Mondays and Tuesdays | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays | 86th Street Social Hall
Over the summer, we are in extra need of food donors and volunteers at the BJ/SPSA Shelter. Signing up for just one meal can be a huge help. Getting involved is easy. For food donors: families, individuals or groups can get together to prepare a light meal for 10-12 people at the synagogue, the church, at home, or even order in a light meal for our guests. Set up shifts are from 7:00-9:00PM and sleepover shifts from 9:00PM-7:00AM. Perform a mitzvah all while sleeping through the night! To sign up or learn more, contact Larissa or call x272.
Fridays, September 9 – December 16 | 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 $252/members and $392/non-members per child. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New members attend for free. Please contact Allison Kapusta.
Fridays, September 9 – December 16 | 11:15-12:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
Experience the fun, music, and traditions of Shabbat in Hebrew! Children ages 3 and under explore Shabbat through stories, songs, and rituals such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah, in a class run entirely in Hebrew. No background in Hebrew language required. The cost is $252/members and $392/non-members per child. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New members attend for free. Register online. Please contact Allison Kapusta.
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.
Wednesdays through November 2 | 7:15PM | 86th Street SPSA
We will take time to reflect and pray on the big questions that this campaign season has us asking. Issues of identity, respect, tolerance, compassion and hope. What are our responses as people of faith? SPSA opens its doors and invites the community to join them for this weekly interfaith prayer vigil. We’ll start with a brief (non-partisan) reflection from one of our spiritual leaders on one of the big issues, followed by time for individual silent prayer. Those who wish can stay for conversation, cider and ginger snaps. Contact Charlene Floyd or Elizabeth Jensen email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. No R.S.V.P. required, free and open to the public.
Celebrated klezmer band Hot Pstromi return to B’nai Jeshurun for a special concert featuring new and classic klezmer tunes. Hear songs from Yale Strom’s newest production, “Chagall,” which explores the life and work of the iconic artist through the lens of the Jewish musical tradition.
Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi have been playing for audiences throughout the world for over thirty years. Strom’s unique repertoire stems from his own ethnographic field research among the Jews and Roma of Eastern Europe, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. By learning their stories and songs, he has preserved countless klezmer and Yiddish pieces that would have otherwise vanished from history.
$10 for BJ members/students/seniors; $18 non-members. Register here.
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, November through Early April | 7:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Community House
Learn Hebrew at BJ this year! Join other BJ members and talented educators in a small group environment to build and improve your Hebrew conversational skills. The Hebrew Ulpan course is designed to enable students to recognize the fundamental structure of Hebrew and its basic forms, as well as to acquire the necessary vocabulary for everyday conversations, reading and writing:
- Comprehension: Listening to short stories and recorded conversations.
- Conversation: Simple dialogues and stories from everyday life.
- Reading: Easy dialogues and passages without vowels; headlines; and simple, short texts in easy Hebrew.
- Writing: Short dialogues and passages on the topics taught in class.
- Grammatical Skills: Elementary syntactic and grammatical structures, inflection of the strong verb in the past and present tenses; frequent weak verbs
Tuesdays, November 1 – May 23 | 9:00AM | 89th Street First Floor
Join Rabbi Friedman, longtime member of the BJ community, for a weekly class that will study selections from our Biblical literature, with emphasis on the commentaries and their implications for our lives today. Members $100/Non-members $150. Register here.
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.
Wednesdays, November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 14, 21 | 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.
Friday, November 4 | 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.
Saturday, November 5 | 1:00PM | 86th Street Sanctuary
BJSINGS invites all to join us for songs, prayers and stories as we honor the memory of Jules Frankel, one of the founders of BJSINGS, on the occasion of his first Yahrtzeit and unveiling of his memorial plaque.
Saturday, November 5 | During Services and after Kiddush | 86th Street Sanctuary and Chapel
Ziggy Chador, son of Janina Wrona, will share the story of how his grandparents and their family friends earned the honor of Righteous Gentiles by hiding his mother’s best friend, 10 year old Michalina Abramowicz, during the Holocaust. Join us to hear this powerful story of uninhibited kindness and perseverance during services followed by a discussion after Kiddush.
Sunday, November 6 | 10:00AM-8:30PM (Times are appx) | Philadelphia, PA
Together with POWER Interfaith, Grace Christian Fellowship, and other community members in Philadelphia, we will be volunteering to get out the vote! No previous experience is necessary. All training will be provided on-site by organizers from POWER Interfaith, a PICO affiliate. Let us know you’ll join us on the bus here. Questions? Contact Shuli Passow or Larissa Wohl.
