Jewish identity begins to develop in the earliest years of childhood. BJ’s creative programs provide families with young children regular opportunities to connect and form communities that experience and develop the joy and beauty of being Jewish. They are an ideal way for a family to start a lifelong relationship with Judaism.
2018-2019 Young Family Programs
Upcoming Family Events
Click here to read the bios of all educators and musicians for Young Family programs.
Children ages three and under explore Shabbat through song and story while learning traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. Two of the classes are a combination of Hebrew and English, while the third class is Hebrew Immersion. See below for dates and registration information for the current semester. Questions? Email Allison Kapusta.
Tot Shabbat (1st Friday every month)
Our family-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service is filled with singing and dancing and followed by a dinner complete with Shabbat blessings and songs. While adults finish their meals, children keep “that Shabbat feeling” going with games and more songs! Ages 0-5 years
Family Shabbat Services (every Saturday morning)
BJ Middle Room and Chapel | Saturday 10:45AM-12:00PM
Ages 0-5 This joyous service is filled with Shabbat songs, prayers and stories. Children play with instruments and dance, and each child carries their own stuffed Torah before joining Mini-Minyan families for Kiddush and Motzi.
Join us for a new Shabbat morning experience, just for children in grades K-2 and their families. Each morning incorporates spirited prayer and singing, fun learning activities, and ample shmooze time, all lead by our veteran service-leader, Sarah Rosenthal and others. Each session includes special learning component for both children and parents.
|September 10 & 11||Rosh Hashanah Children’s Services||January 4-May 17||Spring Bim Bam|
|September 19||Yom Kippur Children’s Services||February 1||Tot Shabbat|
|September 21-December 14||Fall Bim Bam||March 1||Tot Shabbat|
|September 23||Family Sukkah Breakfast||March 17||Purim Carnival|
|September 24 & 25||Sukkot Family Services||March 20||Family Purim Celebration|
|October 1||Shemini Atzeret Family Services||April 5||Tot Shabbat|
|October 1||Simhat Torah Celebration||April 20 & 21||Pesah Family Services|
|October 5||Tot Shabbat||April 26 & 27||Pesah Family Services|
|November 2||Tot Shabbat||May 3-5||Young Families Retreat|
|December 7||Tot Shabbat and Hanukkah Celebration||June 7||Tot Shabbat|
Young Families Retreat 2019
Escape the city for a special Shabbat with the BJ Young Families community! Families with children in 2nd grade and younger are invited to save the date for a fun and energizing Shabbat weekend at Camp Ramah Nyack from Friday, May 3–Sunday, May 5, 2019. From hiking trails, to theater workshops, to schmoozing time with fellow BJ parents, the weekend will provide the perfect opportunity to spend time with your family in a meaningful way. More information coming soon.
Upcoming Family Events
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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.