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.
Friday, March 3 | 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, March 1. Contact Allison Kapusta with any questions. The cost is $20/members, $27/non-members. Children eat free.
Saturday, March 11 | 5:45-6:45PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Bring the whole family for this special celebration. Children ages six and under are encouraged to come in costume and experience a kid-friendly version of the megillah, watch a silly spiel put on by the BJ staff and rabbis, join our costume parade, enjoy some great snacks, and more. This event is free. Register here.
Contact Esther Besdolla with any questions.
Sunday, March 12 | 12:30-2:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Celebrate Purim with the entire BJ community! This carnival will be complete with games, crafts, and an amazing bounce house! Enjoy mishloach manot and observe the mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim (gifts for the needy) by donating to worthy causes. Arrive at 11:30AM for a festive Purim Speil before heading into the carnival. $5 per family for members. $10 per family for non-members. Register here.