Nothing will slow us down at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates. Despite fewer COVID-19 safe options of activities, the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates has successfully adapted creative solutions to our new reality. We have been able to blend distant/Zoom activities with socially distant, in-person activities following the strict COVID-19 guidelines of our medical committee.

As schools and shuls re-opened, we welcomed the children back into the building for Shabbos groups. Davening and Shabbos games with hand-washing and mask-wearing are mandatory for our youngest members. Zach Herskowitz, our enthusiastic Youth Director, vigilantly reminds our kids “Masks Up” in a friendly, non-threatening manner. As weather permits, groups have been held outdoors.

Now that winter has come and Shabbos ends early, we have resumed Parent-Child Learning (PCL) every Saturday night to an enthusiastic response. Even though, the pizza is “to go,” the children come for the fun learning and a chance to see their friends. Or maybe it’s for a chance to win one of the fabulous prizes that can only be earned by amassing those “Cool Cards.”

Families of all sizes came and joined the fun in a special Motza’ei Shabbos Chanukah edition of PCL culminating in a Family-Feud-style Chanukah-themed game show. Bob Barker may not have been there to warmly greet you, but your YIJE masked neighbors were happily cheering each other on. Every child, of course, went home with a wrapped Chanukah gift graciously donated by our sponsors.

Our drive-in movie of Zootopia in the spring was such a success that the YIJE drive-in movie theater tried an encore presentation of School of Rock. Nothing beats sitting outdoors watching a movie on the big screen.

For the budding young artists, you can join one of our Crazy Crafts events on Sunday mornings. Every family is seated at their own table with the necessary supplies for an art project. The talent and creativity are delightful. The morning of fun concludes with a socially distant group game.

The fun and Torah learning never end at YIJE, as there are more Parent-Child learning, Crazy Crafts, and Movie Nights to come, all with safety and health in mind. Learn more at for a list of upcoming events and our COVID-19 guidelines.