Coming of Age in Maryland

CoA Programs (Coming of Age in Maryland) offers monthly activities, excursions, and special events to members aged 60 and over. Activities include theatre and museum trips, lectures, concerts, and annual signature events such as the health and wellness expo and a New York City overnight trip.Opportunities abound for socializing, learning and entertainment. We hope you’ll join us to make friends and enjoy new experiences, including:

  • Free CoA membership
  • Monthly Cinema J Film Screenings at both the JCC and Leisure World
  • “Food ‘n’ Fun” meals and games at local restaurants
  • Social work support from our partner, JSSA
  • Financial assistance for Bender JCCGW memberships for qualifying individuals
  • Transportation provided for excursions

Programs for Active Adults Around Town January & February

For more information, contact Frieda Enoch at 301.348.3809 or fenoch@benderjccgw.org.Also visit our Arts & Culture section for author discussions, gallery exhibits, and concerts sponsored by the Bender JCC.

Upcoming Coming of Age sponsored events

J Talks: A Pickle Problem- American Jewish Nostalgia and the Deli Revival Thursday, January 26th - 2:00 PM
J Talks: Becoming Jewish- Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn Wednesday, February 1st - 2:00 PM
J Talks: A Tribute To Marvin Hamlisch Thursday, February 9th - 2:00 PM
Cinema J @ Home: The Levys of Monticello Monday, February 20th - 2:00 PM
CoA Excursion: Kinky Boots at The Olney Theater Wednesday, March 1st - 2:00 PM
Food N’ Fun: Purim Party Monday, March 6th - 12:00 PM
Cinema J @ Leisure World: Women of Valor Thursday, March 16th - 1:30 PM
CoA Excursion: 2-Day Fun & Fabulous Overnight Trip to NYC! Wednesday, March 22nd -
Cinema J Matinee: Persona Non Grata Sunday, April 16th - 2:00 PM
Cinema J: Farewell Mr. Haffmann Sunday, April 16th - 7:00 PM
Cinema J Matinee @ Leisure World: Farewell Mr. Haffmann Thursday, April 20th - 1:30 PM
Cinema J: Schachten Thursday, April 20th -

J Talks: A Pickle Problem- American Jewish Nostalgia and the Deli RevivalThursday, January 26 | 2:00 PM | $10 | Via Zoom | $15 add-on Deli BoxIn recent years, there has been a nostalgic resurgence of interest in the Jewish deli menu. As Prof. Rachel B. Gross explores in her new book, Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice, restaurateurs have deliberately made American Jewish food fit for the twenty-first century, emphasizing sustainability, local produce, and a nostalgic longing for family and communal histories. By selling and consuming a revitalized deli cuisine, American Jews express their longing for authentic Jewish pasts, build community in the present, and pass on their values to future generations. Engaging in the deli revival provides an alternative, under-appreciated way of practicing American Jewish religion.Bonus! Order a Kosher, To-Go Deli Box to enjoy during the lecture. Pickup at either the Bender JCC or Leisure World Clubhouse II. $15Rachel B. Gross is Associate Professor and John and Marcia Goldman Chair in American Jewish Studies in the Department of Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University. She is a religious studies scholar who studies twentieth- and twenty-first-century American Jews. Her book, Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice, is a 2021 National Jewish Book Award finalist in American Jewish Studies and received an Honorable Mention for the 2021 Saul Viener Book Prize, given by the American Jewish Historical Society. She is currently working on a religious biography of the twentieth-century immigration writer Mary Antin.Use code GROSS30 for 30% off of Beyond the Synagogue directly from NYU Press: https://nyupress.org/9781479803385/beyond-the-synagogue/Questions? Please contact CoA at 301-348-3832What is CoA? A Bender JCC adult program, welcoming all, engaging the community, offering trips, lectures, films, concerts, and more…

