Press Releases and Announcements

Press Releases and Announcements

The Bender JCC Establishes the Dale Singer Memorial Leadership Development Endowment with an Initial Gift of $200,000

The endowment will support professional development for leadership and staff.

Rockville, MD, June 14, 2023 – The Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington is profoundly grateful to Andy Singer and his family for making a generous initial gift of $200,000 to establish the Dale Singer Memorial Leadership Development Endowment in loving memory of Andy’s wife, Dale.

“We are grateful to Dale for her years of leadership on the Bender JCC board. As board chair, she served with passionate commitment,” said Josh Bender, Chief Executive Officer of the Bender JCC. “Dale’s caring and thoughtful nature represent the ideals to which our Bender JCC members and staff aspire.”

At the Bender JCC, Dale was a champion of the arts and culture, serving as chairperson for the annual Lessans Family Literary Festival. Dale joined the Bender JCC’s Board of Directors in 2015 and became Board Chair in 2021, a position she held until her untimely passing in June 2022.


Bender JCC of Greater Washington Hires New Director of Inclusion

Katherine Falls will expand the Bender JCC’s commitment to belonging and inclusion.

Rockville, MD, May 25, 2023 – The Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington is pleased to announce it has hired Katherine Falls as Director of Inclusion following a national search. Kate will begin her new position on Monday, June 19, 2023.

“The Bender JCC aspires to be an inclusive community where individuals with disabilities of all ages and their families can fully participate year-round,” said Josh Bender, CEO of the Bender JCC. “Kate Falls is an outstanding addition to our community and will be crucial in guiding our vision for inclusion. I am grateful to the Search Committee for their key role in the hiring process. I wholeheartedly welcome Kate to the Bender JCC and support her as she embarks on this vital role.”

Fall’s career in disability inclusion encompasses more than eight years of experience in various community centers and disability functional areas, including academic intervention, behavior management, and communication skills. Before joining the Bender JCC’s full-time professional staff, Kate was a Head Inclusion Counselor at Lessans Camp JCC and Assistant Inclusion Director for J Camps in Greater Baltimore.

“Everyone deserves access to their community, which is why the Bender JCC’s commitment to inclusion is so important,” said Kate Falls. “I am so excited to join the Bender JCC’s incredible team full-time to support this mission and carry on a legacy of inclusion and belonging.”


The Bender JCC of Greater Washington
Announces Partnership with The Feynman School

The STEM school for gifted students will move to the Bender JCC beginning Fall 2023

Rockville, MD, May 12, 2023
– The Bender JCC of Greater Washington announced today a partnership with The Feynman School, an independent co-educational school for academically gifted students focusing on STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The Bender JCC will welcome the Feynman School’s 70+ students, and 15+ faculty and staff to its beautiful campus located in Rockville, Maryland in August 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year. As part of the move, the Bender JCC will license up to 12 available classrooms to the Feynman School for their exclusive use during the school day, leaving those classrooms available in the evening and weekends for Bender JCC members and guests to enjoy.


Bender JCC of Greater Washington
Announces Search for Director of Inclusion 

The Bender JCC expands its commitment to belonging and inclusion.

Rockville, MD, February 1, 2023 – The Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington announced today the creation of a new, full-time position — Director of Inclusion — and officially commenced a search for qualified candidates. The creation of a director level position dedicated to expanding inclusion demonstrates the Bender JCC’s continued commitment to its core values of belonging and inclusion.


2/14/23 – The Bender JCC of Greater Washington Mourns the Passing of Longtime Jewish Philanthropist Ted Lerner

Rockville, MD – February 14, 2023 – The Bender JCC of Greater Washington is saddened to learn of the passing of Theodore N. Lerner, who died on Sunday, February 12, in Chevy Chase, MD, at the age of 97. He is survived by his wife, Annette Morris Lerner, their three children, Mark D. Lerner (Judy), Debra Lerner Cohen (Edward), and Marla Lerner Tanenbaum (Robert), their nine grandchildren, and their eleven great-grandchildren.

Click here to learn more.

