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.

Hakhanah laTefillah - Preparing for Prayer

Prayer shawl. Photo: Oren Hayon

Saturdays, January 10, 24, February 7, 14, 21, March 7, 21, April 18, and May 2, 16, 30| 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.

The Israeli Literature Book Group


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 the upcoming gathering is -Dancing Arabs by Sayed Kashua. Other books on the list are – The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron, The Falafel King is Dead by Sara Shilo, and Some Day by Shemi Zarhin .

Shishi Israeli - שישי ישראלי

Shishi Israeli Jan. 23 v_3

Friday, January 23 | 6:00-8:00PM | 89th Street Community House, 3rd floor
Shishi Israeli is a magical combination of Shabbat and community for the whole family. Join us to welcome Shabbat in Hebrew with Israeli song and traditional Israeli Shabbat dinner. Cost: $15 adult, $8 child, $45 for the whole family. Registration required. In collaboration with the IAC.

  יום שישי, 23 בינואר. שישי ישראלי הוא שילוב קסום של קבלת שבת, שירה בציבור וארוחת שבת מסורתית ישראלית לכל המשפחה! כאן נפגשים ישראלים ואמריקאים ליצור שפה משותפת סביב שולחן השבת. בואו לקבל איתנו את השבת בשירה, אוכל וקהילה. עלות: $15 למבוגר, $8 לילד, $45 למשפחה. להרשמה. בשיתוף עם ה

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.

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 »

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 December 18, January 15, 29 February 12, 26 March 12 | 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.

KesheTOT Shabbat Morning קשתות בשבת בבוקר


Saturday, December 20 | 10:00-10:45AM | 86th Street SPSA | קשתות בשבת בבוקר
Additional dates- January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16     תאריכים נוספים
הצטרפו אלינו לשירים וריקודים בעברית, עם שירה ויונתן ועוד חברים. מיד אחרי למי שמעוניין יש תפילות ילדים ולאחריהן ארוחת צהריים קלה. ללא תשלום לחברי קהילה ולרשומים לתכנית קשתות במהלך השבוע. המחיר לאורחים- $15 לילד, $25 מעל ילד אחד. נא להירשם מראש. לשאלות ניתן לשלוח מייל לאורלי מוס. בשיתוף עם ה

Experience Shabbat morning in Hebrew! Join us for a fun, musical,  Hebrew song session led by the educators and musicians of the KesheTOT program. Stay after for Children’s Services which start at 10:45AM followed by a Kiddush lunch. Free for BJ members and KesheTOT weekly participants. $15 for one child, $25 for two children or more. Registration required. Please email Allison or Orli with any questions. In collaboration with the IAC.

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 Wednesday, December 17th. 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.

Wrap Attack Teen Hanukkah Celebration


Sunday, December 21 | 6:00-7:30PM | 89th Street Middle Room
Come celebrate Hanukkah with the BJ teens! We will wrap gifts togethers, eat yummy latkes, have a dreidel tournament, light candles and more! Please bring small gifts to donate to children in need. R.S.V.P. here by December 18th. Contact Ayala with any questions.

Yozma Hanukkah Ice-Skating & Schmoozing at Bryant Park

Menorah - Photo - Ron Almog

Monday, December 22 | 6:30PM |Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
Join us to celebrate the 7th night of Hanukkah as we ice-skate on the rink at Bryant Park.  Finish in time to join us for some schmoozing at 8:00PM at the enclosed eating/drinking area above the rink. Or if skating is not your thing, just join us for the schmoozing. There’s no cost to be out on the ice, although skate rentals are $15, with an additional $8 or $10 for checking bags. Email Craig Rosenberg at crosenberg6@optonline.net by Monday December 15 for more details or to R.S.V.P.

"More Shabbat" at BJ: Shabbat Shirah

Havdalah Candle

Saturday, January 31 | 3:30-8:00PM | 89th Street Community House
Shabbat is the Jewish community’s most special and sacred time—and on January 31, we will celebrate one of the special Shabbatot of the year: Shabbat Shirah, the Shabbat of Song! Our More Shabbat on January 31 offers an entire afternoon of programming to keep you immersed in the spirit of Shabbat with our BJ Musicians right through Havdalah. Our full—and fun—day begins with regular Shabbat Morning Services and Community Kiddush and resumes at 3:30PM with a More Shabbat Schmooze. After enjoying whichever programs interest you, please join the rest of the BJ community for a special Havdalah service at 5:30PM. For more information, contact Jo at jicaza@bj.org.