Wednesdays, November 9, January 11, March 8, May 10 | 7:00-9:00PM | 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.
Thursday, November 10 | 6:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Calling all Lawyers (active or inactive). You can use your legal skills to help individuals seeking asylum or other humanitarian protection in the U.S. BJ’s Refugee Committee seeks attorneys who are interested in working in teams or individually on pro bono asylum cases for HIAS, BJ’s principal partner in answering the call to respond to the global crisis of displaced people. Each volunteer will be matched with an experienced HIAS mentor. HIAS is seeking New York CLE credit for this training program. If you are not an attorney you can volunteer as a translator if you speak French, Arabic, Spanish or Russian. All interested attorneys and volunteers are encouraged to attend this HIAS-led training session. Space is limited so registration is required. R.S.V.P. here. If you have any questions about the Pro Bono Legal Team of the Refugee Committee, or want to get further involved, please contact Marjorie Vandow or Lisa Mednick Owen. To get involved in the overall BJ Refugee Committee, please contact co-chairs Elaine Klein and Sandy Cheiten.
Friday, November 11 | 6:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
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 at email@example.com with any questions.
Friday, November 11 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Service | 89th Street Gym
In 1991, after the roof of our Sanctuary collapsed, our neighbors at SPSA offered up their Sanctuary for our Shabbat morning services for a few months. 25 years later, we are still there, sharing this beautiful space with our friends. Join us for a celebration of this partnership, and look ahead to new ways our communities will work together in the future, including collaborating on racial justice efforts. BJ and SPSA members will come together for a Shabbat dinner, attend BJ Shabbat morning together at SPSA on Saturday and attend church services together at SPSA on Sunday. Church services on Sunday will be followed by a potluck lunch and conversation on racial justice. To register for the dinner, click here.
Bring voice, breath, and body together in this monthly session 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 routine. We will finish in time to head into the main service in the sanctuary for the end of Shaharit and the Torah reading. Rabbi Shuli Passow leads our yoga practice with Rabbi Roly Matalon, Dan Nadel and Rabbinic Fellow Arielle Rosenberg providing live musical accompaniment.
Never tried yoga before? The yoga practice will be open level; all are welcome and no experience is necessary to participate. Our sessions will be very gentle, designed to open your body and soul for the rest of the Shabbat service, but not to make you sweat. You can wear the same clothes you would want to wear in the sanctuary–just make sure you have some freedom to move. We will have a limited number of yoga mats available, so please bring your own or a bath-sized towel.
Sunday, November 13 | 5:00-6:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Sunday, November 13 | 4:00-5:00PM | 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. Join us for a good read and a nuanced conversation that will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary issues in Israel. Our next book is “Two She Bears” by one of Israel’s most celebrated authors, Meir Shalev, who will be joining us for the discussion!
Two She Bears is a story of village love and vengeance in the early days of British Palestine that is still being played out two generations later.
“In the year 1930 three farmers committed suicide here . . . but contrary to the chronicles of our committee and the conclusions of the British policeman, the people of the moshava knew that only two of the suicides had actually taken their own lives, whereas the third suicide had been murdered.” This is the contention of Ruta Tavori, a high school teacher and independent thinker in this small farming community who is writing seventy years later about that murder, about two charismatic men she loves and is trying to forgive—her grandfather and her husband—and about her son, whom she mourns and misses.
In a story rich with the grit, humor, and near-magical evocation of Israeli rural life for which Meir Shalev is beloved by readers, Ruta weaves a tale of friendship between men, and of love and betrayal, which carries us from British Palestine to present-day Israel, where forgiveness, atonement, and understanding can finally happen.
Every 3rd Saturday | November 19, 2016-May 20, 2017 | 9:30AM-12:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join us for a new monthly Shabbat prayer space for those seeking to deepen their Shabbat practice, strengthen skills, and connect with each other. Rabbinic Fellow Arielle Rosenberg will lead this participatory, musical, nourishing Shabbat service. Each month, we will take a deep dive into the Shabbat morning liturgy, lingering to discuss, share our ideas, and build skills. We will pray, read Torah, share teachings and insights. Siah is geared towards those who are beginning to explore Jewish prayer for the first time, for those who are hoping to build towards mastery and leadership in prayer, for those who long for a more intimate prayer community. Come with your questions, with your desire for closeness – with God and with each other – and with your hopes for a prayer experience that challenges and inspires. With questions or to get involved with Siah, please contact Arielle by email or x224.
