Upcoming Events

Women's Retreat 2017

Friday, May 19-Sunday, May 21 | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Spend a weekend surrounded by the voices of women and exploring the theme: Marching Toward Sinai: Torah of Spiritual Resistance. Build deeper connections in the BJ community through beautiful services, a joyous Shabbat, and conversations with Rabbi Felicia Sol and former BJ Rabbinic Fellow Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni.

Member Double Room, $350; Member Single Room, $450; Non-members, $550. There are a limited amount of single rooms. Deadline extended – Register here by May 1!

Contact Billie for information.

Fireside Chat with the Rabbis

Wednesday, April 26 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary | Members Only

BJ Members are invited to join us for a Fireside Chat with the Rabbis, where you will have a unique opportunity to hear your rabbis’ personal testimonies about how they are called to wrestle with the issues surrounding the contemporary meaning of Jewish identity and belonging, particularly as it pertains to intermarriage.

The Fireside Chat with the Rabbis is part of BJ’s year-long examination and discussion of Jewish identity and belonging. The rabbis will share some of the insights that they have culled from the Shalom Hartman lectures and our webinars and discussions about them, the JIBC salons, and the many members’ comments on the online Insights forum. Our goal is to address the possible programmatic, halakhic or cultural changes required to honor our unfolding tradition at BJ.

Register now for what will be a truly memorable evening.

This event is open to BJ members only. If you have not received your invitation with a link to the registration page, please email Lisa Shillan or call 212-787-7600 x276.

BJ Ushers and Greeters Meeting

Thursday, April 27 | 7:00PM | 89th Street
Help us execute a core aspect of our strategic plan by creating a warm and welcoming space at BJ! This meeting will serve as a brief training session for current ushers and greeters, as well as those who may be interested in joining our team.

6th Grade B'nai Mitzvah Spring Retreat

Friday, April 28-Sunday, April 30 | Ramah Day Camp in Nyack
Join your fellow sixthgraders on our weekend B’nai Mitzvah Retreat! Students will participate in exciting B’nai Mitzvah programming with others in their grade while building community and spending Shabbat together. Early bird pricing is $225 per child for those who register by March 30; $325 for those who register after. Register here.

Shabbat-Friendly Bus to D.C. People's Climate March

Friday, April 28-Sunday, April 30 | Departing from BJ at 11:00AM Friday | Departing from D.C. at 2:30PM Sunday (pick up location TBD) 

The Jewish Hub is organizing Shabbat-friendly transportation to the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. The bus will pick up in Brooklyn and Manhattan on the morning of Friday, April 28th and will arrive in Washington, D.C. before Shabbat. There will be a return bus on Sunday morning, April 30 (around 9:30AM). Register here. Looking for Shabbat-friend accommodations? Contact Larissa Wohl.

Celebrate Israel: Ella's Trip to Israel, an Interactive Children's Performance


Sunday, April 30 | 11:30AM-12:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Join MusicTalks for a fun filled Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration with the delightful children’s book, Ella’s Trip to Israel, narrated by Israeli actress Shira Averbuch. Come along as Ella discovers all of the most breathtaking Israeli sites such as Jerusalem, the Kotel, The Dead Sea, and the Israeli Shuk. Her magical journey through Israel will be brought to life with a sing along of the best known Israeli tunes, as well as original music written by Israeli composer Or Matias and performed by a musical ensemble. Following the interactive performance, the participants will be invited to meet the musicians up close and learn about the different instruments at our one of a kind “musical instrument petting zoo.”

$5 per person, walk-ins welcome. Please sign up here

Check out our preview video below!

Text and artwork from Ella’s Trip to Israel appears with the permission of Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group. www.karben.com. Copyright ©2011 by Vivian Newman

Israeli Folk Dancing for Yom Ha'atzmaut

Sunday, April 30 | 2:00-6:00PM | 89th Street Community House Gym

Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut with the best of Israeli folk dances. Our friendly dancers will help you learn the steps (though a little experience in Israeli folk dancing is helpful!). The program ends with a mix of circle, line, and partner dances, selected mostly by request.

