BJ’s fifth graders are invited to join Rabbi Felicia Sol on March 3 and 10 to learn about and do the mitzvah of bikkur holim (visiting the sick). Students and parents will learn about the mitzvah, its origins, and how it can be meaningful to them on Monday, March 3, 5:00-6:00PM in the 88th Street Sanctuary. Then, on Monday, March 10, we’ll meet at 4:00PM in the 89th Street Community House then go to the Jewish Home and Hospital together, where we’ll visit with residents and reflect at the end with Felicia, before returning to 89th Street by 6:00PM. Sign up online to attend, and any parents with cars that can drive others on March 10, please contact Kristen Kersey.
Thursday, March 6 and 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 for the sessions on March 6 or April 24, and email Kristen with any questions.
Steve Stulman will be presented with the Spirit of BJ Award at the Night of 100 Dinners on March 8. We’ll be celebrating Steve with a large screen display of photos and journal ads from members of the community. Steve has issued a challenge: if $100,000 is raised by journal ads (available for contributions of $1,000 or $5,000) he will match it with a generous gift of $100,000. Learn more about how to participate.
Saturday, March 8 | 6:30PM Dinner, 8:00PM Dance Party | Private homes; 89th Street Community House; 88th Street Sanctuary
Announcing the return of the Night of 100 Dinners! BJ member-hosted dinners and a gala Rabbis’ dinner will be followed by the After-Dinner Dance Party at 88th Street featuring great dance music, fabulous desserts, fun raffles, the presentation of the Spirit of BJ Award to Steve Stulman and a few other surprises. Learn all about the Night of 100 Dinners. Now is the time to sign up to host a dinner and support BJ! Learn about hosting and sign up.
Monday, March 10 | 11:00AM-1:30PM | BJ office and JCC in Manhattan
Mekusharim is delighted to partner with the JCC’s unique concert series, PREformances. You will have the opportunity to get to know and listen to celebrated classical musicians as they prepare for upcoming performances. These concerts, hosted by soprano and founder of the series, Allison Charney, break down the traditional barrier between performer and audience, offering the rare opportunity to hear amazing talents in a welcoming and approachable setting. Hear musicians Laura Goldberg (violin), Joel Fan and Craig Ketter (pianists), Barbara Day Turner (conductor) in an exciting preview of upcoming concerts featuring music of our times. Composers Kim D. Sherman and Moshe Knoll will be on hand to hear their works being performed. Join us for this daytime concert at the JCC (334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street), preceded by brunch at the BJ office (2109 Broadway at 73rd Street). Cost for both the concert and brunch is $18; concert only is $5. Please register by Sunday, March 9.
Monday, March 10 and Sunday, March 16 | Various Times | Various Locations
BJ Teens, help us prepare for Purim Carnival on Monday, March 10 from 6:00-7:15PM in the 89th Street Middle Room by designing posters and organizing games. Come back on Sunday, March 16 to help set up and lead booths from 9:00AM-1:00PM at 88th Street. Email Ayala to volunteer.
Tuesday, March 11 | 6:00-7:30PM | 88th Street Kitchen
Join Tze’irim as we make dinner for the BJ/SPSA Homeless Shelter. We’ll meet at 6:00PM downstairs in the kitchen. As usual, there is a suggested donation to help cover the cost of groceries ($6-10), and no cooking experience is necessary. R.S.V.P. by Sunday, March 9.
Friday, March 14 | 6:00PM | 89th Street Gym
Families with children in elementary and middle school are invited to join the BJ spiritual leaders in welcoming Shabbat at our monthly Friday night service. The service will last about an hour, followed by dinner at 89th Street. Register online for the dinner, and email Kristen with questions or dietary restrictions.
Friday, March 14 | 6:15PM | 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.
Join Rabbinic Fellows Alex Braver and Sarit Horwitz for a light dinner, a few songs, and discussion about the spirituality of Purim. Come explore the deeper meaning in this holiday of comedy and opposites. Afterwards, we can walk over to the rousing Megillah reading at BJ, which starts at 8:00PM at 88th Street. To sign up, contact Monty Miller by Wednesday, March 12.
Saturday, March 15 | 7:00PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall and Sanctuary
Families will be put to the test! Join the Rabbis and Ari for Purimanium, and show your knowledge of the Purim story through trivia and teamwork. Stay for Havdalah and the Community Megillah reading and shpiel beginning at 8:00PM. No matter your age, be sure to come in costume.
