grandmother found herself living in Argentina, carrying only an heirloom tablecloth as a reminder of her life back home. Years later Kohen finds herself Jewish, Latina, and growing up in Brooklyn, and carrying on the family’s tradition with this same tablecloth. Ms. Kohen skillfully portrays over 20 characters in English, Spanish, and Yiddish as she struggles to make sense of her Jewish identity. We encourage you to add to the list of names that will be read by completing our Shoah Names form. Following the program, the Reading and Hearing of the Names will take place at Ansche Chesed (WEA and 100th) from 10PM to 9AM, with BJ’s reading slot from 12:00 to 12:30AM. We thank BJ member Lilli Platt for her contribution toward this program in loving memory of her parents Hanna and Abraham Platt, Holocaust survivors.

Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day Speaker and Ceremony

Monday, April 28 | 5:00-6:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
We are blessed to host Mrs. Lore Strauss, grandmother of Theo Strauss, who survived the Shoah (Holocaust), as our speaker this year. This event will take place during BJHS, where all 5th, 6th, and 7th grade classes will attend. Non-BJHS students are also invited with their parents. R.S.V.P. to Emily Walsh.

Serve Guests at the BJ/SPSA Homeless Shelter

SPSA volunteers set the table for the nightly dinner for the guests in the BJ/SPSA Shelter for Homeless Women. Photo: Jim Melchiorre

Monday, April 28 | 6:15-9:00PM | 88th Street
Join Natalie Sela for a light dinner and discussion about the mitzvah of Hakhnassat Orhim, welcoming guests, before you serve guests at the Shelter at 7:00PM.  This is limited to two families in order to respect our guests’ space. R.S.V.P. to Natalie.

The Lady in No. 6 Film Screening and Q&A

The Lady in Number 6 film

Monday, April 28 | 7:00-8:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join us for a screening of The Lady in No. 6, the Academy Award-winning documentary about Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor who reached the age of 110. A Q&A session with author Caroline Stoessinger, whose book inspired the movie will follow, and never-before seen footage of Caroline’s meetings with Alice will be shown. Free admission; R.S.V.P. recommended.


Confronting Mental Health: A Series cosponsored by BJ and Drisha

Drisha Institute for Jewish Education logo

3 Wednesdays (April 30, May 7, May 14) | 6:30PM Workshop, 7:15PM Ma’ariv and Refreshments, 7:45PM Lecture | Drisha Institute of Jewish Education, 37 West 65th Street, 5th Floor
B’nai Jeshurun and Drisha invite individuals with lived experience, family members, mental health professionals, clergy and concerned members of the community to participate in this critical conversation. Pick of one of six three-week workshops to join. Workshops begin at 6:30PM and are followed by a 7:45PM lecture on a topic which invites us to consider our attitudes toward mental illness and the challenges we face as individuals and as a community. April 30 – Ordering Disorder: A Structural Framework for Thinking about Mental Illness, May 7 – The Human Experience of Recovery: Living with Meaning and Hope, May 14 – Living with Mental Illness: From Where Does My Help Come?  For more information on the weekly workshops, descriptions of the lectures, and presenter bios, click here. Registration suggested for the workshops – email Drisha at inquiry@drisha.org or call 212-595-0307. Free of charge.

Visit BJ Member at the Atria Senior Living Center

DOROT Winter Package Delivery

Wednesday, April 30 | 4:00-5:30PM | 88th Street and Atria Senior Living Center
Join Emily Walsh in learning about the mitzvah of respecting our elderly, and pay a visit to a long-time BJ member who lives at the Atria.  We hope kids who participate in this mitzvah will want to continue making regular visits with the member in the future. R.S.V.P. directly to Emily.

Screening and Panel Discussion of ABC Documentary Featuring Rabbi Sol

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Wednesday, April 30 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Many female rabbis and cantors face an interesting quandary. On one hand, “Be fruitful & multiply” is the Torah’s first commandment followed later by “For you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Imagine the dilemma if you wish to be fruitful and holy, but you’re a female, rabbi or cantor…who is single.  A screening of All of the Above: Single, Clergy, Mother, a one-hour documentary that aired on ABC affiliated stations featuring Rabbi Felicia Sol, highlights the stories of four single, female rabbis/cantors who adopt children or undergo medical procedures to create families of their own. The film explores the choices demanded of Jewish women and the often competing desires of motherhood and faith. The documentary reveals the complicated, intriguing, sometimes frustrating, and ultimately fulfilling journey that is both unique and common to all Jewish-American women: a journey worthy of exultation and one that will define the future of Jewish women for years to come. Following the screening there will be a panel discussion with Rabbi Felicia Sol, Rabbi Lisa Gelber, Associate Dean The Rabbinical School, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Filmmaker Debra Gonsher Vinik. Free of Charge. Cosponsored by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Shabbat Candles photo: gerard montigny

Friday, May 2 | 6:45PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Rabbi Roly Matalon and musician Dan Nadel will lead an alternative Kabbalat Shabbat service on the first Friday evening of each month.  With the help of soulful melodies, verses of Shir haShirim (Song of Songs), liturgical poems and Psalms we will transition gently and with full kavannah from hol to kodesh – leaving the ordinary work-week consciousness in order to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. The next service will be Friday, June 6.

Yom Ha'atzmaut - Registration Open!

UWS Yom Ha'atzmaut, 2014

Once again BJ is proud to be a part of the communal celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut in the Upper West Side, with plenty of events coming up. Mark the following dates in your calendars ,and make sure you sign up at www.uwsisrael.org.
Saturday, May 3 | Before Junior Congregation | 86th Street, social hall, Limud with Orli Moss for families with children age 7+
Saturday, May 3 | Following services | 86th Street, social hall, 
Israeli dancing following Kidush
Sunday, May 4 | 10:00AM-10:45AM | 88th Street, Shirim LeYeladim – song session for Children. Limited space, registration required.
Sunday, May 4 | 11:00AM-1:30PM | 88th Street, Finding Israel on the Upper West Side, an exciting scavenger hunt for all ages culminating in a musical concert at 1:00PM. Co-sponsored by the Society for Advancement of Judaism, run by Watson Adventures. Registration required.
Sunday, May 4 | 5:30-7:00PM | Society for Advancement of Judaism, 15 West 86th Street, Gender Equality and Social Justice, Labor party member of Knesset Merav Michaeli speaks about her journey and attempts to raise awareness to these issues. Registration required.
Monday, May 5 | 7:00PM | Tekes Ma’avar, marking the transition from Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day to Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. Co-sponsored by Mechon Hadar. For registration
Tuesday, May 6 | 5:00-8:00PM | West 70th Steet Boat Basin Cafe @ Riverside Park
Party by the Shore: the Hudson River becomes the Tel Aviv Tayelet (promenade) as the whole Upper West Side community celebrates Yom Ha’atzmaut. Kids activities start at 5:00PM, happy hour at 6:30PM. Visit uwsISRAEL.org for tickets.
In collaboration with and funded by UJA-Federation.

Teen Shabbat

Saturday, May 3 | 9:30AM | 86th Street Sanctuary
Join us this Shabbat as the rabbis sit with the congregation and the teens lead the service. The BJ Teens will lead tefillot (prayers), read Torah and Haftarah, deliver d’vrei Torah (teachings), and share about their experiences in the many parts of our teen program at BJ. The seventh graders at the Hebrew School will also be honored with a special aliyah celebrating their graduation from BJHS and inviting them into the teen community. We invite you to learn more about what our teens have done in, and for, our community this year.

Yom Ha'atzmaut Scavenger Hunt

Sunday, May 4 | 11:00AM-1:30PM | 88th Street & Upper West Side
Join a team with Chaya Bender on a scavenger hunt exploring the Israeli surprises of the Upper West Side with photo challenges, riddles and more. Prizes for the winning team, guaranteed fun for all ages! The hunt will culminate in a groovy concert of modern Israeli music 1:00-1:30PM. Rain or shine. For families with children in 4th-7th grades. R.S.V.P. directly to Chaya.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat and Dinner

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, May 9 | 6:45PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Led by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, this service involves meditation, reflection, deep listening and personal engagement with the parashah. The service will be followed by dinner in the 89th Street Middle Room. Register online for the dinner or contact Sandra with questions.

What if Jacob Forgot the Dream of the Ladder? Teaching by Rodger Kamenetz

Rodger Kamenetz

Saturday, May 17 | 5:30-7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
In Genesis dreams provide direct religious experience, but there are no dreams in the four books that follow. What do we forget when we forget our dreams? Join us as Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night’s Dream and nine other books of poetry and prose, discusses the profound spiritual encounters that ordinary people can have in their dreams for the sake of a richer spiritual life.

