Adult Living & Learning

Founded on the belief that learning is a lifelong endeavor, the Bender JCC offers a comprehensive range of educational programs that stimulate minds, help participants maintain a healthy lifestyle, and encourage community and social engagement.

Questions about lifelong learning at the Bender JCC? Contact us!


ALL at the Bender JCC: Adult Living and Learning (ALL)

Winter/Spring 2018

At the Bender JCC of Greater Washington, one can fulfill all of the keys to healthy aging!  Workout in our fitness center to maintain your body and reduce your stress, cultivate social relationships through our various social clubs, have a nutritious kosher meal, and keep your brain stimulated through our new ALL (Adult Living and Learning) Program. It’s ALL here at the Bender JCC! For more information please contact Debbie Sokobin at 301-348-3760 or

Thursdays from 8 PM – 9 PM

August 30 – September 13, 2018

Registration is Free

Register Here

Study Judaism with your own private teacher!

LINKS, in partnership with the Bender JCC, offers men and women of all backgrounds an opportunity to discover or deepen their knowledge of Judaism, its culture, history, and traditions by studying one-on-one with a carefully selected and experienced study partner. Choose any topic of your interest including Hebrew reading, Jewish philosophy, and ethics, or history.

Dates*: Mondays | Ongoing throughout the year.
Time: 8:00 – 9:00 PM. Refreshments will be served.
Cost: FREE, but you must register

*Join at any time

To register to be matched with a knowledgeable study partner or for more information, please contact Rabbi Hillel Shaps at or 347-869-9361. You can also visit our Facebook page at

Click here to learn more!

This course will cover the ancient wisdom that reveals how the universe and life work. On a literal level, the word “Kabbalah” means “to receive.” Join Rabbi Hillel Shaps from the Greater Washington Kollel on an exploration of this ancient spiritual path.

Join this exploration of the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel with scholar Ira Weiss as we view the highly acclaimed Israeli television series “Srugim”. Ira will introduce each episode and then lead a follow-up discussion.

Dates: Thursdays | October 10 – November 15
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Cost: $30
Code: 18480

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Get your creative juices flowing with this wonderful ceramics class! Led by a fabulous artist, Debra Vardon, you will learn the ins and outs of the pottery wheel as well as different aspects of working with clay.

Skip Date 9/19

Dates: Wednesday | September 12 – October 24
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Members: $150
Public: $180
Code: 18495

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Evening Ceramics

Get your creative juices flowing with this wonderful ceramics class! Led by a fabulous artist, Debra Vardon, you will learn the ins and outs of the pottery wheel as well as different aspects of working with clay.

No Skip Dates.

Dates: Thursdays | September 27 – November 1
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Members: $120
Public: $144
Code: 19017

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Have you ever wanted to paint a masterpiece? Whether or not you have ever held a brush to a canvas, Gabriela Roitman will walk you step-by-step toward the creation of beautiful pieces of work. You will choose a famous painting and recreate it and then have it as a keepsake! (Material fees included)

Dates: Mondays | October 8 – November 5
Time: 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Members: $82
Public: $92
Code: 18499

Register Now for Adult Painting I


Dates: Mondays | November 12 – December 10
Time: 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Members: $82
Public: $92
Code: 18499

Register Now for Adult Painting II

Discover the ancient secrets of Kabbalah and learn how to gain a greater connection to the Divine, to your peers, and to your inner soul. Join Rabbi Hillel Shaps from the Greater Washington Kollel on an exploration of this ancient spiritual path.

Dates: Tuesdays| October 9 – October 30
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cost: $25
Code: 18481

Register Now

How do we share our Jewish identity with our families and how can we preserve these values and lessons as our children raise their own families?

The Bender JCC is proud to present a four-part workshop led by Rabbanit Chava Evans. This workshop teaches you how to communicate your Jewish values, lessons, hopes and dreams that will serve as a living legacy for future generations. Write your own “Ethical Will” or legacy letter to share with your family, friends, and community.

