Click here to listen to our rabbis’ High Holy Days sermons:
• Rosh Hashanah First Night, First Day, and Second Day with Rabbi Roly Matalon
• Rosh Hashanah First Day and Second Day with Rabbi Felicia Sol
• Kol Nidre with Rabbi Erin Glazer
• Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur Morning, and Yom Kippur Afternoon with Rabbi Felicia Sol
• Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur Morning, and Afternoon with Rabbi Roly Matalon
• Yom Kippur Afternoon with Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein
Tuesdays, October 9-December 18 | 4:00-4:45PM | Community House
Kadima@BJ is excited to announce a new Hebrew immersion class geared towards children ages 2-5. Shira Averbuch will lead children and their parents and caregivers in music, stories, and movement. Children will gain a sense of community rooted in Jewish tradition, while gaining exposure to Israeli culture, Hebrew language, and holiday customs. Cost for the fall semester is $200 for members and $300 for non-members. Both members and non-members may receive a sibling discount ($50 off). Contact Danielle Freedman for more information.
Tuesdays, October 16-December 18* | 6:30-7:45PM | Chapel
Way before Wikipedia, Judaism developed an ever-expanding network of texts. Using the weekly portions from Genesis as our starting point, we will follow these links of tradition that connect text to text, and generation to generation. Warm up the room with your presence and a cup of tea. New participants of any background are always welcome. Please sign up to let us know you are coming.
*No class on October 23 or December 4
*Class will be held in the Middle Room on November 13
Tuesday, October 23 | 6:30-8:30PM | Location Given Upon R.S.V.P.
Join us for our first meeting in the new year! We are looking for any members interested in environmental work, whether through diving more deeply into how our own community can become more sustainable, or through exploring how we can advocate for better policies in our city and state. All are welcome. Email Les Judd to R.S.V.P.
Tuesday, October 23 | 7:00PM | Community House
The Jewish Museum Vienna combats antisemitism and xenophobia. Hear CEO Dr. Danielle Spera talk about the extremely valuable work their education department does with pupils, adolescents, and refugees from the Middle East who came to Austria in recent years, especially from Syria and Afghanistan.
Wednesdays, October 10-November 14 | 3:30-4:30PM | Middle Room
Learn American Sign Language through songs and play with other parents, educators, and children close to your child’s age. Go home each week with new vocabulary and new tunes to enhance communication between you and your child, with added focus on Judaic concepts, traditions, and holidays. Whether you intend to incorporate sign language in your life for the long term, or simply during this pre-verbal/developing verbal time, watch in awe as your child discovers the world of language. See the research come to life, as music and sign language both aid in the development of language and literacy. Stories, songs, games, and movement to music are included in our teaching methods. The 6-session series costs $120 for members, $180 for non-members. Contact Mike Witman with questions.
Wednesdays, October 2018 through May 2019 | 6:00-7:15PM | Community House Room 411
Want a chance to learn, study, and discuss some of the most intriguing issues facing Jewish teens today? Join us as we explore R-rated Talmud, the complexities of Israel, civil rights, poverty, and race within Judaism. Sessions will be facilitated by Aniko Gomory, Ayala Wasser, Rabbi Felicia Sol, Moshe Samuels, and outside facilitators. Read more »
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. Individuals: $435 (members)/$660 (non-members); Couples: $650 (members)$980 (non-members). Please contact Billie with questions.
Wednesdays starting October 17 | 7:00-8:30PM | Reception Room
Ethical questions of war and peace, global warming, immigration, and healthcare can be overwhelming. And yet, consciously or not, we answer critical ethical questions every day as we order our coffee, pay our workers, dine with our friends, and even shop online.
Read more »
Thursdays, October 25; November 1, 29; December 6, 13, 20; January 10, 17, 24; March 7, 14, 28; April 4, 11 | 12:30-1:30PM | Location Provided Upon Registration
We will continue our close reading of short stories about the lives, struggles, and concerns of the Talmudic rabbis, in order to uncover deeper layers of our own selves and to become better equipped to wrestle with our human nature. No knowledge of Hebrew is required; you are welcome to bring your own lunch to class. This series is free of charge, but open to BJ members only.
Friday, October 26-Sunday, October 28 | Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Fridays through December 14 | 10:15-11:00AM, 11:15AM-12:00PM | Chapel
Bim Bam gives children under three a fun space to explore Shabbat through interactive songs and stories while learning traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. The 10:15AM session features both English and Hebrew songs, while the 11:15AM session is full Hebrew immersion. The series (12 classes) is $240/members and $360/non-members. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New BJ members may attend for free. The program is led by Shira Averbuch. Questions? Contact Danielle Freedman (x260). No class on November 23. Read more »
Fridays, Beginning October 12 | Various Times | Various Locations
Have a delicious Shabbat meal, build closer relationships, and help strengthen the BJ community all at the same time! Beginning on October 12, BJ members will be hosting a series of Pay-It-Forward-style Shabbat dinners in their homes.
