We love Soda Stream and Zabar’s!

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The New Victory Theater – Cirque Ziva



We went this weekend to experience CIRQUE ZÍVA at The New Victory Theater and it was quite an experience!  I lost track of how many times I yelled out “Wow!”, “Amazing!”, “Awesome!”.  The kids probably thought I was annoying but they were wowed as well!  We couldn’t believe how brave these acrobats were from Hebei Province in China.  I heard a mom talking during intermission about a documentary she saw about how talented acrobats are chosen early on and train for thousands of hours to be able to perform these contortions, stunts and performances.  Seeing them live, on stage, so nearby in Times Square made me feel like I was introducing the kids to a global talent pool that is worthy of praise.  These young men and women can do things with their bodies – their unbelievable skilled muscles – that defies gravity and I could never image doing with my body – ever.  My daughter was amazed with one acrobat who stacked chairs almost to the ceiling, climbing to the top and balancing in handstands, legs split apart… it was a slow, methodical and remarkable scene.  He deserved the applause he received.  They all did!

In addition to be in awe of their talent and the clear dedication they have given in their life to perform for us, the costumes, sets, lighting and music were a spectacle all on their own.  The first half ended so quickly.  When it was time for the intermission, I was surprised that the hour was so packed full of entertainment it was time to stretch.  And I saw a friend in the audience.  You will too as it’s so easy to get to and the price is right.  Click to their website for prices. The show is running through January 4, 2015.

Also, this Friday, December 12, 2014 at 7 PM, in collaboration with Autism Friendly Spaces, screenshotthere will be an autism-friendly performance of Cirque Ziva that is modified to accommodate and support the sensory, social and emotional needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The modified performance is one hour with no intermission.

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If you saw this mother and son get hit by a truck on the UWS this week, please report it.

Mother and Son Injured in Hit-and-Run on Way to UWS Preschool

By Emily Frost on December 2, 2014 4:44pm

 Wendy Ruther was hospitalized with a broken femur and pelvis. Her son Justin had bruising on his leg. 

Wendy Ruther was hospitalized with a broken femur and pelvis. Her son Justin had bruising on his leg.  View Full Caption

Aldo Lombardi

LINCOLN SQUARE — A mother and her son walking to preschool Monday morning were struck by a truck in a hit-and-run — leaving her with severe injuries that will require months of rehabilitation, police and her husband said.

Wendy Ruther recalled pushing her 4-year-old son Justin Lombardi out of harm’s way in a crosswalk at West 65th Street and Broadway about 9 a.m. and then feeling three truck wheels roll over her before it drove off, Aldo Lombardi, Ruther’s husband and Justin’s father, told DNAinfo New York.

Both mother and son were injured, though Justin only had bruises on his legs while Ruther suffered a broken pelvis and femur, police and Lombardi explained.

She was taken to New York Presbyterian hospital, the FDNY said.

The truck, which Ruther described as silver with some green, continued south and drove away after the crash, he said. The NYPD could not confirm her description.

Ruther underwent surgery on her femur Tuesday and her pelvis is broken on both sides, her husband said. Doctors have predicted a full recovery, but her rehabilitation will take at least three months, her husband noted. She also underwent plastic surgery for a gash on her forehead but didn’t have any other upper body injuries, he said.

The family is now looking for help finding the driver and is asking anyone who saw anything to report it to police, Lombardi said.

“We understand that accidents happen, but people should try to do the correct thing,” said Lombardi, who said he was still in shock. “It’s unbelievable…it’s terrible.”

Justin had bruising from his knees up to his pelvis, but no broken bones, his father added. He was on his mother’s right side as the two saw the walk signal and stepped into the crosswalk, where they were hit by the truck as it turned right onto Broadway, Lombardi said. They were on their way to Justin’s preschool at the YMCA at the time, he said.

 The crash happened on West 65th Street and Broadway. 

The crash happened on West 65th Street and Broadway.  View Full Caption

Flickr/Wally Gobetz

“My son now is going to be scared to go to school,” said Lombardi, who works in web design, while his wife is a freelance writer who works from home. “That’s my worry.”

Anyone with any information can provide a tip confidentially by calling 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), submitting a tip via www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting CRIMES (274637) and then entering TIP577.

