Upcoming Events

BJ Families Helping Refugee Families: Donation Drive

Wednesday, February 1-Tuesday, February 28 | All day | 89th Street Community House 
In partnership with the International Rescue Committee, the BJ Refugee Committee is running a gently used donation drive for refugee families. Help refugee parents provide for their children by donating your gently used children’s items. We are seeking unopened packages of diapers (any size) and wipes, gently used strollers, and Pack ’n Plays. We are also seeking gift cards from Visa, American Express, Babies”R”Us and Buy Buy Baby, as well as Metrocards so that parents can take their children to doctors appointments.
UPDATE: To those of you who have already donated, thank you so much. A new request for a double stroller has come in for a mother, Ana, who has a 3-year-old and a newborn. Please let us know if you or someone you know has a double stroller to donate!

2017 Women's Retreat

Friday, May 19-Sunday, May 21 | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Spend a weekend surrounded by the voices of women exploring the theme: Marching Toward Sinai: Torah of Spiritual Resistance. Build deeper connections in the BJ community in beautiful services, a joyous Shabbat, and a great time with Rabbi Felicia Sol and former BJ Rabbinic Fellow Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni. Member Double Room, $350; Member Single Room, $450; Non-members, $500. Discounted rates for members if registration is complete before March 1! There are a limited amount of single rooms. Register here. For bus transportation, click here. Contact Billie for information.

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

Saturday, March 11 | 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 »

Bystander Intervention Training

Sundays, February 19 and March 19 | 10:30AM-2:00PM | 89th Street Community House
What do you do when you witness racial, ethnic, religious or other forms of harassment? Bystander intervention and de-escalation involve a series of tools that can be consciously employed to defuse volatile situations. In this interactive workshop, these concepts will be presented in the context of self-defense and harm reduction. Students will identify verbal and non-verbal techniques to de-escalate conflict. Students will also learn the four Ds of bystander intervention – direct, distract, delay, and delegate. All of these tactics will be presented in tandem with the importance of larger scale community organizing and alternatives to policing. Sessions will be facilitated by Rachel Levy, a social worker and member of the BJ community trained by the Center for Anti-Violence Education.  Spots are limited for each session. Register here.

All of Us Are Guarantors: The Significance of Interest-Free Lending

Saturday, February 25 | During and after Shabbat morning services | 86th Street Sanctuary and Chapel 
Rabbi David Rosenn, Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, will discuss the social, theological, and philanthropic meaning of interest-free lending.

Economic Inequality in the Present American Landscape: A Jewish Response, with Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

Saturday, February 25 | 5:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
Contemporary social and political analysts have noted with alarm the growing inequality in American society. And the Jewish community with all of its affluence (and its financial scandals) has not yet focused on a mode of repair that would address the widening income gap that exists. This seminar raises the possibility of embracing an ethic of dayenu (enough) that is the core of an economics of sufficiency. Free and open to the public, no registration necessary.

 

Tze'irim Shelter Cooking

Sunday, February 26 | 11:00AM-1:00PM | 88th Street Kitchen
Join us as we give back to the community by cooking a meal for the BJ/SPSA Homeless Shelter. No cooking experience is necessary. Members and non-members welcome! Contact Haley (h.greenwaldgonella@gmail.com) for more information or R.S.V.P. here by February 22.

*Our homeless shelter is entirely volunteer-run, so if you sign up, we are counting on you! In order to help cover the cost of dinner for our shelter guests, we encourage participants to bring $8-10.


The Israeli Book Club Discusses Khirbet Khizeh

Sunday, February 26 | 5:00-6:30PM | 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 Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizhar . Register here

Read more »

Men's Havurah Discussion Group

Sunday, February 26 | 10:30AM-12:00PM | 89th Street Middle Room and Frankel Hall 
Join us for a continuation of our discussion on Jewish identity and intermarriage. We’ll start with brunch in the 89th Street Middle Room, celebrating Rosh Hodesh (the new month) with other BJ members before beginning our discussion in Frankel Hall at 11:00AM. The morning minyan at 9:30AM (on 89th Street) welcomes our participation before brunch. R.S.V.P. to Lee at lee.rimsky@gmail.com.

The BJ Celebrate Community Auction

Wednesday, March 1 | 6:30-9:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

From organizing community conversations about social justice to fighting for civil rights and defending refugees, from feeding the hungry on the Upper West Side to sheltering women in need, we all know that these important BJ initiatives require the collective Wisdom, Work, and Wealth within our community to orchestrate our efforts and maximize our impact. The BJ Celebrate Community Auction is a chance to put a spotlight on this critical work and to raise the funds BJ needs to sustain it. There are so many ways to get involved:

 

Teen Volunteers Needed at the BJ Celebrate Community Auction

Wednesday, March 1 | 6:30-9:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

BJ Teens, we need your help to make the BJ Celebrate Community Auction run smoothly!  Fill out this form to volunteer.  Email Michelle Geisler with questions.