Learn more and register


This comic creative writing workshop is a wonderful way to discover your creative talent, sharp observations and funny side.

Dates: Tuesdays| October 9 – December 11
Time: 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Member: $225
Public: $245
Code: 18672

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Have you forgotten what you learned in Hebrew School? Trying to keep up with what your kids are learning in Hebrew School? Interested in the basics of Jewish practice?  It’s roots and beauty? Join this meaningful class!

Dates: Thursday | October 25 – November 15
Time: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Member: $65
Public: $75
Code: 18681

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Explore the nature of prejudice in the US – how does it spread, are we making progress as a society. This timely class will explore cultural phenomenon such as ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Roseanne’ and how pop-culture makes an impact.

Dates: Wednesday | October 24 – November 14
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Member: $27
Public: $37
Code: 18486

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This course will explore the many facets of Israeli society. Five different Israeli shlichim (emissaries) in our community will discuss the Israeli military experience, the land and its beauty, Israeli history, and Israel as “Start-Up Nation”.

Dates: Wednesday | November 28 – December 19
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Member: $27
Public: $37
Code: 18488

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In this course, we will trace the Israel’s history through an Israel Broadcast Authority documentary series with commentary and discussion.

Dates: Monday | October 15 – November 19
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Member: $32
Public: $42
Code: 18489

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Discover how the holy Hebrew language and the letters that make up its words contain within them secrets that define reality itself!

Dates: Thursday | October 11 – November 1
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Member: $27
Public: $37
Code: 19009

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Puff Pastry Ten Ways will be a fun and tasty exploration of this versatile product. New York Times published, Sarina Roffe, whose Sephardic recipes have also been featured in the NY Times Jewish Cookbook and Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America will provide us with dairy/vegetarian appetizer and dessert recipes and tips. Come to eat, drink and learn! Her cookbook, Backyard Kitchen Mediterranean Salads will also be available for sale.

Date: Tuesday | October 30
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Member: $55
Public: $70
Code: 19011

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Find practical solutions to renew and maintain the most important relationship, the one with your spouse/partner.
Dr. Tova Rubin has been in private practice working with individuals and couples for 15 years. She is clinical faculty at George Washington University and is a hospice volunteer. As a Jewish Psychologist, she loves connecting the field of Psychology with the values and wisdom of Judaism.

Dates: Sunday | November 16
Time: 7:15 PM – 9:00 PM
No cost but you must register
Code: 19013

Register Now

Whether you are new to making jewelry or an experienced jeweler, join this class and create either a necklace, bracelet or earrings utilizing unique hand-selected beads and wires. Artist Elaine Robnett Moore will provide the tools and materials and walk us through the process you will leave with a keepsake!

Dates: Sunday | October 28
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Member: $100
Public: $125
Code: 19018

Register Now

Jewish Learning

Strengthen your Jewish heritage, learn Hebrew, explore Israel, study the Torah, and much more through the Bender JCC’s Jewish Family Living & Learning program. Learn more about the Jewish Family Living & Learning program.

Melton School Classes

Learn more about this program!

Biblical Archaeology Forum

Click here for the 2018-2019 schedule

The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-second year in September with Maryland University professor Kenneth Holum looking back on his own three decades excavating King Herod’s monumental building at Caesarea and highlighting recent discoveries.

Please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art and texts of ancient times. Reservations are not required. Fees per lecture are: free – high school students; $5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students and co-sponsors; $8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members, and; $10 – the general public. For more information, please contact

Subscriptions to the BAF 2017-2018 lecture season are coming soon.

Gateways / English as a Second Language Classes

The Gateways program at the Bender JCC has evolved into a comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESOL) program featuring a Citizenship component. Immigrant seniors from several countries – although predominantly the former Soviet Union – meet at the Center twice a week and learn English from a dedicated staff of volunteers who have worked with the program for many years.

Program funded in part by: MCAEL (Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy)