Upcoming Events

Night of 100 Dinners: Save the Date!

night of 100 dinners blurb pic

Saturday, January 10, 2015 | Members’ Homes, 88th Street Sanctuary
The Night of 100 Dinners is back, so save the date. We’ll start with dinners hosted in members’ homes, then we’ll party at BJ! Please consider becoming a host – it might be your greatest gift to BJ. If you’re not hosting a dinner yourself, you may be invited to a dinner hosted by a BJ member, or you may ask to be placed at a host’s table. Following the meal, dinner guests are invited to a spectacular dance party in the 88th Street Sanctuary featuring fabulous desserts, drinks, dancing, raffle results, and a special presentation to Sara and Andy Litt, this year’s Spirit of B’nai Jeshurun Award honorees! Call Lisa at x228 or Jacob at x256 if you’d like to host, or check back soon for all registration information.

Creative Play Studio

Tuesdays beginning on September 16 | 10:15AM and 11:15AM | 89th Street Community House
Join Linda White, Imagination Play Project founder and play curator, for a creative and artistic play space with your child. This open play space will encourage children to explore and experiment with natural materials, build on their creativity and expand their imaginations, all within a Jewish framework. Families can sign up for the fall semester, or can pay per session. This program is a collaboration of BJ Young Families and the Imagination Play Project. For ages 0-3. Register here.

After School Play Studio

Tuesdays beginning on September 16 | 3:30-5:30PM | 89th Street Community House
Come play and explore in our new after school program! Linda White, Imagination Play Project founder and play curator, creates an inviting space for kids to build with natural materials, expand on their creativity and open their imaginations, all within a Jewish framework. Families can sign up for the fall semester or can pay per session. This program is a collaboration of BJ Young Families and the Imagination Play Project. For ages Pre-K to third grade. Register here.

Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Shabbat Candles photo: gerard montigny

Friday, October 17, November 21 and December 19 | 6:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Rabbi Roly Matalon and musician Dan Nadel will lead an alternative Kabbalat Shabbat service on the third 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. If you want to read more about this service please click here

Hakhanah laTefillah - Preparing for Prayer

Prayer shawl. Photo: Oren Hayon

5 Saturdays, October 18, November 1, 15 and 29, December 13 | 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.

New After-School Programs in Hebrew (6 months - third grade)


We are excited to launch new after-school programs in Hebrew. Come sing, play, and learn with us in Hebrew. The Keshet and KesheTOT programs that were established in Brooklyn and were instrumental in creating a Hebrew speaking community are coming to BJ. Keshet is the Hebrew word for rainbow and is also a Hebrew acronym for Kehillat Safa V’ Tarbut – Community of Language and Culture. KesheTOT is the plural of Keshet. Click here for a clip about Keshet. The programs are conducted in partnership with the IAC, Israeli American Council. For more information contact Allison Kapusta or Orli Moss


Keshet, K-3rd grade | Tuesdays, October 21-June 9 | 4:00-6:00PM | 89th Street Community House
At the core of this program is creating a nurturing Hebrew/Israeli environment. Through music, classic Israeli children’s authors and poets, arts n’crafts activities children learn Hebrew as well as explore aspects of Jewish and Israeli identity values and holidays through an Israeli prism. Join us for an Open House this Tuesday September 9 at 7:00PM at the BJ Community House 270 West 89th Street to hear more about Keshet. Register here. Cost for the year (30 sessions) $900 BJ memebrs, $950 non-members. Programs start on October 21 and run through June 9.

KesheTOT, 6 months-Pre-k | Tuesdays, October 21-February 17 | 4:00-5:00PM | 89th Street Community House
KesheTOT is an innovative program for families with infants and toddlers from 6 months-Pre K. It is a place where families with young children can meet and develop a sense of community, flavored by Israeli culture. Programs include art, music, stories and movement. KesheTOT is conducted exclusively in Hebrew. The program is for Hebrew speakers and non-Hebrew speakers alike. Cost per semester:$270 BJ members, $345 non-members (reductions for siblings). Register here. First semester, October 21-February 17. Second semester February 24-June 9.