J Talks: Becoming Jewish- Warhol’s Liz and MarilynWednesday, February 1 | 2:00 PM | $10 | Via ZoomThe public personas of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe were constructed, but when they converted to Judaism, the change for both women was personal and profound. Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn draws parallels between the actresses’ identities as Jewish women and Warhol’s exploration of their celebrity through his image-making.“Marilyn was a myth,” wrote the journalist Max Lerner in 1962. “And Liz is a legend.” Andy Warhol’s iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor reflect this sentiment. Elizabeth and Marilyn enthralled him: they were beauty, success, and fame personified.In the 1960s, the cultural power of these two screen goddesses was immeasurable. Fans, including Andy, fixated on their lives. He was, as always, drawn to the dark side of celebrity, interested not only in their screen triumphs, but also their troubled marriages, illness, and the rumors that filled the gossip magazines. As he once said, “Everybody needs a fantasy.”While their families and love affairs were widely reported on, Monroe and Taylor managed to preserve personal lives separate from their public personas. Thus, the conversion of both women to Judaism remained private. Marilyn chose to become Jewish upon her marriage in 1956 to the playwright Arthur Miller, himself a Jew. She took the decision seriously, studying Judaic texts with the Miller family’s rabbi, Robert. E. Goldburg. Liz developed a spiritual and emotional connection to Judaism after the 1958 death in a plane crash of her producer husband, Mike Todd (born Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen). She converted the following year, and was a passionate supporter of Israel and Jewish philanthropies throughout her life.Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn explores Andy Warhol’s fascination with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, and the tabloid world they embodied. His epochal paintings of the actresses in the 1960s coincided with the end of the Golden Age of Hollywood and an upsurge in consumer culture. Jewish consciousness and openly Jewish celebrity were also on the rise. The fact that Hollywood’s blonde bombshell and violet-eyed siren were both converted Jews was significant: it signaled a growing popular acceptance of Jewish public figures. Warhol’s portraits, both photographically familiar and disturbingly abstracted, explore the complex, manufactured nature of identity. His images cemented their status as the most glamorous women of their era, the twentieth century’s great myth and legend.Join us for this virtual lecture led by the Jewish Museum of New York.Questions? Please contact CoA at 301-348-3832What is CoA? A Bender JCC adult program, welcoming all, engaging the community, offering trips, lectures, films, concerts, and more…

VIRTUAL J Talks: A Tribute to Marvin HamlischThursday, February 9 | 2:00 PM | $10Marvin Hamlisch was an award-winning writer, conductor and composer, who believed in the power of music to bring people together. Well-known on Broadway, he wrote the music for his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, which received the Pulitzer Prize, as well as the music for They’re Playing Our Song and The Goodbye Girl.Through stories and songs, our guest singer, Gilda Solve, will pay tribute to this beloved and talented man. Rediscover some of Hamlisch’s best-known works including tunes like “I Can Do That” and “What I Did for Love”.Gilda has performed in numerous shows in the US and Europe, including; A Chorus Line, Bye Bye Birdie, Pippin, Evita, and more. Since 1990, she has been living in France and, for the last 30-years, has been a featured singer. With an engaging stage presence and heartfelt warmth, Gilda brings a diverse array of songs & stories to life!Join us for this delightful ZOOM program and enjoy the live music of a legend!Questions? Please contact Frieda Enoch:fenoch@benderjccgw.org OR call 301-348-3832

What is CoA? A Bender JCC adult program, welcoming all, engaging the community, offering trips, lectures, films, concerts, and more…

Cinema J @ Home: The Levys of MonticelloWeekend of February 17-19 | Movie available to view in the comfort of your home – Link to be providedMonday, February 20 | 2:00 PM | Film group discussion on Zoom- link to be provided | $10English | Documentary | USA, 2021 | 1h 11m

When Thomas Jefferson died in 1826, he left behind a mountain of personal debt, which forced his heirs to sell his beloved Monticello home and all of its possessions. The Levys of Monticello is a documentary film that tells the little-known story of the Levy family, which owned and carefully preserved Monticello for nearly a century – far longer than Jefferson or his descendants. The remarkable story of the Levy family also intersects with the rise of antisemitism that runs throughout the course of American history.We are thrilled to have two esteemed speakers join us for a talkback on ZOOM, on February 20, at 2:00 PM. Marc Leepson is a journalist, historian, and the author of nine books, including “Saving Monticello.” Leepson has written for many newspapers and magazines, including Smithsonian, Civil War Times, the Washington Post, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and USA Today.

Mr. Leepson will be joined by the film’s director and producer, Steven Pressman. Mr. Pressman is an American documentary filmmaker, journalist, and author. In addition to “The Levys of Monticello,” Pressman was also the director-producer of the HBO documentary film ’50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus,’ for which he received an Emmy nomination in 2013 for Outstanding Historical Programming.Watch the film on your own over the weekend, and then join us on February 20 for an informative and engaging conversation!Questions? Contact Coming of Age staff at 301-348-3832

