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.
Children’s Shabbat Programs and Services
2016-2017 Young Family Programs
Upcoming Family Events
Click here to read the bios of all educators and musicians for Young Family programs.
Fridays, September 9 – December 16 | 9:15 – 10:00AM, 10:15 – 11:00AM, and 11:15-12:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
Children ages 3 and under explore Shabbat through Hebrew and English songs, stories, and traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. Registration is now open for the 9:15AM and 10:15AM classes. The 11:15AM class is all in Hebrew! The cost is $198/members and $308/non-members per child. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New members attend for free. Please contact 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
Bim Bam Shabbat (every Saturday morning)
86th Street SPSA | Saturday 10:45AM-12:00PM
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. Ages 0-3 years
Mini-Minyan (every Saturday morning)
88th Street SPSA | Saturday 10:45AM-12:00PM
A vibrant Shabbat service filled with singing, dancing and a close-up view of the Torah as we read part of the weekly parasha, followed by a Kiddush and Motzi. Ages 3-6 years
PJs and Havdalah (monthly during Winter)
Families with children ages six and under explore Havdalah, the ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat, with crafts, stories and songs. Children can come in their pajamas to create a warm, cozy atmosphere — and easily make the transition to bedtime at home! Ages 0-6 years
Written and Read by BJ Children’s Service Leaders
We invite you to enjoy these original Torah stories read by five of our Children’s Service leaders. Each Shabbat morning in Children’s Services, the leader shares a story, usually related to the weekly parasha, and now, we are making some of these stories available for you and your families to enjoy at home.
|September 9||Tot Shabbat|
|September 18||Family Meet and Greet at Rabbi Felicia’s Home|
|September 9 – December 16||Fall Bim Bam|
|October 7||Tot Shabbat|
|October 16||Bim Bam Sukkah Breakfast|
|October 24||Young Families Simhat Torah Celebration|
|November 4||Tot Shabbat|
|November 12||PJs & Havdalah|
|December 2||Tot Shabbat|
|December 17||PJs and Havdalah|
|January 6||Tot Shabbat|
|January 6 – May 19||Spring Bim Bam|
|January 21||PJs & Havdalah|
|February 3||Tot Shabbat|
|February 25||PJs & Havdalah|
|March 3||Tot Shabbat|
|March 11||Young Families Purim Celebration|
|March 12||Purim Carnival|
|April 7||Tot Shabbat|
|April 28 – 30||Young Families Retreat|
|May 5||Tot Shabbat|
|June 2||Tot Shabbat|
Upcoming Family Events
Fridays, January 6-May 19 | 9:15-10:00AM, 10:15-11:00AM, 11:15AM-12:00PM | 89th Street Chapel
Children ages 3 and under explore Shabbat through song and story while learning traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. For sessions that feature both English and Hebrew stories, register for the 9:15AM or 10:15AM class. For full Hebrew immersion, register for the 11:15AM timeslot. The cost is $342/members and $475/non-members per child. After the first registered child, each additional child receives 50% off. New members attend for free. Program is led by BJ educator and musician, Shira Averbuch.
Saturday, April 1 | 5:00PM | 89th Street Community House
Celebrate Passover with Garinim! Students in K-2nd grade are invited to come and play games, decorate Elijah’s cup, and bring the Passover story to life. Members of Garinim, email Michelle to R.S.V.P. All other members may register here.
*Parents, want to have some fun while your children play? Israeli Wine Tasting for Young Couples and Parents will be taking place at the same time as Passover Palooza, so make sure to register now!
Saturday, April 1 | 5:00-6:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Spend a Shabbat afternoon tasting and learning about exquisite Israeli wines, noshing on cheese, and schmoozing with fellow BJ members. An Israeli wine expert from the Israeli Wine Producers Association will teach you everything you wanted to know about the growing wine industry in Israel while your children are entertained with Shabbat programming. This is a fabulous opportunity for young people (with or without kids) to get to know each other. This event is free but registration is required. Register here
We are happy to provide babysitting from 5:00-6:00PM for children ages 2 and up. The room will be supervised by BJ professional staff and teenage volunteers.
Friday, April 7 | 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, April 5 and contact Allison Kapusta with any questions. The cost is $20/members, and $27/non-members. Children eat free.
Sunday, April 30 | 11:30AM-12:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join MusicTalks for a fun filled Yom Ha’hatzmaut celebration with the delightful children’s book, Ella’s Trip to Israel. Come along as Ella discovers all of the most breathtaking sites, such as Jerusalem, the Kotel, The Dead Sea, and the Israeli Shuk. Her magical journey through Israel will be brought to life with a sing along of the best known Israeli tunes, as well as original music composed by the Israeli composer Or Matias and performed by a musical ensemble. Following the interactive performance, the participants will be invited to meet the musicians up close and learn about the different instruments at our one of a kind “musical instrument petting zoo.”
$5 per person, walk-ins welcome. Registration information to come.