Bo-i Kallah - A Monthly Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Friday, March 3 | 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 workweek anxieties behind to enter holy time and welcome Shabbat. Read more about this service here.

Tot Shabbat

Shabbat

Friday, March 3 | 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, March 1. Contact Allison Kapusta with any questions. The cost is $20/members, $27/non-members. Children eat free.

Fourth Grade B’nai Mitzvah Journey: Opening Ritual

Saturday, March 4 | 4:30-7:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary and Frankel Hall
Families of all 2016/2017 4th grade students (or students whose birth dates fall between September 2006 and December 2007) are invited to BJ’s annual B’nai Mitzvah Journey Opening Ritual, where the entire Torah will be unrolled and each student will find the parasha (portion) that they will read when called to the Torah for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Join Rabbi Felicia Sol for this extraordinary event that brings together all 4th grade students and families as they begin their journey toward becoming b’nai mitzvah.  Register here

5th Grade B'nai Mitzvah Sleepover

Saturday, March 4 | 6:45PM | 89th Street Community House

What does it mean to become a B’nai Mitzvah? Why is it important? 5th grade students will explore the themes of B’nai Mitzvah through art, multimedia, and conversation and discover which mitzvot are especially important to us. Afterwards we’ll enjoy games, a movie, and a sleepover as we form a community that will remain with us throughout the B’nai Mitzvah journey. Pick-up is 9:00AM the following morning. Sign up here or email Ayala Wasser for more information.

*This event is for 5th graders only, but all family members are invited to join us for Havdalah at 6:45PM.

Helen Radin Memorial Zayin Adar Teaching: The Liturgy of Loss

Saturday, March 4 | 5:30PM | 89th Street Community House
In our tradition, Zayin Adar (the 7th of Adar) is the date assigned to the birth and death of Moses. The eighth annual Zayin Adar learning event is held in memory of Helen Radin, z”l, honoring the work of BJ’s Hevra Kadisha. Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, Director of the JTS Block/Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts and Associate Editor of Siddur Lev Shalem, will lead us in a study and discussion of the way that liturgy can help us through loss–from the prayers recited at a tahara, to an insider’s look into the new prayerbook’s innovations around mourning and yizkor.

A New Agenda For Israel

Sunday, March 5 | 5:00-6:30PM | 89th Street Community House 

Today Israel is one of the most unequal economies in the Western world. Roughly 20 percent of Israelis and over 30 percent of children live below the poverty line.  A recent study shows that the average salary of CEOs is 44 times the average wage of Israeli employees, and 91 times the minimum wage. Professor Danny Gutwein is one of the most prominent voices for social justice and equality in Israel today. During this talk, Gutwein will discuss the quest for social justice as a means of healing the divisions in Israeli society. In addition, he will describe the negative effects of economic inequality on Israel’s social structure and political system, along with potential methods of remedying these issues. Register here Read more »

Economic Justice Hevra Meeting

Monday, March 6 | 6:30-8:30PM | 89th Street Reception Room
Attend a meeting to get involved in the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign with BJ. We are asking questions, having conversations, and educating the community to expand our collective understanding of ethical consumption. In doing so, we aim to acknowledge the predominately immigrant laborers who make New York’s multi-billion dollar agricultural economy possible. Through the passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, we hope to ensure that laborers who produce the food on which New Yorkers depend can have the dignity and equality they deserve. If you are interested in attending these meetings or have questions, please contact Lisa.

Open Rehearsals of Shabbat Music

BJ Musicians Concert, March. Photo: Shahpar Nili

Tuesday, March 7 | 6:30-8:00PM | 89th Street Chapel

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.

Refugee Committee Meeting

Tuesday, March 7 | 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, Community, and Belonging: Shalom Hartman Lecture with Yedidah Koren

Wednesday, March 8 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Join us for another installment of the Shalom Hartman lecture series, a key component of our year-long JIBC programming. Our third speaker is Yedidah Koren, a faculty member and Doctoral Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. Koren is a Doctoral candidate in Talmud at Tel-Aviv University, currently writing her dissertation on lineage and illegitimate persons in Rabbinic literature. Her MA thesis, completed at Tel-Aviv University, dealt with the category of the “fore-skinned Jew” in Rabbinic literature. Koren has been a faculty member of Yeshivat Hadar, the Drisha Institute, and the Paideia Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Talmud and Classics from Hebrew University, and has also studied at Midreshet Lindenbaum and Matan, as well as other batei midrash. Register for this lecture here.

