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Annual Highlights 2008-2009/5769


Our committees, staff, and community demonstrated new levels of service and commitment during 5769. Here is an overview of the many things our community has accomplished during the year as a Kehillah Kedoshah.

BEKEF ............................................................................................................................................................................ This year a reinvigorated Bekef (BJ’s initiative to organize social activities for 35+ singles and couples, both members and non-members) sponsored more than 10 well-attended events and created a leadership structure to ensure further development.

• The online network of people receiving weekly emails about Bekef and other BJ community events grew to over 700 people. • Bekef sponsored three Shabbat dinners, each attended by more than 130 people. • Bekef participants celebrated several holidays together including: • A Hanukkah Party attended by over 90 people. • A Purim Trivia Pub Quiz night attended by over 30 people. • A Havdalah event during Pesah (with musical accompaniment) attended by more than 100 people.

• Several other successful Bekef social events were held including a Sunday Movie and Dinner event, a musical performance, a walk across Brooklyn Bridge, and a women-only show.

BIKKUR HOLIM ............................................................................................................................................................................ Bikkur Holim, the committee for visiting the sick, had an exceptional year of growth, outreach, and training; it also increased the level of support, assistance, and loving-kindness provided to fellow BJ members at times of great need.

• Committee members visited more than 50 BJ members who were suffering or recovering from illness, as well as visiting residents at the Jewish Home and Hospital and Jewish patients at St. Luke’s Hospital.

• They made Shabbat Shalom calls to homebound congregants. • They provided assistance with practical tasks such as meals, shopping, or errands to recovering congregants as requested and escorted members to services and medical appointments.

• The committee organized calls made to members and their families on the Mi Sheberakh list. • They delivered homemade soup to 25 recovering congregants. • Bikkur Holim’s quarterly newsletter, Hadashot, was emailed to 100 members. • 12 committee members attended the annual Bikkur Holim Conference of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. • They sponsored a teaching titled “Counting on God: Waiting as an Experience in Illness and Recovery,” which was attended by over 50 people.

• 20 new members joined the Bikkur Holim Committee.

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COMMUNICATIONS ............................................................................................................................................................................ As a result of the Communications Committee’s previous efforts, BJ made great strides this year in its efforts to be in better touch with members and with the world at large.

• The committee developed a new mission statement, logo, and brand messaging, in collaboration with the consulting firm Big Duck, which were presented to the Board and are in the process of being implemented.

• A communications manager, Denise Waxman, joined the staff to oversee and coordinate existing communication tools, to assist in the development of new ways to build community, to convey BJ’s message beyond BJ, and to support the communication needs of staff and members.

• The Guide to the BJ Community was revised and published in September 2008 and January 2009. • The Kol Hadash became a bimonthly publication and was redesigned to present more news, articles, and photographs; the weekly Kol Jeshurun gained some additional features and began publishing the event calendar bimonthly.

• The weekly BJ Community email was enhanced in layout and with more hyperlinks, and a new weekly email for prospective members was started.

• The BJ website was moved to a new hosting service, and high-speed Internet access to the BJ office was arranged in preparation for the conversion of the website to a content-management system. The new system will be maintained by BJ staff members and will be implemented over the summer.

• An Online Working Group was started to explore ways to use Web 2.0 tools to build the BJ community.

COMMUNITY BUILDING INITIATIVE ............................................................................................................................................................................ BJ embarked on the Community Building Initiative to assess and improve upon the internal strength and development of its members’ bonds with one another and with the community as a whole.

• The CBI engaged the community in extensive internal and external research, including 40 one-on-one interviews, five house meetings engaging 87 members, a congregation-wide survey with 451 responses, interviews with five other congregations, and a literature review.

• The findings resulted in nine proposals for infrastructure and programming, as well as smaller adjustments to current practices.

• A leadership team including lay leaders, staff, and a rabbi chose four proposals to prioritize in the coming year: Membership Development System; Online Tools; Immersive Community Experiences; and Kiddushim/Onegs pre- and post-services.

• Working groups of lay leaders and staff have been convened for each project.

DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................................................................................................ The Development Committee and Department have been working very hard to raise critical funds in this challenging financial environment. Money raised through the Kol Nidre Appeal and membership dues represent two-thirds of BJ’s budget; the remainder is raised through individual donations and grants. Thank you for your continuous support of our community!