Adonai, Open My Lips - אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח

Prayer at Morning Minyan

Tuesdays October 28, November 18, December 2 and 16, January 13 and 27, February 10 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Middle Room
How do I open my heart to prayer? What happens when I pray? Who do I pray to? What/Who do I pray for? How do I find my own voice in prayer? Together with Rabbi Roly Matalon we will open and examine these and other prayer related questions through personal reflection, text study, discussion and practice. Register here.

Lunch and Learn: The Language of Truth: The Gerer Rebbe's Commentary on Parashat HaShavua (The Weekly Torah Portion)

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7 Tuesdays (October 28, November 4, 11, 18 and 25,  December 2 and 16) | 12:30-1:45PM | 89th St. Middle Room
Study the weekly parashah through the commentary of the Sefat Emet, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Alter of Gur. Join Rabbi Felicia L. Sol for an exploration of this Hassidic commentary to delve deeper into the richness of our tradition while exploring our own spirituality through these texts. Participants are encouraged to come for the entirety of the class but each class will stand alone so new participants are always welcome. No prior knowledge is expected. All texts will be translated. Free of charge. Register here.

Mindfulness Classes: Creating a Personal Prayer Practice with Rabbis Rachel Cowan and Marcelo Bronstein

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

7 Wednesdays (October 29, November 5, 12 and 19, December 3, 10 and 17) | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
Many of us long for a more personally meaningful prayer practice. In this class we offer meditation, contemplative text study, music and time for reflection to assist you in connecting more meaningfully with the words of the siddur and in finding your own words of prayer. Working this way in a group may help you understand more clearly why you pray, where your prayer could take you, and how it might change you. We hope it will​ connect you to prayer as a spiritual practice. Free: registration required.


"Stories of the Talmudic Rabbis" Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Roly Matalon

Torah text. Photo: Harriet R. Goren

5 Thursdays (October 30, November 20, December 4, 11 and 18) | 12:30-1:30PM | Location provided upon registration
We will study stories that reflect the concerns and struggles, fears and fantasies, even the dark side of our Talmudic sages. We will attempt to look at ourselves in the mirror of the Talmud in order to understand and confront our own nature. No knowledge of Hebrew is required. Please bring your own lunch to the midtown location. Specific location information will be provided upon registration. Free of charge. Register Here starting Tuesday, September 23.

Avodat Ha-Lev: Exploring Prayer and the Siddur

Zitzit Photo: Chajm Guski, flickr

Thursdays, Oct. 30-Dec. 18; Mondays Jan. 5-May 4 | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
The rabbis of the Talmud call prayer “avodat ha-lev,” or “the service of the heart.” Yet how can our hearts be in it when we don’t understand what we’re saying? Together we will study the language of the siddur in Hebrew, English, and transliteration, along with biblical, rabbinic, mystical, and modern texts on tefilah. Come deepen your understanding of the prayer book, and develop a more personal connection with Jewish prayer.

Read more »

Hanukkah Children's Chorus


November 23 – December 14 | Mornings and Evenings | 88th Street Frankel Hall & 89th Street
Children in grades K-6 are invited to participate in a Hanukkah chorus led by musician and Purim Spiel composer Jerry Korman. Children will attend two Sunday rehearsals and two additional rehearsals on December 1 and December 11, and learn songs in Hebrew, English, and Ladino, leading up to multiple performances for the BJ community in December as well as performances for Seniors at the Atria and Jewish Home. No audition necessary; all are welcome! To let us know you’re participating, or to find out exact dates, times, and more details, email Esther.

Great Jews and Their Writings with Rabbi Hillel Friedman

Rabbi Hillel Friedman

Tuesdays, October 21May 19 | 8:30AM | 89th Street First Floor
We will study excerpts from the Books of Samuel and Job. Both texts in their unique ways raise questions regarding standards for communal leadership, and those factors that we struggle with in order to find meaning in life. Rabbi Friedman is a longtime member of our BJ community. Members $100/Non-members $150. Register here.