This special event is brought to you by Rikuday Dor Rishon, an Upper West Side community-based group dedicated to preserving the classic folk dances of Israel. Light refreshments will be served.

$5 entrance fee. Please sign up here

Israeli Settlements: A Conversation with Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan

Sunday, April 30 | 3:00-4:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary 

Fifty years after the Six-Day War, 400,000 Israelis are settled on the West Bank. Many consider settlements an impediment to peace, while others consider it a fulfillment of the Zionist vision. Join Israeli Consul General and former Chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Mr. Dani Dayan, for a special presentation on the impact of the settlements on Israel’s society and future. Register here for this event.  Read more »

HEROES: The Untold Stories Of The Jewish-Ethiopian Aliyah

Sunday, April 30 | 5:00-6:15PM | 89th Street Community House 

Join us for a special screening of excerpts from the work-in-progress documentary, HEROES. This feature film explores the experiences of the real-life heroes involved in the Jewish-Ethiopian aliyah to Israel. After the screening, there will be a Q&A featuring co-director Avishai Yeganyahu Mekonen and activists who were directly involved in the aliyah efforts. Visit the film’s webpage and sign up here to attend.

Read more »

BJ Writer's Havurah

Sunday, April 30 | 7:00PM | Location upon R.S.V.P. 
From writing your next big novel to writing your “to do” list, there is a little writer in all of us!  Come connect with us at the BJ Writers Havurah. We meet every other month and are looking to expand our group! For more information, please contact Shary Wagreich at sharywagdc@msn.com or call (646) 831-1915.

Fifty Years Since 1967: An Evening of Ceremony and Reflection

Monday, May 1 | 7:00-9:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Join us for our traditional Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) ceremony, commemorating those who have lost their lives for the State of Israel. This year, the ceremony will focus on the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the unification of Jerusalem. After the ceremony, we will continue to explore topics central to this historical event, as well as the impact of the war on Israel’s relationship with its neighbors. Breakout sessions include a facilitated conversation with Resetting The Table, a discussion with our partners at Mechon Hadar, Shaare Tzedek, JTS, HUC, Columbia Hillel, and Romemu. We will conclude the evening with a dessert reception and a sing along session in celebration of Yom Haatzmaut. Please sign up here for this event.

Open Rehearsals of Shabbat Music

BJ Musicians Concert, March. Photo: Shahpar Nili

Wednesday, May 3 | 6:30-8:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Join us for a monthly open rehearsal with music director Dan Nadel, Hazzan Ari Priven, and the rabbis to sing, learn new melodies, and delve deeper into prayer and music. All are invited to participate in co-creating our Shabbat prayer experience.

Hate Has No Home Here

Tuesday, May 2 | 6:30PM | 89th Street, 4th floor

We stand in solidarity with non-citizens and other targeted members of our community.  In response to the increasing expressions of hate in our society today, join this continuing multi-congregation effort as we distribute multi-language “Hate Has No Home Signs” signs for display in local shops and offices.  For more information, or to R.S.V.P., contact Nora Gaines.

Refugee and Immigration Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 3 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Through a partnership with HIAS and emerging relationships with other organizations, we are educating our community about the refugee crisis and developing opportunities to volunteer, advocate, and raise our Jewish voice. Join us at our next meeting to get involved in this important work. R.S.V.P. to Sandy.

Economic Justice Hevra Meeting

Thursday, May 4 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
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. In doing so, we aim to acknowledge the predominately immigrant laborers who make New York’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy possible. Through the passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, we hope to ensure that laborers who produce the food on which New Yorkers depend can have the dignity and equality they deserve. If you are interested in attending these meetings or have questions, please contact Lisa.

Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Friday, May 5 | 7:00PM | 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 workweek anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. Read more about this service here.