• The Kol Nidre Annual Partnership Appeal raised $1.71 million with the participation of 53% of our membership. While we fell short of our goal it is a credit to the strength of our community that the appeal was down by only 8%.

• We have raised over $225,000 this year through our various funds that support the many BJ programs highlighted in this brochure.

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DEVELOPMENT, continued from page 3

• The Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellowship was awarded $265,000 in support from two foundations in 2008-2009.

• Over $100,000 was raised for the Operating Endowment Fund. • The procedure for acknowledging gifts has been improved, and the online donation process has been greatly simplified.

• Erzsébet Ragyina was promoted to Associate Director of Development, and Elizabeth Stone joined the department as Senior Development Associate in March 2009. EMPLOYMENT HELP ............................................................................................................................................................................ A new BJ Employment Task Force was formed to address the needs of the community who have become under- or unemployed.

• More than 75 members responded to the Employment Help survey. • A Job Opportunities section was added to the BJ website, including online resources and employment opportunity links provided by BJ members.

• Group meetings with the Rabbis were held over a period of three months at the BJ office with 10 to 25 participants at each. • Six “needs assessment” meetings, attended by more than 40 people, took place to explore the types of assistance that will be most helpful to affected members.

• A Job Search Advantage Event offering a panel of experts and roundtable workshops about networking, career change, and resume-writing, among other topics, was attended by over 45 people.

• A private LinkedIn group for BJ members was created, and over 350 members are now sharing employment opportunities and other job assistance.

• For five weeks, facilitated meetings were held for under- and unemployed people to share, network, and “vent.” HEVRA KADISHA ............................................................................................................................................................................ The Hevra Kadisha, the committee that comforts mourners, continued the important services it provides to members who are dealing with the loss of a loved one; the committee used new technologies to improve its coordination.

• BJ volunteers offered support to 60 families in mourning. • Shiva minyanim for 40 families were organized. • Before Pesah, members called 70 mourners who lost someone since the previous Pesah; members also called mourners at the end of the Shloshim period.

• Tahara was performed by teams of men and women for 13 BJ members and family members. • The Annual Zayin Adar Appreciation dinner, at which Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, Rev. George Handzo, and Imam Yusuf Hasan participated in an interfaith panel discussion on death and dying, drew over 70 Hevra Kadisha members.

• A new class about Tahara texts was organized and attended by 15 committee members. • The first issue of the Hevra Kadisha newsletter was produced and sent to 200 people.

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INTERFAITH ............................................................................................................................................................................ Devoted to interfaith understanding, collaboration, and action, the Interfaith Committee hosted several dynamic and engaging programs this year.

• Two visiting professors taught the Third Annual Stuart Polly Interfaith Study (a four-session class) comparing the histories of Judaism and Christianity in their early periods. The class was attended by over 70 people from BJ, SPSA, and other congregations.

• The March Annual Interfaith Lecture drew 80 people to hear Professor Mark Cohen of Princeton deliver a talk titled “The New Muslim Anti-Semitism.”

• A “Peace Feast” built community among 150 Jews, Muslims, and Christians from BJ, SPSA, West Park Presbyterian Church, ASMA Society, and the Muslim Consultative Network.

• A four-part workshop for interfaith families, guiding participants through building relationships, raising children in interfaith families, and discussing end-of-life issues was conducted.

ISRAEL ............................................................................................................................................................................ The BJ Israel Steering Committee continued its focus on strengthening the synagogue’s connection with Israel and engaging with Israelis about critical political and social issues. Engagement with Israelis is essential to providing us with the necessary tools to take stances on: the future of Zionism; peace between Israelis and Palestinians; and social change within Israel.

• In July 2008, 34 BJ members participated in a trip to Israel with a unique theme: Social Action and Social Justice in Israeli Society. As a follow-up to their inspirational experience, participants organized a number of reunion meetings to continue their discussion and commitment to social justice in Israel.

• We are building an infrastructure to make connections between BJ members and Israelis in our partner communities through in-person and virtual visits and activities in the United States and Israel as an alternative way to connect when travel to Israel is not possible.

• In April, a delegation of seven women visiting from the Elga Stulman Women’s Center at Hamidrasha visited BJ, and over Shavuot, 19 Israelis from our partner community in Tel Aviv, Beit Tefilah Israeli, joined us. At member-hosted Shabbat dinners, Kiddush with children and families after Junior Congregation, workshops led by our Israeli visitors, and the Women’s Retreat, many in our community created meaningful connections to our Israeli partners.

