Upcoming Events

Bim Bam Fall Session

Friday Mornings, September 5-December 19 | 9:15-10:00AM, 10:15-11:00AM, and 11:15AM-12:00PM | 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. Registration for the fall session is now open for the 10:15AM and 11:15AM classes; the 9:15AM class is closed. The cost is $180/members and $230/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: 10:15AM or 11:15AM. It’s good for any fall date, and the cost is $100/members and $140/nonmembers. Register by September 3, and know that space is limited. There will be no class on September 26, October 10 and 17, and November 28.

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.

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.

Introduction to Judaism

Stained Glass at BJ Golden Stairway

Wednesdays, October 22 – May 13 | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street 2nd Floor 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 21: individuals $420/$636; couples $630/$945.

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)

torah_yod_column_angled copy

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.

When the End of Life Arrives: An Exploration of Death and Mourning


3 Thursdays (October 30, November 6 and 13) | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Join Rabbi Felicia Sol for study and conversation on the rituals, customs and beliefs that our tradition offers at this most vulnerable and holy time. Registration encouraged.

Avodat Ha-Lev: Exploring Prayer and the Siddur

Zitzit Photo: Chajm Guski, flickr

Thursdays, Oct. 30-Dec. 18; Mondays Jan. 5-May 11 | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street 2nd Floor Conference Room
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 »

Special Needs Havdalah Service

Havdalah Candle

Saturday, November 1 | 5:30-7:00PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and Student Hazzan Shoshi Rosenbaum for an interactive, warm, and inviting musical Havdalah service. As a demonstration of our commitment to inclusion, this will be an accessible experience, sensitive to children and young adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. Everyone is welcome, including members and non-members. Registration not required.

Movie Screening: Bipolarized, Starring Ross McKenzie

Movie Screen

Tuesday, November 4 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Ross McKenzie embarks on a journey to treat his symptoms through alternative treatments. Millions of people around the world are being diagnosed with mental health disorders and being prescribed powerful cocktails of psychotropic medication. By choosing to investigate mental, physical, emotional and spiritual root causes of one’s mental health symptoms, one can create a healthy, vibrant, creative life, free from mental health disease. The film uses Ross’ personal experiences to tell a larger story about psychotropic medication and its effects. Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein will engage in dialogue with Ross at the end of the screening. Free admission. For questions, contact Sandra Ghiorzo.

The Art of Expanding Our Inner Awareness: Presentation by Rabbi Yoel Glick - Open to all


Wednesday, November 5 | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and the Mindfulness Hevra invite you to Rabbi’ Glick’s presentation. At the heart of the meditative life is the expansion of our awareness. Meditation purifies our mind and transforms our state of consciousness. It lifts us from the finite to the Infinite. In this workshop, we will explore the five main forms of meditation: stilling the mind, visualization, concentration, mantra chanting and contemplation. We will practice meditations for each of these techniques, and explore the inner changes that they set into motion. Led by Rabbi Bronstein. Free of charge. Registration not required.

B'nai Mitzvah Parent Orientation Meeting

Reading from the Torah

Wednesday, November 5 | 7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Parents of children in fourth grade, or whose birth dates fall between September 2004 and December 2005, are invited to an informational meeting that will detail each step of the B’nai Mitzvah planning process including date applications.  We highly encourage all parents to attend and there will an opportunity to ask questions. For more information contact Beth Tarson.

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

Friday, November 7 | 5:15PM | 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, November 5 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.

CSA Farm Fresh Community Shabbat Dinner

csa 2013 dinner

Friday, November 7 | 7:45-10:00PM (after Kabbalat Shabbat) | 88th St. Frankel Hall
Join us for the BJ Hazorim CSA’s fourth annual Farm Fresh Community Shabbat Dinner. Each year we end our season with a delicious meal prepared by CSA members using organic produce from our partners at Free Bird Farm and area farmer’s markets. Bring your friends and family – you won’t want to miss out. Register by Monday, October 27 at 5:00PM. Contact Larissa with any questions or call x272.

New Member Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat Dinner

Friday, November 7 | 8:00-10:00PM, Following Kabbalat Shabbat | 89th Street Middle Room
Come experience the joy and warmth of Shabbat at BJ with your new community! Once services are over, take a walk around the corner to the 89th Street Community House for a fully catered meal.  Enjoy the opportunity to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere with your fellow new members, who will also join you at the New Member Orientation Program December 3. R.S.V.P. here by November 5.

8th Annual Other Israel Film Festival

other israel

Thursday, November 6 – Thursday, November 13 | Times Vary | JCC in Manhattan 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street, and other locations
The Other Israel Film Festival founded in 2007, provides a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of, and dialog about, minority populations in Israeli society. The Festival presents dramatic and documentary films, as well as engaging panels. More information is available online. Special price for BJ members, enter code: EFZBJ. The BJ Hebrew Literature group will attend The Dove Flyer on Wednesday November 12. For registration and to purchase a ticket click here.

More! Shabbat

Havdalah Candle

Friday, November 14-Saturday, November 15 | Times Vary | Locations Vary
What is More! Shabbat? Shabbat is about choosing restoration, delight and healing. Share Shabbat with your BJ community with activities for all ages and stages, from sundown on Friday, November 14 until Havdalah on November 15. Step away from routine and engage in learning, playing, schmoozing, meditating, praying and singing.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, November 14 | 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 for additional information.

Celebrate the Ethiopian Sigd at BJ

Sigd. Photo credit: Marlaine Glicksman

Sunday, November 16 | 4:30-7:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join the local Israeli Ethiopian community led by spiritual leaders, Kesoj, from Israel for their Sigd celebration. ‘Sigd’ is the Amharic word for prostration. The festival is marked by a fast and a gathering, during which the Kessim read from the Orit (an Amharic version of the Torah). The ritual is followed by breaking the fast, dancing and celebration. The celebration is traditionally marked on the 29th day of the month of Heshvan, 50 days after Yom Kippur. In partnership with Chassida Shmella and co-sponsored by the Israeli Consulate in NY. Dinner will be served. $30 BJ members, $40 non- members, $45 at the door. Registration required.

The Global Day of Jewish Learning

Global Day of Jewish Learning

Sunday, November 16 | 9:45AM-5:00PM | Drisha Institute, 37 W 65th St, 5th Floor
This event brings the Jewish people together once a year to celebrate our shared Jewish text through community based learning. The guiding values of the Global Day of Jewish Learning are: fostering Jewish unity, empowering individuals through increased Jewish knowledge, and creating meaningful shared experiences. This year’s theme is “Heroes, Villains, Saints, and Fools: The People in the Book”.  BJ Rabbinic Fellow Bryan Wexler  will be one of the teachers for this extraordinary day of learning. His class titled “‘I Can See Clearly Now…': The Gift of Sight in Jewish Tradition and Learning to See Through the Eyes of Our Biblical Heroes” will engage in text study, discussion and the sharing of personal stories in order to explore what Jewish texts and tradition have to say about the value of vision. For more information please visit http://drisha.org/globalday.php This event is free and open to the public.

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 -Sayed Kashua, Dancing Arabs, Assaf Gavron- The Hilltop, Sara Shilo- The Falafel King is Dead, Shemi Zarhin- Some Day.