Where We Go From Here: Improving Israeli Security and Preserving the Two-state Option 

Saturday, May 6 | After Shabbat Services | 86th Street SPSA  

After leading Israel in the battlefield during his impressive military career, General Amnon Reshef now spearheads the Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), an unprecedented movement of 270 retired Israeli commanders and generals who advocate for taking intermediate steps towards enhancing Israel’s security while preserving conditions on the ground for a future two-state agreement. Together with the New York-based Israel Policy Forum (IPF), CIS is bringing their message to the American Jewish community and U.S. lawmakers. Join General Reshef in learning about his movement and their policy plans, which are currently gaining significant momentum within Israel’s policy-making and national security circles. No registration required. 

Soulful Start: Shira Yoga - An Integrated Practice for Body and Soul

Saturday, May 6 | 9:00AM | 86th Street Chapel

Bring voice, breath and body together in this  series that will combine two devotional practices: asana yoga and piyut (Hebrew liturgical poetry). Each month we will study a new piyut, sing and chant together, and explore the piyut’s theme through a gentle yoga practice. We’ll finish in time to head into the main service in the sanctuary for Torah reading. Rabbi Shuli Passow leads the yoga, with Rabbi Roly Matalon, Dan Nadel, and rabbinic fellow Arielle Rosenberg rotating each month to provide live musical accompaniment.

Never practiced yoga before? The yoga practice will be open to all levels, so no experience is necessary to participate.

Read more »

Mindfulness Meditation and the Counting of the Omer

Sunday, May 7 | 10:30AM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Whether you are already counting the Omer or are new to the practice, come experience this spiritual journey to Sinai, which includes meditation and an experiential overview of the Sefirot (divine attributes). The session will be led by Bernice Todres, longtime BJ member and teacher of mindfulness meditation.

The Israeli Book Club Discusses The Yellow Wind by David Grossman

Sunday, May 7 | 5:00-6:30PM | Location upon R.S.V.P.
The Israeli Book Club is more than just a typical reading group: it is an intimate encounter with Israeli culture, society, and politics. The next book we will discuss is David Gossman’s The Yellow Wind (1987).

The Israeli novelist David Grossman’s impassioned account of what he observed on the West Bank in early 1987―not only the misery of the Palestinian refugees and their deep-seated hatred of the Israelis but also the cost of occupation for both occupier and occupied―is an intimate and urgent moral report on one of the great tragedies of our time. The Yellow Wind is essential reading for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of Israel today.

Register here

Healthcare Group Meeting

Monday, May 8 | 6:30PM | 89th Street Community House

During our Community Conversations on Social Justice this past January, healthcare surfaced as an issue that several members showed an interest in. Healthcare is an issue that is in transition and impacts us all. At this meeting, we will assess community interest in pursuing a social action agenda to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare. For more information, please contact Sylvia Vogelman or Susan Margolis.

Sharing Circle with the Rabbis

Wednesday, May 10 | 6:00PM-6:50PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall | Members Only

BJ Members are invited to join us for an intimate session with the rabbis ahead of the final lecture in our  JIBC series of Shalom Hartman Lectures, with Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman. We hope you will join us!

Registration is not required for this event, but please be sure to register for the lecture which follows.

Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community: Shalom Hartman Lecture with Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman

Wednesday, May 10 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Join us for the final installment of the JIBC Shalom Hartman lecture series, a key component of our year-long program. Our speaker will be Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, who will discuss “Community Beyond the Boundaries.”  Rabbi Hartman is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of Putting God Second: How to Save Religion from Itself. He is the founder of some of the most extensive education and enrichment programs for scholars, rabbis, and religious and lay leaders in Israel and North America.

Hartman has a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy from Hebrew University, an M.A in political philosophy from New York University, an M.A. in religion from Temple University, and Rabbinic ordination from the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the author of The Boundaries of Judaism; co-editor of Judaism and the Challenges of Modern Life; co-author of Spheres of Jewish Identity; and lead author of Speaking iEngage: Creating a New Narrative Regarding the Significance of Israel for Jewish Life. He is currently completing his next book, entitled Who are the Jews? Register now.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, May 12 | 7:00PM | 89th Street Gym
Led by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Rabbinic Fellow Arielle Rosenberg, and Karina Zilberman, this service involves meditation, reflection, deep listening and personal engagement with the parashah. Please contact Beth with any questions.