• The Kol Jeshurun “Focus on Israel” column continues as a weekly forum to engage our congregants with Israel via articles about religious innovation, daily life, activities of our partners, and politics in Israel.

LIFE CYCLE EVENTS ................................................................................... It has been a year filled with both joyous and sad occasions for our community. We strive to support our members through all their life cycle events and to make sure members continue to feel connected to their community.

• A BJ onesie and a Shabbat dinner were sent to 15 families who had just had babies.

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LIFE CYCLE EVENTS, continued from page 5

• Naming ceremonies were conducted for 11 new babies of BJ members.

• 61 members were called to the Torah to become b’nai mitzvah.

• Nine couples had Auf Rufs during Shabbat morning services. • BJ Rabbis officiated at 19 wedding ceremonies. • 72 BJ members or their family members died, and BJ Rabbis officiated at the funerals for 18.

LIMUD ............................................................................................................................................................................ This year we have had the privilege of learning from our Rabbis, from visiting scholars, and from one another during classes, workshops, and retreats.

• BJ Rabbis and MTM Fellows taught 19, mostly multi-session, classes during the year on diverse topics including Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Heavenly Torah; the Book of Exodus; Myth or Reality: Finding Truth in Religious Life; Piyyutim of Shabbat; Creating Space for Quiet, a meditation class; and an interfaith workshop.

• BJ members wrote 13 divrei Torah, which were shared with the community via the Kol Jeshurun and the BJ website. • A Men’s Havurah began regular monthly meetings. • The Eighth Annual BJ Women’s Retreat was attended by 95 women, including seven Israelis from Hamidrasha. • The Community Retreat was attended by over 100 members. • Visiting scholars Jeffrey Goldberg, Dr. Nili Gold, and Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller gave divrei Torah and taught at afternoon Shabbat brunches and either a Shabbat B’Yahad dinner or a Sunday brunch.

MEMBERSHIP ............................................................................................................................................................................ Serving as a web of connection that runs through the BJ community, the Membership Department, the Membership Steering Committee, and its four Teams support all aspects of community life. Membership reached 1,856 units, with a total of 3,700 people (2,800 adults, 900 children). • Almost 1,600 households renewed their memberships from last year. • 266 new member households joined, including 106 who took advantage of the special introductory rate for first-time members ages 20 to 29.

• The Membership Steering Committee expanded to incorporate four teams and added 15 new volunteers to implement a fiveyear strategic plan.

• The Potential Members Team reached out to non-members who attend services and other prospective members: • Committee members wore name badges at services, and the Rabbis encouraged non-members to approach them with questions. • The team partnered with the Youth and Family Department in coordinating an Open House at Tot Shabbat to promote membership to families with young children.

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MEMBERSHIP, continued from page 6

• The New Members Team welcomed new members of our community: • In the fall and winter, the committee hosted a large New Member Shabbat dinner and convened four New Member Orientation Programs attended by 135 new members. • The committee inaugurated smaller new member gatherings in an attempt to orient additional new members in the spring. • New members received phone calls from the committee, welcoming them after they joined and at other points during the year to invite them to events.

• The Current Members Team expanded programming to honor community members: • BJ members who joined the community before 1990 and those who traveled on BJ trips were honored with aliyot, followed by Kiddushim. • Former committee chairs and former Board members were honored at a community Shabbat dinner. • 70 people attended two Ledor Vador intergenerational Shabbat luncheons. One featured BJ members Carol Gelles and Henry Meer, who recounted their experiences as professionals and experts in the food industry. The other featured a local author, Warren Adler.

• The Former Members Team revamped the annual exit survey and analyzed feedback from non-renewing members in an effort to better meet the needs of the community.

PRAYER SERVICES ............................................................................................................................................................................ Prayer is one of the central activities at B’nai Jeshurun and reflects our need to praise, to thank, to question, and to wrestle with God as we live our lives. Under the direction of our Rabbis and Hazzan, BJ offered its inspiring services and drew a very large number of worshippers to our community.

• BJ’s Shabbat services (two Friday night services, the Family Kabbalat Shabbat services, the Saturday morning Shabbat services, and the Children’s Services) were attended by more than 1,000 people weekly.

• 170 members, including 61 b’nai mitzvah, chanted Torah and Haftara during the year. • BJ’s Morning Minyan, led by volunteers and Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellows, met daily and, with the help of Jewry Duty, included participation from a broad cross-section of the community.

