Upcoming Events

Introduction to Judaism

Wednesdays, October 18, 2017 – May 2, 2018 7:30PM | BJ 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).

Fall Teen Retreat

Friday, October 20-Sunday, October 22 | Location TBA

There is no better way to unwind from the High Holy Days that spending a weekend away with the BJ teen community! Throughout the weekend, teens will spend time with old friends, make new ones, and deepen their connection with the BJ community while experiencing a meaningful Shabbat outside of the city. Transportation will be provided. All meals are kosher or vegetarian and include snacks on Friday afternoon through breakfast on Sunday. Read more »

"Soul Food" Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Felicia Sol

Tuesdays, October 24-December 12 | 12:30-1:45PM | BJ 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, but please register below. Read more »

BJ Community Fair and Sanctuary Tour

Wednesday, October 25 | 6:30PM | BJ Sanctuary

Come learn about ways to get involved at BJ! Want to learn more about BJ Refugee and Immigration work or how to become a Bikkur Holim volunteer to provide support to community members who are ill? Committee leaders and volunteers from all areas of synagogue life will be available to talk about their work, answer any questions, and help you connect. Tours of the BJ Sanctuary will also take place. Please RSVP here.

BJ/SPSA Racial Justice Committee Meeting and Research Action Training

Thursday, October 26 | 7:00 PM | BJ Community House Reception Room

In recent months, BJ has been developing a racial justice initiative in partnership with the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. We are now beginning to research potential partners and action steps, and will be meeting with organizations to learn about the current problems and issues. This training will be led by Manhattan Together,  a local interfaith community organizing network of which BJ is a member. We will define our values and our goals, learn how to setup a strategic meeting, create criteria for potential partners, and determine how to move from problem to issue.  Read more »

The Other Peace Process: Interreligious Dialogue, a View from Jerusalem

Thursday, October 26 | 8:30-10:00 PM | Location Upon Registration

Join Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish at our upcoming Israel Salon, as he talks about the issues addressed in his latest book, The Other Peace Process. The book describes the message and methods of interreligious dialogue and action in the context of the political peace process, the peace-building processes, and cutting-edge programs in Israel and the surrounding region.

Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish is the Founding Director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI) and through his 25 years of service to this organization became one of the leaders in the field of interreligious dialogue in Israel and internationally. As a noted rabbi, author, and lecturer, he has spoken in synagogues, churches, mosques, universities, and at national and international conferences in Israel, North America, Europe, and the Far East. Read more »

Bo-i Kallah

Friday, October 27 | 6:30PM | BJ Chapel
Rabbi Roly Matalon, Deborah Sacks Mintz and, Music Director 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 workweek anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. Read more about this service here.

How The Light Gets In: A Tribute Concert to Leonard Cohen

Sunday, October 29 | 7:00-9:00PM | BJ Sanctuary
Leonard Cohen’s timeless work – as a songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and painter – spans more than 50 years and explores religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and love. Join Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, BJ Music Director Dan Nadel, Hazzan George Mordecai, and Shira Averbuch, with special feature performances by Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer and Hazzan Basya Schechter, for a tribute celebrating his life and music. Read more »

BJ and JCC Manhattan Host Renowned Israeli Author Eshkol Nevo

Wednesday, November 1 | 6:30-9:00PM | JCC Manhattan

One of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, Eshkol Nevo, is coming to New York for the launching of his most recent, bestselling novel Three Floors Up, which deals with residential life in Tel Aviv, crisis identity, and the darkness of parenthood. Read more »

Fresh Perspectives on the BDS Movement

Thursday, November 2 | 7:00-8:30 PM | BJ Community House

The Boycott Divest and Sanction movement (BDS) has been a “hot” topic in the Jewish community for a few years now, with growing impact especially on college campuses. What are the impacts of such a policy on the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians? Can it contribute to the end of the conflict or just damage any future negotiations? And how should the American Jewish community respond to those calling to boycott Israel? Read more »

Haleli Nafshi: Communal Singing and Havdalah

Saturday, November 4 | 5:30PM | BJ Chapel
Join us for our monthly Shabbat gathering, part of BJ’s initiative on communal singing as a spiritual practice. We’ll spend the final moments of Shabbat together, singing beautiful nigunim and zemirot as havdalah approaches. The evening will be filled with melodies that may be familiar and evocative alongside those that are challenging and new; filled with a spirit that ranges from celebratory and jubilant to meditative and peaceful. Please bring a vegetarian snack and/or drink to share.

