Virtual Jewish Life

14Y Virtual Jewish Life

Finding New Ways to Connect with Jewish Values

Jewish Life at the 14th Street Y aims to provide experiences for our entire community to engage in activities built on Jewish values. Our philosophy is grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning.

Though we can’t congregate in person, the 14Y, together with our Downtown Jewish Life partners, is proud to offer an array of virtual offerings for everyone. Whether you are a shul regular looking for alternative ways to worship, seeking spiritual connection during this uncertain time, or exploring Jewish culture for the first time — we welcome you.


Celebrate Hanukkah with Downtown Jewish Life

December 6 — December 18, 2020

Celebrate Hanukkah with the 14Y and our Downtown Jewish Life partners! DJL has something for everyone, from family-friendly celebrations to holiday singalongs to text studies. And all events are virtual, which means you can have a taste of the DJL community right in your own home. Be sure to check back as more events are added!

Not-Your-Typical Latkes in a Not-Your-Typical Year: Pre-Hanukkah Cook-Along
Event Host:
Stanton Street Shul and Congregation Beth David
Sunday, December 6, 2020 | 4:30 — 6:00 PM | Register here
Participants will make two recipes from my book, Vegetables for Breakfast from A to Z: an un-potato latke and a green-bean and orange dish. Also on the menu: chocolate gelt embodying messages of healing and hope. We’ll also unpack the historical, cultural and nourishment contexts of all these Hanukkah delights. Participants will receive ingredient and equipment lists upon registration; recipes and the zoom link on the day of the event.

Friday Evening Services & Candle Lighting with JCP
Event Host: The Jewish Community Project
Friday, December 11, 2020 | 6:00 PM | Click here to attend (Meeting ID: 890 4566 6768. Password: LIGHT)
As Shabbat coincides with the second night of Hanukkah, please join the JCP community, Rabbi Deena Gottlieb, and vocalist and composer Cantor Galeet Dardashti to enjoy the evening! We will convene for song, prayer, and candle lighting (of both the menorah and Shabbat candles!) All are welcome.

Virtual Hanukkah Concert
Event Host:
Town & Village Synagogue
Saturday, December 12, 2020 | 7:30 PM | Click here to attend
Join the T&V community for an uplifting evening of music at our Virtual Hanukkah Concert featuring Cantor Shayna Postman, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell and the T&V Adult & Children’s Choirs.

Zoomakkah Palooza!
Event Host: Town & Village Synagogue
Sunday, December 13, 2020 | 10:30 AM | Register here 
Join Town & Village Synagogue for a fun-filled, family-friendly Hanukkah experience!

Celebration of Light
Event Host: The New Shul
Sunday, December 13, 2020 | 4:00 PM | Register here
The New Shul’s celebration of light, filled with music and art will ask: which are the sources of light in the world that we should be advertising? Join Rabbi Misha Shulman for a participatory, creative gathering for all ages!

A Creative Hanukkah Assignment:
The Talmud ties the lighting of the Hanukkah candles to the notion of Pirsum Haness “advertising the miracle.” There are lights in the darkness everywhere, and it’s our job to notice them, and share the news of their existence with those around us.

  1. Take a few minutes with your family, someone close or in writing if you prefer, to think about a moment in your life in which you saw somebody or something act as a source of light.
  2. Find a creative way to answer this question: What is a source of light in your world that deserves advertising? You can take a photo, create a video, write or share a poem you love, create or share a drawing or a piece of art, tell a story, or just answer the question!
  3. Once you’re done, send us your creation or a picture or video of your answer. During our Hanukkah celebration we will take some time to take a look at all these sources of light.

Please send your photo or video to by 12/9.

Playing With Light
Event host: The 14th Street Y
Monday, December 14, 2020 | 5:30 PM | Free registration here
Let’s keep our lights growing and glowing on the 5th night of Hanukkah. Join artist Linda White, musician Maria Lemire and storyteller Shawn Shafner for an interactive celebration with songs, games, and community. Build a beautiful menorah with any nine objects already in your house, and watch the light grow and grow! This event is free for all!

Lighting the candles with open eyes!
 A Virtual Text Study with LABA Rabbinic Fellow Kendell Pinkney
Event host:
LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | 6:00 — 7:00 PM | Free registration here
Whose Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is celebrated as the holiday of light, commemorating the “miracle” where a negligible amount of undefiled oil both survived the Greek pillage of the ancient Jewish temple and was able to provide light for eight days. Over the centuries, however, the story of this miracle has become more complicated as Jews from all walks of life have battled over what this holiday actually means. Is it a holiday of light? Is it a “light-washed” narrative of ancient Jewish zealotry and intolerance? Maybe it is an ancient saga of speaking truth to imperial power? Or a master narrative for the Zionist imagination? Then again, maybe it is simply a good excuse for sipping some eggnog and giving children a thoroughly Jewish “Christmas”? Come join 14th St. Y/LABA Rabbinic Fellow Kendell Pinkney as we look at various sources from the past 2,000 years of “Hanukkah history” and try to construct meaning from the madness of the sources of our heritage. This event is free for all!

Hanukkah Escape the Room
Event Host: Town and Village Synagogue
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 | 7:00 PM | Register here  
This program is geared for adults (kids welcome with their adults). Sponsored and orchestrated for our community by Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, join us for a fun evening together of Hanukkah intrigue and competition!