What does this mean? Each dinner is open to BJ members from particular cohorts of the community; in signing up to attend, you are committing to host a Shabbat dinner of your own for other BJ members in the weeks or months ahead. You could host the same people who attended the first dinner, or invite an entirely new group from your own social circle at BJ. The choice is yours!
Not sure how to host a Shabbat meal? No problem. We’re rolling out a slew of workshops and online resources, including a complete Shabbat Dinner Hosting Guide.
Saturday, October 27 through Saturday, November 3 | Various Times | Community House 1st Floor Gallery
Embracing her mother’s death almost fifty years after her passing, the artist Nancy Patz uncovers a critical moment from her past. Losing her mother as an adolescent, and being an only child, Patz mourned privately and quietly. It wasn’t until a later age, and after having children and grandchildren of her own, that the artist decided to reclaim her loss and confront the silence and suppression she had experienced. Carving an exchange between past and present, the artist uses her personal archive from family albums and recreates portraits of her mother, in drawings, paintings, as well as re-scans of photos she often uses in her collages.
Various Saturdays and Sundays, Beginning October 27 | Various Times | Upper West Side (Havdalah), Bike Route Locations TBD
Love to bike? Want to explore local places of interest with other BJ bikers? This havurah will meet several times throughout the year, sometimes for havdalah and sometimes on Sunday mornings, for a bike ride. Please note that while the riding is not intensive, riders must be comfortable navigating city streets and traffic. Rides will take place within the five boroughs and other local routes; location, length, and duration of the bike rides will be determined by the group. Subsequent dates for both havdalah and ride to be determined by havurah members’ schedules and the weather.
Group Leader: Lester Schwalb
Saturdays, Monthly Beginning October 27 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
This group will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoon to study the writings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and other Jewish resources on the topic of Shabbat. Bring your favorite Heschel piece to the first meeting. All ages are welcome.
Group Leader: Bernice Todres
Saturday, October 27 | 1:00PM | Chapel
Tahara is the ritual washing of a body before burial. Participating in this mitzvah can be challenging, yet incredibly moving. Join Roly for this meaningful learning session following kiddush.
Sunday, October 28 | 5:00-6:30PM | Community House
Join us for an evening of stories and insights into the special world of Unit 669—Israel’s elite combat search and rescue unit. Learn how the unit’s alumni utilize the unique skills gained in their military service, their comradely, and devotion to saving people’s lives to continue providing humanitarian aid and promote social action in Israel and around the globe.
Mondays, beginning October 15 | 6:30-7:00PM | Chapel
Whether you have a deep meditation practice or are interested in exploring mindfulness for the first time, we invite you to join us for Monday Meditation Minyan, led by Yael Shy. Each session will begin with wisdom from the Jewish tradition, followed by focused meditation (with some guidance), a short discussion, and an opportunity for community members to recite Mourner’s Kaddish. No experience necessary; all are welcome.
Monday Meditation Minyan meets weekly, with the exception of national and Jewish holidays. To get a glimpse of what you can experience in-person, check out the live stream of this season’s first session.
Beginning October 8 | Mondays, 5:00-7:00PM and 7:00-9:00PM | Community House
Join members of the BJ, Habonim and Shaare Zedek communities in a small group environment to build and improve your Hebrew conversational skills. The Hebrew Ulpan course teaches the fundamental structure of Hebrew and its basic forms, as well as the necessary vocabulary for everyday conversations, reading, and writing. This class is open to both members and non-members of the three synagogues so invite your friends to join!
Mondays through November 5 | 7:00-8:00PM | Community House
Whether you have a committed prayer practice, find yourself lost in the siddur, or consider yourself somewhere in between, join Rabbinic Fellow Abi Weber for this five-part series as we explore the five W’s of prayer. Why do we pray? What are the components of prayer? When do we pray? Where do we pray? To whom do we pray? God? Ourselves? The community? By delving into ancient texts and contemporary conversations looking at the large theological questions of prayer, as well as its everyday practicalities, we will gain a deeper understanding of this Jewish spiritual practice. Each class will stand alone, so new participants are always welcome.
Monday, October 29 | 7:00-8:30PM | Sanctuary
How do we share truthfully with those we love about this vulnerable part of our lives? What values and messages about death and dying have we absorbed from our families, cultural heritage, and society? As we look at our mortality, what values and practices will best serve us and the people we love? Improvised theater helps us address important issues in a way that’s engaging and fun. Playback Theatre performs improvisational theater with heart. Audience volunteers will share important moments from their lives. Actors will then honor these stories through drama, movement, music, and song. Audiences will laugh and cry, build respect and understanding, and gain insights about their lives. Individuals of all ages are welcome. Feel free to share or just watch.
Tuesdays Beginning October 16 | 9:00AM | 4th Floor Conference Room
Join Rabbi Hillel Friedman, longtime BJ member, for a perusal of the classical prophets. Together we will study excerpts from the classical prophets and apply their wisdom to our concerns in the 21st century.
Tuesdays, October 16-December 18 | 12:30-1:45PM | Middle Room
Bring a bag lunch and open up your soul to the nourishment and challenge of the Hassidic rabbis. 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. This series is free of charge.
Tuesday, October 30-Tuesday, December 11 | Various Times | Various Locations
In this rocking holiday musical revue, BJ’s youngest actors will shine on stage as they tell the story of Hanukkah. Each child will have a speaking line and singing part, so Latkes All Night Long is a wonderful opportunity for actors at any level.
Fall: October 31, November 28, January 2, February 6; Spring: March 6, April 10, May 15, June 5 | 11:00AM-2:00PM | Frankel Hall
NOTE: Thursday class is currently full, so this Wednesday class has been created by popular demand.
Food is a world unto itself. It’s a peep-through window, a bridge between worlds and a key to different cultures. Food brings people together and opens hearts; food comforts and stimulates memories.
Wednesday, October 31 | Reception at 6:00PM, Conversation at 7:00PM | Reception and Middle Rooms
Artist and popular children’s book author/illustrator Nancy Patz was 17 when her mother Fanny died at the age of 41. It took Patz almost 50 years before she was able to write and paint her mother back into her life. Sometimes she wrote poems on her mother’s portraits. Other times she drew her mother’s portraits on the poems. Nancy returned to this series on and off for 15 years as she re-imagined particular moments with her mom. Elana Zaiman, rabbi, chaplain, and author of The Forever Letter, joins artist Nancy Patz in this retrospective exhibit. As they go through the exhibit, Rabbi Zaiman will question the artist about specific portraits and engage her, and those present, in conversation about memory, loss, grief, and creativity, hoping that sharing these stories will open a path to meaningful awakenings within ourselves and to deepening our connections with the people in our lives today who matter to us. This event is free of charge, but sign up is required.
Thursday, November 1-Thursday, November 8 | Various Times | Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave
BJ is proud to partner with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan to present some of the most thought-provoking Israeli documentaries.
BJ members, use discount code BJ18 for 25% off general admission tickets.
Fall: November 1, November 29, January 3, February 7; Spring: March 7, April 11, May 16, June 6 | 6:30-9:00PM | Frankel Hall
NOTE: Thursday class is currently full, click here for Wednesday class.
Food is a world unto itself. It’s a peep-through window, a bridge between worlds and a key to different cultures. Food brings people together and opens hearts; food comforts and stimulates memories.
Thursday, November 1 | 6:30-8:00PM | Sanctuary
BJ members who were here in 1991 when the sanctuary ceiling fell are invited to join Rabbi Roly Matalon and Reverends K Karpen and Ed Horne to reflect on the meaning of that moment in the life of the BJ community and the power of sanctuary.
Thursday, November 1 | 7:00PM | Middle Room
Along with the expected pain and sorrow of losing a loved one, multifaith/multiheritage couples and families face important questions of if, and how, different mourning rituals from their respective faith traditions and cultures will be observed. How will they wish for their loved ones to participate? What if some are uncomfortable participating in another tradition’s rituals? Have they explained to one another their religious and spiritual wishes in planning for their end-of-life care? Join Rabbi Adina Lewittes and BJ’s Jewish Home Project as we explore these sensitive questions to acquire the tools to navigate them with respect and compassion.
$12 General Admission/$10 Early bird (before September 30), Free for BJ members with code BJMEMBERSFREE
Friday, November 2 | 5:15-7:30PM | Sanctuary and Frankel Hall
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. Register by Wednesday, October 31, and contact Adina with any questions. The cost is $22 for members/$29 for non-members. All children eat for free.
Friday, November 2 | 5:30PM | Chapel
Prepare to enter Shabbat by joining Hazzan Ari Priven for this new opportunity to unlock the melodies that you’ll hear throughout Shabbat services. Discover exciting new melodies, let the old favorites into your heart, and prepare for Shabbat in a truly beautiful way. No registration necessary, all are welcome.
Fridays, Every Two-Three Months Beginning November 2 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
Is Top Chef your favorite TV show? Does your bedtime reading consist of cookbooks or food magazines? Food and Wine Fridays will bring together a group of foodies sharing their favorite dishes for an epicurean Shabbat potluck.
If you are comfortable hosting, the group can meet in different homes. If you just adore cooking, but feel your home is too small to host, a space can be provided for you. The “host” will be responsible for the main course and theme of the dinner. The rest of the members will cook different courses that are compatible with the theme.
