ALBANY – Mah-jongg, that game of click-clacking tiles, is back at Beth Emeth after nearly three years. 

“We are back to having games in-person once a month,” said organizer Deborah Sokoler. “We started in November and got a great response.” About 32 players attended each month, she reported.

Beth Emeth mah-jongg players from left to right: Barbara Lazarro, Christine Tierney, Susan Kushner and Jill Peterson pose at their board during play on December 9.

The next tournament will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the synagogue, 100 Academy Rd., Albany. February’s will be on Thursday, Feb. 9. In March, the tournament will be the week after Purim festivities, moving to March 16. April 13 and May 18 will follow.

There are two types of play: a day of relaxed games for $10, with players at all levels, or tournament play, with timed games and cash prizes for a $25 all-inclusive fee. The day begins at 9 a.m. with a breakfast of coffee and bagels, and games start at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Players are asked to bring a bag lunch; Beth Emeth provides dessert and snacks.

Mah-jongg became popular among Jewish women a century ago, according to professor Annelise Heinz, author of Mahjong; A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture. It helped them assimilate and gave them intellectual stimulation and sisterhood; Jewish women were instrumental in founding the National Mah Jongg League in 1937, and it became a cultural ritual, Heinz, has noted.

Sign up for games or the possibility of lessons, may be found on the Emeth calendar at 

[email protected] can provide details.