Upcoming Events

Siah: A Monthly Minyan for Learners and Seekers

Shabbat Candles photo: gerard montigny

Every 3rd Saturday | November 19, 2016-May 20, 2017 | 9:30AM-12:00PM | 89th Street Chapel 

BJ introduces a new monthly Shabbat service 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).

The 10th Annual Other Israel Film Festival


Thursday, December 1 – Thursday, December 8 | JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.

BJ is proud to partner with JCC Manhattan in presenting some of the most thought provoking Israeli documentaries. BJ members will enjoy discounted tickets for three of this years best Israeli feature films.

Read more »

"In the Mirror" Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Roly Matalon


Thursdays, December 1, 8, and 15, January 5, 12, 19, and 26, February 2, 9, 16, and 23, March 2, 9, and 16 | 12:30-1:30PM | Location Provided Upon Registration
Through the close reading of short stories about the lives, struggles, and concerns of the Talmudic rabbis, we uncover deeper layers of our own selves and we become better equipped to wrestle with our human 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. BJ members only. To register, please click here or email Beth.

Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service


Friday, December 2 | 6:30PM | 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 work-week anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. To read more about this service, please click here.

Special Needs Havdalah Service

Saturday, December 3 | 4:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and Hazzan Ari Priven 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.

Creating A Caring Community: Hesed at BJ


Saturday, December 3 | During Shabbat Morning Services and Kiddush | 86th Street
We will hear from leadership of various Hesed groups at BJ, including Bikkur Holim (caring for the sick), Hevra Kadisha (caring for mourners), and others. Learn how you can ask for help from your fellow BJ members and how to volunteer.

The Lion Who Loved Strawberries


Sunday, December 4 | 10:30AM-12:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Families won’t want to miss this interactive, musical performance of the popular Israeli children’s book, The Lion Who Loved Strawberries!  Children ages 3-9 will take part in the story through engaging musical activities and watch instruments come to life as vibrant storybook characters. Following the performance, children can meet the instruments up close at our musical instrument petting zoo.  With Ramah Nyack, PJ Library, and Music Talks. Register here.

BJ/SPSA Racial Justice Book Study: Just Mercy


Monday, December 5 | 7:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Thursday, January 5 | 7:00PM | SPSA, 263 West 86th Street

After our wonderful 25th Anniversary weekend, the BJ and SPSA communities are coming together to combine our racial justice work. Join us for the first of two sessions as we dive into Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, “a powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice.” The group will be reading up to Chapter 8 for the first session. Register here.

Making Sense of Israeli Politics: A Guide For the Perplexed

Every other Thursday, December 8-March 15 | 7:00-8:15PM | 89th Street Middle Room 

Although a relatively young country, Israel’s politics are rich and dynamic. Some might say that they are contentious and Byzantine. We explore the ideological and institutional foundations of the Israeli political system, and some of the key issues in Israeli politics.  We examine the ideological basis of what unites and divides Israelis, how the political system works, and the principal disputes at the center of debates in Israel. Read more »

Caring for Others, Caring for Ourselves: A Gathering for Caregivers


Thursday, December 8 | 6:00 PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Whether you are currently caring for a loved one or think you may soon be a caregiver, please join your fellow BJ members as we build community and learn practical advice from each other.  We will share stories, learn about resources, and discuss how to navigate the system and overcome roadblocks.  All BJ members are welcome at this gathering, including those who are direct in-home caregivers or who manage care from a distance.  Doors open at 6:00PM for snacks and schmooze; program begins at 6:30PM. Please sign up here or contact Billie for more information. Co-sponsored by the Bikkur Holim committee and the Panim el Panim Aging Hevra. For BJ members only.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, December 9 | 6:30PM | 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.