Group Leader: Carol Gelles
Friday, November 2 | 8:00PM | Community House 3rd Floor
The way we die is the most important conversation Americans aren’t having. We’re bringing resources from Death Over Dinner—Jewish Edition—to the Shabbat table, to transform this potentially difficult conversation into one that everyone can be a part of. Celebrate Shabbat and tap into some age-old Jewish wisdom around grieving, ritual, living, and dying.
$45 General Admission/$36 Early Bird (Before September 30), BJ members save 25% with code NYCFXQ2Z68N.
Every Other Saturday Beginning October 6 | 8:45-9:25AM | Chapel
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. This series is open to all, no registration necessary.
First Saturday of Each Month, Beginning October 6 | 9:30AM | Frankel Hall
Join Rabbinic Fellow Margo Hughes-Robinson for a Shabbat morning learners’ minyan. This minyan is open to newcomers and regulars alike looking for a deeper understanding of the meaning of the prayers, the liturgical arc of the service, and a more intimate prayer experience and discussion. We will dive into the Shaharit service together and join the rest of the congregation for Torah service and Musaf.
Saturday, November 3 | 1:00PM | Chapel
How should parents and caregivers address the topic of death with children? The death of a family-friend, grandparent, or even pet often triggers all sorts of questions and feelings. How can we adults figure out what kids really want to know, assist them in processing their tangled emotions, and help them understand the grief of the adults around them?
Saturday, November 3 | 2:00-4:00PM | Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive
How can we build trust and confidence in our healthcare system for African Americans, who have suffered from inequitable treatment and been excluded and neglected in our nation’s healthcare system?
Dr. Jessica Zitter and Pastor Corey Kennard will explore the great divide between seriously-ill African American patients and the healthcare system they come to for support. The history of racial inequity in our healthcare system has created an atmosphere of alienation and distrust on the part of African Americans. Facilitated by Michelle Drayton—Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Director of Community Outreach—this conversation acknowledges and explores those challenges. We will discuss strategies to bring patient, family, and healthcare team closer together. Partners for this event include Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, and NY Caring Majority Coalition. Refreshments will be served.
This event is free of charge, but sign up is required.
Saturday, November 3 | 5:30-7:30PM | Chapel
A Forever Letter, inspired by the centuries-old tradition of the ethical will, is a perfect way to deepen, heal, and uplift the relationships that matter to us most. Forever letters share our values and wisdom; ask for and offer forgiveness; express our gratitude, support, and love. They are transformative, authentically connecting us with ourselves and with those we love. Through empowering stories, interactive exercises, and writing prompts, Rabbi Zaiman will guide us on a journey into forever letters and why we will want to place writing them high on our priority list. We will mark the closing of Shabbat together with a special havdalah service. Presented as part of the Renee and Norman Kaufman Wise Living Program at BJ, this event is for BJ members only and free of charge.
Sunday, November 4 | 4:30-6:00PM | Sanctuary
Have you celebrated a baby naming, brit milah, b’nai mitzvah, bat Torah, or wedding in the sanctuary? Countless semahot (happy occasions) have been celebrated in the BJ Sanctuary over the past 100 years. Join Rabbi Felicia Sol and Hazzan Ari Priven to reflect on and celebrate those joyous memories.
Preserving Israel's Character as a “Jewish and Democratic” State: Urgent Legal and Religious Challenges
Sunday, November 4 | 5:00-6:30PM | Community House
Sundays (Monthly*), September 30, 2018-April 28, 2019 | 5:00-7:00PM | Location TBD
Rosh Hodesh (Sisterhood) and Shevet (Brotherhood), are small, single-gender, single-grade groups, led by Moving Traditions-trained adult mentors. Find your own Jewish community in a safe, relaxed space filled with activities, discussion, exploration, and fun. Our research-based and field-tested curriculum applies Jewish wisdom and values to supporting teens in the issues they care about most, such as relationships, gender roles, healthy sexuality, social media, pressure, and stress.
Dates: September 30, November 4, December 2, January 6, February 3, April 7, April 28
Wednesday, November 7 | 6:30-8:00PM | Sanctuary
Were you a part of the effort to gather supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? Did you celebrate the passage of marriage equality with the marriage equality wedding in our Sanctuary? Were you part of the action when our sanctuary was filled with labor unions, elected officials, and faith communities advocating for better health care? Did you participate in the launch of Panim el Panim in the sanctuary in 2000? If you participated in any social action/social justice movement in the sanctuary, join Rabbis Felicia Sol and Shuli Passow, along with former Social Action Social Justice directors Amanda Silver and Guy Austrian, for this special evening.