Soulful Start: Hakhanah laTefillah - Preparing for Prayer

Every other Saturday (November 4, 18, December 2, 16) | 8:45-9:25AM | BJ 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.

Mission-Driven Communities in Israel - A New Approach to Social Change

Sunday, November 5 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Location upon R.S.V.P.

Join Tamar Gil, Director of Partnerships at Eretz-Ir, for a presentation on Mission-Driven Communities in Israel – groups of social activists who settle in underprivileged cities, and work within their surrounding communities to make their cities better places to live in. Together with longtime residents, they define problems specific to their neighborhood, seek relevant solutions, and establish social initiatives and businesses, propelling educational, cultural, and economic change. BJ’s Tzedek Minyanim demonstrate similar components of this bottom-up model for community work. Read more »

Kavannah in Spiritual Writing

Monday, November 6 | 7:00-8:30PM | BJ Middle Room
As we prepare for our community kavannot for Hanukkah, join us for a unique workshop in spiritual writing. We’ll engage in hevruta learning, with time for writing and peer review. In this cohort-based approach to kavannah writing, we’ll craft our thoughts into an engaging reflection, while learning more about ourselves, and one another. Please contact Kristen to register and be sure to come with a laptop, pen and paper, or however you like to write.

Tefillat HaDerekh with Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein

Tuesdays, November 7, December 5, February 13, March 6 | 7:00-9:00PM | BJ Middle Room
Life is a journey: we move in cycles, but the yearning of the soul is always to go back home. But where is home? Where is that place that resides in the deepest crevices of our Neshamot (souls)? Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein for an exploration of Tefillat haDerekh (the Traveler’s Prayer), which is recited before every journey we undertake. Through this prayer, we are going to dwell in, and pay attention to, the stations our souls have stopped in along our way.

Register Now

Caregivers Support Groups

First Thursdays (November 2, December 7, January 4, February 1) | 4:15PM | BJ Community House 4th Floor Conference Room
Second Thursdays (November 9, December 14, January 11, February 8) | 9:00AM | BJ Community House 4th Floor Conference Room
A monthly support group for members of our community to draw strength, insight, and information from each other and our tradition. Facilitated by Rabbi Michael Boino, BJ Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Support through the Jewish Board’s Partners in Caring Program. Choose either the morning or afternoon sessions. Contact Michael with any questions. R.S.V.P. required; click here for first Thursday afternoons or click here for second Thursday mornings.

Collaborating With Elie Wiesel: Slide Talk by Artist Mark Podwal

Sunday, November 12 | 11:00AM-12:30PM | BJ Reception Room

Artist Mark Podwal will visit BJ to talk about his career connecting his artistic talent to his interest in Jewish legend and tradition. Beyond creating artworks held by major museums and synagogues, one of Podwal’s most important collaborations was with author Elie Wiesel, as creator of the illustrations for many of Mr. Wiesel’s books. Podwal will reflect on his artistic interests and on his long friendship with Elie Wiesel. Read more »

Drastic changes in DACA, Immigration and Refugee policy: Why do they matter to us?