Israel, Ecology, and Interreligious Cooperation

Saturday, December 10 | After Shabbat Morning Services | 89th Street Chapel
In Israel, Jews, Christians, and Muslims live on the same land, breathe the same air, and drink the same water. Environmental challenges transcend borders and religious affiliations and therefore exist as an arena of joint, urgent concern among diverse groups of people. The Environmental Hevra hosts Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder & Executive Director of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, an organization that works to promote a sustainable and spiritually-aware society through the leadership of faith communities. Neril will share a unique perspective on interfaith sustainability work both in Israel and internationally, through the prism of Jewish teachings. He will also discuss his recent participation in the Fez Climate Conscience Summit and the UN COP-22 climate change conference in Marrakesh.

Read more »

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

Enlightenment in nature

Saturday, December 10 | 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 »

Maccabi-Gaga: A Hanukkah Extravaganza!

Sunday, December 11 | 3:00-5:00PM | 89th Street Gym

Join Shorashim as we work up a sweat Maccabee style with an epic 3rd-5th grade Gaga tournament!  Kids will hop into BJ’s new inflatable Gaga pit to play a high energy, dodgeball-like game that is a beloved activity at Jewish camps across the globe.  Those who would prefer something a bit more low-key can come cheer on their friends while they make their own Hanukkah-themed crafts.  Register here.

(Members of Shorashim: email Michelle to R.S.V.P.)

Upcoming Refugee Committee Meeting


Tuesday, December 13 | 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.

Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community: The Shalom Hartman Institute Public Lectures



Wednesdays, December 14, January 11, March 8, May 10 | 6:30-8:30PM on December 14, 7:00-9:00PM otherwise | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join us for this lecture series exploring what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. From the anxieties surrounding intermarriage to the shifting conceptions of Judaism in the modern age, our lecturers will address this question from a wide range of perspectives. Speakers include Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, author of Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past, Dr. Christine Hayes, Yale Professor of Religious Studies, Rabbi Donniel Hartman, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of The Boundaries of Judaism, and Dr. Orit Avnery, research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of Liminal Women: Belonging and Otherness in the Books of Ruth and Esther. Admission is free and open to the public. Register here.

Hartman Lecture Series, Part I: Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer


Wednesday, December 14 | 6:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary 

We are excited to announce the first of our four-part lecture series, an event which anchors our year-long conversation: Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community. 

Presented in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, the program will feature Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, president of SHI-NA and a leading writer on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, the value of the Jewish past in relation to the present, and the questions surrounding leadership and change in American Jewish life.

Dr. Kurtzer received his doctorate in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and an MA in Religion from Brown University, and is a recipient of both The Bronfman Youth and Wexner Graduate fellowships. Read more about Dr. Kurtzer here. To attend this or any of the other upcoming lectures, register here.

We invite you to review the following pre-reading and pre-watching lecture materials:

  1. Pre-reading Packet
  2. Pre-watching, Video 1: Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer 2016 HART Talk
  3. Pre-watching, Video 2: Mijal Bitton 2016 HART Talk

Songs of Sacred Time with Arielle Rosenberg and Dan Nadel


Wednesday, December 14 | 8:00PM | JCC Manhattan, 76th St. and Amsterdam Ave.

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with New York’s most passionate voices and instrumentalists. Under the musical directorship of the immensely talented Dan Nadel, we will be treated to diverse repertoire from both Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions as well as a few surprises sure to illuminate the night. Featuring vocalists Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer of Romemu, and Arielle Rosenberg of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun joined by Tavche Gravche, a unique acoustic ensemble featuring Mr. Nadel on flamenco guitar, clarinetist Vasko Dukovski, upright bassist Daniel Ori, and percussionist Rich Stein.

$12/ticket through Dec 7. $18/ticket after. Register here.

Tze'irim 20s and 30s Shabbatluck Dinner

 Friday, December 9 | 7:45PM | 89th Street Community House
Make new friends and eat good food! Join fellow BJ members in their 20s/30s for a potluck Shabbat dinner after Kabbalat Shabbat services. Sign up here or contact Rabbi Sarit Horwitz at shorwitz@bj.org with any questions.

