Park Slope Jewish Center
"To build a community dedicated to cherishing and renewing our tradition through religious growth, prayer, good works, and a commitment to take care of one another."
Shout out to BBYO - Jewish teen youth groupMy daughter has struggled a bit during the teen years with finding social outlets and meeting new people. We are not a religious family but feel a strong connection to the Jewish culture. She’s an 8th grader at a small middle school and has wanted to branch out beyond that to meet other people. She attends a Jewish sleep away camp and heard thru camp friends about BBYO. This is an international organization for Jewish teens to maintain a Jewish connection without feeling that it’s a religious experience (or that their parents are making them go). Unfortunately, her experience in Hebrew school was not the greatest and we feared that she wouldn’t maintain a Jewish connection locally. On her own, my daughter sought out and started attending weekly meetings (Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm at Park Slope Jewish Center - they just borrow the space - it’s not affiliated with the temple) and has been going regularly since the start of school. She has met some new kids and really enjoys it. She has actually done more research on Jewish history and is leading Jewish American Heritage Month at her school!! If you are looking for something for your teen and want more info, I am more than happy to share and my daughter would be even happier to help the group grow. It’s also a fairly low cost to join and it’s one fee that covers all years from 8th thru 12th grades. Events cost more but we haven’t branched out to those yet. They are looking to expand the group so i thought I’d reach out here. Please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. I have no affiliation other than being shocked that my daughter willingly goes to this every week and seems to have grown into caring about her Jewish identity and sharing this with her friends of other religions and cultures.
Sukkot and Simchat Torah celebrations?Hi! The Park Slope Jewish Center has a ton of fun Sukkot/Simchat Torah events for kiddos and grown ups. The full list of services and activities is here: https://www.psjc.org/sukkot-5780.html A few things I would highlight: 1) The Sukkah is open to anyone and everyone to come visit. You don’t need to be a member of the synagogue or anything - we welcome everyone of every background to come join us in our Sukkah! So feel free to pop by and hang out. 2) Simchat Torah - Monday Oct 21 starting at 6:30 we will be dancing and singing the night away. Please join us! The Simchat Torah service at PSJC is truly something special. I didn’t grow up with religious observance and the pure joy, fun, and sweetness of this celebration every year brings me to happy tears. My kiddoes go absolutely wild running through the “bridges” of human arms and following the Torahs dancing around the room. They love to hold their squishy Torahs above their heads and perform silly dance moves with all the silly adults. There is much much more but I could talk about how wonderful it is all day! Bottom line: 10/10, would recommend :)
Celebrating the Jewish high holidays with a baby and a bit of ambivalenceI would like to put in a plug for PSJC! Very welcoming, queer friendly, with social justice bent as well - and very baby-friendly. Members come from a mix of backgrounds and it’s just such a great community! For the holidays the kid services are in the yard in the (open) tent, free/open to non-members. Year round every Saturday the wonderful Abe leads “tot Shabbat” services and in Friday’s he does a music class for the infant-3yo crowd a my youngest and I went for three years! Here is info about the high holy day schedule: https://www.psjc.org/high_holy_days5780 Here’s some more general family programming info: https://www.psjc.org/family_programming Here’s the info on the It’s Friday class: https://www.psjc.org/sing_play_connect Shana tova!!!
Kids RH services on Monday without a membership?Park Slope Jewish Center has kids services that are open to the public and very family-friendly: https://www.psjc.org/family_programming#YouthShabbat Shanah Tovah!
Kids RH services on Monday without a membership?Hi! Big plug for Park Slope Jewish Center - which is a lovely synagogue and has FREE services for kids and families throughout the holidays. The tots service on both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is at 10:30AM in our tent. It's a lovely, musical and engaging service with shofar! It is helpful if you sign up (link below) but you can also just come. https://www.psjc.org/event/rosh-hashanah-youth--family-services1.html
Jewish High Holidays with a BabyI had a newborn (9 days old!) and a toddler for Rosh Hashana 2016, and we had the greatest experience at PSJC in south slope. They set up a big tent outside and it's open to all families, you just need to email the shul in advance. You can make a donation, but the service is free and truly welcoming to all. It's the perfect place to stagger in with a milk-stained top and feel good about celebrating the new year with other Jews. This is a real family service, geared for kids.
Jewish High Holidays with a BabyHi - I am member at Park Slope Jewish Center and I know we have community services downstairs for Yom Kippur and possibly some of the other High Holy Days. In addition, there are children's services with music and snacks for all of the holidays that are open to everyone. The children's services are great for the whole family and are welcoming and inclusive and most importantly - fun! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions! More info here: https://www.psjc.org/high_holy_days5780
Feedback About CBE vs. Kolot ChayeinuAs you research this please also look into PSJC (Park Slope Jewish Center on 14th and 8th ave)! It is a friendly community with tons of family oriented programming from infant to teens (and also stuff for adults from young to seniors). The programming (both within Hebrew school and the open kid/family oriented activities) often include music, discussion, crafty stuff, social engagement etc. Off the top of my head activities we’ve enjoyed have included sukkah decorating, MLK day Day of Service, Purim carnival, BBQ’s, tzedakah fair (where the 6th graders make booths to raise money for a cause of their choice), picnics, and of course tot Shabbat services etc. Being members at PSJC is one of the biggest (probably the biggest) factor for us in feeling we are in community in park slope. From having lots of events to go to (though certainly don’t have to go to all or a lot, just whatever appeals), to having people around the neighborhood we are connected with, to of course the support we have had from the community in times of trouble.
Bris VenuesWe did it at the Park Slope Jewish Center - it was great, room for family to mingle and eat, not huge but perfect for a smaller group and we catered from a nearby place and it worked well. We brought in our own mohel - a female mohel, Emily Blake, who was also fantastic. We did this on a Sunday as I recall - possibly Easter Sunday - in 2005, which made it easier to book the PSJC.
Hebrew school suggestions needed!We love the Hebrew School at Park Slope Jewish Center. My kids are younger but happy to connect you with families in your kids’ range.
seeking recs for birthday party space for adultsHere are the recs I got: Park Slope Jewish Center (catering must be kosher)
[PSPTweens] Bat mitzvah spacesRecently I went to a party at Park Slope Jewish and was really impressed at how nicely they've fixed it up. I feel like it was a bit smaller, maybe 60 people? but worth asking. Mazel Tov!
Re: ISO Hebrew School for four-year-oldI believe the Shorashim program at the Park Slope Jewish Center will run this coming year, and it is a great option for 3 and 4 year olds. My daughter was in the class for 2 years, when she was 3 and 4, and learned Hebrew, songs, about holidays etc. It's a great introduction to Hebrew school and preparation for starting to go once a week in Kindergarten. I believe the program is running in the fall and the website is out of date because we have a (fabulous) new Hebrew School director who just started a few weeks ago and in the leadership transition from our old director I think the website was not updated. You can get more information by calling the Hebrew school office at Park Slope Jewish Center and I'm also happy to connect you (I'm a member of the congregation and now have 2 kids in the school).
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