Encore Entrepreneurs: Basic Business Training for Baby Boomers


12 weeks (December 3, 2014-March 4, 2015) | 9:00AM-1:00PM | UJA-Federation of New York (130 East 59th Street New York, NY 10022)
The Hebrew Free Loan Society, with the support of UJA-Federation of New York, is pleased to offer basic business training to professionals age 50+ who were impacted by the recession and its aftermath and are looking to start a new business. This comprehensive, highly interactive course is designed to provide guidance and support in a group-oriented environment. In this course, you will learn how to develop and complete your business concept, determine the viability of your business idea and outline the critical steps to a successful business launch. Please visit hfls.org/encoreentrepreneurs to learn more and apply.

Behind the Headlines in Israel


Thursdays October 23, November 6, 20, December 4, 18 | 8:30-9:15AM following Morning Minyan | 89th Street Community House
What headlines are Israelis waking up to? Start the day with an overview of Israeli news in three key areas: politics, society and culture and Middle East events. Led by Dr. Jonathan Cummings, political analyst and scholar of Israel and the Middle East and husband of Orli Moss, BJ’s Director of Israel Engagement. Registration required. To join over the phone please dial -866.672.5590 Conference code – 975 5145 531.

Tot Shabbat


Tot Shabbat
Friday, December 5 | 5:15-7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Families will enjoy a kid-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service filled with singing and dancing, followed by a dinner at 5:45PM downstairs in Frankel Hall complete with Shabbat blessings and songs. Dinner will include delicious choices for adults as well as children, and vegetarian options will be available; dietary laws observed. While adults are finishing their meal, play curator, Linda White, will engage children in open play and exploration. Register here by Wednesday, December 3 and contact Allison Kapusta with any questions or specific dietary requests. Cost is $25/members, and $32/non-members; thanks to a generous donation, all children eat free.

JDC/BJ Special Shabbat Dinner: International Jewish Life and Experiences


Friday, December 5 | 8:00-10:30PM | 89th Street Gym
Learn how to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish life and hear about international Jewish experiences over a delicious Shabbat dinner. Special Guest Dr. Ruth Westheimer, in conversation with Alan Gill (JDC-CEO), will talk about her involvement with the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and global Jewry, followed by dinner conversations with a diverse group of JDC Entwine participants and JDC staff who will share their stories and experiences working with Jewish communities from Moscow to Mumbai and everywhere in between. BJ members $40 — non-members $50. Click here to register.

Economic Justice Hevra Meeting

Panim el Panim Logo

Monday, December 8 | 6:30-8:45PM | R.S.V.P. for meeting location
The Hevra is part of Panim el Panim, BJ’s Community Organizing and Advocacy Initiative. Attend a meeting to get involved in the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign with BJ. We are asking questions, having conversations, and educating the community to expand our collective understanding of ethical consumption to include the predominately immigrant laborers, who make New York’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy possible. Through the passage of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act, we hope to ensure that laborers who produce the food on which we depend in NYS can have the dignity and equality they deserve. If you are interested in attending this meeting or have questions, please contact Lisa.

The Israeli Literature Book Group is Back

Etgar Keret

6 Mondays (October 27, December 8, January 12, February 23, March 30, and May 4) | 7:00-8:30PM |  89th Street Community House
Always wanted to read novels by Israel’s greatest authors? What can the books teach us about Israeli society that we don’t learn from the newspaper headlines? Led by BJ member Ellen Bender we will read books that provide insight and provoke conversation. Registration requested. Contact Orli Moss for more information. The book for this gathering is -Suddenly a knock on the Door by Etgar Keret. Other books on the list are -Dancing Arabs by Sayed Kashua, The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron, The Falafel King is Dead by Sara Shilo, and Some Day by Shemi Zarhin .

Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber


Tuesday, December 9 | 7:30PM | The JCC in Manhattan
Ruth Gruber, an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist, became the eyes and conscience of the world during a career that spanned more than seven decades. Gruber was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935; she escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944, covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946, and documented the journey of the Haganah ship “Exodus” in 1947. This riveting documentary includes never-before-seen archival footage. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Ruth Gruber and filmmakers moderated by BJ member Myriam Abramowicz. The JCC has graciously offered Mekusharim a special group rate of $6 per ticket with advance registration. Registration is limited to 30 people. Register here.

