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Annual Highlights 2009-2010/5770


Our committees, staff, and community demonstrated new levels of service and commitment during 5770. Here is an overview of the many things our community has accomplished during the year as a Kehillah Kedoshah.

BEKEF ............................................................................................................................................................................. This year Bekef, BJ’s initiative to organize social activities for 35+ singes and couples, both members and non-members, sponsored numerous singles-only events, including a collaboration with JDate.

• A Shabbat singles dinner attended by more than 80 people. • Holiday celebrations including a Sukkot Singles Only event attended by over 160 people and a Hanukkah party attended by over 90 people.

• A walk on the Upper West Side, and a group trip to see Israel Campbell’s off-Broadway show “Circumcise Me” followed by a talkback.

BIKKUR HOLIM ............................................................................................................................................................................. Bikkur Holim, the committee for visiting the sick, had an exceptional year of growth, outreach, and training; it also increased the levels 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 from or recovering from illness, as well as visiting residents at the Jewish Home and Hospital and Jewish patients at St. Luke’s Hospital.

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

• organized calls to members and their families on the Mi Sheberakh list. • delivered homemade soup to 25 recovering congregants. • emailed quarterly newsletter, Hadashot, to 125 members. • attended the annual Bikkur Holim Conference of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. • sponsored a teaching titled “Cultivating Compassion” which was attended by over 50 people. • welcomed 20 new members to the Bikkur Holim Committee.

COMMUNICATIONS ............................................................................................................................................................................. Enhancements to the BJ website, the Event Registration System, BJ print publications, and the development of new online social networking tools allowed BJ to better serve the community, to help members connect with each other, and to reach out to the world beyond BJ.

• The BJ website was moved to the Wordpress platform in November 2009 with a new design and content management system that gives staff the ability to directly submit new content to the site.

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• The revamped website and the BJ event registration system now offer: • comprehensive and up to date event listings • an interactive calendar • easy to use registration forms that provide better information to staff • improved navigation • pictures and slide shows of BJ events

• Community emails were redesigned using the BJ style to present a consistent look and provide links to important parts of the website.

• The BJ online photo archive has swelled to over 3,000 photos, permitting the greater use of online and print images. • The Guide to the BJ Community was distributed primarily online (print copy optional), saving money and the environment. • The bimonthly magazine-style Kol Hadash shared many more stories of the community. • A private BJ LinkedIn Group grew to over 450 members; the public BJ Facebook account now exceeds 300 members and friends; and BJ began tweeting regularly (@bjnyc) garnering over 1,000 followers.

COMMUNITY BUILDING INITIATIVE ............................................................................................................................................................................. Last year’s Community Building Initiative resulted in 4 special campaigns this year: BJ B’Yahad (BJ Together), Salons, Shabbatons and weekly Kiddushim.

• BJ B’Yahad aimed to build cohorts of members in relationship with each other through a member-oriented, relational culture.

• 10 BJ leaders convened with staff and rabbinic support to strategize and produce a Member Development System, enhancing the membership experience.

• 50 members participated in an inaugural three-session program called Finding Your Path at BJ, which provided access to volunteering options as well as new outlets for socializing.

• 6 home-hosted Shabbat dinners were held to engage participants in rituals of the holiday. • Several participants have since volunteered and connected with BJ opportunities; others expressed interest in getting involved in the future.

• Forthcoming plans include facilitating ways for directing members onto committed paths of volunteering and developing a constantly renewing pool of educated, skillful lay leaders.

• Marcelo facilitated at 8 Beit Midrash Salons in lieu of teaching traditional classes. More than 150 members who participated in the gatherings in members’ homes shared thoughts and concepts through conversation, personal experience, and text study. Themes included age-ing and sage-ing, usury and the environment.

• An entirely lay led Social Justice Shabbaton with a focus on social justice, spirituality, and Jewish thought provided a meaningful and spirited Shabbat for over 80 members. Participants had an opportunity to get to

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COMMUNITY BUILDING INITIATIVE, continued from page 3 know one another, learn together, share music and dance, joy and prayers, and build a stronger community.

• Kiddushim were held almost every Shabbat this year and this expanded schedule provided members many additional opportunities to gather and build community.

DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................................................................................................. The Development Department has worked hard to bridge an anticipated shortfall in funding. It is with immense gratitude to the generous members of this congregation that we have met and exceeded our fundraising goals for this year.

• The Kol Nidre Annual Partnership Appeal raised $2.14 million with the participation of 61% of our membership. We increased our dollars by 25% and our membership participation by 8% from last year’s appeal.

• We have raised an additional $280,000 this year through individual donations to various funds that support the many BJ programs highlighted in this brochure.

• Nancy Gad-Harf joined the development team in March 2010 as Major Gifts Officer.

EMPLOYMENT HELP ............................................................................................................................................................................. The BJ Employment Task Force continued addressing the needs of community members who have become under- or unemployed.

• More than 100 members participated in the first-ever BJ Networking event and continued to network in ensuing months. • More than 40 people participated in the Working Knowledge Initiative course for 12 weeks in the fall. This was covered in a Newsweek article/video, “In God We Trust,” and an NPR radio interview.

• More than 100 members attended the UJA-Federation Initiative of Connect2Care events including lectures and a job fair assisted by BJ staff and volunteers.

• The private Linkedin group for BJ members grew to over 450 members who are sharing employment opportunities (over 300 this year) and other job assistance.

• A new BJ MasterMind group started with more than 15 members participating in business and entrepreneurship discussions and initiatives.

HEVRA KADISHA ............................................................................................................................................................................. The Hevra Kadisha Committee, which 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 20 families were organized, and Hevra Kadisha volunteers attended minyanim for 6 different families. • Before Pesah, members called 68 mourners who had 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 7 BJ members and family members. • 60 Hevra Kadisha members attended the Annual Zayin Adar Appreciation dinner, in member of Helen Radin, z”l. The program, a panel discussion on Health Care, Death and Dying, drew over 100 community members.

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INTERFAITH ............................................................................................................................................................................. Devoted to interfaith understanding, collaboration, and action, the ever-expanding Interfaith Committee hosted engaging programs this year.

• An Interfaith Film Festival based on the premise “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Each of the 3 films drew over 75 attendees. Following the screenings, a panel discussion or intimate conversation highlighted themes of the films.

• 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.

• Visiting student groups interacted with BJ members in inter-religious dialogue. • BJ lay leaders and representatives of organizations in the New York area involved in Interfaith issues met and exchanged ideas with a Delegation from the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID).

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 November 2009, 22 women from BJ embarked on a trip to celebrate Rabbi Chen Ben Or Tsfoni’s rabbinical ordination and to meet and learn more about our partners in Israel.

• Over 1300 people attended Israel-related events: • 2 Israeli movie screenings and discussions, one at BJ with Yulie Cohen for her movie “My Israel,” and the other, Chaim Yavin’s “Blue I.D.” with the JCC as part of The Other Israel Film Festival. • A lecture with Ir Amim about Jerusalem’s current status and civil right update. • The New Israeli Fund event entitled “Left and ‘Rights’: Visions of Social Justice in Israel.” • A teaching by Arava Institute alumni about the work of the Institute and its graduates. • A teaching by the Hand in Hand organization about their work in education and co-existence in Israel. • The Yom Hazikaron/ Yom Ha’Atzma’ut commemoration and celebration with an Israeli film screening and dinner. • A Shabbat dinner with MABAL (Israel’s National College of Defense) learning about the work and mission of this organization. • A teaching by Gidi Grinstein about the work of the Reut Institute think tank and long term strategic planning. • A teaching by the members of Hamidrasha about their work and challenges in promoting women in Israel’s religious life.

• Over 80 BJ members marched at the Israel Day Parade on May 23, 2010 with the theme of “BJ—Playing Judaism’s Soundtrack” as part of the Parade’s overall theme this year of “Lights… Camera… Action… ISRAEL!”

• The weekly “Focus on Israel” column continues as a forum for articles about religious innovation, daily life, activities of our partners, and politics in Israel.

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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 17 families who had babies. • Naming ceremonies were conducted for 5 new babies of BJ members. • 5 couples had Auf Rufs during Shabbat morning services. • BJ Rabbis officiated at 6 wedding ceremonies. • 8 BJ members died, and 53 family members died, and BJ Rabbis officiated at the funerals for 17. • A New and Expecting parents group was started with 10 participating families.