The Cultural Impact Of The Six-Day War

Sunday, May 14 | 5:00-6:30PM | 89th Street Community House 

The miraculous victory of the Six-Day War left a huge impact on local culture in the late 60s and early 70s. This musical presentation will feature classic songs from the post-war era, performed by our very own BJ musical ensemble. Moti Zeira, head of our partner organization HaMidrasha and official biographer of Israeli song-writer Naomi Shemer (Yerushalayim Shel Zahav), will examine the impact of the war on Israeli music, the rise of military super-groups, and the subversive messages hidden within some of the all-time classics of the age.

This event is free for BJ members, but registration is required. Register here. Read more »

Rabbi Roly Matalon's Webinar Follow-Up to May 10 Shalom Hartman Lecture

Wednesday, May 17 | 12:00PM | Online

Join Rabbi Roly Matalon’s live interactive webinar as we explore and unfold the ideas raised in Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman’s May 10 Shalom Hartman lecture. Click here to access the webinar, which will become active at the scheduled date.

*Visit our JIBC webpage to view previous Shalom Hartman lectures and webinars.

Members' Input Forum

Join the conversation

Wednesday, May 17 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary | Members Only

This event is open to BJ Members only. Check back soon for more information.

Siah: A Monthly Minyan for Learners and Seekers

Shabbat Candles photo: gerard montigny

Every 3rd Saturday of the month | November 19, 2016-May 20, 2017 | 9:30AM-12:00PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall 

Led by Rabbinic Fellow Arielle Rosenberg, this intimate, conversation-based service is geared towards those who are exploring Jewish prayer for the first time or who hope to build confidence in their Hebrew language and prayer skills. Join us as we dive into Shabbat morning liturgy and engage in meaningful discussion around the language, songs, and concepts of the Torah. If you have questions or hope to get involved with Siah, please contact Arielle (x224).

Picnic in Riverside Park

Saturday, May 20 | Following Shabbat Morning Services | Riverside Park 
Celebrate springtime with a picnic lunch in Riverside Park following Shabbat services. Families are invited to bring their own lunch, picnic blankets, and outdoor games (and we will provide cookies and fruit). We will walk to the park as a group after services at 86th Street.

Like Hearing the Grass Grow: Guilt, Atonement, and Intimacy with Avivah Zornberg

Dr. Avivah Zornberg. Photo: Debbi Cooper, (www.debbicooper.co.il)

Sunday, May 21 | 7:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Moses’ relationship with God takes a poignant turn after the creation of the Golden Calf and the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Sin and atonement stand at the center of the sacrifice that is to take place in the tabernacle. But such atonement is possible only for inadvertent sin. Why is this so? And how does this relate to the Golden Calf and to the new intimacy that Moses, representing his people, enters into with God? Moderated by Seth Aronson, Psy.D. Co-sponsored by The William Alanson White Institute.

Admission: $30 /$35 at the door; BJ and White Society members $25/30; Students $15/$20.

Register here. For more information, contact Afoue Ellison.


BJ Youth Group & Families Mets Game!

Sunday, May 21 | 1:00PM | Citi Field

Members of Garinim, Shorashim, and Ilanot (or non-youth group members in kindergarten through 7th grade) and their families are invited to spend an afternoon at Citi Field watching the Mets play the Los Angeles Angels. Youth Group Members receive one FREE ticket! Email Michelle to claim yours.

Register here (if you are eligible for the free ticket, please exclude this additional ticket from your order so that you are not charged for it).

**This is a family outing. Children should not be in attendance without adult supervision.

The Generational Divide: How Do Millennials View Israel in Light of 50 Years of Occupation?