• Junior Congregation services were held twice a month during the school year and were regularly attended by 100 to 200 people.

• There were six Community Minha services and another 11 Shabbat Minha services (open to the community), at which students were called to the Torah as bar or bat mitzvah.

• During the High Holy Days, more than 4,500 prayed together at three adult services and services for families at four locations.

• Services were held for all holy days and special days including Selihot, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simhat Torah, Purim, Pesah, Yom HaShoah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Shavuot, and Tisha Be’av.

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PROGRAMMING ............................................................................................................................................................................ A wide array of interesting and joyful programming took place, mostly of the musical, educational, and gastronomic varieties, attracting capacity crowds.

• Three community Shabbat dinners were held, including a musically inspired dinner featuring Hazzan Ari Priven, a dinner with the MTM Fellows and Cantorial Intern, and a dinner dedicated to the Havurot members at BJ.

• Seven Oneg Shabbat celebrations, each attended by over 350 people, took place, with entertainment provided by artists such as: Soul Farm, Pharaoh’s Daughter, Hazzan George Mordechai, Agada, Pizmon, Sheba Ensemble, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, and BJ’s own musicians.

• Eight Onegs began with a sit-down Shabbat dinner for 120 people, each dinner targeting a different age group.

• 20 community Kiddushim were held, including: • Kiddushim in honor of former Board President Susan Kippur and new Board President Jonathan Adelsberg; BJ members since 1990; BJ members who attended BJ trips over the years; BJ committee chairs. • Kiddushim in honor of b’nai mitzvah, baby-namings, and significant anniversaries. • Kiddushim with study sessions led by MTM Fellows Rabbi Esther Lederman and Ezra Weinberg, lay leaders Peninnah Schram and Rafi Haham, and Rabbi Julian Sinclair of Hazon.

• The Havurot initiative at BJ continued in order to foster deeper community connections. • Music filled the sanctuary at a concert featuring BJ musicians attended by 350 people and at a Tu Bishevat concert, featuring the poetry of Rav Kook, attended by over 200 people.

• The second night Community Seder was attended by 120 participants. TZE’IRIM ............................................................................................................................................................................ Tze’irim, the 20s and 30s group, has had a year filled with an eclectic variety of programs. Our leadership has grown and become more organized, and our events are always packed with vibrant, young energy.

• Membership and Engagement • 106 individuals took advantage of the special Tze’irim Membership rate and joined BJ. • A New Members Dinner attended by 45 people was a product of increased outreach efforts. • 25 new leaders were engaged in the work of Tze’irim. • A new leadership training program drew 18 participants. • New programming and outreach began for members in their 30s. • More attractive promotional materials, including the targeted weekly mail (which is sent to over 600 people) and biweekly fliers, were developed; in addition, the Tze’irim Limud outreach list grew by 70%.

• Shabbat, Holidays, and Other Programming • The number of home-hosted Shabbat dinners per month increased. • A house meeting to engage new leaders in Shabbat programming was hosted. • Holiday programming expanded, including a Rosh Hashanah picnic, a Sukkah Dessert Party, Simhat Torah L’Hayim, and Hanukkah and Passover limud and bar nights. • Three Shabbat Community dinners attended by 120 participants each were organized. • A Bikkur Holim training for 15 participants was held.

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• Members organized new social events, including karaoke, football in the park, and Ultimate Frisbee.


• Social Action/Social Justice • Social action/social justice programming with Habitat for Humanity, American Jewish World Service, and Bronx House (which performs outreach to Holocaust survivors) was expanded. • Members participated in the Hazon Bike Ride, AIDS Walk, and Race for the Cure. • Members of Tze’irim increased their participation with Panim el Panim and with the Marriage Equality and Environmental Action Hevras. • Members volunteered monthly at the BJ homeless shelter.

• Limud • Average attendance at Limud events was increased; topics included: Tattoos, Tequila and Torah; Hanukkah—The People’s Choice; and Heroine or Villain? The Untold Story of Haman’s Wife. • We partnered with Pardes and Masa, two Israeli organizations, to create joint programming.

SOCIAL ACTION/SOCIAL JUSTICE ............................................................................................................................................................................ The Social Action/Social Justice Department creates opportunities for congregants to respond effectively with a Jewish voice to social injustices in our local, national, and global communities and to develop meaningful relationships with our neighbors.