Thursday, November 9 | 7:00-8:30PM | Ansche Chesed, West 100th Street & West End Avenue
Join BJ’s Refugee Committee and The Synagogue Coalition on the Refugee and Immigration Crisis for an important evening to help us further understand how current policy impacts refugees and immigrants. Hear from a DACA recipient and understand the Jewish imperative to welcome the stranger and protect the refugee. Meet representatives from key organizations and learn about volunteer and advocacy opportunities. Speakers will include Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Congregation Ansche Chesed; Lourdes Rosado, Bureau Chief, Civil Rights Bureau, New York Attorney General Office; Melanie Nezer, HIAS Senior Vice President of Public Affairs; and a Representative from Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

Register Now

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat

Friday, November 10 | 6:30PM | BJ Community House 3rd Floor
Led by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, Rabbi Rachel Cowan, and Hazzan Ari Priven, this service involves meditation, reflection, deep listening, and personal engagement with the parashah. Please contact Kristen with any questions.

Everybody Loves Hummus

Saturday, November 11 | 5:15-7:00PM | BJ Community House

Meet other young couples and parents of young children at this presentation by one of Israel’s leading culinary journalist and television personality—Gil Hovav. After a family havdalah service, Gil will share everything you ever wanted to know about Israel’s most popular dish, including his expert tips and a recipe for making the perfect hummus at home. 
We will also keep your children entertained—a babysitting service will be available for toddlers (ages 2-5), and a youth movement program for older kids (grades K-2).
We will conclude the evening with a catered buffet dinner from Hummus Place (for adults and children).
 

Cost: 

  • Two adults: $10/$15 (members/non-members)
  • Two adults and up to three children:$15/$20
  • One adult and up to three children: $12/$18
  • One adult: $8/$10

 

Gil Hovav comes from one of the most respected lineages in the Jewish world: he is the great-grandson of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language. Gil himself, with his illustrious career in journalism, publishing, television, and as an author, has played a major role in the revival of Israeli cuisine, and in Israel’s transformation from a country of basic traditional foods into a “gourmet nation”. Gil began his career as a restaurant critic at the age of 24, and has been a producer and presenter of some of Israel’s most-loved food and cooking shows, including the classic Pepper, Garlic and Olive Oil; Captain Cook (which reviewed the world’s best restaurants); Meals That Made History; and Going to the Market (a show about the many ethnic cuisines of Israel). These series later turned into best-selling cookbooks. Recently, Gil published his first cookbook in English Confessions of a Kitchen Rebbetzin.

Turkey Tov with Garinim

Saturday, November 11 | 5:00 – 7:00PM | BJ Community House

Children in grades K-2 are invited for an awesome night of celebrating all that they’re thankful for this year with Garinim at BJ! We will bring in this Thanksgiving with super fun games, crafts, and autumnal snacks so don’t miss out!  Youth group members. email mgeisler@bj.org to register. Non-members of Garinim can register here.  (Or, register as a member and receive free or discounted entry to all youth group programs here!)

Shorashim Todah-Day Parade

Sunday, November 12 | 2:00-3:30PM |BJ Community House

What if YOU could be in the New York City Thanksgiving Day Parade? Well, if you’re in 3rd-5th grade, come on down to BJ and build your very own float with Shorashim! Celebrate all that you’re thankful for this year with games, snacks, and awesome building challenges!

Youth group members: email Michelle to register.
Youth Group non-members: register here. (Or, become a member and receive free or discounted entry to all youth group programs!)

B'nai Mitzvah Parent Orientation Meeting

Tuesday, November 14 | 7:00PM | BJ Chapel
Parents of children in fourth grade, or whose birth dates fall between September 2007 and December 2008, are invited to an informational meeting that will detail each step of the B’nai Mitzvah planning process, including date applications.  We highly encourage all parents to attend and there will be an opportunity to ask any additional questions. For more information, contact Davia Rabinoff-Goldman.

Bikkur Holim 101

Tuesday, November 14 | 6:30-8:00PM | BJ Community House
If are curious about what it would mean to volunteer with Bikkur Holim at BJ, or if you are a current volunteer who could use a refresher, this training is for you! ​Join us for a learning and skill-building workshop about supporting those in our community who are elderly, ill, or recovering from illness. Facilitated by Rabbi Michael Boino, BJ Coordinator of Pastoral Care and Support through the Jewish Board’s Partners in Program. For BJ members only. Register here.