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Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square – TONIGHT 5:30pm – 9:00pm

We love this event every year! The kids’ concert and walking through the street are the perfect way to start the holiday season. It’s a bonus that the weathers so mild. See you there!

212.581.3774 | info@lincolnsquarebid.org | www.winterseve.nyc

There are many children’s performances so we will do our best to see as many as possible.  We plan to go this weekend to the New Victory Theatre so I was excited to see they are doing this tonight:

The New Victory Theater at Kids’ Central

NewVic_LogoOn  the night of Winter’s Eve our young attendees can enjoy crown coloring  with The New Victory Theater at Kids’ Central at the Broadway and 61st Street.

The New Victory Theater, the theater you never outgrow, introduces extraordinary performing artists from around the world to extraordinary audiences in New York City. Created in 1995 for young New Yorkers, their families and schoolmates, The New Victory Theater presents a diverse season of international companies at low ticket prices year after year. Through the theater’s award-winning education programs, The New Victory continues to provide access to schools and communities of New York City who seek to experience and engage with the work on our stages, often for the very first time. The Off-Broadway theater’s contributions to the cultural landscape of the city were celebrated by the prestigious New York critics’ organization, The Drama Desk, which presented The New Victory Theater with a Special Award in 2012.

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The Big Apple Circus – who loves it more, your kids or you?


What I thought was a tradition for our kids has evolved into my excitement as I see the big top being set up each year in Lincoln Center!  Surely you’ve seen the tent too – or the ads all over the UWS!  I want to shine a spotlight on this year’s circus. If you want to read my posts from past years, please click through about their community programs beyond what I wanted to share this year… First of all, my kids can not stop talking about how this performer folded herself backwards into a box! You have to see it to believe it!


In addition to having what sounds like a society-changing idea, showing a live circus show in theaters around the country, the Big Apple Circus is offering two autism-friendly shows this year in NYC.  The Big Apple Circus met with a leading neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital to talk about what sort of adaptations would be needed for this audience.  The Circus also has formal partnerships with Autism Speaks, the leading national advocacy and research organization dedicated to autism spectrum disorders, and the TDF Autism Theatre Initiative.  Both organizations have provided advice and guidance on what is needed for this population, which includes, but is not limited to adjusted lighting and sound (moderated in both cases to prevent extremes, house lights half up, no strobes or loud noises), calming centers away from the ring where children can have quiet time if needed, which will be populated with fidgets and manipulatives, beanbag chairs, etc.  Autism Speaks is helping in many ways including a training session for ushers on how to work most effectively with this population.

logo-largeAny tickets sold through the Autism Speaks website will provide a percentage back to Autism Speaks. http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/big-apple-circus-kicks-sensory-friendly-performances

The second autism-friendly show of the Lincoln Center season will be held on Tuesday, November 18th at 6:30 PM. To read more about the show and purchase tickets, you may go to http://tinyurl.com/oprrsqt

The more I learn about the Big Apple Circus organization, the more I respect them for their art and beyond.  If you are as moved as I am and want to support them beyond attending the shows, you can see below about their upcoming benefit. I’m sure that’s one special day!

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

3:00 PM   Pre Show Entertainment & Refreshments
4:30 PM   Performance of METAMORPHOSIS and Dinner
6:30 PM   Dessert with the Artists in the Ring

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Birthday Party Idea… Dancing!

Whether your children went to Camp Ramah or not Yoni would bring so much RUACH – SPIRIT to your birthday party or family celebration. What a memorable Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration this would be!!!

Israeli dancingforchildren’sevents/parties!

Do your children miss dancing at camp?

Are they sad summer is over?

Don’t worry!

“Israeli ‘Migrash’ Dancing” with Yoni Brenner

continues all year round, just like at camp!

Yoni, the Ramah Day Camp in Nyack 2014 Dance Counselor, is staying in the New York area for the coming year, and is offering to make your child’s event an unforgettable one- with Israeli line dancing and music, just like at camp. All your children’s favorite dances from camp in one incredible event.

A great chance for your children to remember the dances they love so much from the summer, dance to Hebrew songs, enjoy the moment and have a great party. And of course, stay fit J

Great atmosphere and high energy guaranteed!