• BJ Reads • Now in its 13th year, the program serves 31 children, thanks to the dedication of 25 regular volunteers and 11 additional substitutes. • The “Birthday Books” program continued, in which each child received a book to take home as a birthday gift. • The program initiated a positive relationship with P.S. 166’s new principal, who has brightened the atmosphere of the school, making our program welcomed and supported. • Volunteers tutored several children who started the year with no knowledge of the alphabet and who are now reading.

• BJ/Ralph Bunche School Partnership • Now in its fifth year, the program involved more than 25 volunteers with tutoring math and literacy to 45 children from the 1st through 4th grades. • A new six-session Math Through Music program, in which instruments are used as an aid in learning fractions, was successfully introduced to 10 students, including those with special needs, by four BJ volunteers. • The program’s relationship with the school’s administration and teachers was further strengthened as volunteer leaders worked together with them to develop the new music program and gained feedback on the existing program.

• BJ/SPSA Homeless Shelter • The shelter program hosted and fed 10 homeless guests per night, five nights per week, at BJ and the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, with the participation of about 150 volunteers. • We increased our advocacy role by reaching out to City Council members, working with other faith-based shelters in a citywide Emergency Shelter Network, and meeting with city government and NGO representatives to push the city to maintain vital services for our homeless guests. • Through Shabbat lunches and a recognition dinner for volunteers, we strengthened community ties among people who help out at the shelter. • Interfaith connections were furthered through our joint Shabbat and holiday celebrations.

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SOCIAL ACTION/SOCIAL JUSTICE, continued from page 9 • We maintained and strengthened our leadership capacity during a turnover in volunteer leadership. • More families and youth were engaged as food donors and in other community-service activities.

• Judith Bernstein Lunch Program • A homemade sit-down lunch was served to an average of 130 guests every Thursday by over 40 volunteers. • Volunteers furthered their Jewish learning with teachings from BJ Rabbis, Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellows, and Hamidrasha visitors. • Volunteers gathered to celebrate BJ’s veteran volunteer and oldest member, Dorothy Hilf.

• BJ Responds • We hosted two blood drives and obtained donations from 100 people. • Over $16,000 was raised by more than 45 BJ and Tehillah members who participated in AIDS Walk NYC 2008, assisted by BJ teens who participated and brought friends. • 30 BJ members took part in the Hazon Jewish Environmental Bike Ride on the BJ Revolutionaries Team, raising over $39,000. • 56 BJ members walked in the Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure, raising over $17,000.

• Panim el Panim: Community Organizing and Advocacy Initiative • Members met with local public officials to build relationships and ask for progress on our issues. • Dozens of BJ members were trained in leadership skills and community organizing methods. • Members worked on the creation of the social justice content of the second night community Seder at Pesah.

• Environmental Action Hevra (EAH) • The EAH hosted a multimedia presentation of the film An Inconvenient Truth, followed by a panel discussion (chaired by representatives from Transportation Alternatives, Mayor Bloomberg’s office on sustainability, Solar One, and Senator Eric Schneiderman) attended by more than 300 people. • More than 15 hevra members participated in training on how to use relational meetings to further their goals and explored the possibility of an advocacy campaign to green the 200 block of West 88th Street.

• Marriage Equality Hevra (MEH) • The MEH organized 55 members to join over 200 New Yorkers in Albany at a statewide day of lobbying for the right of same-sex couples to marry. • Over 100 BJ members and friends gathered to view Saving Marriage, a documentary about the struggle for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, and to learn about BJ’s role in the fight for marriage equality in New York State. • Members worked with the Empire State Pride Agenda to reach out to Conservative synagogues on Long Island and broaden organized Jewish support for marriage equality.

• Manhattan Together Hevra • Hevra members helped to plan and co-chaired a successful internal assembly of Manhattan Together attended by over 200 people. • BJ members played a leadership role in the strategy team of Manhattan Together and have been integral in strengthening the membership of this organization, with the addition of three new synagogues this year. • Housing Team members participated in city housing coalition events and phone banking to lobby legislators on tenant issues. • Housing Team members created a communitywide survey to understand more fully the housing pressures that BJ members face. • Housing Team members supported Atria assisted-living residents in their efforts to improve conditions for workers and to fight steep rent increases in the face of residents’ fixed incomes. • The Immigrant Rights Team has begun to collaborate with Domestic Workers United and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice to work toward passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Albany. • The Immigrant Rights Team hosted a workshop for 25 BJ members to explore issues of concern about the rights of elder- and child-care workers and housecleaners.