Saturday, March 15 | 8:00PM-12:00AM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Hear a full Megillah reading complete with a shpiel. Perform along with the BJ rabbis and hazzan in the telling of the tale of Shushan long ago and Esther’s bravery. Costumes are encouraged! Following the reading there will be celebrating ’til midnight. Vashti may not have wanted to dance, but you can to the music of crowd-pleasing Unique Musique Entertainment.
Sunday, March 16 | 9:30-11:00AM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Continue to BJoyous as you start your day with Esther and Mordecai.
Sunday, March 16 | 9:45-11:15AM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Our youngest friends can “BGenerous, BJoyous” at this incredible Purim celebration! Len Levitt and his spectacular puppets will perform their show, “The Whole Megillah.” Len and his puppets have been in many films including The Muppets, Men in Black, The Flintstones, and Batman Returns. Len created, wrote and produced the award-winning television series Bubbe’s Boarding House, and Alef… Bet… Blast-Off! on PBS, and also wrote for Shalom Sesame. Meet his puppets on YouTube. After the show, kids can enjoy our Purim Carnival before it opens to the entire community, with games and activities related to the mitzvot of Purim.
Sunday, March 16 | 11:30AM-1:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary and Frankel Hall
Kids of all ages are invited to celebrate Purim at BJ! There will be fun games and activities related to the mitzvot of Purim: a megillah scavenger hunt with our famous bounce house, mishloah manot prizes, opportunities to make gifts for the needy, and delicious snacks for a Purim “Feast.” Make sure to stick around for the Purim Play at 1:30PM. Bring a food item from West Side Campaign Against Hunger‘s Donation List and help us reach our goal of collecting 200 items for their food pantry.
Sunday, March 16 | 1:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Haman is at it again and this time the Jews will have to compete for survival in the Purim Games. An event of epic proportion, the Games have become quite the extravaganza, especially at the expense of the Jews. Mordecai is chosen to compete along with Samson and Delilah, Jacob and Esau, and other famous faces. Through a test of skills and the support of Queen Esther, the Jews unite to team up against Haman, forcing him to compete as well. Children in K-2 will offer up a musical version of the Purim story. Come and hear the hits: “Chag Purim”, “Utzu Etza” and more!
Saturday, March 22 | during and after services | 86th Street SPSA
Dov Elbaum is an Israeli scholar, educator, journalist, and a leader of the secular Jewish renaissance in Israel. He will speak about his own spiritual journey from ultra-orthodoxy to secular cultural Judaism and his own role in the growing secular Jewish movement in Israel, including the founding of the BINA Secular Yeshiva. His new book is Into the Fullness of the Void: A Spiritual Autobiography.
Saturday, March 22 | 5:30PM | 89th Street Third Floor
Karin Ryan, Senior Adviser for Human Rights at The Carter Center, will discuss the role of religion in human rights and the oppression of women, as reflected in her work and in the upcoming book A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, written by former President Jimmy Carter.
Sunday, March 23 | 12:00-2:30PM | Location provided upon registration
Join Tze’irim as we make an inter-generational impact and brighten up the lives of low-income seniors. Help serve a hot kosher lunch and socialize with the residents. This is a great way to help those in need while getting to know your peers and your elders. Afterwards, feel free to go grab a bite to eat with your fellow volunteers. Register by Wednesday, March 19.
Monday, March 24 | 7:00-9:00PM | JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street)
In 1975 Esther Broner and Naomi Nimrod wrote the first Women’s Haggadah, paving the way for modern Jewish feminism. For the next 36 years, Esther Broner led the Feminist Passover Seder in New York City, with a core group of women. Esther Broner: A Weave of Women documents the evolution of Jewish feminism through archival footage and interviews with leading Jewish feminists. At the same time it tells the story of Esther Broner, described by the New York Times as a writer who explored the double marginalization of being Jewish and female. Without her, we can assume, modern Jewish women might not have found a worthy place in the home, in society, and in Jewish tradition. Cost: JCC members, $9; non-members, $11. Purchase tickets here.
Friday, March 28 | 7:30PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Welcome Shabbat with food, wine and interesting conversation as we host the Gvanim Program participants for services followed by Shabbat dinner. Gvanim in Hebrew means “color hues”, a fitting name for a program dedicated to the acceptance and celebration of the entire spectrum of religious observance, from Orthodox to secular Judaism. Created by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco the program develops the leadership that is essential to promote tolerance for diverse forms of Jewish religious expression in Israel among Israelis from diverse backgrounds. The Participants will be in New York as part of their visit to North America, they will be accompanied by their scholar in residence, Shraga Bar-On of the Hartman institute. Register online for the dinner: $36 members, $46 non-members, $25 children (under 13). Contact Orli Moss with questions.