Refugee and Immigration Committee Meeting

Thursday, November 16 | 7:00-9:00PM | BJ 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.

Bo-i Kallah

Friday, November 17 | 6:30PM | BJ Chapel
Join Rabbi Roly Matalon, Deborah Sacks Mintz, and Music Director Dan Nadel for this alternative Kabbalat Shabbat service. With the help of soulful melodies, verses of Shir haShirim (Song of Songs), liturgical poems, and Psalms, we will transition gently and with full kavannah from hol to kodesh, leaving workweek anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. Read more about this service here.

Thousand Turkey Challenge

Sunday, November 19 | 12:15-1:30PM | Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, 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.

Stay tuned for more information, or Contact Larissa.

A Fall Hike With Yozma

Sunday, November 19 | 9:00AM | Palisades
Join Yozma (BJ members and friends in their 40s & 50s) for a moderate five-mile hike. We’ll meet outside the BJ Sanctuary to take the subway together to the George Washington Bridge. From there, we will walk across the bridge and onto the trails of the Palisades overlooking the Hudson, before doubling back to return. The track is mostly flat, but there is some trail hiking. Bring your lunch. R.S.V.P. to Craig Rosenberg.

Interfaith Peace Feast

Sunday, November 19 | 6:00-8:00PM | SPSA Social Hall, 263 West 86th Street 
Join our Muslim and Christian friends for a vegetarian potluck dinner with live music, icebreakers, and teachings and scriptural readings about peace. Family-friendly, festive, food-filled, and fun! Space is limited, and preregistration is required. Please R.S.V.P. here and provide all names and phone number. Preference is given to BJ members. Event is free of charge. Registration is not complete until you receive confirmation.

Sponsored in partnership with the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, Muslim Community Network, and Cordoba House.

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

Thursdays, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21, January 11, 18, and 25, February 1, 8, 15, and 22, March 1, 8, and 15 | 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. This class is now full; please email Beth to be added to the wait list.

Parenting Series: #2 Raising a Teenager; the Scariest Job You Have

Wednesday, December 13 | 6:00-7:15PM | BJ Community House

Join us as Betsy Stone continues our parenting series focused on teens.  How do we respond to our teens and their difficulties? Why is there an uptick in depression and anxiety? What’s the impact of Social Media in their lives?

Register Now

Parenting Series: #3 Helping Your Teen

Wednesday, January 24 | 6:00-7:15PM | BJ Community House

Join us as Betsy Stone addresses the question of how to help our teens. What do kids need from us to help them navigate the teen and early adult years? How do we help them manage themselves and their place in the world? How do we manage our own fears and anxieties?

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BJ Mindfulness Retreat in Nature

January 14-21, 2018 | Costa Rica
Is multitasking in your daily life taking a toll? Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, 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.

Volunteer Opportunity - The Mitzvah of the Shofar

Sunday, September 24-Thursday September 28 | Various Times and Locations

Perform a mitzvah by visiting homebound BJ members to blow the shofar in their homes. An orientation will take place on Tuesday September 12 at 6:30PM at BJ, to learn more about the mitzvah and the tekiot, and pairs of volunteer will be matched to make visits between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This volunteer opportunity is for shofar blowers of all ages, but you must have some experience and you must bring your own shofar. Please sign up here before September 8. Any questions, contact Galit Bordereau (galit.lb@gmail.com) or Paula Weiss (pskw50@gmail.com).

The Book of Genesis with Hillel Friedman

Tuesdays, beginning October 24 | 9:30AM | BJ Middle Room
When we consider the Book of Genesis, many of us remember the tales we heard in our childhood.  As adults, we can together probe the book and find spiritual determinants that can add meaning to our lives today. Join Rabbi Hillel Friedman, longtime BJ member, for a perusal of the Book, for the opportunity to see how our ancestors carved out a spiritual world view while dealing with the culture surrounding them and their own family lives.

Register Now