Around Town

From the Law Books to the Battlefield

Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia 8900 Little River Turnpike Fairfax, VA 22031

Featured Speaker: Gadi Ezra

Gadi Ezra holds an unparalleled perspective on war – as both a human rights attorney on the one hand and a soldier in the Israeli Special Forces on the other. Selected by Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential leaders in Israel under the age of 30, Gadi will examine the complexities of applying the laws of warfare in actual combat, illustrating modern challenges using first-hand experiences. His lecture exemplifies the difficult dilemmas soldiers face in modern warfare.

More about our Speaker:

Gadi holds three law degrees and is currently pursuing his PhD. while counseling different entities on Public Law. Previously, Gadi headed the Laws of War desk at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (where he advised diplomats on humanitarian law, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, human rights, and sanctions regimes), and was selected to clerk directly for the State Attorney of Israel, Mr. Moshe Lador, where he participated in cardinal decision-making processes.

Fee: $10 (includes light refreshments) Purchase Tickets

Brian Ganz Plays Chopin at Strathmore

Saturday, February 1: More information and tickets

Special 20% off discounted tickets—use promo code GANZ20.


Date: Monday, February 3 | Time: 7:30 PM | Location: Kol Shalom, Rockville, MD
Pre-Register online here

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews inside the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars, and community leaders decided to fight back. Now, for the first time, their story is told in a feature documentary. Based on the scholarship of Professor Samuel Kassow, written, produced, and directed by Roberta Grossman, with executive producer Nancy Spielberg, Who Will Write Our History? mixes the writings of this Warsaw Ghetto archive with new interviews, rarely-seen footage, and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon – the truth – and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not. 

There is no admission fee for this film screening, however please RSVP online in advance.


Speaker: Samuel D. Kassow, Charles H. Northam Professor of History, Trinity College
Date: Monday, February 17
Time: 7:30 – 9 PM
Location: Kol Shalom, Rockville, MD

Pre-Register online here

During the Holocaust, Jews resisted not only with guns, but also with paper and pen. The Nazis thought that they could wipe out European Jews and then rewrite, and thus control, their history for future generations to read. But even in the face of death, Jews in ghettos and camps buried “time capsules” full of documents so that someday, Jews – not Nazis –could control their history.

Come hear the story of the largest of these secret archives, organized by Emanuel Ringelblum in the Warsaw Ghetto. It was one of the most spectacular examples of spiritual resistance in Nazi occupied Europe. Of the 60 Jews who worked on the archive, only three survived. But the “time capsules” – milk cans and tin boxes– were later discovered under the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto and changed the way we think about the Holocaust.

This program is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested


with Dr. Erica Brown, Associate Professor and Director, Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, George Washington University

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
7:30 PM  9:00 PM
Kemp Mill Synagogue, 11910 Kemp Mill RoadSilver Spring, MD, 20902

Learn more and register online here.

Unstable governance. Material affluence. Royal intrigue. This text-based, interactive presentation will examine key moments of transformation in the Book of Esther, and parallel biblical stories, of courtier identity struggles that build lasting leadership (and may even have relevance today!). Local scholar of national prominence, Dr. Erica Brown, will guide us through this intriguing investigation. 

This program is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested.

Momentum Year-Long Journey

Your year-long journey with Momentum includes 8 days in Israel. Mental Health Professional July 13-20, 2020
For more information contact Sheryl Frank | 301-455-8825 |

Back to the Future: A New Look at Deuteronomy, Trimester #2

Haberman Institute Course
Sundays, 10:30 AM – Noon, Bender JCC

10-week trimester begins December 8;  Prior enrollment is not a pre-requisite 
The book of Deuteronomy is written primarily as three long speeches by Moses just before his death. There are two particularly fascinating aspects of this book. First, Moses retells the story of the Exodus and the tribal wanderings in the desert in his words (with some interesting twists and changes). Then, Deuteronomy embarks on a shift in the theology of the earlier Torah books. As such, this book becomes the foundation of the biblical theology which emerges throughout the rest of the Hebrew Bible.
In this course, we will compare the biblical styles of the first four books of the Torah with Deuteronomy and later texts, as well as how both traditional and modern biblical scholars viewed them.

Instructor: Gideon Amir

Learn more and register here.


