Coming of Age in Maryland

Coming of Age Programs Coming of Age in Maryland offers monthly activities, excursions, and special events to members aged 60 and over. Activities include theater, museums, lectures, performances, “Food and Fun” restaurant outings that feature a game component, annual health and wellness expo, and so much more.

We hope you’ll join us to make friends and enjoy new experiences, including:

  • Free membership
  • Bus excursions to local venues
  • Day @ the J, which includes use of the Health& Fitness facility, including the pool
  • Day @ the Ring, including a kosher three-course meal and an exciting program
  • Monthly “Food ‘n’ Fun” meal and entertainment at local restaurants
  • Social work support from our partner, JSSA
  • Financial assistance for JCCGW memberships and program participation for qualifying individuals
  • Transportation provided to select events for a nominal fee

For more information, contact Frieda Enoch 301.348.3809 or

Also visit our Arts & Culture section for movies, author discussions, gallery exhibits, and concerts sponsored by the Bender JCC.

Upcoming Coming of Age sponsored events

Passport J: A Virtual Tour of Ben Gurion’s Desert Home Tuesday, April 20th - 11:00 AM
J TALKS: FEMALE SPIES OF WWll Wednesday, April 21st - 3:00 PM
CINEMA J: THE INVISIBLES Monday, April 26th - 5:00 PM
Passport J: A Virtual Tour of Jewish India Wednesday, May 5th - 7:00 PM
JTalks: Great American Songbook with Rob Kapilow Thursday, May 6th - 3:00 PM
J Talks: The Art and Life of Vincent van Gogh Thursday, May 20th - 3:00 PM

Passport J: A Virtual Tour of Ben Gurion’s Desert Home

Tuesday, April 20 | 11:00 AM | $10

Please join us as we are treated to a live virtual tour from Israel of Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home with tour guide Esther Suissa.  The tour of Ben-Gurion’s Desert Home is a unique opportunity for an intimate and exclusive visit into the home of the Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel. He declared the independence of the State of Israel, established the I.D.F and built the foundations of Israel and the connections between Israel and world Jewry. The tour will be approximately 45 minutes followed by a question and answer session.

Esther Suissa

Born in London, England, Esther made aliya in 1986.  She holds a BA in Jewish History and French Literature and a Master’s degree in Jewish History at Hebrew University. Married to Avi and mother to 5 sabras (Asher, Yaara, David, Talia and Ariel Yehuda) and recently grandmother to one. After having lived in Dimona for 23 years, fulfilling several posts such as the Partnership 2000 director of Dimona, Yerucham and Mitzpe Ramon for the Jewish Agency and the British representative of the JIA in Dimona, she is now the Head of programs for the general public and overseas visitors at the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute in Midreshet Ben-Gurion, next to Kibbutz Sde Boker.

Please contact Marcie Blackman with any questions.


Wednesday, April 21st
3:00 PM

Purchase Tickets

J Talks: Female Spies of WWll
Wednesday, April 21 l 3:00 PM l $10
Guest speaker Randy Burkett, CIA Staff Historian

During World War Two, one out of every three members of the legendary Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a woman. You are invited to hear the stories of some of the women who ran operations behind the lines, conducted analysis, investigated counterintelligence threats, and conducted psychological warfare operations to help win the war. We will discuss some of the better known figures like Virginia Hall and dispel some of the myths and misunderstanding around a few who became well known later in life, including Julia Child, Margaret Mead, and Marlene Dietrich.

**Guest speaker, Randy Burkett is a career CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) officer currently on rotation to the Center for the Study of Intelligence History Staff. He previously served as the Chief of Outreach and Special Hiring Programs for the DO’s Clandestine Service Hiring Division and he has held numerous assignments at CIA headquarters and in the field working in East Asia, Counterterrorism, and Counter-proliferation. He has a BA in Political Science and a MA in National Security Affairs.

*The Zoom link will be sent out on the morning of the program. We respectfully ask that you not share this link with someone outside of your household. Thank you. We look forward to your joining us!

Contact Frieda Enoch at:


Monday, April 26th
5:00 PM

Purchase Tickets

Talkback with guest speaker, Michael Berenbaum.

Monday, April 26 l 5:00 PM l $10
German/English Subtitles l Docudrama l 110 minutes

We present this compelling film in commemoration of Yom HaShoah. It is a testament to the willpower, resourcefulness, and sheer chance needed to survive against incredible odds.

In June 1943, while the German government infamously declared Berlin “judenfrei”—free of Jews, 1,700 Jewish Berliners managed to survive in the Nazi capital. In this extraordinary film, director Claus Raefle tells the story of four of those Jewish “invisibles” who hid in plain sight throughout the war. The Invisibles brings suspense to a remarkable, true story by using a hybrid of documentary and highly accomplished dramatizations.