Pre-reading and pre-watching materials to come.

Caregivers Gathering - Cultivating A Self-Care Toolkit

Thursday, March 9 | 8:30AM-10:00AM | 89th Street First Floor
In this gathering we will cultivate a personalized toolkit of coping strategies that can be effective in dealing with the deep emotions that interfere with our ability to optimally function.  We will explore modalities including prayer, meditation, visualization, journaling, singing, and exercise. R.S.V.P. here. For BJ members only.

Family Purim Shabbat Dinner

Friday, March 10 | 6:30 PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

 Join us for a Purim-themed Shabbat dinner full of costumes, laughter, and ruach!  Enjoy a delicious Shabbat meal and connect with old and new friends from your BJ family. We will begin together with Kabbalat Shabbat in the sanctuary and will head down to Frankel Hall after Lecha Dodi (around 7:15 PM). Children are encouraged to wear their Purim costumes. We are extending a special invitation to our BJHS Gimmel and Dalet families to join us at no additional cost. Register by Wednesday, March 8.

Mindfulness Kabbalat Shabbat Service

BJ Sanctuary Stained Glass Rose Window

Friday, March 10 | 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.

Family Purim Celebration

Saturday, March 11 | 5:45-6:45PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Bring the whole family for this special celebration. Children ages six and under are encouraged to come in costume and experience a kid-friendly version of the megillah, watch a silly spiel put on by the BJ staff and rabbis, join our costume parade, enjoy some great snacks, and more. This event is free. Register here.
Contact Esther Besdolla with any questions.

Community Megillah Reading and Purim Celebration

Saturday, March 11 | 7:15PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join us for an evening service (arvit) and havdalah followed by a lively Megillah reading for the whole community. Stick around afterwards for our Purim party and dance the night away while enjoying snacks, drinks, and our DJ’s awesome playlist.

Purim Carnival

Purim

Sunday, March 12 | 12:30-2:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Celebrate Purim with the entire BJ community! This carnival will be complete with games, crafts, and an amazing bounce house! Enjoy mishloach manot and observe the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim (gifts for the needy) by donating to worthy causes. Arrive at 11:30AM for a festive Purim Speil before heading into the carnival. $5 per family for members. $10 per family for non-members. Register here.

Teen Day of Service: Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 12 | 12:00-3:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

BJ teens are an integral part of our annual Purim Carnival! Every year, the entire BJ community comes together to celebrate Purim with  games, crafts, and a bounce house. In addition to running booths and activities, teens will have the opportunity to partake in the festivities and enjoy mishloach manot.  Sign up to volunteer here. For more information, contact Michelle.

Leading on Campus (for High School Juniors & Seniors)

Tuesday, March 14 | 5:00-7:00PM | Congregation Rodeph Shalom (7 West 83rd Street)
B’nai Jeshurun is partnering with Congregation Rodeph Shalom and The Jewish Education Project to offer an exciting program for high school juniors and seniors.  “Leading on Campus” exposes students to the myriad of Jewish engagement opportunities on college campuses and the Israel-related challenges they may encounter. This program will provide an opportunity for students to talk openly about their hopes and fears regarding their college experience and empowers them with best practices for meeting these challenges.  Register here by March 1.

Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein's Webinar Follow-Up to March 8 Shalom Hartman Lecture

Wednesday, March 15 | 12:00PM | Online

Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein’s live interactive webinar as we explore and unfold the ideas raised in Yedidah Kurtzer’s March 8 Shalom Hartman lecture. Click here to access the webinar, which will become active at the scheduled date.

*Visit our JIBC webpage to view previous Shalom Hartman lectures.

Let My People Sing!

Friday, March 17-Saturday, March 18 | 5:00-10:30PM on Friday, 9:30AM-10:00PM on Saturday | 89th Street Community House

BJ is honored to co-host the next retreat for “Let My People Sing!”, an organization that promotes Jewish music by offering events featuring Shabbat services, song sharing and teaching sessions, and community sings.  Whether you have an abundance of songs in your back pocket you’re excited to share, are longing to expand your repertoire, or are new to Jewish songs altogether, we welcome you to join us! We see the array of Jewish songs as expansive, including but not limited to songs based on liturgical text, niggunim (wordless melodies), piyyutim, Jewish folk songs, Hebrew chanting, songs in Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic, Jewish gospel, and more.