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 multisession classes on topics including Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Heavenly Torah; Creating a Meaningful Jewish Practice; Stories of the Talmudic Rabbis; The Rabbinic Mind on the Exodus.

• Visiting scholar Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller gave the d’var Torah and taught on Shabbat afternoon. • Marcelo facilitated at 8 Beit Midrash Salons for more than 150 members at members’ homes on themes ranging from immigration to the environment.

• Book reading and discussions were led by Dr. Stephen Cohen, Professor Bob Pollack, Pam Greenberg, Dani Shapiro, and Judith Shulevitz.

• The nine Men’s Havurah gatherings featured guest speakers Ron Taffel, Richard Bernstein, John Ruskay, David Sieradski, Esther Perez, Andrea Spiegel, Bob Pollack, Billy Yalowitz and leaders from Feminenza.

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.

• We are proud of the expansion of the BJ community. • Membership reached 1,870 units, with a total of 3,800 people (2,800 adults, 1,000 children). • Over 1,600 households renewed their memberships from last year. • 270 new member households joined, including 106 who took advantage of the special introductory rate for first-time members ages 20 to 29.

• In the second year of its 5-year strategic plan, the Membership Steering Committee continued to expand its 4 teams and incorporate new volunteers.

• The committee coordinated 2 gatherings, including a festive Tu Bishevat seder, for all Steering Committee and Team members to get to know each other and discuss membership issues.

• The Potential Members Team strategized about how to reach actively attending non-members and other prospective members: • Team members reached out to non-members who participate in BJ events by phone and email. • The team continued to create a more welcoming atmosphere at services by inviting people to serve as BJ Ambassadors and respond to inquiries from non-members.

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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 three New Member Orientation Programs attended by 130 new members. • The committee inaugurated smaller 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 reached out to the community by focusing on two primary areas: • BJ B’Yahad involved 60 members in opportunities to socialize and engage in volunteer projects. • Convening 3 focus groups for older adults to learn more about their needs from the community. There are plans to launch an effort to record intergenerational interviews, conversations, and archive histories of BJ members as well as develop a 2-year curriculum for aging needs.

• The Former Members Team reached out to lapsed members and surveyed 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, reflecting our need to praise, to thank, to question, and to wrestle with God. Under the direction of our Rabbis and Hazzan, BJ offered its inspiring services and drew large numbers of worshippers to our community.

• BJ’s Shabbat services (Friday night services, the Family Kabbalat Shabbat services, the Saturday morning Shabbat services, and the Children’s Services) were attended by more than 1,500 people weekly.

• Over 150 members, including 57 b’nai mitzvah, chanted Torah and Haftarah 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 7 Community Minha services and another 8 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 3 adult services and services for families at 4 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.

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

• 5 community Shabbat dinners were held, including a dinner with Teacher-in-Residence Chaim Seidler-Feller; a Hanukkah dinner; a musically inspired dinner featuring Hazzan Ari Priven and the Cantorial Intern; a SASJ-related dinner as part of a Shabbaton; a dinner with the Israeli National College of Security; a dinner with guests from Argentina; and a dinner with members who participated in the Salon programs at members’ homes.

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PROGRAMMING, continued from page 7

• 6 Onegs began with a sit-down Shabbat dinner for 100 people from Tze’irim followed by z’mirot and singing with the BJ Musicians and MTM Fellow.

• 41 community Kiddushim were held, including: • Kiddushim in honor of Board Members, BJ Bikkur Holim volunteers, Ari’s 20 years at BJ, B’not Torah and BJ Teen Shabbat.

• Kiddushim in honor of b’nai mitzvah, baby namings, and significant anniversaries and birthdays.

• Study sessions led by Linda Katz, Nigel Savage of Hazon, Steven Gerber of Rabbis for Human Rights, David Weisberg and alumni of the Arava Institute, Ron Young of NILI, Maura Milles and the Directors of the Hand-in-Hand from Israel, Mary Noble of Feminenza, Regina English of the Hidden Child Holocaust foundation, and CSA farmers.