Thursday, November 8 | 7:00-8:30PM | Location Given Upon Registration
Come and meet Patrick Levy and Nehad Fattah, the Israeli and Palestinian coordinators of Healing Across The Divides (HATD)—an organization whose goal is to improve the health of marginalized people living in Israel and the West Bank via community-based intervention. By providing grants for three-year projects that will operate simultaneously on both sides of the fence, serve as a platform for relationship building between communities and practitioners, and produce measurable improved health for Israelis and Palestinians, HATD hopes to promote a resolution to the conflict. In the meeting, we will learn more about the organization and the amazing grantees and projects they support, along with how they overcome the unique challenges that they encounter while running such programs.
Friday, November 9 | 6:15PM | Community House 3rd Floor
Join us for an intimate service featuring meditation, reflection, deep listening, and personal engagement with the parashah. Please email Kristen Kersey or call her at x255 with any questions.
Friday, November 9 | Dinner Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
Experience the magic of Jewish summer camp. Join us for BJ Shabbat services and a dinner brimming with kavannot given by past and present campers of all ages! Make sure to sport your favorite camp t-shirt; the dinner will be filled with “camp-style” shirah. A special, but not exclusive, invitation goes out to our Kitah Bet families! Register by Monday, November 5.
Friday, November 9 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Frankel Hall
Join us for a Kabbalat Shabbat service and a catered Kosher Shabbat dinner! Mix and mingle with 20s and 30s from the community and make new friends over dinner. The cost is $18 for members and $25 for non-members.
Fridays Beginning November 9 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
A Shabbat havurah for divorced parents, their kids, and blended/pureed families. Come meet, support, and celebrate with other families who might not look like the ones in picture books. We’ll start with Friday nights, but might evolve to Saturday havdalah, or whatever makes sense for this group’s complicated schedules.
Group Leader: Elle Melaver
Saturdays, Every 4-6 Weeks Beginning November 10 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
Families with young children (up to age 6) will come together every 4-6 weeks to connect and build community over shabbat lunch. Havurah members will rotate hosting, and can either provide the meal or organize a potluck style lunch.
Group Leaders: Michael Bar and Gabe Katz
Saturday, November 10 | Following Kiddush | Middle Room
Join us for a special presentation by Roberta Kaplan and Karen Dunn—two of America’s leading litigators—on their work representing Charlottesville residents injured at the August 2017 white nationalist rally. Their groundbreaking lawsuit against white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and affiliated hate groups is designed to make it clear that inciting and engaging in violence based on racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism has no place in this country. Sign up is encouraged, but not required.
Saturday, November 10 | 5:30-7:45PM | Community House 3rd Floor
Interested in what Jewish Camping could do for your child? Do you miss the smell of bonfires and marshmallows, the sound of the great outdoors, the lack of WiFi, and the joy of celebrating Shabbat with all of your friends? While we can’t bring you back to camp, we can bring camp to you! Join representatives from your favorite camps for some of your favorite Saturday night camp activities. Learn about the vast array of Jewish camping options for your family; there’s something for everybody! All are welcome at this family event. Family admission is $10.
Saturday, November 10 | 5:30PM | 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 niggunim and zemirot as havdalah approaches.
Second Sunday of Each Month* | 5:30-7:00PM | Location Given Upon Registration
Get together with other Hebrew speakers to discuss current affairs. Each month, a topic will be chosen and reading material (in both English and Hebrew) will be provided. At each meeting, we will hold a discussion in Hebrew.
Tuesday, November 13 | 6:15PM | BJ Chapel
Parents of children in fourth grade, or whose birth dates fall between September 2008 and December 2009, 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.
Thursday, November 15 | 7:00-8:30PM | Location Given Upon Registration
In the village of Neve Shalom hundreds of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian kids play in the schoolyard; over 60,000 Israeli and Palestinian professionals are trained in dialogue and negotiation; and people of all faiths join together to celebrate their neighbors’ holidays. This sounds too good to be true, right? Join Vered Marom and Samah Salaime, two women leaders in the only bi-national village in Israel, to hear about the educational, dialogue, and peace-building work being done in this unique community. Click here for more information.
Friday, November 16 | 6:15PM | Reception Room
Join Rabbi Roly Matalon and BJ Music Director Dan Nadel for an alternative Kabbalat Shabbat service featuring melodies from the Sephardi and Mizrahi traditions, verses of Shir haShirim (Song of Songs), and beautiful piyutim (liturgical poems). Transitioning meaningfully into holy time by weaving together all of these elements, we invite you to bring a new dimension to your Kabbalat Shabbat. Read more about this service here.
Fridays Monthly, Beginning November 16 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
We’re a group of 60s+ enjoying the company of others on Shabbat. We’ll take turns hosting, providing the food (cook or order in), and preparing brief Jewish content for so we can have meaningful discussion along with a delicious dinner. Friday night dinners and is geared towards people in their 60s and older.
