Around Town

around town

Washington Metro Oasis, with support from AARP Maryland, is offering two FREE programs in February.

  1. Stop Losing Money on Your Utility Bill | Monday, February 13 | 1 – 2 pm
  2. Advanced Directives Demystified | Thursday, February 23 | 1 – 2:30 pm

For event details, click here.

Infertility Support Group from the Jewish Fertility Foundation

Greater DC virtual support group for anyone experiencing infertility in DC or MD.
This free support group will be run by a local, licensed (and Jewish!) therapist.

New Class! Can We Solve Puzzling Biblical Texts?Click here to register and learn more. Four Tuesday Nights:  January 3, 10, 17, 247 – 8:30 PM ETInstructor: Gideon AmirLocation: OnlineRegistration: $60Synopsis: The Bible contains many puzzles – confusing and hard-to-untangle texts. For example, right after Moses returned from talking with God at the Burning Bush, God sought to kill him. Suddenly, Zipporah saved Moses’ life by circumcising him on the spot (Exodus 4:24-26). What is the meaning of this text? Is its placement in the narrative important? We will unpack and ask questions about such puzzling texts, many of which you probably were not taught in Hebrew school.  We will also see what traditional and modern interpreters say about these texts and endeavor to interpret them ourselves!

New Class!  Reading the Siddur as a Source of Wisdom: The AmidahClick here to register and learn more. 

Six Wednesday Mornings:  January 4 – February 89:30 – 10:45 AM ETInstructor: Steve KerbelLocation: Online Registration:  $85Synopsis:  The Siddur (Jewish prayer book) is the result of more than 1800 years of evolution and development, and it continues to change in our times. In this new session, we will explore the composition of the Amidah and the sources of its interconnected prayers. The Amidah is the core of every Jewish service, and is therefore referred to as HaTefilla, “The Prayer.” What are the origins of the Amidah and why does it play such a central role in our worship?Additionally, the siddur is so much more than a script for communal prayer. With this in mind, we will also delve into the siddur’s unique place as a guide to our home practices, a handbook for expressing wonder and gratitude for the natural world, as well as explore other applications. Join us for this new look at the words of our prayer.

Jan 11, 2023, 3 – 4:30 PMTorah, The Laws of Nature, and Divine ProvidenceClick here to learn more and register to join us online.

Presented by: Dr. Jeremy England, Principal Research Scientist, School of Physics, Georgia Institute of TechnologySenior Director of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, GlaxoSmithKlineLocation: Online
Cost: Free

Synopsis: Many events described in the Torah are meant to sound impossible, or at least shockingly unlikely, given what we know about the way the world usually seems to work. What does the Torah think about natural laws, and how does a theoretical physicist make sense of this position? Join us for this fascinating exploration of science and Judaism!

Jan 25, 2023, 8 – 9:30 PM Identity, Art, and Migration: Artist Refugees in the Nazi Era and TodayClick here to learn more and register to join us in person or online.

Presented by Dr. Ori SoltesProfessor, Center for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown UniversityLocation: Ohr Kodesh Congregation or OnlineCost: Free
Synopsis:  How do artists, with their particular set of sensibilities respond in their work and life to migration and exile? Human identity is largely informed by specific elements, such as our language, culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, and race. These are aspects of ourselves with which we are born or grow up. What, however, if by necessity or choice, we relocate–leaving behind many of these elements and trying to adopt and adapt to new ones in a new location? How are the emotional and psychological complications that may be part of that process particularly evident for visual artists, who must reconsider how to express their artistic identities in a new world?


Jan 29, 2023, 12:30 – 2 PMRedemption in Zionist Thought and Culture

Click here to learn more and register to join us online. Presented by Dr. Arieh SaposnikAssociate Professor at the Ben-Gurion Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University in the Negev
Location: OnlineCost: Free
Synopsis: Was modern Zionism a continuation of traditional Jewish messianic longing or a rebellion against it? “Exile” and “redemption” are perhaps the twin poles that most defined traditional Jewish thought. “Exile” has also been a central term in much of Zionist thought—the “problem” that Zionism set out to correct. If “negation of exile” was so central to Zionism, is it also the case that the solutions it sought were based on visions of redemption? While language related to redemptive and messianic ideas was common in Zionism, some scholars have argued that this was little more than rhetoric aimed at mobilization of masses. Others have suggested that it is language that ought to be taken seriously. In what ways did the language of redemption function in Zionism? In a movement that was at the forefront of the secularization of Jewish culture, what could notions of “redemption” mean, and how might they be relevant to us today?

Bel Cantanti Opera presents: The Abduction from the Seraglio
Saturday, February 4 & 11 at 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 5 & 12 at 3:00 PM
Bender JCC
Tickets $40
Ticket Information: 240-230-7372 or
Buy tickets online:

The Second Temple Period as a Cultural Bridge: The Apocrypha and Early Jewish IdentityClick here to learn more and register to join us online. Feb 7 and Feb 14, 2023, 2 – 3:30 PM
Presented by Dr. Malka Simkovich
Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies, Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program, Catholic Theological Union

Synopsis: The books of the Apocrypha represent a tiny fraction of the literature that Jews produced over the course of the late Second Temple period (200 BCE–70 CE). Many of the novellas, prayers, poems, and historical documents that Jews produced during this period seek to interpret political and social events that affected Jewish life through the lens of earlier Jewish tradition. The first lecture in this series will explore the history of Second Temple Judaism and home in on Apocryphal texts that seek to decipher the theological meaning of the Hasmonean rebellion against the Syrian Greeks. The second lecture in this series will take a deep dive into Apocryphal documents that engage with ancient Jewish history, and will focus on interpretations of biblical stories that feature women. This series will highlight the myriad ways that Jews during the Second Temple period developed strategies to address an ever-changing world while staying true to their identities.


Links- Connecting through Jewish Study

Discover the timeless wisdom of the Jewish tradition with the dynamic study of personally relevant, meaningful, and life-impacting topics.

Every Wednesday, Starting Nov 30 at 7-8 PM at the  Bender JCC; 6125 Montrose Road Rockville MD 20852

To register visit or contact Rabbi Hillel Shaps at

Capital Camps Virtual Open House.
Attention prospective families. Meet our Camp staff and learn why summer 2023 will be the best summer!

Sports Plus

Offering virtual programming for differently-abled that reaches through the screen to engage participants!  For more information, please go to their website at

Private Prep is offering a great academic skills workshop for middle schoolers having a hard time getting organized or developing their study skills.  JCC Members get $50 off their first invoice with Private Prep


Disability Partnerships

Disability Partnerships is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Rockville, Maryland that seeks to improve the quality of life for persons living with physical disabilities. They created a survey on the health and wellness needs of the physically disabled in our area. Click here to take the survey.