Thursday, May 25 | 7:00-8:30PM | 89th Street Community House 

In the American Jewish community, young Jews are starting to pull away from Israel as their values and the actions of the state of Israel come into conflict. Jewish youth in America are more liberal and less religious than previous generations. In Israel, the situation is reversed: the youth are becoming more right wing and religious than their elders. Why is this the case and what does this mean for both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the relationship between American and Israeli Jews? Join Joel Braunold of ALLMEP and Yona Shem-Tov of Encounter in exploring these questions of generational divide. Register here  Read more »

Environmental Justice Hevra Meeting

Tuesday, May 23 | 6:30PM | 89th Street Community House, 4th Floor
Join us for our next meeting to further explore environmental initiatives. Now is the time to bring your ideas and passion to this meaningful cause. R.S.V.P. to Les Judd.

Come to Albany to Lobby for Farmworker Justice

Tuesday, May 23 | 6:30AM-6:30PM | Departing from Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue) 
Your voice is important! Join with farmworkers and allies from across New York State to meet with elected officials and lobby on behalf of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act. The group will be traveling by bus to Albany, departing from St. John the Divine at 6:30AM. To reserve your spot on the bus (lunch provided), register here. Cost is $20.
Email Paula Galowitz at gpaula11@gmail.com for more information.

Give the Gift of Life at the BJ Blood Drive

Wednesday, May 24 | 3:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Twice a year, we have the opportunity to provide this essential service to the community. Save a life and donate now at the BJ Blood Drive. Learn more about how you can prepare to donate, including any restrictions that may apply. Don’t forget to bring your donor ID card or number (if you have it). To sign up, email Larissa Wohl with your name and preferred time slot.

Play Softball with BJ

Thursday Evenings | Memorial Day through early July
Each week, we invite you to join us for a friendly, non-competitive, co-ed softball game in Central Park. Please contact Craig Rosenberg at crosenberg6@optonline.net for more information.

Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein Tribute Event

Wednesday, June 7 | 7:00-11:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Save the date to join us in honor of Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and to acknowledge the enormous impact he has had on our community.

More details including registration coming soon.


Bim Bam and Bim Bam Hebrew Immersion

Fridays, June 9-August 18 | 9:15-10:00AM, 10:15-11:00AM, 11:15AM-12:00PM | 89th Street Middle Room
Children ages 3 and under explore Shabbat through song and story while learning traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. For sessions that feature both English and Hebrew stories, register for the 9:15AM or 10:15AM class. For full Hebrew immersion, register for the 11:15AM timeslot. The cost is $200/members and $300/non-members per child. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New members attend for free. Program is led by BJ educator and musician, Shira Kobren.

*No class on June 30.

Jerusalem: Fifty Years of Complex Unification  

Sunday, June 11 | 7:00-8:30PM | 89th Street Community House

Within days in June 1967, Jerusalem was transformed. It turned from a small, divided, and threatened town with an international border running through it into a large, booming metropolis. The unification of Jerusalem radically changed the city’s character. The residents, regardless of their religious or ethnic composition, were now sharing a new city that was fully under Israeli control; this was one of the city’s most euphoric and triumphant moments. How have Jerusalemites in both East and West Jerusalem adapted to this new reality? What are the underlying social, political, and religious rifts that still shape this fascinating city? Dr. Elan Ezrachi, a native of Jerusalem and the author of a new book (in Hebrew) covering the history Jerusalem since 1967, will address these questions and more during this in-depth discussion.  Read more »

2017 Annual Meeting - Save the Date

Thursday, June 15 | 7:00PM-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Save the date for this year’s annual meeting – hear about the past year, upcoming plans for our community, and elect new members to BJ’s Board of Trustees.

Opportunities and Challenges in Israel's Quest for a Clean Energy Future

Tuesday, June 20 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room

Join the BJ Environmental Justice Hevra for a stimulating discussion about renewable energy in Israel with Amit Bracha and Leehee Goldenberg from the Israeli environmental advocacy organization, Adam Teva V’din. All are welcome but please register in advance. Refreshments will be served. R.S.V.P. to Les Judd at lesjudd@aol.com by Sunday, June 18.