Seasons & Reasons: Hanukkah

Wednesday, December 18 | 7:30 – 9 PM | Bender JCC, Rockville
Casting Light Into Darkness: Hanukkah as a Jewish Response to Trying Times, with Rabbi Jack Luxenburg
Hanukkah is a powerful expression of Jewish values at times of difficulty and darkness. This is true whether in terms of the season, critical moments in Jewish history, or during trying times in our personal lives. It is also a popular holiday linked to a complicated narrative rife with unforeseen consequences. Who were the Maccabees and what did they stand for? What did they accomplish? How do Jewish sources respond to them? Why did our sages keep the Book of Maccabees out of the Bible? Learn how the Maccabees, their story, and “The Festival of Lights” can be relevant and meaningful to us today beyond the simple joys of candle lighting, latkes, “gelt” and gift-giving.
This is not a “how to celebrate” class; rather, it frames rituals as responses to the human condition, which we benefit from by revisiting each year. 

Spaces are limited! Learn more and register online here

Join An NIH Study

on Anxiety and how to better understand it –  learn more here

for Healthy Adults to explore how the brain and body work when people feel anxious – learn more here

Summer Fun at Capital Camps

Enjoy a summer of limitless fun, friends, memories, and more at Capital Camps! Don’t miss out on opportunities for children and/or the whole family at Capital Camps this summer. Experience Limitless Adventure: on our brand new static tower, the ropes course, our beautiful lake and aquatics center, sprawling sports fields, impressive arts offerings, and more. Get a taste of camp at Yotair (Rookie Camp) and Family Camp (August 16-18), or during traditional 2-4 week sessions. New camper grants are available! Learn more at 301-468-2267 or on an upcoming tour. Visit for more information or to RSVP for a tour.

Montgomery County Child Welfare

Montgomery County Child Welfare is always seeking new foster parents. Areas of greatest need are families that can take sibling groups and teenagers. Foster parents are people who are committed to the safety and well-being of all children in their community. If your family is interested in becoming a licensed foster home, please visit our website at or contact our foster parent recruiters at 240-777-1664 or

MentorPrize seeks Mentors to serve the community

MentorPrize recruits mentors for various non-profit organizations in the Washington region that serve a broad range of constituencies — from at-risk-youth to immigrants struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It is aggressively working to identify quality mentors for its partners, which is why it is reaching out to the Bender JCC community.

Research confirms that mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on mentees in a variety of personal, academic and professionals situations. The benefits extend to the mentors as well — improving their morale, communication skills, and emotional well-being.  But finding a meaningful mentoring opportunity can be daunting given the region’s dizzying array of programs. MentorPrize has taken the time to assess dozens of these programs. It is well-positioned to match you with a program that suits your interests and takes into account your time constraints and preferred location.

Go to for more information or fill out a MentorPrize application.  Are you ready to make a difference?

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.

IAC Eitanim

Innovate. Create. Lead. If you are a high school student and are interested in developing your leadership and professional skills while working with leading experts on tangible projects, you are IAC Eitanim! Learn from mentors in marketing, television news, and CEOs. Apply today by visiting!

For more information, contact:

Experiential Education & Jewish Cultural Arts Master’s Program

at George Washington University is Currently Accepting Applications!

This is the only master’s program of its kind in the United States. We offer an intensive 13-month, cross-disciplinary curriculum combining coursework in Jewish cultural arts, experiential education and museum education. Graduates will be prepared for careers in Jewish museums and arts institutions, JCCs, college campus organizations, summer camps, and other innovative educational and cultural settings.

Qualified applicants receive up to 85% tuition support, thanks to the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and George Washington University.

Partnering theory with practice, and the classroom with fieldwork, the EE/JCA curriculum enables students to become competent, creative, and reflective professionals. The program:

  • Inspires students to develop exciting and relevant programming for a range of audiences
  • Offers a year-long series of internships at cultural arts and educational institutions
  • Develops professional skills including budgeting, grant writing, workplace collaboration, and effective communication

*Applications need to be submitted by February 1 for funding consideration.

For more information visit:

Jews United for Justice, a nonprofit in DC, is currently recruiting for an Executive Assistant. Would you be able to share this job opening with members of your community? Thank you!