Sunday, November 20 | 12:15-2:00PM | West Side Campaign Against Hunger, 263 West 86th Street
BJ is proud to once again be part of the Thousand Turkey Challenge Community Coalition, which will be supporting the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) in providing low-income families with turkeys and other Thanksgiving food. Activities include a turkey drawing contest for kids and tours of the emergency food pantry for all. Bring those turkey drawings and recipes! Refreshments will be served. Last year, over 1,000 families who visited the emergency food pantry received turkeys and other special food for the holiday. Let’s make this year even better.
Can’t make the kickoff? You can donate online; text TURKEY to 77948; or purchase a frozen turkey up to 14 pounds and drop it off at WSCAH during the week of Thanksgiving. For more information, including drop-off times, contact Larissa or call x272.
Monday, November 21 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Middle Room
As part of our ongoing community work on racial justice, we will be reading Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz’s book, which exposes the common assumptions about who and what Jews are and challenges these views by presenting them from a Jewish perspective. The group will be facilitated by Rabbi Felicia Sol. BJ members only. R.S.V.P. here.
Thursday, December 1 | 7:30-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join Jane Eisner, Editor in Chief of the Forward, Jeremy Ben-Ami, President of J Street, and Dr. Michael Makovsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) for a fascinating panel discussion on the impact of the presidential elections on Israel’s security, its relations with the U.S., and the future of the Peace Process. Free for BJ member (suggested donation, $5); Non-members, $10. Advanced registration recommended, walk-ins are welcome (cash only). Doors open at 7:00PM. To register, click here.
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:
Sunday, December 4 | 5:30PM
Dir. Miya Hatav (2016, 84 min, Narrative, Israel, Hebrew and Arabic w/ English subtitles)
When Bina and Meir visit their son Oliel, hospitalized in Jerusalem after a terror attack, they form a bond with Sarah, a young woman, seemingly there to attend to her dying father. As the truth unfolds, they all struggle to accept the unlikely circumstances that have brought them together. Trailer
BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS AND THE HILLS
Wednesday, December 7 | 6:30PM
Dir. Eran Kolirin (2016, 90 min, Narrative, Israel/Germany/Belgium, Hebrew w/ English subtitles)
David is discharged from the army after serving 27 years. He finally returns to his family and tries to find himself in his new civilian life. When a friend suggests working for a company that markets dietary supplements, David sees this as an opportunity to get his foot in the door of the business world and make something out of himself. But this decision slowly gets him and his family entangled in the web of dark forces that rule life in Israel. Trailer
Wednesday, December 7 | 8:30PM
Dir. Elite Zexer (2016, 87 min, Narrative, Israel, Arabic)
Representing Israel in the Best Foreign Language category in the upcoming Academy Awards. As wedding festivities get underway in a Bedouin village in Israel, Jalila finds herself in the awkward position of hosting her husband Suliman’s marriage to a second, much younger wife. During the celebration, Jalila stumbles upon her daughter Layla’s involvement with a boy from her university—a forbidden liaison that would shame the family, which Jalila tries to clamp down on and is met with resistance from Layla. Sand Storm is a story of tradition, modernity, and divided family that upends expectations. Elite Zexer’s directorial debut portrays the emotionally layered relationship between mother and daughter, both bound by custom while struggling to adapt to a changing world. Zexer’s artful storytelling derives its authenticity, complexity, rich detail, and subtle humor from the 10 years she spent interacting with Bedouin women. Trailer
Click here for more information and to purchase a ticket. Use code BNAI for discounted tickets.
Thursdays, December 8 – March 15 | 7:00-8:15PM | Location upon R.S.V.P.
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.
This is an 8 session course, meeting every other week from December 8 – March 15. For registration click here.
BJ member Bryan Daves teaches political science at Carleton College. He served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yeshiva University, where he also directed the Robbins-Wilf Scholar-in-Residence Program. Professor Daves’ teaching and research focuses on the politics of the Middle East and on the domestic sources of U.S. policy toward the region. He has also taught at Princeton, Rutgers, and the University of Denver, and was a Visiting Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Professor Daves earned grants from the Fulbright Foundation, The American Center for Oriental Research, and the American Institute for Maghrebi Studies.
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.