Purim Spiel Auditions and First Rehearsal


Sunday, January 4 | 11:00 – 3:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Audition for the event of the year: the 2015 Purim Spiel! Make great friends and lifetime memories by joining the team. Children in grades K-2, please join us from 11:00-11:45AM; those in grades 3 – 6 from 11:00-3:00PM. Please prepare a short song to audition, anything that shows off your voice. We will do some improv and read from cold copy too. Rehearsals will be most Sundays and some Tuesdays and Wednesdays until Purim. The final Dress Rehearsal will be on Thursday, February 26. The show will be on Sunday, March 1. If you have any questions please email organizer and director, Michael Kelberg at BJHolidayshows@gmail.com.

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

Torah text. Photo: Harriet R. Goren

Thursdays (January 8, 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 26, and March 5) | 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. Please note, even if you were enrolled in the  Fall 2014 semester you must re-register for the classes starting in January. To register, click here.

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.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, January 9 | 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.

Family Kabbalat Shabbat Service & Dinner


Friday, January 9 | 6:00PM | 89th Street Gym
Reunite with other BJ families after the Winter Break and welcome in Shabbat with a warm, musical, participatory service designed especially for children led by Rabbi Felicia Sol and Hazzan Ari Priven, followed by a lively communal dinner. Please join us at our monthly Kabbalat Shabbat event. $18 for adults, $10 for children. Email Esther with any questions and dietary requests and register online.

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

torah_yod_column_angled copy

10 Tuesdays (January 13, 20 and 27,  February 3, 10 and 24,  March 3, 17, 24 and 31) | 12:30-1:45PM | 89th Street 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.

The Spiritual Journeys of BJ Women Artists


Thursday, January 15 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Middle Room
Sandee Brawarsky, Culture Editor of The Jewish Week, and BJ Member, will moderate a panel comprised of three BJ women artists — Helene Aylon, Susan Reimer-Torn, and Basya Schechter — who grew up orthodox but then had serious questions about that world and their place in it. Years later, they found themselves attracted to BJ, its authentic spirituality and its broader, more open view of Judaism. Each of the artists will speak about the path she took and share some of their work. Register here.

Standing Again at Sinai Book Discussion


Tuesday, January 20 | 7:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room 
Join author and BJ member Dr.Judith Plaskow in a discussion of her highly influential book Standing Again at Sinai. Credited as being the first book of Jewish feminist theology ever written, Standing Again at Sinai dismantled gender barriers present in Judaism and paved the way for a future of Jewish life transformed by feminist sensibilities. Sponsored by the Rosh Hodesh Women’s Group and open to all. The first 20 members who sign up for the book discussion will receive a free book, generously provided by Dr. Plaskow. Contact Jo or call at x241.


5th Grade Overnight

Saturday, February 7 | 5:15 PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
If you’ve ever wondered what BJ looks like in the middle of the night, now’s your chance to find out! On Saturday, February 7, all 5th graders can sign up to spend the night at BJ and have a great time with new and old friends. This is a next step along the B’nai Mitzvah journey.

Parents should stay at the beginning for Havdalah at 5:15, and then at 6:00PM it’s kids-only, as we’re joined by 3rd and 4th graders for Movie Night. That night, we will have a special 5th grade only program and then only 5th graders will spend the night with BJ staff and educators. In the morning, parents can join us at 9:00AM for a light breakfast. The cost for the overnight is $40, and includes dinner, snacks, and breakfast. Register online before Friday, January 23. Please contact Nina Loftspring with questions.

"Meet Me at Sinai" Day of Learning


Sunday, February 8 | Times Vary | Locations Vary
Attend this full day of panel discussions, films, dance, and more that celebrates 25 years of Standing Again at Sinai, and the changes in Judaism this book seeded. We will explore how Jewish feminism has enriched and challenged Jewish life in every domain, celebrate the progress we’ve made, and speak openly about where we can go from here. Contact Jo or call at x241.

A Talk by Frieda Forman: Their Stories, Our Stories: Yiddish Women Writers


Thursday, February 12 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Discover the rarely explored works and lives of Yiddish women authors of the 20th Century.  Rescued from oblivion by feminist scholars and translators, these short stories, memoirs and novel extracts will bring to light our foremothers’ experience and history in Eastern Europe, North America, and Israel.  Recurring themes include family and gender relations, work, education, political life, migration and the Holocaust.  Texts will be available in translation and in the original Yiddish. Register here.

Frieda Forman has been a teacher, writer and scholar in the fields of Jewish Studies and Women’s Studies for over four decades.  She was the founder and coordinator of the Women’s Educational Resources Centre at OISE/ University of Toronto, where she is currently an associate scholar.  She was the researcher, co- editor, and a translator of Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers, the first collection of Yiddish women’s literature in translation. More recently, she edited The Exile Book of Yiddish Women Writers.

In conjunction with her talk, she will also lead a series of  4-6 Workshops/Discussions at BJ on Yiddish Women Writers,  dates to be announced.