Family Hanukkah Celebration!

Hanukkiah lit for 7th Night. CC Image courtey of Dave Williss on Flickr.

Saturday, December 17 | 4:00-5:15PM | 89th Street Community House
Celebrate Hanukkah in your pajamas! Kids ages 0-5 will join BJ and Keshet educator, Shira Averbuch, for songs, Hanukkah candle-making, and gift wrapping. Kids in kindergarten-2nd grade and members of Garinim will enjoy a Hanukkah Olympics with BJ Youth Director, Michelle Geisler, including relay races, digging for gelt, and more! We will come together to say goodbye to Shabbat with a musical Havdalah ceremony. We ask that each family bring at least one new toy or book which we will wrap together and donate to children in need. Light dinner provided. With Israel American Council. Free admission. R.S.V.P. here.

Men's Havurah Study Group

Sunday, December 18 | 10:30AM-12:00PM | Kirsch’s Bakery and Kitchen, 551 Amsterdam Avenue 

After morning minyan, the BJ men’s Havurah will walk over to Kirsch’s Bakery where they will be holding a group study session on the JIBC Shalom Hartman lectures. Members will read supplementary lecture materials, discuss key ideas, and chat over brunch. R.S.V.P. to Lee Rimsky at lee.rimsky@gmail.com

*all materials are available on our Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community page. 

An Evening With The Epichorus


Sunday, December 18 | 5:00 PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Usher in Hanukkah with this festive pre-holiday concert featuring the music of Middle Eastern tradition blended with new songs based in ancient sounds. The Epichorus evokes traditions from Greece, Egypt, Syria, and India, and will transport you with ethereal music reminiscent of a loftier home. Priya Darshini serenades in sounds beyond language, moving fluidly between Hebrew, Hindi, and Aramaic, backed by oud, violin, accordion, rhythm and bass. Free for BJ members, $18 for non-members in advance, $20 for non-members at the door. Register here.

Lights in the Darkness: A Hanukkah Program for the Bereaved

Monday, December 19 | 6:30-8:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
After a loved one dies, holidays can bring to the surface painful reminders of the loss.  Participate in a meaningful discussion with other bereaved Jews about how to allow for grief, while still finding meaning and comfort in the themes of Hanukkah. Light refreshments will be served. Cosponsored by BJ and The Jewish Board’s Partners in Caring and Shira Ruskay Centers. Please R.S.V.P. to Billie.

Give the Gift of Life at the BJ Blood Drive

Give Blood Drawing

Wednesday, December 21 | 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 by signing up now for 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). Sign up here or call x272 with the best time slot for you.

Webinar Follow-up to "Jewish Identity and Intermarriage: What's at Stake?" Lecture

Wednesday, December 21 | 12:00 noon | online
Join Rabbi Roly Matalon’s live interactive webinar as we explore and unfold the ideas raised in Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer’s December 14 “Jewish Identity, Belonging and Community” lecture. Website information and instructions to come.

Hanukkah Potluck Dinner with BJ Group Connections

Hanukkiah lit for 7th Night. CC Image courtey of Dave Williss on Flickr.

Tuesday, December 27th | 6:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room

BJ Group Connections (formerly called Mekusharim) will be hosting a Hanukkah potluck dinner for the entire community. Bring a dairy or vegetarian dish to share and enjoy the evening connecting with fellow BJ members. We will be lighting the menorah as a group, so bring your own hannukiya and candles to join in the fun.

Open House for Hag HaBanot-Hanukkah and Rosh Hodesh Tevet For BJ Women


Thursday, December 29 | 6:00-8:00PM | Location Provided Upon R.S.V.P.

Join Rabbi Felicia Sol for candle-lighting and a potluck dairy/vegetarian dinner at her home. We will eat, bring in the light with study, and come together for the lighting of the Hanukkiyah. This is open to BJ women members. Please R.S.V.P. to Beth with the item you will be bringing to share.