For more information please contact Yoni at:

E-mail: jonabrenner@gmail.com

Tel: 347-449-8978

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BJ Kids events


Our kids have grown up going to these events. I highly recommend them:

Tot Shabbat

Friday, November 7 | 5:15PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Families will enjoy a kid-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service filled with singing and dancing, followed by a dinner at 5:45PM downstairs in Frankel Hall complete with Shabbat blessings and songs. Dinner will include delicious choices for adults as well as children, and vegetarian options will be available; dietary laws observed. While adults are finishing their meal, play curator, Linda White, will engage children in open play and exploration. Register here by Wednesday, November 5 and contact Allison Kapusta with any questions or specific dietary requests. Cost is $25/members, and $32/non-members; thanks to a generous donation, all children eat free.

PJs and Havdalah 

Saturday, November 15 |4:15-5:30PM | 89th Street Community House
Families with children ages 5 and under are invited to explore Havdalah, the ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat, through art, song, and story. Kids are encouraged to come in pajamas to help create a warm and cozy atmosphere as we say goodbye to Shabbat and look forward to the week ahead. Register here and contact Allison with any questions.

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School’s Out on Election Day – Vital Theatre show at 11:00

There is no school next Tuesday – Election Day.  Would you like to go to a great children’s musical?  The Vital Theatre has many wonderful shows and the theatre is comfortable for young children to enjoy.
I’ve been talking with them about a special performance for our kids on Election Day and they said they will do it!!!  Butterfly Girl is perfect for our kids (I’ve heard from families with boys and they love it too!)  I think siblings will also love it.  After the Vital Theatre’s shows, children have the opportunity to meet the performers and have them autograph their playbills. We can go to lunch together afterwards in the neighborhood.
Vital Theatre (Broadway between 76th & 77th)
11:00 – 12:00
$20 tickets – a special rate for us!!!
Click here to buy your tickets: http://goo.gl/O48WRI
Pinkalicious The Musical

About The Show

Velma Gratch is excited to start first grade, but when she does she finds herself overshadowed by her older sisters! While searching for a way to stand out, Velma discovers she has a passion for butterflies! When one lands on her finger, she’s in heaven! But what is she to do when it doesn’t fly away? A charming story of a girl and a butterfly, and Velma’s metamorphosis into something unique and special.

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SMART SCHOOLS – Money for independent and religious schools will be available if we vote on Election Day

I am a member of the UJA-Federation Day School Advocacy Committee and I just learned that there is an opportunity to vote on the upcoming Election Day for a bond act which will give more money to “Smart Schools” to upgrade and enhance technology, broadband etc.  I wanted to be sure you know about it for all independent and religious school children.  Many families would benefit from this but may be uninformed about the issue – I know I was before our committee meeting this week!
I plan to pass this along widely and wanted you to see it ASAP. 

20141023 smart schools awareness ltr

Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 

5775 is lining up to be a landmark year for day schools in the UJA-Federation of New York catchment area. As you know, we have expanded our institutional commitment to day schools through the launch of the Day School Challenge Fund, a $50 million effort which will help Jewish schools throughout the regions grow their institutional endowments through a 1 to 3 match.

Tel: 1.212.980.1000

Fax: 1.212.888.7538



We continue as well to represent the needs of day schools to elected officials and to work to help secure government investment in vital education resources. As we have discussed with many of you, the Smart Schools Bond Act, if approved by voters, promises to help generate a significant portion of up to $125 million in new technology and broadband upgrades for the religious and independent school community in New York State. Therefore we are asking you to help raise awareness in your communities about this initiative.

Please consider sending the following informational message (or a variation thereof) to your community and networks before election day, November 4th:

Jewish Day Schools and Yeshivot will be eligible to receive classroom technology and high-speed broadband connectivity upgrades as part of the “Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014” that will appear on the 2014 ballot on November 4. If passed, the Act authorizes the sale of up to $2 billion in state bonds, of which all religious and independent schools can equitably benefit, with the potential to receive a significant portion of $125 million dollars in new educational technology. 

Funding from the Smart Schools Program will be provided only if the Bond Act is approved by the voters. 

As always, thank you for the work you do in helping us advocate for Jewish education. Please share the news that this bond is on the ballot with your friends, networks and synagogues!

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Vital Theatre Halloween Fest link

Friday, October 31 at 7:00pm

Calling All Witches, Ghosts & Goblins
on Halloween Night,
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