Group Leader: Carol Dikman and Leslie Verter
Fridays, Quarterly Beginning November 16 | Various Times | Downtown Manhattan, Rotating in People’s Homes
This havurah will meet quarterly on Friday nights for Shabbat dinner and celebration. It is geared towards BJ members who live in downtown Manhattan—though Brooklynites, or others who have a hard time getting to the Upper West Side, are also welcome to join. All ages are welcome.
Group Leader: Marcy Einhorn
Saturdays, Monthly Beginning November 17 | Various Times | Central Park (Exact Location Varies Each Time)
This havurah will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoons for guided nature walks led by certified Forest Therapy guide Nancy Kopans. Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote “our goal should be to live life in radical amazement.” We can awaken this perspective through gentle, sensory-focused immersion in nature right here in our city. This havurah also offers an opportunity to build community with other BJ members. All are welcome. Specific walks can be tailored to families with children under 13 and individuals with mobility constraints.
Group Leaders: Nancy Kopans and Toni Siegel
Saturdays, Monthly Beginning November 17 | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
An opportunity to explore, discuss, and debate everyday issues in small groups using ancient Jewish texts and modern source materials from the Limmud Havruta series. Possible topics include money, food, time, and more. This havurah is geared toward Boomers and Gen Xers, and will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoons.
Group Leader:Karen Radkowsky
Saturday, November 17 | Following Shabbat Services | Chapel
Few modern-day Jewish leaders have had such a profound impact on contemporary Judaism as the visionary Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who inspired a near impossible feat: transform Hebrew, which, for centuries, had been used only in study, into the spoken language we all know today. Join his granddaughter Eliezra after kiddush as she tells his amazing life story from an insider’s perspective, sharing details never told before. No registration necessary.
Saturday, November 17 | Following Kiddush | Chapel
What does it mean to forgive? Does forgiving mean we have to condone hurtful actions? In this session with Rabbi Shuli Passow, we will bring gentle presence to the ways we’ve been hurt and have hurt others, as a step towards releasing ourselves from the corrosive chains of resentment. Forgiveness is a practice of courage and compassion: come prepared to share, to listen without judgement, and to open your heart in love.
Read more »
Saturday, November 17 | 4:30-6:00PM | Sanctuary
Over the sanctuary’s 100 years, many families have raised children—and now grandchildren—in the BJ Community. Join Rabbi Felicia Sol and Hazzan Ari Priven to share some stories from over the years, make havdalah, and reflect on the life of the sanctuary and the lives of our families. Children are encouraged to attend too. There will be food and games.
Read more »
Sunday, November 18 | 12:00-1:30PM | SPSA, 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 56512; or purchase a frozen turkey up to 14 pounds and drop it off at WSCAH during the week of Thanksgiving. Click here or more information, including drop-off times, or contact Larissa with any questions.
Monday, November 19 | 7:00PM | Location TBD
An honest and relevant conversation about the place of faith, spirituality, feminism, and activism in our daily lives. In a lively conversation with Rabbi Roly Matalon, Daisy will discuss how she realized her inner power, a power that led her down many paths. In her memoir, Born With Wings, she weaves the many aspects of her life together: her childhood in magical Kashmir; her time as an architectural designer in New York City; her search for a spiritual path; the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy; her work in interfaith bridge-building, promoting women’s rights around the world, and changing perceptions about American Muslims.
Tuesday, November 27 | 7:30PM | Sanctuary
Presented by Hadar, join Rabbi Shai Held and Rabbi David Ellenson, two of the American Jewish community’s most prominent leaders and thinkers, for a panel conversation. Moderated by Jane Eisner of The Forward, they will explore the big questions of modern Jewish life and their impact on Judaism, including: God, secularization, the Holocaust, Zionism, American politics, academic Jewish Studies, and much more.
Wednesday, November 28 | 6:30-8:00PM | Sanctuary
We express sincere gratitude for 100 years of our sanctuary and the countless leaders who devoted their time and energy as members of the Board of Trustees. Join Rabbis Matalon and Sol, President Alan Mantel, and First Vice President Suzanne Shechter to reflect on how the community has changed and evolved and to celebrate its leadership past and present.
Fridays, Every Other Month Beginning November 30 | Various Times | Washington Heights, Rotating in People’s Homes and/or Community Rooms
This is a neighborhood-based havurah to bring the BJ “Heights” community together. We will celebrate Shabbat on Fridays and lead each other in prayer. This havurah will meet every other month on Friday nights. All ages welcome.
Group Leader: Mandy Braun
Friday, November 30 | Following the Kabbalat Shabbat Service | Reception and Middle Rooms
Pull out the quinoa and kale, the next community potluck Shabbat dinner is right around the corner! Get ready to make your Shabbat a little sweeter with friends, food, and soulful singing led by Rabbi Adina Lewittes. Bring your friends, family, and dairy/vegetarian creations.