Introduction to Dreams for Spiritual Practice: Talk and Workshop with Rodger Kamenetz


Sunday, May 18 | 10:00AM-1:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Rodger Kamenetz will be discussing the potential and the risks of dreams as a spiritual experience, a journey of the soul and how a consideration of the point of view of dreams leads to a new understanding of their potential. Participants will help act out dreams, seeing how dreams display the difference between feelings and reactions, and how understanding feelings can lead us to the deeper layers of soul and the archetypal world. $50 members/ $60 non-members R.S.V.P. here.

Introduction to Judaism

Stained Glass at BJ Golden Stairway

Mondays (October 7 – May 19) | 7:00-9:00PM | BJ Office, Conference Room
Sarit Horwitz, BJ Rabbinic Fellow, offers an overview of the core beliefs, practices, and history of Judaism and the Jewish people. We hope to deepen the understanding of those just beginning to explore Jewish life as well as of those who would like to participate more fully in the life of the Jewish community. No prior knowledge or experience necessary. Registration required by October 16: individuals $420/$636; couples $630/$945


Sparks: Hassidic Thoughts on the Weekly Torah Portion


Thursdays, October 10- May 15 | 7:00-9:00PM | BJ Office, Conference Room
Learn from the teachings of the Hassidic masters of 18th-early 20th century Europe on the weekly Torah portion with Alex Braver, BJ Rabbinic Fellow, and explore how their words might affect us each in a deeply personal way. Known for their interpretive creativity and theological daring, they believed that a hidden divine spark could be found in everything, from each individual letter in the Torah to our everyday thoughts and actions. “This is the essence of a person’s work in this world: to turn darkness into light, to lift up those sparks, to lift them up, up to their Root and their Source.” – R. Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev (1740-1809)  Register by October 9.

Renee Kaufman Lecture Series and Mekusharim Present: The New Age of Bubby

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Wednesday, May 21 | 7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
In an era when 20-somethings dress in aspirational granny chic and 50-somethings might have fewer wrinkles than their daughters, what becomes of real old age? In a humorous and vibrantly researched talk that will encompass everything from teaching her 104 year old grandfather how to use his Mac to that Macklemore song that threatens to “take your grandpa’s style,”  journalist and author Mireille Silcoff looks at some of the newest and most surprising ideas surrounding old age today. Read some of Mireille’s recent articles here and here. Registration encouraged.

Get Away with BJ 2014 Community Retreat

At the Community Retreat 2012. Photo: Amanda Schanfield

Friday, May 23 -Sunday, May 25 (Memorial Day Weekend) | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center 
Imagine the beauty of Shabbat at BJ but with lake views, fresh air, swimming, BBQ, s’mores, and stars. Join Rabbis Roly Matalon and Marcelo Bronstein, Hazzan Ari Priven, Founder of Hazon Nigel Savage, and fellow BJ members as we retreat to nature. Get to know BJ’s spiritual leaders and community members in a more intimate setting. Bring your singing voice and learn new songs, and enjoy many different kinds of programming for all ages, backgrounds, and interests.  Cost: BJ Member Double Room, $309; BJ Member Single Room, $399; Child (4-13 years old), $89; Children under 4 free. Please note: There are a limited amount of single rooms. Register here.  If you are in need of bus transportation, register here. For more information or questions, contact Beth.

Hakhanah laTefillah - Preparing for Prayer


Every other Saturday (January 11 to June 14) | 8:45-9:25AM | 86th Street Chapel
Please join Rabbi Roly Matalon to prepare the soul and open the heart for Shabbat morning prayers through the singing of piyutim and reflections on kavannah. Spring dates are January 11, 25; February 8, 22; March 8, 22; April 5, 19; May 3, 17, 31; June 14.

The 2014 BJ Women's Retreat

Women's Retreat Circle 2009

Friday, June 6 -Sunday, June 8 | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center 
Spend a weekend in nature and surrounded by the voices of women exploring the theme, “Are you there God? It’s me, ___.” Judy Blume was not the only one who asked the question. Devote a weekend to building deeper connections in the BJ community in beautiful services, a joyous Shabbat, and a great time with Rabbi Felicia Sol and BJ Rabbinic Fellow Sarit Horwitz. Cost: BJ Member Double Room, $309; BJ Member Single Room, $399; Non-members, $449; BJ Member Double Room Attending Community and Women Retreats, $279; BJ Member Single Room Attending Community and Women Retreats, $369. Please note: There are a limited amount of single rooms. Register here.  If you are in need of bus transportation, register here. For more information or questions, contact Beth.