3/24/17 – Robot Allows Boy With Degenerative Disease to Go to School

Despite a degenerative disease that makes going to school a life-threatening situation, a 3-year-old Maryland boy attends classes every day thanks to technology. We couldn’t be happier to have Max as part of our Bender JCC Preschool, thanks to his BEAM!

Watch the inspiring story here!

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.”

1/9/17 – Security Follow-Up

At noon today, the Bender JCC received a bomb threat on our main telephone number. We immediately implemented our evacuation protocol which included calling 911. The preschool was evacuated to Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. The evacuation was calm and orderly and all the children were in good spirits since they have had similar drills in the past. We appreciate everything CESJDS did for us this morning.

Staff and members were evacuated to the Charles E. Smith Life Communities’ Wasserman Building so they had a warm place to wait. Federation security responded immediately.

We thank the Montgomery County Police and the Fire Marshall who responded. The Fire Marshall oversaw the inspection of the building by staff and security personnel and cleared the building to re-open. From evacuation to re-opening the timing was about an hour.

The entire staff and our partner agencies responded calmly, quickly and appropriately. We are very proud of how everyone came together during this stressful time.

We later learned that the Bender JCC was one of 16 JCCs in nine states on the east coast to receive a bomb threat. Everyone is safe and an “all clear” was given at each site.

The safety and security of our community is our first priority. We have a detailed emergency response plan which was successfully activated today. Our staff receives regular emergency response training. Please know that we will continue to be vigilant and responsive. We ask that you partner with us and if you ever see something that seems out of the ordinary, please say something to the closest staff member or security guard.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

12/7/16 – Mel’s Rink finds unlikely new home on baseball field at Jewish community center

ROCKVILLE – In December 2015, Marc Kohn crafted a $40,000 synthetic ice-skating rink on his rural Poolesville property. The landmark, affectionately named, “Mel’s Rink,” was built in honor of Kohn’s late stepdaughter, Melanie, an avid hockey fan. Kohn welcomed friends and total strangers to the rink. He even launched a Facebook Page to spread the news about the free skating hole. But just as momentum was taking hold, the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services ordered Kohn dismantle his pride and joy, citing a myriad of bureaucratic zoning and code violations.

A few months passed and Kohn began a plot to uproot Mel’s Rink to a more suitable property. His initial thought was to focus on local YMCA centers or the Boys and Girls Club, but Kohn ultimately decided to pay an unannounced visit to the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville. There he spoke with youth recreational director, Susan Fischer.

“We embraced his enthusiasm for bringing it here,” Fischer told ABC7.

Watch the video and read the full story here.

8/12/16 – Local hockey players medal in historic ‘Jewish Olympics’

WASHINGTON — A group of young hockey players received some major encouragement, heading into the biggest tournament of their lives. “Jeff Halpern, who used to play for the Washington Capitals, who also happens to be Jewish, sent us an email wishing us good luck,” said coach Monty Yolles. “I think the kids enjoyed that.” Yolles coached the under-16 hockey team to a bronze medal, representing the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, based in Rockville, Maryland, during this week’s 2016 Maccabi Games in Stamford, Connecticut. Read more.

5/18/16 – Envisioning the Future: JCC Biennial Celebrates History, Looks Ahead

More than 500 representatives of Jewish Community Centers from around the world convened in Baltimore this week for the JCCs of North America Biennial. The officials gathered to share their unique successes, discuss their concerns and look at how the continually evolving Jewish community poses challenges and opportunities for JCCs. The event also served as an early kick-off to next year’s centennial celebrations. Read more.

4/12/16 – Camp JCC to Receive Books from PJ Library to Reinforce Importance of Jewish Literacy

Rockville, MD – Phil Liebson, Camp JCC director, has announced that this summer, the camp will receive 25 books from PJ Library, a program within the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). The JCCGW is one of more than 65 JCC camps to receive these books, geared toward campers 4-8 years old. This new partnership between HGF and Jewish Community Centers Association (JCCA) reinforces the importance of Jewish literacy at a young age through day camp programs. Read more.

