Upcoming Events

BJ Celebrate Community Auction - Bidding is Now Open!

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Wednesday, May 18 | 6:30-9:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

On Wednesday, May 18, join us at the culmination of the online auction as we celebrate together to support BJ. Come for wonderful food and drink, some great entertainment, a few surprises and the warmth of being together as a community–with the added fun of spirited bidding for fabulous auction prizes. Click here to buy your ticket!

Inter-generational Walking Tour of Jewish Colonial NYC


Sunday, May 1 | 9:45AM-12:00PM | Location Provided upon Registration
The first Jewish immigrants to Manhattan arrived in 1654, during Dutch colonial times. The small group of 23 men, women, and children were allowed to stay, but with many restrictions. Their immediate concern was how to earn a living when many occupations were closed to them. The process of making Manhattan their home involved creating a place to pray, providing kosher food, keeping their children within the faith, and balancing the interests of Sephardic and Ashkenazi residents. Highlights will include: site of the first Synagogue in North America, the 18th Century Jewish ghetto. George Washington’s letter affirming tolerance towards Jews, and Minuit Plaza- the flagpole inscription honors the original 23 families in New York.

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A Day of Mindfulness

La Montana Azul La Montana Azul Costa Rica

Sunday, May 1 | 9:15AM-2:00PM | 89th Street Gym
Join Marcelo Bronstein, Rachel Cowan, Sol Gonzalez, Karina Zilberman, and Fretta Reitzes for a day of prayer, meditation, movement, and kindness practice. A light snack will be provided. Cost: $25 per person. Please register here.

Mindfulness Meditation and the Counting of the Omer

Sundays, May 1 – June 5 | 8:30-9:20AM | 89th St. Chapel

Join a journey of personal transformation during the counting of the Omer, the seven week period between the holidays of Pesah and Shavuot. Each week we will focus on a specific attribute from the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah- Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malchut. Through study, reflection and mindfulness meditation, we will prepare for Sinai. All are welcome, and no experience in meditation is necessary.
This class will be led by BJ member Bernice Todres, a teacher of Mindfulness meditation for over 20 years.

Bike With the BJ Revolutionaries


The BJ Revolutionaries began as BJ’s team for the New York Hazon Ride and Retreat. The group has evolved to include any members of BJ’s extended community who enjoy cycling. Throughout the spring and summer, we get together for community bike rides with a fun, supportive atmosphere for all levels of cyclists, whether you are a seasoned pro who rides centuries or just getting on a bike for the first time since childhood.

Rides will include member planned casual rides and Hazon co-sponsored training rides. All rides are free and it is not necessary to sign-up for the Hazon Ride and Retreat in order to join any of the rides. There’s always time to socialize over rest breaks and post-ride beer or coffee. Our ride schedule is below. Contact BJrevolutionaries@gmail.com for more information.

R.S.V.P. Tuesday, May 3; Wednesday, June 8; Thursday, June 23. All rides will meet at 6:30PM at the Community House, 270 West 89th Street.

Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Shoah Id cards

Wednesday, May 4 | 6:45 PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Once again we come together to commemorate Yom HaShoah, when the BJ community, family and friends, are invited to participate in The Reading and Hearing of the Names of those killed during the Shoah. Everyone is welcome to read names. For more information about the vigil, click here.

The schedule of events will be as follows:

  • Evening Service
  • Reading from our Shoah Megillah
  • “Muslim Response to the Holocaust” panel featuring Dr. Mehnaz Afridi, Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College, and Dr. Paul Radensky, Manager of Education Programing at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • All Night Vigil – Reading and Hearing of the Names of those killed during the Shoah, Congregation Rodeph Sholom (10 West 83rd Street) beginning at 10:00PM. The BJ slot to read names is 11:00-11:30PM. At 9:00AM on Thursday, May 5, we will move to the JCC.

Tot Shabbat


Friday, May 6 | 5:15-7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Families enjoy a kid-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service filled with singing and dancing, followed by a delicious dinner complete with Shabbat blessings and songs. While adults are finishing their meal, children engage in open play and exploration. Kids eat for free. Register here by Wednesday, May 4. Space is limited.