Tuesday, November 15 | 6:45PM | 89th Street Community House Reception Room
Hosted by the Micah Faith Table Immigration Committee in partnership with BJ’s Refugee Committee, the evening will include presentations covering a post-election overview and an overview on NYC initiatives around refugees, and a panel of religiously diverse faith leaders. The post-election overview will be presented by Patrick Young, Esq., immigration attorney and Hofstra University immigration law professor, of federal, NYS and NYC immigration/refugee laws and policies and its advocacy implications. Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein; Fr. Mark Hallinan, S.J.; Daiken Nelson, Sensei; Mohan Ramaswammy and Sarah Sayeed will share reflections on the moral obligation to promote reform of America’s immigration and refugee laws. Moderator: Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, Interfaith Center of NY. And an overview by Laurie Davidson, Organizing Director of Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, of initiatives that make NYC a refuge for victims of America’s broken immigration/refugee system. We hope you can join us. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 4 | 5:15-7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Families enjoy a kid-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service filled with singing and dancing, followed by a dinner complete with Shabbat blessings and songs. While adults are finishing their meal, children engage in play and exploration with play curator, Linda White. Register here by Wednesday, November 2 and contact Allison Kapusta with any questions. The cost is $20/members and $27/non-members.
Friday, October 28 | 6:00PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein and Senior Teen Educator David Lieberman for a service of singing, teen-led kavanot, and mindfulness practice, followed by a Shabbat dinner. Register for dinner here by Wednesday, October 26.
Sunday, November 13 | 2:30-4:00PM | Location TBA
Join Ilanot, BJ’s brand new 6th & 7th grade Youth Group, for its official inaugural event. Students are invited to work as a team and figure out how to Escape the Room in this interactive, brain-teasing challenge that has taken NYC by storm. Space is limited. Discounted price for Ilanot members. Register here. For more information, email Michelle.
Tuesdays, November 1, 8, 15, and 22, December 13 and 20 |12:30-1:45PM | 89th Street Middle Room
Bring a bag lunch and open up your soul to the nourishment and challenge of the Hassidic rabbis with the study of Itturei Torah: Torah Gems on the Weekly Torah Portion. Join Rabbi Felicia Sol as we imagine old world wisdom for everyday life. Each class will stand alone so new participants are always welcome. No prior knowledge is expected. Free of charge. Please register here.
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.
Tuesday, November 8 | 6:00AM – 9:00PM | 86th Street SPSA
Come share in the excitement and join us for an Election Day festivities and viewing party, co-sponsored by the BJ Men’s Havura and Panim el Panim. As a local polling site, SPSA will be open all day to voters and community members alike, so feel free to stop by at any time. Volunteer to greet guests, bake treats, or assist with party set-up in the sanctuary (sign up here).
Tuesday, November 15 | 7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
The gap between who our child is and who they are supposed to be in societal and academic contexts is a source of everyday anxiety for most parents. Despite the discomfort this disparity may cause, it can also be utilized as a tremendous opportunity for growth. In this first-time workshop, we will present a unique combination of spiritually and scientifically anchored child-rearing strategies designed to create a healthier foundation for your child and to release them (and you) from the destructive aspects of our pressured, modern lives. Register here.
Monday, November 28 | 7:30PM | Location upon registration
How does Jewish law impact reproductive rights in the Jewish state? How does the discourse and culture surrounding sexuality in a religiously traditional population effect sex ed in the Israeli school system? What are the current challenges facing women who wish to terminate a pregnancy, and what reforms are taking place on this issue?
Join Alexandra Berger-Polsky, Director of Lada’at – Choose Well, Jerusalem’s organization for the promotion of healthy sexuality and reproductive rights, as she presents the intriguing history, background and current situation of the fields of reproductive rights and sex ed in Israel. The salon will take place at the home of Robin Fleischner, adoption and assisted reproduction attorney (address upon registration).
For registration click here.
About Lada’at: Lada’at – Choose Well, founded in 1976 under the name Shilo, is the leading organization for the promotion of sexual health and reproductive rights in Israel. In Israel, the public discourse surrounding these issues is underdeveloped. Most Israelis don’t know that women must appear before a committee in order to receive permission to terminate a pregnancy. Married women carrying a healthy fetus are not legally entitled to have an abortion in Israel. While abortion for women under age 33 is included in the basic Israeli health care basket, birth control is not subsidized for women of any age. Sex ed is not required in Israeli high schools. Lada’at is working to change this reality, reaching over 4,000 beneficiaries annually through sex ed workshops, a Reproductive Health Counseling Center and Clinic. An additional 130,000 Israelis visited their website seeking information on sexual and reproductive health. They engage in ongoing advocacy work on behalf of reproductive choice, and their clients run the full gamut of Israel’s diverse population – religious and secular Jews, Arabs, African asylum-seekers, and foreign workers. Learn more at Lada’at’s website.