Give the Gift of Life at the BJ Blood Drive

Give Blood Drawing

Wednesday, December 10 | 3:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Twice a year we have the opportunity to provide a very important service to the community. Give the gift of life by signing up now for the BJ Blood Drive. Learn more about how you can prepare to donate and learn about any restrictions that may apply. R.S.V.P. to Trudi or call x272 with the best time slot for you and with any questions.


Eldercare Dialogues: A Grassroots Strategy to Transform Long-Term Care, Urban Justice Center Report and Toolkit Release

Eldercare Dialogue

Thursday, December 11 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join us for the final Eldercare Dialogue of 2014! Celebrate B’nai Jeshurun and the Aging in NY Hevra’s work to ensure dignity and respect for seniors, care workers, and our families. At this Dialogue and press event, we will release a ground-breaking report and toolkit from the Urban Justice Center that documents our Dialogues; discuss our plans for 2015 and how we will continue to build caring communities that value all of our interdependence; and celebrate the successful launch of our innovative Eldercare Pilot Training Program for Consumers and Workers. Elected officials and press will attend. Convened by the Eldercare Dialogues Consortium: Adhikaar, B’nai Jeshurun, Damayan, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Light refreshments will be provided. For more info click here. R.S.V.P. to rachel@jfrej.org or call (212) 787-7600 x272.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, December 12 | 6:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Led by Rabbis Marcelo Bronstein and Rachel Cowan, Student Hazzan Shoshi Rosenbaum and Special Guest Karina Zilberman, this service involves meditation, reflection, deep listening and personal engagement with the parashah. Contact Sandra with any questions.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins


Thursday, December 18 | 3:30-4:30PM and 5:00-5:40PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join BJ musician Uri Sharlin and his wife Maya Blank as they tell how Hershel outwits the goblins that haunt the old synagogue and prevent the villagers from celebrating Hanukkah. The performance features live Klezmer-style music, lighting, and dramatic and humorous elements that make it a holiday favorite. The 3:30PM show is for families with children 5 and younger, and the 5:00PM show is for families with children in kindergarten through second grade. Free; please register online.

Light the 5th Night: Single Moms and Kids Havdalah, Hanukkah Happening

Hanukkah Dreidels and Gelt

Saturday, December 20 | 5:00-7:00PM | 89th Street Community House
From the light of the Havdalah candle to the lighting of the Hanukkah candles, Rabbi Felicia Sol invites you to  join for the festivities: pizza, latkes, sufganiyot included. Registration is required. For any questions please contact Sandra Ghiorzo.

Rosh Hodesh Tevet Women's Group: Hag HaBanot - Festive Meal


Sunday, December 21 | 6:00-8:00PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Each year we gather as women to celebrate Hag HaBanot (The Festival of the Daughters), an ancient Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian Jewish celebration on Rosh Hodesh Tevet, by cooking and sharing in a festive meal. We are asking everyone to contribute, members ($10) and non-members ($15) and to bring a bottle of certified kosher wine, appetizer or dessert (for about 8 people). Please R.S.V.P by Monday, December 15th. We also need women to help cook the main meal, to set up and clean up.  Sign up for volunteer opportunities. Contact Sandra Ghiorzo with any questions.

Bim Bam Spring Session


Friday Mornings, January 9 – May 22 | 9:15-10:00AM and 10:15-11:00AM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Bim Bam is a pre-Shabbat class for children ages 3 and under to sing Hebrew and Shabbat-related songs, hear stories, and give tzedakah. We end every class with Shabbat blessings including lighting the candles, kiddush and hamotzi. The program is led by educator, Rachel Brook, and musician Saskia Lane. Registration for the spring session is now open for the 9:15AM and 10:15AM classes. Because of the number of sessions, the cost is $270/members and $345/non-members per family (new members attend for free, please contact Allison Kapusta). If you can’t attend all classes, sign up for a 5 Class Pass at a specific time: 9:15AM and 10:15AM. It’s good for any spring date, and the cost is $100/members and $140/nonmembers. Register by December 29, and know that space is limited. There will be no class on April 3 or April 10.