Sunday, December 2 | 5:00-6:30PM | Location Given Upon registration
BJ’s Israeli Book Club is more than just your typical reading group—it is an intimate encounter with Israeli culture, society, and politics. Join us for a good read and nuanced conversation that will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary Israeli issues.
About Second Person Singular:
From one of the most important contemporary voices to emerge from the Middle East comes a gripping tale of love and betrayal, honesty and artifice, which asks whether it is possible to truly reinvent ourselves, to shed our old skin and start anew.
Monday, December 3 | 6:30PM | Sanctuary
Join us as we celebrate 100 years in our historic sanctuary and honor Jeannie Blaustein, Peter Bokor, and Rabbi Rachel Cowan z”l.
The gala will gather the community in celebration as we mark the centennial of our historic sanctuary, and as we recognize the incredible contributions of our honorees.
This beautiful evening will provide an opportunity for the community to invest in BJ’s future. Gala proceeds will be directed to BJ’s endowment, helping to ensure that BJ remains vital, affordable, and sustainable for generations to come.
Thursday, December 6 | 6:30PM | Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, 1 West 4th Street
Our very own rabbinic fellow, Tobias Divack Moss, will be presenting an evening’s worth of music and story in honor of his grandmother, Tova. Read more »
Friday, December 7-Tuesday, December 11 | Various Times | Location TBD
In this rocking holiday musical revue, BJ’s youngest actors (kindergarten through third grade) will shine on stage as they tell the story of Hanukkah.
Saturday, December 8-Sunday, December 9 | Time TBD | Location TBD
In this 24-hour play festival, teen writers, actors, and directors come together to produce an evening of original work with just 24 hours of prep. BJ teens won’t want to miss this always hilarious, SNL-style theater event!
Fore more information, contact Emma Miller.
Sunday, December 8-Sunday, March 17 | Various Times | Location TBD
Get your groggers ready and break out your dancing shoes! This year’s Purim Shpiel is going to be a hit! Third-sixth grade performers (or those interested in helping out behind-the-scenes) will definitely want to join us for this full-scale Mamma Mia-meets-Mordehai-themed extravaganza!
Friday, December 14 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
A Hanukkah-themed breakfast for dinner can’t be beat, so join us for PJ Shabbat! Children will enjoy music, games, and a bedtime story. Come in your coolest, goofiest, or favorite PJs. A special invitation goes out to our Kitah Gan families; email Ayala for your personal, free registration link. Register by Monday, December 10.
Monday, December 24-Thursday, December 27 | Various Times | Various Locations
BJ’s Center for Prayer and Spirituality is proud to partner with Hadar to present this year’s Singing Communities Intensive. This four-day immersive experience offers a chance to experience the depth of Jewish music, study traditional melodies and sounds, and participate in the creative process of bringing new music into being.
Every First Sunday, January-June 2019 | 5:00-7:00PM | Location Given Upon Registration
In this six-part salon series, BJ members will get to meet some of the most promising Israeli artists working in New York today, each of whom are represented by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF). These musicians, artists, singers, and actors will perform in an intimate home setting, drawing on an overarching theme that will shed new light on Israeli arts and culture. The series is curated by BJ’s music director Dan Nadel, and facilitated by BJ’s shaliah Moshe Samuels.
Meeting Dates: January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2
Interested in hosting one of these fabulous salons? Please contact Moshe Samuels.
Friday, January 11, 2019 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
This month’s family Shabbat dinner will be Tu Bishvat themed! Join us for great food, better company, and fun games for children and adults alike as we prepare to celebrate the Jewish birthday of the trees. A special invitation goes out to our Kitah Aleph families; email Ayala for your personal, free registration link. Register by Monday, January 7.
Thursday, January 17–Monday, January 21, 2019 | Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia
8th and 9th graders, join us as we venture south to learn about the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as explore the struggle for racial justice and equality happening today. Our partner organization, Etgar 36, is dedicated to developing the future political voice by taking Jewish teens on a journey through America and empowering them to get involved politically and socially to change the world. We will explore the link between Jews and the Civil Rights movement and understand why Jews, as a people who have known oppression, must care and act when others are oppressed. Cost is $1,450 per teen. Register by October 5.
Register now for January 20-27, 2019 | Costa Rica
Is multitasking in your daily life taking a toll? Spend a week of simple living in the rich ecology of the Costa Rican rain forest and the rustic elegance and organic fine cuisine of La Montaña Azul Center. Led by Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein, we will explore Jewish mindfulness practices as a way to connect more deeply with our souls, 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.
Read more »
Mondays, January 28, February 4 and 11 | 7:00-8:30PM | Middle Room
Become a member of this year’s first Ritual Lab cohort, delving into the experience of mourners completing a year of saying Kaddish for a loved one. The daily action of saying Kaddish is among the most powerful of Jewish rituals, and yet there can be an additional sense of loss when the year of mourning concludes. Join Cantor David Mintz for an opportunity to explore the wisdom of our tradition, broaden our understanding of Jewish ritual, and together, co-create a new ritual to mark the act of emerging beyond the year of mourning.