On Friday, April 23, you will receive a link to screen the film, The Invisibles. Watch it on your own, any time between Friday, April 23 and Monday, April 26. Please screen it before the discussion.

Join us virtually on Monday, April 26, at 5:00 PM for the talkback and Q&A with our guest speaker, Michael Berenbaum. He is an American scholar, professor, rabbi, writer, and filmmaker, who specializes in the study of the Holocaust.

**You will receive the link for the talkback on the morning of April 26.
Contact Frieda Enoch:

Passport J: A Virtual Tour of Jewish India

Wednesday, May 5 | 7:00 PM| $10

Namaste and Shalom! Join Rahel Musleah for an exciting (virtual) journey through Jewish India. India’s Jewish heritage is a rich cultural and historical saga that stretches from biblical times until today.  Explore each of India’s Jewish communities as we visit sites and synagogues in Bombay, Calcutta and Cochin.

RAHEL MUSLEAH is a New York-based award-winning journalist, author, singer, speaker and educator. Rahel is a graduate of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and was born in Calcutta, India, the seventh generation of a Calcutta Jewish family that traces its roots to 17th-century Baghdad. Through her multimedia song, story and slide program of Jewish Calcutta through Music and Memory, she shares her rare and intimate knowledge of this ancient community’s history, customs and melodies with audiences at synagogues, schools, libraries, women’s groups and cultural events. She is looking forward to travel opening up so she can resume taking visitors on Jewish heritage tours of India. In the meantime, she is bringing India to you!

Questions? Contact Marcie Blackman

JTalks: Great American Songbook with Rob Kapilow
Thursday, May 6 I 3:00 PM I $10

Winner of numerous major awards, Rob Kapilow gives a knockout presentation, captivating audiences with his vast musical knowledge, sense of humor, and careful analysis of what makes music such a rich, fulfilling experience. He chronicles the evolution of pop music from blues and jazz to Broadway musicals.
**A special bonus: Rob Kapilow will play the piano, performing one of the most famous musical theatre songs ever written, showing us what makes it tick!

Rob Kapilow is an author, composer, conductor, and music commentator who has traveled the world as a guest speaker. He makes frequent appearances on PBS and is the host of the hit NPR music radio program, What Makes It Great? Kapilow’s most recent book, The Great American Songbook, is the Finalist–Marfield-Prize [National Award for Arts Writing] and is recognized as a national treasure.

You will receive the link on the morning of the program. We look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Questions? Contact Frieda Enoch

Discussion with Author, Dani Shapiro
Tuesday, May 11 I 5:00 PM I $10/$20

From this acclaimed, best-selling author comes a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test. What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology and experience defines us? After taking a DNA test on a whim, Dani Shapiro learns that the father who raised her was not her biological father. This is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been hidden from her for more than fifty years. Shapiro will share with us her engrossing and emotional journey.

Please note: There are a limited number of signed paperback copies of Dani Shapiro’s book, Inheritance available for purchase. The cost of the book is an additional $10, and you will need to select that option when registering.

WORDS OF PRAISE: “Fascinating… With thoughtful candor, [Shapiro] explores the ethical questions surrounding sperm donation, the consequences of DNA testing, and the emotional impact of having an uprooted religious and ethnic identity. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Beautifully written and deeply moving….” —Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review

DANI SHAPIRO is the author of the NY Times bestselling memoir Inheritance, as well as Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels, including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro has published in The New Yorker, Elle, Vogue, O-The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University. In 2016, she launched the hit podcast Family Secrets, which has now been downloaded more than 16 million times, and in April of 2020, she launched a daily podcast called The Way We Live Now.

You will receive the Zoom link the morning of the program. We look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Questions? Contact Frieda Enoch

The Art and Life of Vincent van Gogh

Thursday, May 20 | 3:00pm | $10

Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh had a short artistic career. Dying at 37, he was an artist for only ten intense years. Moving from place to place and job to job until he found his true calling as a painter, he reached his “high, yellow note” in Provence.  In Arles, he painted the changing seasons in the strong light of the Midi. He dreamed of a studio in the South for himself and his fellow artists including Paul Gauguin. Some of his most cherished pictures were painted in the South of France.  He ended his life in Auvers, near Paris, still seeking his personal truth.


Bonita Billman is retired from the Department of Art & Art History at Georgetown University where she was the Visual Resources Specialist.  She is also a retired Instructor in Art History at Georgetown University School for Summer and Continuing Education. She currently lectures for a number of organizations in the mid-Atlantic area, including the Smithsonian, and conducts guided tours for the Smithsonian tours division to Philadelphia area museums.

The Zoom link will be sent out on the morning of the program. Please check your Spam folder if you have not received it by 10am. Please be respectful of the Bender JCC and do not share the link with anyone outside of your household. We look forward to seeing you!

Questions? Please contact Deborah Wilbur