Environmental and Food Justice Kiddush

Saturday, May 7 | After Shabbat Morning Services | 86th Street Social Hall
As the trees in Central Park begin to return to their green glory, B’nai Jeshurun is undergoing a flowering of our own with an Environmental and Food Justice Kiddush on May 7, parashat Aharei Mot.  In 2007, the dedication of our solar-powered ner tamid (the first in New York) symbolized our congregation’s commitment to energy sustainability.  Now, the Green Kiddush will mark the beginning steps towards greater sustainability in our eating and drinking.
Celebrate BJ’s commitment to environmental stewardship and food justice with a vegetarian kiddush featuring foods that meet environmental and labor standards.  We will minimize our environmental impact by using only recyclable and/or compostable dishes, utensils, and tablecloths.  Food waste — as little as possible –will be composted.  There will also be simultaneous green activities for children.
The Green Kiddush marks the beginning of greater of environmental awareness and sustainability at BJ. Please mark your calendars, come to celebrate with us, and look for more exciting ‘green’ changes in the months ahead!

Soulful Start: Shabbat Morning Learners’ Minyan

Reading Torah

Saturday, May 7 | 9:30-10:15AM | 86th Street Chapel
Build and strengthen your Shabbat morning tefillah foundation with our pilot 5-session Learners’ Minyan. Explore liturgy, melody, and mechanics with those of all levels of experience while engaging in meaningful prayer. Led by BJ Rabbinic Fellows and Rabbis on the first Shabbat morning of each month (Next Session: June 4).

Reimagining Bikkur Holim

Monday, May 9 | 6:30-8:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Caring for the sick and their caregivers, visiting the homebound or performing practical tasks to help those recovering from an illness are just a few of the ways Bikkur Holim volunteers serve our community now.  To strengthen our Bikkur Holim effort, support volunteers, and provide more care to our community, we invite you to join us for an inspiring evening of learning and training with BJ Director of Community Engagement Rabbi Shuli Passow, BJ Social Worker Shira Felberbaum, physical therapist Lynn Badain, and Bikkur Holim volunteers and care recipients. We will hear personal experiences, and refresh our Bikkur Holim skills as we reimagine and strengthen this essential service BJ members provide to their fellow members. We welcome new and current volunteers and fresh ideas. A light supper will be served. Click here to register.

Post-Pesah Challah Baking!


Tuesday, May 10 (NEW DATE) | 7:30PM | Member’s Home, Location Provided Upon Registration

We will bake challah from start to finish. Come learn about this delicious part of Jewish tradition and experience how our braided bread brings us closer together. Join us for learning, laughs and a glass of wine, leave with your hand-made dough to take home, along with recipes and tips for how challah baking can become a regular part of your family’s week. $15 ingredients fee. All BJ families are welcome! We will meet at a member’s home, register early as space is limited. Register here, and email Esther with any questions.
Brought to you by the Hebrew School Advisory Committee.

Yom Ha'atzmaut Ceremony: Exploring Culture and Democracy through Learning, Song, and Connection

Wednesday, May 11 | 7:00PM | 88th St. Sanctuary 

An ongoing tradition at BJ, this moving ceremony marks the transition between Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day and Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. After the ceremony we invite you to commemorate this special time with us through song, conversation, learning, food, and more! We will be offering three breakout study sessions, concluding with an Israeli singalong and a dessert reception.

Co-presented by B’nai Jeshurun, Congregation Shaare Zedek, Mechon Hadar, Romemu, and West End Synagogue.

This event is free, but pre-registration strongly encouraged. Please register here.

May Heschel Webinar

Wednesday, May 11 | 12:00-12:45PM | www.bj.org/mayheschelwebinar
Tune in live and join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein for a discussion of the Abraham Joshua Heschel essay “An Analysis of Piety” from Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity (page 305). Marcelo will answer your questions live. Type your questions into a chat section live during the webinar and participate in the discussion. Visit www.bj.org/mayheschelwebinar to participate during the live event, or view the completed live webinar anytime later. Contact Billie at bdistefano@bj.org or x264 with questions.  Looking for more information about the year-long study? Visit www.bj.org/heschel.