CoA Excursion: Kinky Boots at The Olney TheaterHosted by Coming of Age Adult ProgramsWednesday, March 1, 2023 | 2:00PM Matinee | $60 | Add-On: $20 for TransportationThe uplifting Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning hit by superstar Cyndi Lauper lands on the Olney Theatre Mainstage in spike heels and ready to strut.Charlie Price is desperately trying to save his family’s shoe factory, when an encounter with Lola, a London drag queen in need of a quick repair for her boot, unites them in a new business venture. In order for their plan to work, the macho culture of Charlie’s economically depressed industrial hometown is going to have to co-exist with the gender-fluid exuberance of Lola and her queens. Hilarious and moving, Kinky Boots is an optimistic, 21st Century tale of finding community and family in unlikely circumstances.*Masks are required for this performance at the Olney Theater***Please note that transportation is not provided for this excursion unless you specifically selected the transportation add on. We look forward to seeing you at the Olney Theater!**QUESTIONS? Please contact Frieda Enoch or Lindsay Frankelfenoch@benderjccgw.org or 301-348-3832What is CoA? A Bender JCC adult program, welcoming all, engaging the community, offering trips, lectures, films, concerts, and more…

Food N’ Fun: Purim Party

Monday, March 6th
12:00 PM

Food N’ Fun: Purim Party
Monday, March 6 | 12:00 PM | $36 | Bender JCC, 6125 Montrose Rd. Rockville, MD

Come together with joy, celebrating the Purim holiday with CoA!

Includes:

•Kosher Middle Eastern cuisine (Beef & Chicken Kebabs, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Hummus with Chickpea Ragu, Hamantashen and more)
•Hamantashen and other sweets
•Live Music with members of the Fabrangen Fiddlers
•Dancing
•Costumes optional but encouraged!
•$36 Lunch & Concert
•$18 for concert only

PURCHASE TICKETS

For more information, please contact Lindsay Frankel at lfrankel@benderjccgw.org or 301.348.3832.

Cinema J @ Leisure World: Women of ValorThursday, March 16 | 1:30 PM | $10Hebrew with English Subtitles | Documentary | Israel, 2021 | 1h 17mScreening Location: Leisure World Clubhouse II, 3300 N. Leisure World Blvd. Silver Spring, MD 20906A social activist leads a revolution to allow ultra-Orthodox women to enter Israeli politics, in this extraordinary portrait of courage and gender equality.In the Haredi community, a woman’s obligation is to marry and bear children and serve as the primary breadwinner while her husband studies religious texts. Haredi political parties in Israel forbid women to seek public office. Fed up with the status quo, Esty Shushan is fighting to change that. She co-founds a nonprofit calling for the representation of Orthodox women in the Knesset, taking their case to the UN women’s rights committee and the Israeli Supreme Court. To prepare the next generation for leadership roles, her Nivcharot organization establishes a program to mentor young women and get the first female name on the ballot. But change comes with a cost, as Esty’s activism brings threats, suspicion, and online harassment. Ostracized as a “fake Haredi,” she must reconcile deep-rooted frustration over ultra-Orthodox life with her efforts to bring the silent voices of women to the center of Israeli discourse.Director Anna Somershaf takes to the streets alongside this modern-day suffragette movement, affecting the lives of some 600,000 Haredi women, a beacon of equal rights worldwide.Questions? Contact Coming of Age staff at 301-348-3832

CoA Excursion: 2-Day Fun & Fabulous Overnight Trip to NYC!Hosted by Coming of Age Adult ProgramsWednesday – Thursday | March 22-23, 2023 | $895/pp Double Occupancy; Add-On: $100 for Single Occupancy Room8:00 AM Pick-Up: Bender JCC8:30 AM Pick-Up: Leisure WorldHighlights include:• Broadway’s Funny Girl (Orchestra Seats)**Starring Lea Michelle and Tovah Feldshuh**• Museum of Broadway- Just Opened!• Overnight stay: M Social Hotel (Mid-Manhattan)• The NY Historical Society- Docent Led tour of Special Exhibit- “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli• All Meals Included (Boxed Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, & Snacks)COST: $895/pp Double Occupancy; Add-On: $100 for Single Occupancy RoomREGISTRATION OPENS: January 4, 2023Limited Space Available! Don’t wait!**Please note that the itinerary is subject to change*****BOTH RESTAURANTS WILL REQUIRE WALKING TO THE 2ND LEVEL, PLEASE NOTE NO ELEVATORS ARE AVAILABLE***QUESTIONS? Please contact Frieda Enoch or Lindsay Frankelfenoch@benderjccgw.org or 301-348-3832

