Friday, December 7-Tuesday, December 11 | Various Times | Various Locations
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.
Through Sunday, December 9 | Various Times | Various Locations
Hanukkah is just around the corner! Join our fun and rewarding Hanukkah candle lighting initiative. Visit a fellow BJ member to help bring them the light of the Hanukkiyah and celebrate the Hag at home, l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation. BJ will provide candles, dreidels, and gelt. The week before Hanukkah, we’ll match you with another member. To volunteer or to receive such a visit, please email Galit.
Through Thursday, December 27 | During Community House Open Hours | Community House
The BJ Sanctuary Centennial Exhibition recounts the history and impact of our remarkable community, with a focus on the 100 years we have occupied our beloved 88th Street Sanctuary: 1918-2018. The eight panels reflect themes at the core of BJ, as we trace the beauty and the stories of the Sanctuary building and all that it has contained. Read more »
Friday, December 7 | During and Following the Kabbalat Shabbat Service | Chapel and Middle Room
Hitoreri, our monthly teen only Kabbalat Shabbat & dinner, is a BJ teen tradition. Teens participate in a mindfulness-style Kabbalat Shabbat service, led by one of the BJ rabbis, where we leave behind the hectic energy of the school week and transition into the peacefulness of Shabbat. This is followed by a delicious Shabbat dinner and plenty of down time for the teens to catch up and hang out.
Saturday, December 8 | 12:15-1:45PM | 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.
Saturdays, December 8, 22 | Following Shabbat Morning Services | Community House
Spend a few minutes at Kiddush, grab a plate of food, and come join a conversation about the weekly Torah portion. We encourage first-time participants to sign up below.
Saturday, December 8 | 2:30-4:30PM | Community House 4th Floor
Calling all actors! This year’s Shpiel is a full-scale Mamma-Mia-meets-Mordekhai musical spectacular, and we couldn’t be more excited. This disco-filled production is open to kindergarten-sixth graders, and no previous theater experience is necessary. Everyone who is interested will be cast in the show, but auditions (December 8-13) are required to help us get to know each actor and think about what role will be the best fit for them.
Those auditioning should prepare about 16 bars of a song to be sung a capella.
More interested in helping out behind the scenes? Email Emma about opportunities for involvement in tech crew and more.
See the website or email Emma for more information!
Monday, December 10 | 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.
Monday, December 10 | 5:00-7:00PM and 7:00-9:00PM | Community House
Registration for this series is closed. Classes are held every Monday.
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, December 10, 17, January 7, 14 | 7:00-8:00PM | Community House
The Book of Job is a fascinating, strange, and powerful text—impossibly difficult to translate, and even harder to understand. During these five sessions, we will engage with this text and broaden our understanding of it through literature and theater, while seeing what wisdom can be gleaned from it in our approach to the suffering of the world, our own experiences, and its theological implications.
Each session will build upon the previous session. Hebrew reading ability helpful, but not required.
Monday, December 10 | 7:00PM | Middle Room
Hanukkah may be over, but don’t put the matchbook in the drawer quite yet! Join Cantor Dave Mintz for a fascinating evening of learning and exploration about the depth of meaning behind the ritual of kindling Shabbat lights. What is it about the power of lighting a flame that is so evocative in spiritual life? What does this ritual instill in us? How did the tradition of lighting Shabbat candles develop? Why is lighting Shabbat candles traditionally considered a woman’s role? Do women have to be the ones to light Shabbat candles? Is there room for creativity and innovation in this ritual? We’ll explore all of these questions and more in a lively exploration of the Shabbat ritual that has sustained our people. No registration necessary, all are welcome.
Tuesday, December 11 | 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.
This class meets every Tuesday.
Tuesday, December 11 | 12:30-1:45PM | Middle Room
This series meets every Tuesday through December 18.
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, December 11 | 4:00-4:45PM | Community House
This series meets every Tuesday through December 18; registration is closed.
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.
Wednesday, December 12 | 3:00-9:00PM | Sanctuary
Wednesday, December 12 | 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 »
Wednesday, December 12 | 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.
This class meets every Wednesday; join us at any time during the series; all welcome.
Read more »
Thursdays, December 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.
Thursday, December 13; January 10; February 7 | 7:00-8:30PM | Community House
With the emergence of #metoo movement, the Kavanaugh hearings, and misogyny voiced from the highest office in the country, what does this mean for women? How can we turn to religious life for support, while also acknowledging the patriarchy that exists in religious texts and spaces? Join Rabbi Felicia Sol for an exploration of these questions through experiences, textual learning, and conversations with guest speakers. The first session will be for those who identify as women only, and the following two sessions will be open for all.
December 13 – Open to those who identify as women
January 10* – With Reverend Amy Butler, Senior Pastor of Riverside Church
February 7* – With Professor Yifat Bitton, Legal Academic and Social Activist for Equality
Friday, 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 »
Friday, December 14 | 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, December 14 | Following Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Chapel
A Shabbat-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.
Friday, December 14 | Following the Kabbalat Shabbat Service | Frankel Hall
BJ’s Aviv, in collaboration with IAC Dor Chadash, invites you to a community Shabbat dinner! Join us for an evening of mingling, drinks, and food. The Kabbalat Shabbat service begins at 6:15PM, with dinner following the service.
Saturday, December 15 | 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.