BJ Prayer Retreat with Rabbi Roly Matalon

Sunday, March 19 – Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Ready to step away from the city to connect more deeply with your soul’s longings? Join Rabbi Roly Matalon and three extraordinary guest teachers from Israel–Yair Harel, Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum and Uri Kroizer–at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center to deepen your understanding and practice of prayer. After four beautiful days of prayer practice, study, reflection, group discussion and song, you will have acquired a deeper understanding of prayer and prayer services and the confidence to engage in a more vibrant prayer life. Register here. For more information contact Billie.

Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service


Friday, January 6 | 6:30PM | 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 work-week anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. To read more about this service please click here.

Bim Bam and Bim Bam Hebrew Immersion

Bim Bam CD Cover

Fridays, January 6-May 19  | 9:15-10:00AM, 10:15-11:00AM, 11:15AM-12:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
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 $342/members and $475/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 Averbuch.


Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, January 13 | 6:30PM | 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.

Open Rehearsals of Shabbat Music

BJ Musicians Concert, March. Photo: Shahpar Nili

Tuesdays, November 1, December 6, January 3, February 7, March 7 and Wednesdays, April 4 and May 2 | 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.

Introduction to Judaism


Wednesdays, November 2, 2016 – May 10, 2017 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Community House
This course 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. Individuals $435 members /$660 non-members; Couples $645 members /$975 non-members. Click here to register or contact Billie with questions.

Mindfulness Class: Tikkun HaNefesh with Rabbis Rachel Cowan and Marcelo Bronstein

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Wednesdays, November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 14, 21, January 4 | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Middle Room

Tikkun HaNefesh – a mindful approach to developing and strengthening some of the soul qualities most valued in Jewish tradition: generosity (hakart hatov), gratitude (hodayah), patience (savlanut), joy (simha), equanimity (hishtavut), and humility (anavah). We will work with texts, silence, journaling, and contemplative listening to recognize these qualities in ourselves, as well as working with the obstacles to expressing them as fully as we would like. These classes are free. Please register by clicking here.

Please note – the class on November 9 will be joining the Jewish Identity, Belonging, and Community taking place in the 88th Street Sanctuary.

Date Change to November 9 Hartman Lecture


Wednesday, December 14 | 6:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

In light of the election, our first Shalom Hartman lecture with Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, “Jewish Identity and Intermarriage: What’s at Stake?” has been rescheduled to a later date. On November 9, Dr. Kurtzer spoke instead on a new topic: “What Does It Mean to Be an American Jew Today?”. This lecture is available for viewing here.

Those who registered for the original event will be automatically registered for the new December 14 lecture. We look forward to seeing you then.


Kulanu Kids


Saturdays, October 8, 2016 – May 13, 2017 | 10:20AM – 12:00PM |  86th Street Social Hall

Join Rabbinic Fellow Arielle Rosenberg, the BJ rabbis, and a team of teen musicians in a family-friendly celebration of Shabbat. Previously known as Junior Congregation, Kulanu is a participatory prayer space in which 3rd-6th graders and their families will use song, games, prayer, and art to make Shabbat morning come alive. Upon meeting in the main sanctuary, we will take the Torah out of the ark and dance our way to the Kulanu space downstairs. For more information, contact Arielle Rosenberg.

 *On the second Saturday of every month, Kulanu is kids only.

BJ Mindfulness Retreat in Nature

Costa Rica Waterfall

January 15-22, 2017 | Costa Rica
Is multitasking in your daily life taking a toll? Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Sol Gonzalez and local nature guides for a week of simple living in the rich ecology of the Costa Rica rain forest and the rustic elegance and organic fine cuisine of La Montaña Azul Center. We will explore Jewish Mindfulness Practice as a way to connect more deeply with our soul, our truest values and with God’s creation, of which we are an integral part. Each day we will pray, meditate, set a kavanah (intention), follow integrative body movement practices, ‘bear witness’ to local social initiatives and experience nature. Click here to learn more.