BJHS Open House


K-2nd: Monday, May 9 | 5:00-6:00PM | 89th Street Community House
3rd-6th: Thursday, May 12 | 5:00-6:00PM | 89th Street Community House

Are you interested in Hebrew School for the 2016-2017 school year? Ivy Schreiber, Director of Education, will be leading two informative open houses in May. Learn about the Hebrew School’s vision, tour the building, see classes in session, and hear from current parents and students. We encourage families of incoming K-2nd grade students to attend the Monday session, and 3rd-7th grade to attend the Thursday session. R.S.V.P. here. We look forward to sharing our school with you!

Heschel Friday

Friday, May 13 | 8:30-9:15AM |  89th St. Chapel
Start your day with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (and Rabbinic Fellows Alex and Arielle) immediately after morning minyan as we dive into a discussion of Heschel’s article “An Analysis of Piety”. All are welcome. Please read the article before the session.


Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, May 13 | 7:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Led by by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Karina Zilberman, this service involves meditation, reflection, deep listening and personal engagement with the parashah. Please contact Beth at btarson@bj.org with any questions.

Registration Open: BJ Hazorim CSA 2016 Season

BJ CSA-Art for Banner resized

Tuesdays, June 7–November 1 | 4:30-7:30PM | 89th Street Community House
Join us for our seventh 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 at BJ once a week beginning on June 7 at 89th Street. Choose from delicious vegetable, egg, fruit, and butter shares. Register here. Registration closes May 1. For more information, contact Larissa.

Gallery Talk– Journey: The Land of Milk and Honey

Sunday, May 15 | 12:30-13:30PM | 89th Street Community House Reception Room

Michal Nachmany will talk about dreams, realizations, and her new exhibition Journey: The Land of Milk and Honey. Nachmany’s work explores the process of layering and recreating Israeli collective memory and history using mixed media, printmaking, collage, and installation. She juxtaposes themes of personal and cultural narrative, nostalgia, and repetition using American and Israeli memorabilia, old legal contracts and letters, photo albums, matchboxes, postcards, and other found objects, giving them new life and new context.

Israeli Folk Dancing for Yom Ha'atsmaut

Sunday, May 15 | 2:00-5:00PM | 89th Street Community House Gym

Celebrate Yom Ha’atsmaut with the best of Israeli folk dances. Our friendly dancers​ will help you learn the ​step​s, but a little experience in Israeli folk dancing is ​helpful​. The program ends with a mix of circle, line, and partner dances, most 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 register here.

“Dira Lehaskir - Apartment for Rent" - A Yom Ha'atzmaut Musical Show For Kids


Sunday, May 15 | English – 11:00AM, Hebrew – 3:00PM | 88th St. Sanctuary 

BJ and The Israeli House host MusicTalks for an interactive performance of Israeli author Leah Goldberg’s  famous children’s book Dira Lehaskir -Apartment to Let!

The entire family is invited to enjoy this timeless classic narrated by actress Shira Averbuch, stop motion animation, and accompanied by an eleven-piece orchestra.

Following the performance, the children will discover the exciting world of conducting through an engaging “conductors workshop” and meet the instruments from the story at our “instrument petting zoo”!

Show in English will begin at 11:00AM (doors open 10:30AM)

Show in Hebrew will begin at 3:00PM (doors open 2:30PM)

$5 entrance fee, please register here.



The UWS Celebrates Israel

Tuesday, May 10 – Sunday, May 15 | Upper West Side

Join us for the Upper West Side’s spectacular annual celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. Synagogues, schools, and Jewish organizations are coming together to sponsor events throughout the neighborhood celebrating the rich and complex culture, history, and people of Israel.

To see all of the programs offered through out the neighborhood, click here.