2019 dates forthcoming
Saturday, December 15 | Following Kiddush | Chapel
How do we make choices about where to give tzedakah and how much? What spiritual and emotional considerations come into play as we make these decisions? In this season of year-end giving, we will explore the spiritual work of generosity, practice cultivating generosity, and consider ways to give of ourselves even if we don’t have much capacity to make financial donations.
Read more »
Saturday, December 15 | 8:00PM-12:00AM | Community House & Various Locations on the UWS
BJ Teens are invited to spend a night providing food, clothing, blankets, and other necessities to those in need with Midnight Run.
Please donate items such as adult warm clothing, adult jackets, new adult socks, new adult underwear, blankets, and travel-sized toiletries by Saturday, December 15. Please bring all items Community House during community open hours or during this event.
Parent drivers are needed, so email Aniko if you can help out.
About Midnight Run:
Midnight Run is an NYC-based volunteer organization dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless.
Sunday, December 16 | 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.
This class meets on the second Sunday of each month*, registration is closed.
Monday, December 17 | 6:30-8:30PM | Middle Room
Come celebrate the work of the committee and learn about new and exciting plans for volunteering. Enjoy a potluck dinner and Klezmer music, performed by BJ’s talented musicians. All are welcome.
Tuesday, December 18 | 7:00-9:00PM | Sanctuary
Join us for an evening Alice Shalvi, legendary Israeli feminist leader, activist, Shakespeare scholar, educator, escapee from Nazi Germany, and social justice pioneer. Interviewed by civil rights lawyer, writer, and activist Kathleen Peratis, Alice will discuss her new memoir, Never a Native. A reception will follow the discussion.
BJ members: use code SHALVIBJ to access special member pricing.
Friday, December 21 | 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.
Friday, December 21 | Following the Kabbalat Shabbat Service | Middle Room and Chapel
Get ready to elevate your Shabbat with friends, food, and soulful singing led by Hazzan Ari Priven. Join us for a three-course dinner with wine and enjoy the company of your fellow community members in an intimate setting.
Registration is $18 for members, and $25 for non-members.
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.
Thursday, December 27 | 7:30PM | Sanctuary
Sing with Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble live at their biggest concert of the year! The music of the Hadar Ensemble blends traditional Jewish sounds and melodies with eclectic influences such as jazz, bluegrass, Balkan, flamenco, and klezmer. The results are joyful, raucous, meditative, and heart-opening. Explore the depths of Jewish communal music as we sing together on this unforgettable evening.
Doors open at 7:00PM
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 | 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.
Thursday, January 3, 2019 | 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.
Fridays January 4- May 17 2019 | 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 10:15 AM session features both English and Hebrew songs, while the 11:15 AM 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 Adina (x248).
Friday, January 4 through Saturday, January 5 | Various Times | Various Locations
Join us as we commemorate Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer’s life and work. Twenty five years after his death, we honor him as we continue to build on his vision for BJ.
Saturday, January 5, 2019 | 9:30AM | Frankel Hall
Join Rabbinic Fellow Abi Weber 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 the Torah service and Musaf. Meets the first Saturday of each month.
Sunday, January 6, 2019 | 5:00-7:00PM | Location Given Upon Registration
Meeting Dates: January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2
In this six-part salon series, BJ members will get to meet some of the most promising Israeli artists working in New York today. These musicians, visual 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.
Sunday, January 6, 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
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 | 4:00-4:45PM | Community House
Kadima@BJ is excited to continue our Hebrew immersion class geared towards children ages 2-5. Shira Averbuch will lead children and their parents/caregivers in music, stories, and movement. Children will gain a sense of community rooted in Jewish tradition while being exposed to Israeli culture, Hebrew language, and holiday customs. The cost for the semester is $200 for members and $300 for non-members. Both members and non-members may receive a sibling discount ($50 off). Contact Adina for more information.
This class meets every Tuesday from January 8-May 21, 2019
Wednesdays, January 9-February 13 | 3:30-4:30PM | Middle Room
Learn American Sign Language through song 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 an added focus on Jewish 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. This six-session series costs $120 for members, $180 for non-members. Contact Adina with questions.
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.
Sunday, January 13, 2019 | 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 One Night, Markovich:
Two men are crossing the sea to marry women they have never met, in order to help them escape war-torn Europe for the Jewish homeland.
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 November 18
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 11 | 7:00-8:30PM | Middle Room
Become a member of the next 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 November 18.
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
Calling all actors! This year’s Shpiel is a full-scale Mamma-Mia-meets-Mordechai musical spectacular, and we couldn’t be more excited. 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.
Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19 | 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.
Tuesday, June 11-Monday, June 17, 2019 | Berlin, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic
Join fellow BJ college students for our first ever Eastern European tour (Prague and Berlin). Don’t miss this opportunity to reconnect with the BJ community while taking in the towering spires of the Old City in Prague, Czech Republic, and the bustling creativity of Berlin, Germany. We will explore Jewish life of the past and meet with the leaders guiding the vibrant Jewish communities of today. This trip will be complete with must-see landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Charles Bridge, and the John Lennon Wall. Trip staff will include Rabbi Roly Matalon and Family Life and Learning Associate Director. Ayala Wasser.
This trip is open to all BJ students who graduated high school from 2015-2018.
Register by Thursday, March 14.