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
2017-2018 Young Family Programs
Upcoming Family Events

Click here to read the bios of all educators and musicians for Young Family programs.


Bim Bam

Children ages three and under explore Shabbat through song and story while learning traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah. See below for dates and registration information for the current semester. Questions? Email 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)

BJ Middle Room* | 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

K-2 Family Shabbat Experience

Saturdays, 10:45AM-12:00 noon | BJ Community House
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. We can’t wait to co-create this new community with you!
This program, which launches in January 2018, will meet on January 13, February 3 and 24, March 10 and 24, April 7 and 21, May 12 and 26. Contact Eliana Light for more information.

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.

2017-2018 Young Families Programs

September 8-December 15Fall Bim BamJanuary 5-May 15Spring Bim Bam
September 8Tot ShabbatJanuary 5Tot Shabbat
October 6Tot ShabbatJanuary 20PJs and Havdalah
October 8Bim Bam Sukkah BreakfastFebruary 2Tot Shabbat
October 13Family Simhat Torah CelebrationFebruary 6Parents as Storytellers: Sharing Stories with our Children
November 3Tot ShabbatFebruary 28Family Purim Celebration
November 15March 2Tot Shabbat
December 1Tot ShabbatMarch 23Pesah Prep for Families
December 9Hanukkah Prep for FamiliesJune 1Tot Shabbat
December 17Family Hanukkah Celebration

Upcoming Family Events

IAC Keshetot@BJ

Tuesdays, January 9-May 15 | 4:00-5:00PM | BJ Community House
IAC KesheTOT is an innovative program for families with infants and toddlers from birth until 3.5 years old. Read more »

Bim Bam and Bim Bam Hebrew Immersion

Fridays, January 5-May 11 | 9:15-10:00AM10:15-11:00AM11:15AM-12:00 noon | BJ Chapel 
Bim Bam gives children under 3 a fun space to explore Shabbat through interactive songs and stories while learning traditions such as lighting candles, saying Kiddush, and giving tzedakah.

Read more »

Pop-Up Play Space

Saturday, February 24 | 3:00-5:00PM | BJ Community House 3rd Floor
Escape the cold at BJ’s new Pop-Up Play Space! Kids ages 4 and under can jump, climb, tumble as they enjoy free playtime on our new equipment. A staff member will be present to supervise and ensure safety. Parents must be in the room with their children at all times. In partnership with SWAN Kids.
Saturdays require pre-registration. There is a drop-in option for Sundays, though all are encouraged to pre-register. $5 per child for members, $10 for non-members. Sunday drop-in is $10 for members, $15 for non-members.
Register here: February 24.

Read more »

Gather 'Round for the Purim Shpiel

Purim Children's Play 2012

 Thursday, March 1 | 5:15PM | BJ Sanctuary

Come one, come all.  Step right up to “The Greatest Show on Purim”—a shpiel spectacular, suitable for any and all ages. Thrill as our K-6th graders and parents take the stage. Laugh at the jokes! Clap for the songs! Join us for a Purim three-ring circus that is sure to please.

March Tot Shabbat

Friday, March 2 | 5:15-7:00PM | BJ Sanctuary and Frankel Hall 

Families enjoy a spirited 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 BJ staff. The cost is $22 for members, and $29 for non-members. Children eat for free. Questions? Contact Allison.

Register Now

Sensory-Friendly Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 4 | 1:00-1:45PM | BJ Sanctuary 
Celebrate Purim at BJ! Our sensory-friendly carnival is less overwhelming for children who have sensory sensitivities. Enjoy all of the fun of Purim, without the blaring music and noisy activities. There will be tactile games, arts and crafts, and a giant bounce house! Read more »

Young Families Retreat

Friday, May 4-Sunday, May 6 | Camp Ramah Nyack

Escape the city for a special Shabbat with the BJ Young Families community! Families with children in 2nd grade and below are invited to a fun and energizing Shabbat weekend at Camp Ramah Nyack. From hiking trails, to theater workshops, to schmoozing time with fellow BJ parents, this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to spend time with your family in a meaningful way. Read more »