• BJ members held 20 home-hosted dinners welcoming over 120 members for Shabbat • The Havurot initiative at BJ continued, and 2 new havurot started, one for Hebrew speakers only and one for liturgy exploration.

• Music filled the sanctuary at a concert featuring BJ Musicians honoring Hazzan Ari Priven attended by over 350 people and at a Forgiveness concert, featuring the work of Feminenza, attended by over 80 people.

• The Purim service and party was attended by over 500 participants. • The second night Pesah Community Seder was attended by 140 participants. • The Yom HaShoah program was attended by 250 participants. • The Yom Hazikaron/ Yom Ha’Atzmaut program was attended by 200 participants.

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. Our main initiatives include the following:

• BJ Reads • 38 volunteers served 45 children and provided a "Birthday Book" to each child in the program.

• BJ/Ralph Bunche School Partnership • 10 volunteers did literacy work weekly with 20 children from the 1st through 4th grades.

• BJ/SPSA Homeless Shelter • 150 volunteers hosted and fed 10 homeless guests per night, five nights per week, at BJ and the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew. • Increased its advocacy role with governmental and other organizations to push the city to maintain vital services for our homeless guests. • Sponsored Shabbat lunches for volunteers and joint Shabbat and holiday celebrations with the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew to build interfaith connections.

• A NEW BJ Hazorim Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program • This new program, a partnership with Free Bird Farm in Palatine Bridge, NY, will provide fresh organic produce to 120 people from the BJ community and surrounding neighborhood from June to October. • CSA members will contribute two, two-hour work shifts during the season. In addition, food distribution time will be a community activity that offers evening volunteer opportunities for BJ members and families. • Through the Hazon CSA Network of 44 Jewish CSAs, BJ has access to educational resources, training materials, and annual participation in the Hazon Food Conference.

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• Judith Bernstein Lunch Program • 40 volunteers served homemade sit-down lunches to about 130 guests every Thursday and, for the first time, was open during Passover serving Kosher meals. • Cornell Extension representatives offered free nutritional counseling to guests during the year. • Volunteers furthered their Jewish learning with teachings from BJ Rabbis, Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellows, and gathered to celebrate the life and work of BJ's veteran volunteer Dorothy Hilf.

• BJ Responds • Hosted two blood drives and obtained donations from 100 people. • BJ teens planned and fundraised for the 2010 AIDS Walk NYC in Central Park and attended a workshop on AIDS/HIV with the Gay Men’s Health Conference for 20 BJ teens. • 20 BJ members took part in the Hazon Jewish Environmental Bike Ride on the BJ Revolutionaries Team, raising over $39,000. • 40 BJ members walked in the Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure, raising $11,417.

• 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 and 3 hevra members successfully completed a leadership transition with a new co-chair to the Panim el Panim Task Force. • Panim el Panim Task Force organized our first ever Shabbat Dinner of 65 people to celebrate and recognize the leadership, dedication, and creativity of Hevra members and other volunteers. • Panim el Panim Task Force, contributed to the Community Building Initiative by planning an entirely lay-led Social Justice Shabbaton: Retreat in the City. Eighty BJ members gathered for a meaningful and spirited Shabbat at BJ with a focus on social justice, spirituality, and Jewish thought. • BJ hosted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in a conversation with the BJ community. Over 300 people attended a Q&A with the Senator on issues including unemployment, immigrant rights, the environment, Israel and the Middle East, predatory lending, and marriage equality.

• Environmental Action Hevra (EAH) • The BJ Environmental Action Hevra continued its Livable Streets campaign for West 88th Street, conducting over 30 relational meetings with BJ members, business owners and neighbors on 88th Street. • In December 2009, the Environmental Action Hevra ended and its members formed the new Shomrei Adamah Havurah, to continue to learn together on environmental issues and Jewish thought.

• Marriage Equality Hevra (MEH) • Leading up to the first ever vote on Marriage Equality legislation in the New York State Senate in December 2009, the hevra maintained pressure on elected officials and organized communitywide letter writing in partnership with Empire State Pride Agenda. • Following the "no" vote in the New York State Senate, Hevra members reevaluated their campaign action plan and refocused efforts on grassroots outreach to allies in BJ and beyond. • MEH leaders held a workshop with the BJ Teen Leadership Team on social justice advocacy, and particularly LGBT rights. This workshop included discussion on LGBT issues in schools.

