Young Families

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.

Bim Bam
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.


Bim Bam

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.


Children’s Shabbat Programs

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

Torah Stories
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.

2016-2017 Young Family Programs

September 9Tot Shabbat
September 18Family Meet and Greet at Rabbi Felicia’s Home
September 9 – December 16Fall Bim Bam
October 7Tot Shabbat
October 16Bim Bam Sukkah Breakfast
October 24Young Families Simhat Torah Celebration
November 4Tot Shabbat
November 12PJs & Havdalah
December 2Tot Shabbat
December 17PJs and Havdalah
January 6Tot Shabbat
January 6 – May 19Spring Bim Bam
January 21PJs & Havdalah
February 3Tot Shabbat
February 25PJs & Havdalah
March 3Tot Shabbat
March 11Young Families Purim Celebration
March 12Purim Carnival
April 7Tot Shabbat
April 28 – 30Young Families Retreat
May 5Tot Shabbat
June 2Tot Shabbat

Upcoming Family Events

Bim Bam and Bim Bam Hebrew Immersion

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.

Passover Palooza!

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!

Israeli Wine Tasting for Young Couples and Parents (Babysitting Provided)

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.

Tot Shabbat


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.

Celebrate Israel: Interactive Children's Performance

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.