Tuesdays, February 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2019 | 7:00-8:00PM | Chapel
Family life can be the landscape where we find great meaning and purpose, and at the same time, be the container for some of our most challenging relationships and emotions. Join Rabbi Marcelo Bronstein for an exploration of these universal conflicts, and the tools that mindfulness practice and the wisdom of our tradition can offer in bringing a sense of healing to complex familial relationships.
Friday, February 8-Sunday, February 10, 2019 | Washington, D.C.
This 7th grade trip focuses on our Jewish past, present, and future. Through the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, intensive reflection, a Shabbat experience, the Newseum, and more, we will explore what it means to live a full Jewish life in light of our modern history and current events. This formative trip also serves as a community-building experience for our B’nai Mitzvah class.
If you are enrolled in Kadima@BJ, please select the prepaid option when registering. All 7th graders are invited to join us for this experience—the cost for those who have not prepaid is $450.
Friday, February 8, 2019 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
Join us as we celebrate Jewish communities from all around the world! We will explore different customs, cuisines, and traditions over Shabbat dinner. Do you have a special family tradition? Share it here! A special invitation goes out to our Kitah Gimmel and Dalet families; email Ayala for your personal, free registration link. Register by Monday, February 4th.
Sunday, February 17–Sunday, February 24, 2019 | The Dominican Republic
10th-12th graders, join us on our annual service learning trip. Help build much-needed schools and complete a community center for some of the poorest neighborhoods of Santo Domingo. Spend off-hours in classic Caribbean style—socializing, dancing, laughing, and practicing your Spanish. Afternoons will be spent on educational excursions to the Zona Colonial, artisan markets, beaches, and caves. We will be partnering with Visions Service Adventures, a reliable organization that has well-established relationships with the communities in which we will be working. Cost is $2,400 per teen. Register by October 15.
Friday, March 8, 2019 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
Join the Family Life and Learning team for a joyful Shabbat dinner. As we exit winter, this dinner will celebrate the wonderful ways in which the seasons heighten our different senses. A special invitation goes out to our Kitah Hey families; email Ayala for your personal, free registration link. Register by Monday, March 4.
Sunday, March 17 | Time TBD | Location TBD
Get your groggers ready and break out your dancing shoes! This year’s Purim Shpiel is going to be a hit! The main Shpiel performance will take place as part of the Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 17. More performances to be announced!
Friday, April 12, 2019 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
We hope you and your family will join us for our April Family Shabbat dinner! Our Israeli-themed dinner will celebrate Israeli culture, Shinshinim will introduce our students to new and fun Israeli games, and we will enjoy the delicious cuisine. A special invitation goes out to our Kitah Vav families; email Ayala for your personal, free registration link. Register by Monday, April 8.
Friday, May 3-Sunday, May 5, 2019 | Camp Ramah Nyack, Christian Herald Rd, Nyack, NY
Join your fellow 6th graders at our weekend-long B’nai Mitzvah Retreat! Students will participate in exciting programs that bring them closer to becoming B’nai Mitzvah while building community with each other. Transportation will be provided, as well as snacks on Friday afternoon through breakfast on Sunday.
Mark your calendars for a fun and energizing Shabbat weekend filled with outdoor games, music, hiking, learning opportunities, community building, a campfire, and more. This retreat is geared toward BJ families with children in second grade and below. Register by April 15.
Friday, May 10, 2019 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat | Chapel
Join us for a special Shabbat Dinner honoring our 7th grade students, officially welcoming them into the BJ Teen Program. Everyone is encouraged to join us beforehand for Kabbalat Shabbat at 6:30PM in the Sanctuary, where our Kitah Zayin students will share reflections from their year with the community. A special invitation goes out to our Kitah Zayin families; email Ayala for your personal, free registration link. Register by Monday, May 6.
Saturdays Monthly, Start Date TBD | Various Times | New Jersey, Rotating in People’s Homes
This havurah will give BJ members who live in Northern New Jersey an opportunity to meet each other and build community. We will meet monthly on Shabbat afternoons to study texts and resources related to Shabbat. All ages are welcome.
Group Leaders: Howard Perlman and Phyllis Hirsch
TBD | Various Times | Upper West Side, Rotating in People’s Homes
Get to know other young couples in the BJ community through this monthly Shabbat potluck dinner group. As the year progresses, these dinners will help establish a small community of young couples at BJ who can continue to build their Jewish homes together. Location will rotate among group members, with the menu designed by the host and group leader. This havurah is geared toward couples ages 25-40.
Group Leaders: Moshe Samuels