• Manhattan Together • In June 2009, Panim el Panim leaders attended a meeting of Manhattan Synagogue Leaders, organized by the Manhattan Initiative for Synagogue Organizing to further congregation-based community organizing in the Jewish community. • We formed a BJ Usury/10% is Enough Exploratory Team to reach out to interested BJ members and hear their stories and experiences struggling with high interest debt. • BJ initiated a Manhattan Together clergy interfaith study session on usury and is planning a lay leader interfaith study session.

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SOCIAL ACTION/SOCIAL JUSTICE, continued from page 9 • BJ members are on the national planning team for the 10% is Enough campaign through Manhattan Together and have been active participants in the campaign actions both locally and in Washington, D.C. • Two BJ members were part of a Industrial Areas Foundation delegation to London for a 2000- person Assembly focused on immigrants rights, living wage, and interest-rate caps.

• Affordable Housing Campaign Working Group • A communitywide survey about the housing pressures that BJ members face was developed, conducted and evaluated. • A Campaign Action Plan to create and preserve affordable housing in New York City was developed. • The team is working with citywide advocacy groups as part of the Real Rent Reform Campaign to support state legislation to repeal vacancy decontrol and reform the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, to further our goal of housing preservation. • The Affordable Housing Team is planning a Community Walk-Through in June to identify potential opportunities to create new affordable units where new construction is stalled or under-occupied. This will serve as the basis of additional advocacy efforts.

• Domestic Workers' Rights—BJ Employers for Justice Campaign • 10 hevra members participated in training on how to use relational meetings to further their goals to create awareness on Domestic Workers' Rights issues among BJ members. • A group of 30 BJ Employers for Justice committed to supporting the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and have pledged to provide a salary increase or specific additional employment benefit for the person who works in our homes.

TZE’IRIM ............................................................................................................................................................................. This year Tze’irim established itself as a solid community of singles and couples in their 20s and 30s. Our wide variety of programs continue to attract people from all over the Upper West Side and NYC.

• Membership and Engagement • 73 new individuals took advantage of the special Tze’irim membership rate and joined BJ, and 59 members renewed from last year for a total that exceeds last year’s by 30. • 884 people are currently subscribed to the Tze’irim weekly email list, a 30% increase over last year. • Tze’irim is in the process of integrating its website into the main BJ website. • Greeting and outreach at services has continued with a Tze’irim member handing out fliers at the late services weekly. • Tze’irim has increased its presence and networking on Facebook. • Work on development of new leadership has come to fruition with a new executive team and new co-chairs.

• Shabbat, Holidays, and Social Programs • Shabbat dinners were held monthly in Frankel Hall with 80-150 people in attendance at each. The dinners were filled with song, good food, and great community helping to engage new Tze'irim participants. • Tze’irim co-sponsored an Interfaith Shabbat Dinner with the University of Michigan Hillel and MuJews, a Muslim/Jewish organization. • Throughout the summer, Tze’irim hosted weekly Shabbat afternoon picnics filled with singing, food, Ultimate Frisbee, and outreach to many new members. • Holiday programming including home-hosted Rosh Hashanah dinners, a Sukkah Dessert Party, a pre-Simhat Torah and Pre-Purim L’Hayim, and Hanukkah and Passover bar nights.

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• Social events this year included ice-skating in Central Park, a scavenger hunt, and trivia night. • Felicia taught a 3-part series on basic Jewish practice covering the topics of prayer, Shabbat, and Kashrut. A record number of Tze'irim participants came to each session. • Tze’irim co-sponsored a Shabbat picnic lunch with the JCC 20s and 30s group and visiting Israeli artists.

• Social Action/Social Justice • A house meeting was held to engage new leaders in SA/SJ programming and as a result, several planning meetings are underway around the issues of poverty, food justice, and health issues. • Members of Tze’irim continued to be involved with Habitat for Humanity Builds. • Tze’irim co-sponsored a Shabbat dinner with the JCC Adaptations program. • Members volunteered monthly at the BJ homeless shelter.