Sunday, March 30 | 10:30AM-3:00PM | 225 West 83rd Street
Purim has passed, but don your costume one more time to brighten the day for those who have been through so much. We will set up, cook and serve brunch, and socialize with the honorees. You don’t have to stay the whole time, but the survivors will be coming at noon. We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a rewarding event. Sign up by Monday, March 24.
Sunday, March 30 | 11:00AM-12:30PM | Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street
Join fellow BJ members for our own guided tour of the fascinating exhibition entitled “Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews”. It tells the rich and complex history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities, dating back 2,700 years. The special per person price of $5 includes a one-hour guided tour of the exhibition, and admission to the museum if you would like to spend more time there on your own. There will be an additional option of lunch at moderately-priced Pete’s Tavern following the tour. Space is limited so please register by Thursday, March 20. This event is sponsored by Mekusharim.
Sunday, March 30 | 6:00-8:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Join us when Rabbi Sharon Brous, founding rabbi of IKAR and a former Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow, will discuss “The Amen Effect: Finding Strength, Inspiration and Purpose in Dialogical Living”. Inspired by her years at BJ, Rabbi Brous set out to reanimate Jewish life in Los Angeles by exploring new models at the intersection of soulful, inventive religious practice and a deep commitment to social justice. She is honored to return to BJ.
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. Registration closes March 31. Our Community Gathering and Orientation will be on Tuesday, May 27. For more information, contact Larissa.
BJ is proud to offer its very own 2014 calendar featuring Jewish holidays, candle-lighting times and special texts about welcoming and community. The highlight of the calendar is original artwork of the Birkat haBayit, the Blessing for the Home. Hang it on your wall or by your doorway, and for 12 months you can bask in the beauty of the message. Makes a great gift for friends and family! Only $20; limited quantities available.
Thursday, April 3 | 6:30-8:45PM (Doors open at 6:15PM) | 88th Street Sanctuary
How can we extend our understanding of ethical consumption beyond locally grown, organic, or cage-free? Hidden from our view are 80,000 laborers who make New York’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy possible. What are their stories? Join Panim el Panim’s Economic Justice Hevra for an interactive and informative evening about the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign. Speakers include Kerry Kennedy, Keynote and President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights; Librada Paz, farmworker activist, RFK Human Rights Laureate; and NYS Senator Adriano Espaillat, lead sponsor of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act. A light selection of food and drink sourced in New York State will be served. R.S.V.P. by March 20. Questions? Contact Larissa or call x272.
Friday, April 4 | 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. Upcoming dates are Friday, May 2, and Friday, June 6.
Lunch and Learn: The Language of Truth: The Gerer Rebbe's Commentary on Parashat HaShavua (The Weekly Torah Portion)
12 Tuesdays (January 14 through February 4, February 18 through April 8) | 12:30-1:45PM | BJ Office Conference 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.
Saturday, April 12 | 7:45PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Gather with Yozma to begin a new week together with a nosh and great people. In honor of Pete Seeger, who once performed at BJ, we will have a guitar sing-along led by Craig Rosenberg playing songs Pete made famous. His folk songs of freedom remind us that Pesah is just around the corner. Register here by Thursday, April 10.
Tuesday, April 15 | 6:30-10:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
For the sixth year, Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein will be leading the Community Second Night Pesah Seder. This year, we will have a Flamenco-themed event (stay tuned for more information). Due to limited space, this event is open to members only. To ensure you have a seat, please register early – it will sell out. In addition, to make the Seder a success please sign up to volunteer for prepping and cooking, as our Seder is a community-cooked meal. If you need assistance with registration or volunteering, please contact Sandra Ghiorzo.
Tuesday, April 15 | 10:15PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Come to celebrate freedom and diversity with the passion of flamenco music and dance and a glimpse of its Sephardic flavor. Flamenco Poe-trance is a theater concept that honors poetry and flamenco dance while celebrating humanity. BJ member Silvia Heller will be performing with her theater company. Free and open to the public. No registration required.
9 Wednesdays (February 5 to April 2) | 7:00-8:45PM | 89th Street Middle Room
Rabbi Roly Matalon will teach the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage 2.0 curriculum, exploring the challenges of creating a shared common space in the State of Israel for a people divided along religious, ideological, national and geographic lines. This class is for BJ members only. Priority will be given to those who completed last year’s iEngage 1.0 course. Cost is $60. Co-sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York. Registration is now closed.
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
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.
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.