Early-bird registration before March 1st:
$90 for non-members, $72 for BJ members/students, $36 for children 12 & under

Registration after March 1st:
$108 for non-members, $90 for BJ members/students, $36 for children 12 & under

Read more »

Breaking Down the Barriers of Mistrust

Saturday, March 18 | 5:00-6:30PM | 89th Street Community House 

How can Israel’s Arabs and Jews break down the barriers of mistrust and separation between them? Hand in Hand is reshaping Jewish-Arab relations in Israel with a growing network of integrated schools and communities that bring thousands of Jews and Arabs together every day. With huge demand around the country, Hand in Hand is proving that living together is a viable option for all of Israeli society. Hand in Hand activists Mohamad Marzouk and Noa Yammer will explore both their personal journeys to this work, as well as the dilemmas and successes that come with building a shared and equal future for Arabs and Jews in Israel. Read more »

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. Update: This retreat is now full, contact Billie to be placed on the waitlist. Read an article about the 2015 retreat to learn more!

Shishi Israeli

Friday, March 24 | 6:00-9:00PM | 89th Street Community House 

Shishi Israeli is a special opportunity for Israeli and Jewish Americans to create a shared experience around the Shabbat dinner table. Join Rabbi Matalon for a Shabbat service in Hebrew, followed by a delicious dinner of Mediterranean cuisine and Shira Betzibur (sing-along) of contemporary Israeli and traditional Shabbat songs. Activities for children are offered throughout the event. Register here.

From the Law Books to the Battlefield: A Conversation with Gadi Ezra

Saturday, March 25 | After Shabbat Services | SPSA 86th Street Chapel 

As both a human rights attorney and a soldier in the Israeli Special Forces, Gadi Ezra holds an unparalleled perspective on war. Ezra headed the Laws of War desk at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he advised policy makers and diplomats on humanitarian law, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, human rights and sanctions regimes. While studying law in Tel-Aviv, Ezra was recruited to fight in Operation Cast Lead, during which his Special Forces unit was among the first infantry units to enter the Gaza Strip. Drawing from his personal experiences and his background as a human rights lawyer, Ezra examines the dilemmas that today’s soldiers face, including the complexities of abiding by the laws of warfare during actual combat.

Read more »

A Visit to Queens Baptist Church

Sunday, March 26 | Services begin at 10:00AM | Queens Baptist Church (93-23 217th Street, Queens Village, NY) 
After serving as our guest preacher on MLK weekend, Pastor Brian Ellis-Gibbs has invited us to join his congregation for worship. We will assemble at the 89th Street Community House at 8:45AM to travel together to the Queens Baptist Church (alternatively, feel free to meet us there). Let us know if you’ll be joining us.

Painful Hope: A Different Approach To Solving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Thursday, March 30 | 7:00-8:30PM | 89th Street Community House 

Join two peace activists–one an Israeli settler, Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger, and one a Christian Palestinian, Antwan Saca–as they tell their personal stories and describe how the two intertwine. They come with no ready peace plans in hand, but only with the conviction that human understanding and trust will be the prerequisites for lasting justice, freedom, and peace on the tiny sliver of land they both call home. Read more »

Guitar Sing-Along with Songs by Pete Seeger and Friends

Saturday, April 15 | 8:00PM | 89th Street Community House 

Join Yozma (BJ’s 40’s & 50’s social group) for an evening of guitar-playing and singing led by BJ member Craig Rosenberg and fellow musicians. Singles, couples and families of all ages are welcome. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Register here.

*Co-sponsored by Metropolitan Jewish Singles.  

Jewish Identity, Community, and Belonging: Shalom Hartman Lecture with Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman

Wednesday, May 10 | 7:00-9:00PM | 88th Street Sanctuary

Join us for another installment of the Shalom Hartman lecture series, a key component of our year-long JIBC programming. Our final speaker in the Shalom  Hartman lecture series is Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman. Hartman is President of the Shalom Hartman Institute and author of Putting God Second: How to Save Religion from Itself. He is the founder of some of the most extensive education and enrichment programs for scholars, rabbis, and religious and lay leaders in Israel and North America.

Hartman has a Ph.D. in Jewish philosophy from Hebrew University, an M.A in political philosophy from New York University, an M.A. in religion from Temple University, and Rabbinic ordination from the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the author of The Boundaries of Judaism; co-editor of Judaism and the Challenges of Modern Life; co-author of Spheres of Jewish Identity; and lead author of Speaking iEngage: Creating a New Narrative Regarding the Significance of Israel for Jewish Life. He is currently completing his next book, entitled Who are the Jews? Register for this lecture here.

Pre-reading and pre-watching materials to come.

Rabbi Roly Matalon's Webinar Follow-Up to May 10 Shalom Hartman Lecture

Wednesday, May 17 | 12:00PM | Online

Join Rabbi Roly Matalon’s live interactive webinar as we explore and unfold the ideas raised in Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman’s May 10 Shalom Hartman lecture. Click here to access the webinar, which will become active at the scheduled date.

*Visit our JIBC webpage to view previous Shalom Hartman lectures.