Hanukkah Concert
Event Host: Brotherhood Synagogue
Thursday, December 17, 2020 | 6:00 PM | Click here to attend (Meeting ID: 225-253-5818; Password 1818.)
Join Brotherhood Synagogue for a virtual Hanukkah concert with Cantor Yager live from the Brotherhood sanctuary. Following the menorah lighting for the last night of Hanukkah, our concert will include holiday standards and other favorites!

Sabbath Queen
Event host:
Friday, December 18, 2020 | 6:30 — 8:30 PM | Register here
Welcome to the new Sabbath Queen, bringing spiritual intimacy to social distancing. It’s the same monthly ritual circle of live music, mindfulness and poetic intentions welcoming your Sabbath Queen – just online. Third Friday of the month.


Season of Jewish Culture

A series of innovative programs running from Passover to Shavuot highlighting culture makers of all kinds—artists, performers, storytellers and writers.

Learn More

Virtual Arts + Culture

Fun, interactive LABA Arts + Culture events for the whole family. Free and open to all!

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Downtown Jewish Life

A network of downtown Jewish organizations and individuals hosted by the 14th Street Y!

Learn More
Jewish Life Resources

The 14Y is compiling a list of helpful resources for individuals and families during COVID-19, which will be updated as new resources become available. This is a list of resources from Jewish organizations; click here for our full list of COVID-19 resources.

Institute for Jewish Spirituality: A collection of Jewish mindfulness practices for challenging times. Live and self-guided options available. They are offering free resources such as meditation and Torah study.

PJ Library: PJ Library sends free Jewish children’s books to families across the world every month. They are offering free resources to quarantined families.

Met Council Kosher Food Network: The largest network in the country providing that is providing kosher food to food pantries.

Judaism Under Quarantine: A roundup of Jewish-themed activities, entertainment, and study options you can do at home, as well as a look social justice issues through a Jewish lens.

Union for Reform Judaism: A collection of COVID-19 resources for congregants, educators, clergy members, youth leaders and more to help you prioritize your community’s safety and spiritual wellbeing.

USCJ Coronavirus Resources: Resources from USCJ and their partners for clergy, lay leadership, educators, and community members to stay healthy and well-informed.

UJA Federation: Virtual volunteer opportunities from UJA Federation’s network of partners, including the Educational Alliance, to help reduce social isolation for high-risk and quarantined individuals.

Repair the World: Both in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities infused with Jewish sensibilities. Those looking for in-person, Jewish-focused volunteer opportunities in Brooklyn can find more information here.

14Y Blog

Ideas and Resources to Stay Connected to Your Jewish Community

The Jew Without Memory

Kendell Pinkney, 14th Street Y/LABA Rabbinic Fellow | MON, DEC 07, 2020

Hanukkah begins this week, and the 14th Street Y and our partners at Downtown Jewish Life are hosting virtual events throughout the holiday! There’s something for everyone, including sing-alongs, candle…

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“Emily in Paris” is much like Ophir in New York

Ophir Tal, Cultural Educator from Israel | Emissary of the Jewish Agency and the UJA Federation of New York at the 14th Street Y | SAT, NOV 14, 2020

Today I won’t write about the lockdown, nor will I elaborate on the mass protest, which is taking place against the Israeli government. Instead, I’d like to embrace the spirit…

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On Caves, Commemoration, and Veterans Day

Kendell Pinkney, 14th Street Y/LABA Rabbinic Fellow | WED, NOV 04, 2020

I have been to a lot of funerals in my lifetime. It isn’t that my past is strewn with innumerable losses — thank goodness! Rather, my parents and their church…

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Hanging in the Balance

Kendell Pinkney, 14th Street Y/LABA Rabbinic Fellow | MON, OCT 12, 2020

הושע נא.תְּלוּיָֽה עַל־בְּלִימָֽה – Please save; [all of life] is hanging in the balance… – From 5th circuit of the Hoshana liturgy Artists don’t get down to work until the…

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LABA Arts + Culture presents: Clamor in the Desert (Kol Koreh Bamidbar)

Mirta Kupferminc, Argentinean Multidisciplinary Artist and Director of LABA Buenos Aires | FRI, OCT 09, 2020

In 2020, COVID-19 arrived, which locked us all in our homes, in our cities and countries. In Argentina, where I live, even today, since March, it is not possible to…

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Why I’m in Favor of the Second COVID-19 Lockdown in Israel

Ophir Tal, Cultural Educator from Israel | Emissary of the Jewish Agency and the UJA Federation of New York at the 14th Street Y | SUN, SEP 27, 2020

Much of what has been said about the second COVID-related lockdown in Israel is enduring. With all its attached hardships, I believe it’s the essential step Israel should take, even…

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Homecoming Isn’t a Walk in the Park

Ophir Tal, Cultural Educator from Israel | Emissary of the Jewish Agency and the UJA Federation of New York at the 14th Street Y | WED, SEP 09, 2020

I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by the sudden shift from a crippling quarantine to an intense new reality in Tel Aviv. So many people want to reunite with me, check in…

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How can I even start saying goodbye?

Ophir Tal, Cultural Educator from Israel | Emissary of the Jewish Agency and the UJA Federation of New York at the 14th Street Y | FRI, AUG 14, 2020

Truth be told, I didn’t believe this day would come. This day of closure, in which I’ll come back to Israel from two exciting, life-changing years at the 14th Street…

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