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
2017-2018 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. 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
Bim Bam Shabbat (every Saturday morning)
89th Street 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
89th Street Reception Room* | 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
* During the summer, services take place at 89th Street Community House, 3rd Floor
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 8-December 15||Fall Bim Bam||January 5-May 15||Spring Bim Bam|
|September 8||Tot Shabbat||January 5||Tot Shabbat|
|October 6||Tot Shabbat||January 20||PJs and Havdalah|
|October 8||Bim Bam Sukkah Breakfast||February 2||Tot Shabbat|
|October 13||Family Simhat Torah Celebration||February 6||Parents as Storytellers: Sharing Stories with our Children|
|November 3||Tot Shabbat||February 28||Family Purim Celebration|
|October 25-December 13||BJ New Parents Group||March 2||Tot Shabbat|
|November 15||Raising Generous Children in a Materialistic Age||March 23||Pesah Prep for Families|
|November 18||PJs and Havdalah||May 4-6||Young Families Retreat|
|December 1||Tot Shabbat||June 1||Tot Shabbat|
|December 9||PJs and Havdalah|
|Hanukkah Prep for Families|
Upcoming Family Events
Bim Bam and Bim Bam Hebrew Immersion
Fridays, September 8-December 15 | 9:15-10:00AM, 10:15-11:00AM, 11:15AM-12:00PM | 89th Street 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. Sessions at 9:15AM or 10:15AM feature both English and Hebrew songs, while the 11:15 AM class is full Hebrew immersion. The series is $220/members and $330/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 music educator, Eliana Light. Hebrew Immersion is led by Shira Averbuch. Questions? Email Allison Kapusta.
No class on September 22 (Rosh Hashanah), September 29 (Yom Kippur), October 6 (Sukkot), November 24 (Thanksgiving)
Friday, September 8 | 5:15-7:00PM | 88th Street 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 with BJ staff and teens. Register here by Wednesday, September 6.
Contact Allison Kapusta with any questions. The cost is $22/members, and $29/non-members. Children eat free.
Sunday, September 10 | 10:30AM-12:30PM | Location Upon Registration
BJ members with children in 2nd grade and younger are invited to reconnect with BJ friends and meet new people at Rabbi Felicia’s home. Enjoy snacks and schmoozing while children are engaged in games and play. Address provided upon registration. RSVP here.
Tuesdays, September 19-December 12 | 4:00-5:30PM | 89th Street Community House
IAC Keshet is open to both Hebrew and English speakers for families with children ages 4-6. The program is a comprehensive approach to building an engaged community through a connection to Israel, Hebrew language, Israeli culture, and Jewish values.
IAC Keshet is a national Israeli enrichment program that builds a warm, welcoming community of Israelis and Americans that share pride in their Jewish heritage and love for Israel. At IAC Keshet, your children will gain Hebrew language skills and build friendships through cultural activities and educational programming including music, dance, play, and arts.
Parents will be invited to join for special programs such as holiday celebrations throughout the year. Exact dates for these programs will be available shortly. Questions? Contact Itay Asaf for more details.
Non-Member – $1500
Tuesdays, September 19-December 12 | 4:00-5:00PM | 89th Street Community House
IAC KesheTOT is an innovative program for families with infants and toddlers from birth until 3.5 years old. Children gain a sense of community, flavored by Israeli culture and Jewish heritage. Programming includes music, stories, and movement. Families also celebrate Jewish holidays together in a uniquely Israeli way. IAC KesheTOT is conducted exclusively in Hebrew and run by Israeli teachers.
This unique program is a great fit for both Hebrew speakers and non-Hebrew speakers alike. Questions? Contact Itay Asaf for more details.
Non-Member – $390
With Meg Akabas
Wednesdays, October 25-December 13 | 10:00-11:30AM | 89th Street Community House
Join new parents and babies ages 0-5 months to gain information, share your experiences, and support one another in the early days of parenthood. We will explore topics such as the development of parental identity, bonding with your newborn, understanding and communicating with your baby, responding to baby’s needs, partner relationships, and parenting through a Jewish lens. Led by Meg Akabas, NYSPEP-Certified Parenting Educator and author of “52 Weeks of Parenting Wisdom.”