Identity and Family Building in the 21st Century

Thursdays, May 19 and June 9 | 6:30-8:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room

B’nai Jeshurun has a richly woven tapestry of families.  Shira Felberbaum and Ruth Kobrin, social workers at BJ, are meeting with many family constellations which enrich the congregational community.  Thus far, they have held meetings with single parents by choice, inter-faith couples, and LGBTQ families.

On May 19 at 6:30 PM, we invite multi-cultural families, seeking to blend or balance Jewish birth heritage in their everyday lives, to join us in discussion.

On June 9 at 6:30 PM, we will meet in discussion with couples who wish to share thoughts on fertility challenges and new age options.

Every family faces many challenges.  We invite you to join and share unique problems, different coping skills, and positive solutions.  R.S.V.P to Billie.

Special Yom Ha'Atsmaut Exhibit - Journeys: The Land of Milk and Honey

Sunday, May 1 – Friday, May 20 | 89th Street Community House Reception Room

“If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it.”  (Herzl’s Diary, September 3, 1897)

The image of Theodor Herzl standing on his hotel balcony in Basel, Switzerland as he contemplates the future state of the Jewish people is familiar to almost every Jew and Israeli. The image reminds us of a time when such a modern state was a mere idea. Today, a little over 100 years later, the State of Israel is a vision realized.

Michal Nachmany’s art captures some of the evolution from a vision embodied in Herzl’s lonely figure on the balcony, to the realization of a state during the first half of the 20th century, and afterwards. Nachmany’s exhibit begins with Herzl as a starting point and then explores the process of imagination, memory, and the building of communities during the years leading to the founding of Israel and beyond.

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Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Shabbat Candles photo: gerard montigny

Friday, May 20 | 7:00PM | 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.

20s and 30s Shabbat Afternoon: Sing, Study, Schmooze

Saturday, May 21 | 7:30PM | Location Provided Upon R.S.V.P.
Join Tze’irim 20s and 30s for a Shabbat afternoon of song, food, and study (using the Heschel essay of the month, “An Analysis of Plenty” in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity). We’ll conclude with Havdallah together. Singles and couples welcome! R.S.V.P. shorwitz@bj.org for location.

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

Saturday, May 21 | 9:20-10:20AM | 88th Street Frankel Hall (Lower level of 88th Street Sanctuary)


Bring voice, breath and body together in this pilot 5-session 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 level; all are welcome and no experience is necessary to participate.

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Justice for Farmworkers March and Shabbat Morning Speaker - Get Involved!

Justice for Farmworkers Campaign Logo

The BJ Economic Justice Hevra has been working on a campaign to pass the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act to bring equality and justice to farmworkers in New York State. There are many ways that you can get involved to help bring justice for farmworkers:

  • Join with other BJ members for Shabbat on Saturday, May 21 when we welcome members of the Rural & Migrant Ministry (RMM). RMM is a major group working to gain passage of the farmworkers’ bill. In addition, they create educational programs for children of farmworkers, some of whom joined us last year for our Second Night Community Seder. They will speak with us on Shabbat, share their work experiences and address why this bill is so important to each of us.
  • Join the March for Farmworker Justice from Long Island to Albany (for any part of it) to bring attention to the need for legislative action to end the inequality that currently burdens farmworkers in the state. Information about the March available here.
    • Welcome the marchers when they come to Manhattan on Saturday, May 21st. The marchers will cross the Brooklyn Bridge, have a rally at City Hall around 10 a.m. focusing on New York City support for farmworkers. After stopping at Union Square around noon to distribute leaflets and have street theater performances, the marchers will reach the Upper West Side Saturday afternoon.
    • Please join the March for even a block or two as it winds its way up Broadway around 3:00 or 3:30PM.
    • BJ will be providing a rest stop for the marchers at 89th street. We need volunteers to welcome the marchers and to supply food and drinks. If you are able to volunteer or just want to welcome the marchers, please contact Lisa.
  • Lobby Day: The Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act, passed for many years in the New York State Assembly and currently only a few votes shy of Senate passage, would grant agricultural workers essential labor protections, including the right to collective bargaining, fair pay for overtime, and a guaranteed day of rest. Join us on June 1, 2016 when we go to Albany for Lobby Day to meet with legislators to help ensure passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act. Get on the BJ bus to Albany to ensure that the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act is passed by the Senate this year. Registration information to come.

