Y Beginnings Parenting Center

Hi, there! We’re thrilled to welcome you to the Y Beginnings Parenting Center!

This is your invitation to come out and play‑-with new babies, parents and caregivers from the neighborhood--together at the Y. We’ve got a full roster of classes, programs, and events planned (and always in the works!) for expectant families and those with babies, one year olds and two year olds.

At Y Beginnings, we’re your uptown home for new families. This is where your daughter might meet her first best buddy, your son might take his first steps and where your confidence as a new parent grows. All within a framework of local living at its best—no schlepping downtown to find activities or community.

The Y Beginnings Parenting Center debuted in 2014. We’re still growing and we’d love feedback on what you’d like to see offered at the Y. Let us know what appeals to your unique family, by TAKING OUR SURVEY or EMAILING ME.

As the Coordinator for Y Beginnings, I’m looking forward to meeting you and welcoming your family. By way of introduction, I’m a certified lactation counselor, a mom since 2008, and a local resident active in our neighborhood for more than a decade. I know firsthand what a wonderful community we’re building, together, here uptown.

We extend a warm welcome to families of all types and all backgrounds, while also offering special celebrations of Jewish culture throughout the year. 

Whatever brings you to the Y, we hope you find a welcoming home here.


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Y Beginnings Programs

Parenting Workshops
Moms Groups
Classes for Babies and Caregivers
Classes for Toddlers and Caregivers
Jewish Engagement
PJ Library
Samples of Previous Workshops and Classes

Parenting Workshops

"Parenting with a Jewish Soul"
What does it mean to be a new parent, and a Jewish parent? Come together with local families to listen, learn and share about new identities as moms and dads, and parenting through a Jewish lens. Feel free to pack dinner and stay to picnic in the park. 
WHERE and WHEN: Monday, June 18, 5 to 6 pm, Ft. Tryon Park, Cafe Lawn (enter at Ft. Washington Avenue/Margaret Corbin Circle, take first path on the right); Rain location is the Y, 54 Nagle Avenue, Room 208.
RSVP: Event is free, please RSVP here. Open to moms, dads, expectant parents, babies, young toddlers. 
FACILITATOR: Josh Pernick is in his third year of rabbinical training at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale, and has been teaching at the Y this year through a graduate fellowship of the UJA's Wiener Center. 
PJ LIBRARY: This gathering is co-sponsored by PJ Library. To receive free Jewish stories and songs for your children each month, sign up for PJ Library at www.pjlibrary.org/newyork


Moms Groups

Congratulations on your baby! As you find your way along this new mom journey, we invite you to join our supportive community of fellow moms and babies at the Y. Together we'll share our experiences, or just listen, ask questions if we have them, and learn from one another, all in a welcoming and inclusive environment that honors the unique path of each family. Come by and say hello! 
2018 DATES, Summer: Thursdays, May 31; June 28; July 12 and 26; August 16. The New Moms Group alternates Thursdays with the Breastfeeding Cafe (see dates below). Any changes to the schedule will be posted here. Note: There are no groups on June 7 and 21; July 5; August 2, 23, 30. Fall dates will be posted in August.  
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 pm, late arrivals okay ("baby time"), FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 208

The Y's Breastfeeding Cafe is a gathering spot for nursing moms and their little ones. Join us with your babies, your breastfeeding or pumping questions (whether or not you have any!) and your new-nursing-mom stories. Babies play or snooze while moms chat and gain valuable support and community from each other and the group's facilitator, a Certified Lactation Counselor. The Breastfeeding Cafe is open to both pregnant women and nursing moms. Group is led by Mara Bragg, CLC.
2018 DATES, Summer: Thursdays, June 14; July 19; August 9. The Breastfeeding Cafe alternates Thursdays with the New Moms Group (see dates above). Any changes to the schedule will be posted here. Note: There are no groups on June 7 and 21; July 5; August 2, 23, 30. Fall dates will be posted in August.  
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 pm, late arrivals okay ("baby time"), FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 208

Classes for Babies and Caregivers

Be Baby: Discovery Zone 
From tummy time and beyond, increasingly mobile babies explore and discover in a classroom setting, including circle time with live ukulele music and story time with PJ Library. Grown-ups enjoy a supportive environment to build their own community. 
AGE RANGE: for babies from 6 to 12 months old, with parent or caregiver  
SCHEDULE: Be Baby debuted this year and is now on hiatus for the summer. If you'd like to see Be Baby return in the fall, please let us know by sending an EMAIL. 

Classes for Toddlers and Caregivers

Are you a parent looking for activities and socializing for you and/or your child? The Y's Toddler and Parent Programs offer something for every stage to explore this pivotal time of life!

Class returns in Fall 2018. To receive notification when registration opens over the summer, please email Mara (mbragg@ywashhts.org). Enrollment will be on a rolling basis until full, with a waiting list if necessary. Spots fill quickly.  
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Children explore and discover through play-based centers, and enjoy music and creative movement during circle time. The 75-minute class is designed to emphasize play, socialization and learning the rhythms of the classroom, while the child's parent or caregiver is present and actively involved. Throughout the semester, children enjoy the freedom to play, grow and gain confidence in a classroom setting.
AGE RANGE: for children who are walking before class starts in September, and who will be between the age of 12 and 27 months by December 31, 2018. This same age range applies to both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. 
NOTE: Students attend the entire 15-week semester; this is not a drop-in class. Seats are reserved for enrolled children; class is not designed for younger/older siblings, including babies, to come along (unless both siblings are within the age range and each enrolled).   
SCHEDULE: The 2018 to 2019 schedule will be posted here when finalized this summer. Last year, class ran on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:45 am, for two 15-week semesters, from September to January, and then January/February to May. Each semester enrolls separately; fall students receive priority re-enrollment for spring semester. Class is cancelled during winter and spring breaks. Specific dates will be posted when the class schedule is finalized.  
REGISTRATION: Registration will open over the summer. Please EMAIL Mara to receive notification when enrollment begins. Spots fill quickly. 
FEE: (for last year): $400 for the Tuesday OR Thursday session (15 classes); $675 for both days (30 classes)

Children build a strong music foundation through singing, dancing and jamming to a mix of musical instruments. Class is led this session by Zack from Tkiya.
AGE RANGE: for babies and toddlers (through 35 months) with their grown-up
SPRING SCHEDULE: Wednesdays from 9:30 to 10:15 am, April 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; June 6, 13, 20; class will be on hiatus over the summer and return in the fall 
REGISTRATION FORM: click here for the Spring Session registration form
FEE: $250 

The Y is thrilled to partner with Super Soccer Stars to introduce the game of soccer to the youngest residents of Upper Manhattan. Classes will return for our summer season. More details will be posted on our Super Soccer Stars page

Jewish Engagement

Join us on Friday mornings to welcome shabbat! We'll sing, read a story, say blessings, and enjoy challah together with our Y Beginnings community. Program features live ukulele music from the Y's own Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, plus Todah, our amazing Sloth (a real puppet!). All families are welcome at Ukulele Shabbat, which is designed for babies through age three(ish), with their parent or caregiver. Visit our Ukulele Shabbat page to learn more, including the full schedule of dates, including holiday cancellations.  

Want to see these previous workshops and classes offered again?

Let us know by sending an EMAIL.  





The Y Beginnings Parenting Center focuses on families who are expecting and those with newborns, babies and toddlers, up to 2 years of age by offering fun, enriching, and educational opportunities.