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USHERING ............................................................................................................................................................................ Our volunteer ushers help to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for our members and visitors at each service.

• Ushers facilitated at all BJ’s Shabbat, festival, and Yamim Nora’im services. • 174 members volunteered to usher during the Yamim Nora’im. • More than 40 members donated their time regularly by ushering for Shabbat and festival services. • This year ushers helped BJ to welcome over 75 groups from all over the world. YOUTH AND FAMILY EDUCATION ............................................................................................................................................................................ Youth and Family has had an exciting year, including three retreats, Junior Congregation, the creation of Bim Bam with BJ, Hebrew School holiday celebrations, and teen service learning trips.

• Shabbat and Holidays • More than 100 people participated in children’s services each week. • During biweekly Junior Congregation, 150 children and families prayed together, and 50 children learned and led prayers at Junior Congregation on Shabbat and High Holidays. • The third annual Rosh Hashanah Junior Congregation was attended by more than 200 people. • The Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Family Service attracted in excess of 600 people. • The BJ Purim Carnival was a smash hit, followed by the Purim play, Mordys and Esthers. • 20 children from K-2 performed for the entire community in the new K-2 Purim play.

• Young Families • The inaugural Bim Bam with BJ: Pre-Shabbat Class for Babies and Toddlers brought together 20 families with young children to celebrate Shabbat on Friday mornings. • Over 100 families took part in various Young Families activities, including monthly Tot Shabbat services and dinners, creating community, and celebrating Shabbat and Yom Ha’atzmaut together. continued on back page

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YOUTH AND FAMILY EDUCATION, continued from page 11

• Hebrew School • Hebrew School families gathered for four class Shabbat dinners. • The Hebrew School teachers learned together on a monthly basis as part of their professional development. • The Hebrew School students prepared for all the holidays: they commemorated Yom HaShoah, celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut, prepared for Pesah through a Model Seder, had Tu Bishevat celebrations, and joined the BJ community for Hanukkah and Purim celebrations. • The Hebrew School students performed community service at many places this year, including Atria and Central Park. • During weekly tefillah, 200 Hebrew School students learned to lead prayers. • Together with 100 BJHS parents and children, we spent a rich Shabbat at Isabella Freedman for our third Hebrew School Family Retreat.

• B’nai Mitzvah • More than 200 families engaged in community learning together as part of the B’nai Mitzvah program. • More than 60 people gathered on each of four 6th grade and two 5th grade Shabbat mornings for B’nai Mitzvah Family Learning Programs. • 61 students became Bar/Bat Mitzvah. • The second annual 6th Grade Retreat at Camp Ramah in Nyack was attended by 30 students from BJHS and day schools.

• Teens • More than 30 teenage Ozrim served in the Hebrew School and at children's services. • The Teen Retreat at Camp Ramah in Nyack was attended by 30 teenagers. • 8th and 9th graders participated in a program, cosponsored by BJ and Jewish Funds for Justice, to visit and rebuild on the Gulf Coast. • 10th, 11th, and 12th graders engaged in service learning and environmentalism in the rainforest in Costa Rica. • The first cohort in BJ’s Teen Leadership Track had six participants. • Two teens were appointed to nonvoting positions on the Board. • Teen Shabbat was led by over 50 teenagers. • The teen community went to see 13: The Musical on Broadway and discussed what it means to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

• Community • The K-2 Shabbat afternoon programs attracted 40 families. • 60-plus families participated in our first two 3rd-through-5th Grade Havdalah and Movie Night programs. • Parents and children learned about different mitzvot opportunities during the Mitzvah Fair, where presenters included UJA Federation, Table to Table, Hazon, and the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village. • BJ’s elementary school students and their families cooked hundreds of meals for the homeless shelter.

PHOTO CREDITS Cover: Cyndi Shattuck Photography 3, 4, 7, 8: Tom Zuback 5: Channa Camins 6: Lois Alexander 11: Dan Caligor

2109 Broadway, Suite 203, New York, NY 10023-2106 TEL: 212.787.7600 FAX: 212.496.7600 WEB: www.bj.org

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Annual Highlights 2008-2009/5769  

An overview of the many things the BJ community has accomplished during the year 5769/ 2008-2009 as a Kehillah Kedosah. 12 pages with photos...

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