2/11/16 – A man describes how his life was saved by an AED at JCCGW

Rockville, MD – Less than six minutes is all you get to save someone after they collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, something Aleksander Macander discovered when, on a rainy Saturday, the 74-year-old went to the gym and hopped onto his favorite elliptical machine. Read more.

8/5/15 – Exercise Program for People with Parkinson’s Disease

Washington, DC – Medstar Georgetown University Hospital and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Team Up to Provide Specialized Classes. Read more.

7/9/14 – Camp JCC Featured for Safety on NBC 4 News

Rockville, MD – After a storm endangered lives at another camp in Maryland on July 8, NBC 4 reporters visited Camp JCC to investigate safety procedures and best practices. See two feature features here.

3/24/14 – JCCGW Hosts Teens from Canada Israeli Hockey School for 10-Day Visit

Rockville, MD – In March, the JCC of Greater Washington hosted teens from the Canada Israel Hockey School for a 10-day visit to our area. The trip included a game with our JCC Maccabi team, dinner and a game with the  Charles E. Smith JDS team, practice skates with NHL and Olympic players, a program with BBYO, visits to the monuments, the White House and the Canadian embassy, a game with NHL alumni and attendance at a Washington Capitals game. Read More

2/10/14 – JCCGW Receives Awards for Excellence from Jewish Community Centers Association of North America

Rockville, MD – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW) is pleased to announce that it has won three awards in the 2014 JCCs of North America Biennial Excellence Awards. Read More

8/1/2013 – JCCGW Receives $6,500 BP Fueling Communities Grant from Empire Petroleum

Gaithersburg, MD – Empire Petroleum Partners, LLC, a leading motor fuels distributor and a BP branded distributor servicing BP stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, presented a BP Fueling Communities grant donation of $6,500 to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW).

7/12/2013 –  JCCGW to Exhibit Photographs by Famous Israeli Photographer Rudi Weissenstein

Rockville, MD – Forty four selected photographs from the exhibition Your Fortunate Eyes will appear in the Center’s Goldman Art Gallery from September 1 through October 13, 2013. This event is free and open to the public. Read More

5/28/2013 – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Book Festival has been Named The Lessans Family Annual Book Festival

Rockville, MD – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW) is pleased to announce that the JCCGW Annual Book Festival will now be known as The Lessans Family Annual Book Festival. Dr. Stuart Lessans has named the book festival is memory of his parents, Sara and Samuel J. Lessans, and in honor of his children, Matthew and Faye. Read More

4/30/2013 – JCCGW’s Coming of Age to Host the 4th Annual Health and Wellness Expo at Leisure World this May

Rockville, MD – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW) Coming of Age (CoA) program is hosting the 4th Annual Health and Wellness Expo on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at Clubhouse 1 in Leisure World. Read More

4/24/2013 – JCCGW to Host the 2013 Golf and Tennis Tournament to Benefit JCCGW’s Senior Adult Programs and Services

Rockville, MD – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW) is hosting the 2013 Golf and Tennis Tournament on June 10, 2013 at Lakewood Country Club to benefit senior adult programs and services. Read More

4/22/2013 – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Camp Participated in Israel Up Close Seminar in Israel

Rockville, MD – JCCGW Camp Director Fara Gold recently spent a week in Israel as part of JCC Association’s Israel Up Close seminar, designed to enhance Israel programming in JCC day camps. The seminar included educational touring in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and participation in the four-day training led for all of the summer shlichim. Read More

3/29/2013 – The JCCGW is Proud to Present the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio to Play Beethoven, Brahms, and Debussy at our Center this May.

Rockville, MD – The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW) is pleased to present the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio in the final concert of the 2012-2013 Polinger Artists of Excellence concert series on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Read More

Press Mentions

February 27, 2013 – Creating Community: Interpreting the Concept of Home Washington Jewish Week Centennial Celebration: Kickoff Birthday Party Coverage:

December 15, 2012 – Morris Erger 100th Birthday Coverage:

  • WTOP News
  • All News 99.1 WNEW CBS DC

Canada Israel Hockey School

In March, the JCC of Greater Washington hosted teens from the Canada Israel Hockey School for a 10-day visit to our area.
Learn more


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