Cinema J Matinee: Persona Non Grata

Sunday, April 16th
2:00 PM

Free RSVP

Cinema J Matinee: Persona Non GrataSunday, April 16 | 2:00 PM | FREEJapanese with English subtitles | Biographical Drama | Japan, 2015 | 2h 19mScreening Location: Bender JCC – Kreeger AuditoriumThe story of a Japanese diplomat sometimes called the Schindler of Japan, and his life leading up to and after his decision to issue over 2,000 visas to Jewish refugees in Kaunas, Lithuania resulting in saving the lives of over 6,000 people. This is the story of a man who believed in doing all he could do for the benefit of his beloved Japan, including trying to keep her from becoming embroiled in a worldwide conflict he saw as inevitable. Along the way, he came face to face with the plight of the European Jews as they tried to escape the onslaught of the Nazi’s and the rapidly advancing German army. Caught between the unbending policies of his country now bound by a treaty with Nazi Germany and his awakening moral responsibilities, we follow his life from his early days in Manchuria to his eventual posting in Lithuania and his appointment with destiny which would forever brand him a hero.Questions? Contact Frieda or Lindsay at 301-348-3832

Cinema J: Farewell Mr. HaffmannSunday, April 16 | 7:00 PM | $12French with English subtitles | Drama | France, 2022 | 1h 55mScreening Location: Bender JCC – Kreeger AuditoriumThe legendary Daniel Auteuil gives one of his most superlative screen performances in the gripping new historical drama from writer/director Fred Cavayé, based on Jean-Philippe Daguerre’s celebrated, multi Molière Award-winning play. Occupied Paris, 1941: all members of the Jewish community are instructed to come forward and identify themselves to authorities. Dedicated jeweler Joseph Haffmann (Auteuil), fearing the worst, arranges for his family to flee the city and offers his employee François Mercier (Gilles Lellouche) the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. But his own attempts to escape are thwarted, and Haffmann is forced to seek his assistant’s protection. It’s a risky proposition for both men, and one that Mercier’s wife Blanche (a wonderful Sara Giraudeau) is skeptical of. As the couple move into the Haffmann home, the agreement turns into a Faustian bargain, one that will forever change the fate of all…Questions? Contact Frieda or Lindsay at 301-348-3832

Cinema J Matinee @ Leisure World: Farewell Mr. HaffmannThursday, April 20 | 1:30 PM | $10French with English subtitles | Drama | France, 2022 | 1h 55mScreening Location: Leisure World Clubhouse II, 3300 N. Leisure World Blvd. Silver Spring, MD 20906The legendary Daniel Auteuil gives one of his most superlative screen performances in the gripping new historical drama from writer/director Fred Cavayé, based on Jean-Philippe Daguerre’s celebrated, multi Molière Award-winning play. Occupied Paris, 1941: all members of the Jewish community are instructed to come forward and identify themselves to authorities. Dedicated jeweler Joseph Haffmann (Auteuil), fearing the worst, arranges for his family to flee the city and offers his employee François Mercier (Gilles Lellouche) the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. But his own attempts to escape are thwarted, and Haffmann is forced to seek his assistant’s protection. It’s a risky proposition for both men, and one that Mercier’s wife Blanche (a wonderful Sara Giraudeau) is skeptical of. As the couple moves into the Haffmann home, the agreement turns into a Faustian bargain, one that will forever change the fate of all…Questions? Contact Frieda or Lindsay at 301-348-3832

Cinema J: Schachten

Thursday, April 20th

Purchase Tickets

Cinema J: SchachtenThursday, April 20 | 7:00 PM | $12German with English subtitles | Drama | Austria, 2022 | 1h 50mScreening Location: Bender JCC – Kreeger AuditoriumAs a child, Victor witnessed the merciless killings of Jews by Nazi cavalry in a snowy rural field. His mother and little sister were murdered at the Mauthausen concentration camp. He never forgot. Now, two decades later, Victor is a successful businessman in Vienna, but he still carries that burning resentment and desire for justice within him. He seeks to find retribution by bringing legal actions against Kurt Gogl, the Mauthausen commandant. Victor seeks the help of Simon Wiesenthal, the renowned “Nazi hunter” who devoted his life to methodically and relentlessly seeking out former Nazi leaders who had managed to evade justice for their war crimes by burying themselves in the woodwork of society. They come to trial, but Gogl denies everything and is acquitted by a justice system riddled with former Nazis as prosecutors, judges, and jurors who openly laugh at the accusations. Victor loses faith in the justice system and takes matters into his own hands, leading to a shocking conclusion. Director Thomas Roth warns, “Much of this story radiates into our present society and how quickly the cycle of hatred can re-emerge in all of us.”

Questions? Contact Frieda or Lindsay at 301-348-3832