Israel Programs

Connecting our community to the people, history, culture, and land of Israel remains a core value of the Bender JCC. From lectures and dance to film, music, and art, the Center offers exciting, innovative ways to learn about Israel—past, present, and future.

Programs include the Center’s annual free Israel Fest, Israel-centric holiday celebrations and commemorative events, free lunch & learns, and much more.

Yom Hazmaaut Concert with the Shuk

Monday, May 1 | Dinner & Doors @ 5:30 PM, Concert @ 6:15 PM
Ohev Sholom
1600 Jonquil St NW | Washington, DC 20012

The shuk (Israeli marketplace) is one of Israel’s main attractions. Please join Congregation Ohev Sholom this Yom Ha’Atzmaut for a concert from top Israeli band, The Shuk, as well as an Israeli dinner and marketplace of Israeli vendors, foods and youth activities.

Register Here

“Ha-Israeli H-Noded” in Hebrew

Thursday, May 4 | 8:00 PM
Magden David Congregation
11215 Woodglen Drive | North Bethesda, MD 20852

You’ve seen Israel. Get ready to experience it!

Based on a true story, ”The Wandering Israeli”, with its special mix of theater, storytelling, live music and a refreshing dose of humor brings to stage an unforgettable Israeli adventure. This highly-acclaimed show has performed over 600 times across the country and regularly tours Jewish and Israeli communities around the world with its Hebrew, English and Spanish versions.

Purchase Tickets

IAC Shishi Israeli: Shabbat Dinner with an Israeli Flavor

Friday, May 5 | 5:45 PM – 8:30 PM
Sharee Torah Congregation
1409 Main St. | Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Join us for a community family Shishi Israeli Shabbat Dinner with an Israeli Flavor. For the upcoming Israel’s 69th Independence Day celebration, we’ll have Shabbat services followed by activities for the whole family. Spaces are limited – get your tickets today! In partnership with Sharee Torah Congregation.

הצטרפו אלינו לקבלת שבת קהילתית באוירה
ישראלית עם ארוחת ערב ופעילויות לכל המשפחה
לכבוד יום העצמאות ה-69 למדינת ישראל. הבטיחו
את מקומכם היום – מכירת הכרטיסים תסתיים ב-4

Buy Tickets

Next Shishi Israeli Shabbat Dinner: Friday, June 9 @ 6:45 PM | Magen David Synagogue

IAC Dor Chadash Yom Ha’atzmaut BBQ

Sunday, May 7 | 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Rock Creek Park Group Picnic Area
Pierce Mill 2401 Tilden St NW | Washington , DC

Join IAC Dor Chadash, Israeli House and Mifgash DC in an Israeli-style Yom Ha’atzmaut Barbecue. Bring your favorite foods to cook Al Ha’esh, and celebrate Israel’s 69th birthday with other DC young professionals.

דור חדש, מפגש די.סי והבית IAC הצטרפו ל
הישראלי לפקניק יום העצמאות! אוכל ומחצלות
עליכם מנגל, מוזיקה ישראלית, ושאר הפתעות עלינו!


Tel-Aviv Style Arts and Crafts Show

Sunday, May 21 | 11:00 AM
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road | Rockville, MD 20852

Join the IAC and the Greater Washington community to the Israel Festival at the JCC of Bender Washington! Join us for a Shesh Besh tournament, coffee and Israeli Shouk/Fair of local artists.

If you create wonderful crafts please contact to register for the event!

More information here.

Israel Fest: Presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Bender JCC

Sunday, May 21 | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Bender JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road | Rockville, MD 20852

Check out the details for the event!

Ben Gurion: Epilogue

Wednesdasy, May 24 | 6:15 PM
E Street Cinema
555 11th St NW | Washington, DC 20004

Enjoy this fascinating film of an in-depth interview with David Ben-Gurion, one of modern history’s greatest leaders, emerges from the obscurity of an archive where it lay unrecognized for decades.

Buy Tickets Here

JCCA 20th Maccabiah Games Trip to Israel

July 2-13, 2017

Experience the opening of the 20th Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem with Jewish athletes from all over the world! A new way to see Israel!