Tribe Ride: Bike with BJ

Sunday, May 22 | 8:45AM-2:30PM | 270 West 89th Street
Enjoy a day of casual riding with our cycling community! This ride is a part of Hazon’s Tribe Ride series with Friends of the Arava Institute and open to all cyclists. Ride leaders and marshals will be there to guide you. Participants are kindly requested to bring their own water and snacks. All riders are required to wear a helmet. Route details coming soon but in the meantime you can still R.S.V.P. or contact bjrevolutionaries@bj.org for more information.

Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit - the Renee Kaufman Memorial Lecture

Sunday, May 22 | 4:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel taught that we should regard our later years not as an age of stagnation but rather an age of opportunities for inner growth. How we can do that is the subject of Rachel Cowan and Linda Thal’s book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit. During this program, they will be sharing insights from contemporary research and the work they have been doing with groups designed to explore the opportunities that open to us in our 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and the Jewish practices that can help us face the inevitable challenges and losses that come with growing older. They will also lead us in a typical text-based Wise Aging exercise. This special event is brought to the BJ community as this year’s Renee Kaufman Memorial Lecture. Refreshments will be served. Free, but please register here.

Tze'irim 20s and 30s: Celebrate Gay Pride Month with a special screening of "Oriented"

Tuesday, May 24 | 7:00–9:00PM | 89th Street Community House


Join Tze’irim 20s and 30s and Keshet in celebrating Gay Pride Month with the screening of the acclaimed Israeli documentary Oriented.

After the screening we will hold a Q&A with one of the three heroes of the movie, light refreshments will be served. This event is free but please register here for this event (walk-ins are also welcome!).

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The Global Refugee Crisis: How We Can Respond

Tuesday, May 31 | 7:00-8:30PM, Doors Open at 6:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Learn from leaders in the field about the global refugee crisis, hear first hand stories from refugees, and find out how to get involved in BJ’s advocacy and volunteer efforts. Speakers include Eleanor Acer, Senior Director, Refugee Protection, Human Rights First, Congressman Jerry Nadler, U.S. House of Representatives, and Mark Hetfield, President and CEO, HIAS. Doors open at 6:30PM. This event is free, but you must register here.

Sephardi Judaism in Israel Today: Avant-Garde or Antiquated?

Saturday, June 4 | Following Saturday Morning Services | 86th Street Chapel
Everyone talks about the Jewish Renaissance taking place in Israel today, but where are Sephardi and other non-Ashkenazi Jews in this revolution? Hear the personal story of Dr. Shimon Vaknin, born and raised in a religious Moroccan-Israeli home, today a leading Bible scholar and the director of the new Secular Yeshiva in Beer Sheva. Learn about the challenges and hopes for Sephardi Judaism in Israel in the 21st century.

Bim Bam Summer Session

Children with Shabbat Candles

Fridays, June 10 – August 19 | 9:15 – 10:00AM and 10:15 – 11:00AM | 89th Street Chapel 
Children ages 3 and under explore Shabbat through Hebrew and English songs, stories, and traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. Registration is now open for the 9:15AM and 10:15AM classes. The cost is $198/members and $308/non-members per child. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New members attend for free. Please contact Allison Kapusta. Register by May 26. Space is limited.

Shishi Israeli

Friday, June 24 | 6:008:30PM | 89th Street Community House

Shishi Israeli is a community-wide event in which Israeli and Jewish Americans share in a heartfelt and uplifting experience around the Shabbat dinner table. Shabbat Traditions are embraced through a Hebrew Kabbalat Shabbat service with Rabbi Matalon, a delicious Israeli style dinner, Shira Betzibur (sing-along) and activities for kids of all ages. Shishi Israeli is an incomparable place to meet families and develop strong community bonds all while building a strong Israeli style Shabbat foundation. We encourage BJ members to join!

Please register here for this event.