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

• 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. • Ushers helped BJ to welcome over 100 groups from all over the world. • Glenda Frank retired as head usher on Shabbat morning after 9 years, and Sheldon Ostro took her place.

YOUTH AND FAMILY EDUCATION ..................................................................................... The Youth and Family Education Department has had an exciting year, including retreats, Junior Congregation, a growing Bim Bam program, Hebrew School, holiday celebrations, and teen service learning trips.

• Shabbat and Holidays • More than 150 people participated in children’s services each week. • The BJ Purim Carnival was a smash hit, followed by the Purim play and Purim on the Roof, and both were attended by more than 300 people. • 20 children from K-2 performed for the entire community in the new K-2 Purim play.

• Community • Junior Congregation services were held twice a month during the school year, regularly attended by 100 to 200 people. • 16 6th graders launched a BJ Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! group, which met monthly to celebrate the new moon and explore issues of feminism, adolescence, and Jewish identity. • BJ’s elementary-school students and their families cooked hundreds of meals for the homeless shelter.

• Young Families • Bim Bam, a pre-Shabbat class for babies and toddlers, brought together 40 families with young children to celebrate Shabbat on Friday mornings. continued on back page

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YOUTH AND FAMILY EDUCATION, continued from page 11 • Over 150 families took part in various Young Families activities, including monthly Tot Shabbat services and dinners, creating community, and celebrating Shabbat and holidays together.

• Hebrew School • Over 100 families gathered for class Shabbat dinners at BJ. • 30 families shared Shabbat meals together in February and March during a Home-Hosted Initiative. • 4 BJHS teachers participated in LOMED, a year-long professional development program focused on learneroutcomes; the entire staff learned together on a monthly basis. • 30 students learned to chant Torah. • The Hebrew School students prepared for all the holidays: they commemorated Yom HaShoah, celebrated Yom Ha’atzma’ut, prepared for Pesah through a Model Seder and Haroset Tasting Competition, and led the first Hanukkah Zimriyah. • The Hebrew School students performed community service at many places this year, including the Atria, the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, and Riverside Park. • During weekly tefillah and at Junior Congregation, over 200 Hebrew School students learned to lead prayers. • Parents learned together about Sukkot, Hanukkah, Shabbat, and chanting from the Torah. • 100 BJHS parents and children spent a rich Shabbat at Isabella Freedman for our fourth Hebrew School Family “Reach for Shabbat” Retreat.

• B’nai Mitzvah • More than 200 families with children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade engaged in community learning together as part of the B’nai Mitzvah Family Learning Programs on Shabbat mornings and afternoons. • The Mitzvah Fair hosted 18 groups and organizations from the BJ and Jewish community; more than 80 6th- and 7th-grade students attended with their parents. • 75 students became Bar/Bat Mitzvah. • The third annual 6th Grade Retreat at Camp Ramah in Nyack was attended by 20 students from BJHS and day schools.

• Teens • More than 20 teenage Ozrim served in the Hebrew School and at children's services. • 30 8th and 9th graders participated in a service learning program, cosponsored by BJ and Jewish Funds for Justice, to visit and rebuild New Orleans. • 10 10th, 11th, and 12th graders engaged in service learning program, cosponsored by BJ and Visions Service Adventures, to build potable water infrastructure in Jinotega, Nicaragua. • The second cohort in BJ’s Teen Leadership Track had 9 participants. • 2 teens continued serving in nonvoting positions on the Board. • Teen Shabbat was led by over 30 teenagers. • 30 teens and some parents participated in a Midnight Run, packaging food and collecting clothing and toiletries, and then traveling by van and parents’ cars around the Upper West Side on a prescheduled route and with a Midnight Run volunteer to distribute the food, clothing, and toiletries to people living on the streets. • BJ’s Teen Leadership Track led all of the planning and fundraising efforts to participate in AIDS Walk New York for the entire BJ community. PHOTO CREDITS Cover, clockwise from top: Tom Zuback, Ivy Schreiber, Jason Fruithandler. 3: Max Orenstein. 5: Belinda Lasky. 7: Shahpar Nili. 8: Belinda Lasky. 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 2009-2010/5770  

An overview of the accomplishments of the BJ community during the year 5770/2009-2010. 12 pages with photos.