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to experience Israel in a brand new way with your JCC family. Walk in Jerusalem, hike in the north, explore the hi-tech and delicious food scenes in Tel Aviv and so much more!

Meet interesting and diverse people, participate in unique programs and connect with Jewish people from throughout the world. Who knows, some of the many JCC sportsmen and sportswomen who are participating may be from your own community!

Important Information

IAC Eitanim Summer Hackathon

July 30 – August 4 | Los Angeles, CA

**$300 Registration includes housing, meals and all activities!

This six-day, one of a kind experience will bring together hundreds of Israeli and Jewish American teens (grades 7-12) from across the country for a unique summer adventure. Throughout this fun-filled week, students will collaborate to tackle real-world challenges, expressing their personal interests and exploring new ideas inspired by Israeli innovation.

Check out this video to learn what the Summer Hackathon is all about!

Register Here
**Save $50 with Early Bird pricing | Expires May 1

IAC National Conference

November 3-6, 2017 | Convention Center | Washington, D.C.

Join thousands of community members at the IAC National Conference in Washington DC to experience influential thought leaders, industry experts, senior political figures, diplomatic figures, community leaders, prominent journalists and more. This inspiring three-day journey will explore Israeli-American and Jewish identity, unite the Israeli-American and Jewish communities, and understand how we can effectively strengthen Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish People.

The IAC National Conference offers participants the opportunity to engage and select from a variety of plenaries, breakout panels, workshops, and discussion topics specifically tailored to meet the various interests of our broad audience.

Together we will examine core areas including:

  • Jewish and Israeli identity of the young generation
  • Israel as a Nation State of the Jewish People
  • Israeli American and Jewish peoplehood

Examining the current state of these vital issues of Jewish peoplehood, we will explore how Israeli-Americans, who constitute 10 percent of the Jewish American Community, can serve as a living bridge to the broader community and Israel.

Click Here for more information about the IAC National Conference. Click Here to Register.

1/13/17 – Israeli-American Council D.C., Bender JCC of Greater Washington Announce Joint Venture

Today, the Israeli-American Council and the Bender JCC of Greater Washington announced a new joint venture to establish an IAC Center (Merkaz) at the Bender JCC, and to formalize the two organizations’ joint initiatives to bring together the Jewish-American and Israeli-American communities.

“We have entered an exciting new era of collaboration between the IAC and JCCs across the country. Our joint venture with the Bender JCC will help to bring a new wave of IAC programming to the Greater Washington area to benefit Israeli-Americans and the broader Jewish community. We will look to replicate this model for partnership in other regions in 2017,” said IAC Chief Executive Officer Shoham Nicolet.

IAC programming in the Merkaz space includes IAC Eitanim, a teen leadership program; IAC G’vanim, an adult leadership program, and IAC Keshet, a Hebrew learning program for children. IAC-D.C. will also use the center to host IAC Shishi Israeli events, where Israeli-Americans and Jewish Americans bond over an Israeli Shabbat dinner and educational activities for kids.

“Israeli-Americans and Jewish Americans have so much to give to each other,” said Michael Feinstein, CEO of the Bender JCC. “We are thrilled about the prospects of this new joint venture with the IAC. By creating vehicles for these two unique communities to come together we can enrich American Jewish life in so many ways.”

Kol Ami – Jewish Peoplehood Leadership Academy

Kol Ami is a six-month post-high school program — from September to February — designed to enable students with the opportunity to live in a Jewish pluralistic environment together with their Israeli counterparts. This program is best for those who want to learn more about themselves and how they can better impact the Jewish communities around the world.

With the understanding that Israel is an integral part of the world Jewish tapestry, Kol Ami will create a social network aspiring to excellence and which takes responsibility for impacting the future of the Jewish people.

During the six months of personal growth and development students will:

  • Gain leadership skills
  • Explore the land of Israel
  • Volunteer in the local community
  • Build physical endurance and navigation skills – the same skills Israelis learn to prepare for service in the IDF

For more information, contact Harrel Fenigstein at: or +972-52-613-0366.

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