J Play

Family Engagement with the Bender JCC & PJ Library

What is J Play?

The Bender JCC of Greater Washington, along with PJ Library, welcomes Montgomery County families to join us for fun-filled Jewish experiences both inside and outside the walls of the Bender JCC.  Through play dates, community events, and holiday celebrations we aim to connect families and build friendships in their geographic area (Play dates occur throughout MoCo, not just Rockville).

The Bender JCC embraces and welcomes the diversity of our community and encourages everyone to seek meaning and fulfillment by participating in our rich programming inspired by our Jewish heritage.  We open our doors to everyone, including people of all backgrounds, religions, abilities and sexual orientations, and interfaith couples and families. Inclusion permeates our Center.

What else can families with young children do at the Bender JCC?

From our renowned preschool and camp programs to our resource-packed parenting center, children and families thrive at the Bender JCC. The Bender JCC provides activities, classes and educational opportunities for the whole family.  Celebrate Jewish holidays, cultivate essential developmental skills, and create play-filled memories and much more.  The Bender JCC also offers a fantastic fitness experience for your young ones. Children can make a splash in our indoor and outdoor pools, run around in our children’s play gyms, and take entry-level sports, arts, dance, and music courses.

J Play & Family Engagement Programs


Jewish Bedtime Stories & Songs

PJ Library

Parents of small children know that stories are for more than just bedtime. The wonderful habit of ending your child’s busy day by reading together inspired this popular national program funded in part through the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Greater Washington families raising Jewish children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years old. Subscriptions (one per family) are offered on a first-come, first served basis. Invite friends, family, and neighbors to join in as well!

High-quality, expertly-selected, and kid tested.

Join a growing global community of more than 200,000 PJ Library families throughout North America and Israel and sign up today! Enroll here!

Visit PJ Library of Greater Washington to learn more about our local PJ Library Community.

Keshet Sfarim

Keshet Sfarim is an IAC enrichment program for families with children ages 2-8. To cultivate a connection to Judaism, this program brings together Hebrew language learning with Israeli culture through hand-picked children’s books. During the school year, families will receive books carefully selected by educators, and delivered to their homes once a month.

.8-2 למשפחות עם ילדים בגילאים  IAC קשת היא תכנית העשרה מבית
דרך טיפוח הקשר ליהדות
.התכנית מפגישה בין למידת השפה העברית לתרבות הישראלית באמצעות ספרי ילדים שנכתבו על ידי מיטב הסופרים הישראלים
במהלך השנה ישלחו ישירות לבית אחת לחודש ספרי ילדים מטובי הסופרים אשר נבחרו בקפידה על ידי אנשי חינוך

Visit Keshet Sfarim to learn how to sign up.

Please contact Jennifer Radosh, our Family Program Coordinator, at jradosh@benderjccgw.org or 301-348-3848 with any questions, suggestions, or just to help out!




Family Fun Day Tuesday, December 25th - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Fun in the Forest – Tu B’Shevat Tuesday, January 15th - 10:00 - 11:00 AM
MLK Jr. Day of Service Monday, January 21st - 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Storytime Wednesday, January 23rd - 10 - 11 a.m.
Challah Tots Thursday, January 31st - 10 - 11 AM

Family Fun Day

Tuesday, December 25th
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Come spend the day at the J!

Activity Schedule

Family Swim | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

  • Make a splash with your family in Bender JCC’s indoor pool. The slow lane (1/3 of the pool) will be dedicated to open swim.
    Where: Indoor pool on the lower level

Family Gym | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

  • Family Gym features colorful climbing, sliding and rolling toys for parent or guardian-accompanied children 18 months to 7 years old.
    Where: George Wasserman Gymnasium

Little Tot Play | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

  • The Bender-Dosik Parenting Center is a fantastic space for the smallest tots (3 and under) to climb and explore and play with age-appropriate toys.
    Where: Bender-Dosik Parenting Center (room 140)

Stories & More | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Join Gal Naor, Shlicha to the Bender JCC, for Storytime, and Arts & Crafts. This activity will be in both Hebrew and English.
    Where: Goldman Art Gallery


  • Come be entertained at the Kreeger Auditorium!  Seats are available on a first come first serve basis
    • 10:00 AM | Curious George (Run time: 30 minutes)
    • 10:45 AM | Aladdin (Run time: 91 minutes)

Lunch | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

  • Tovavi Falafel will be selling delicious lunches while supplies last!
    Where: Social Hall

Quiet Room | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Take a Break Room)

  • Need a quiet space to take a break? This room will have no music and just have crayons and paper to do some coloring. We ask people to refrain from using digital devices while here.
When you register in advance, you have a chance to win:
  • Free 1-month membership (new members only)
  • 3 personal training sessions (members only)
  • 1 free private swim lesson

Children under the age of 12 MUST be under adult supervision at the Bender JCC
*Please leave all strollers in the first hallway to the left (Art Studio A)

Contact Jennifer Radosh with questions at jradosh@benderjccgw.org or 301-348-3848.








Fun in the Forest – Tu B’Shevat

Tuesday, January 15th
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Purchase Tickets

Location: Curiosity Corner inside Meadowside Nature Center
5100 Meadowside Lane
Derwood, MD 20855

Let’s meet at the Curiosity Corner inside the Meadowside Nature Center for a fun-filled morning celebrating Tu B’Shevat (New Year for Trees). Enjoy crafts, PJ Library® story time, songs, and exploration around the center.

At the center, you can listen to songbirds sing overhead, crawl through a cave, feel the fur of woodland animals and enjoy the fragrances of local plants!

To stay warm, Meadowside is offering free coffee and tea! There will also be a specialist to speak to the kiddos about the wonders of nature.

There is limited space so please register yourself and your child(ren) at least 3 days in advance.

For more information contact Jennifer Radosh at 301-348-3848 or jradosh@benderjccgw.org.

MLK Jr. Day of Service

Monday, January 21st
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Please join us for this event of service!

Spend your Day of Service at the J! Start the day at our Kids Mega Challah Bake service project with Chabad of Potomac, where we will make 2 challahs per person, one to keep and one to give to Interfaith Works ($15 fee). Baking will be followed by a dance performance and story reading inspired by the life of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Kreeger Theater (Free).

Challah Bake
  • 10:00 – 11:30 AM

Register for the Challah Bake

Dance Performance
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM

RSVP for the Dance Performance

For more information, please contact Lauren Dworkin at: 301-348-3837 or email ldworkin@benderjccgw.org

Barnes & Noble Storytime

Wednesday, January 23rd
10 - 11 a.m.


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Barnes & Noble, 12089 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

Admission is free.

Join the Bender JCC and PJ Library at Barnes & Noble for Storytime, Snacks, and Arts & Crafts.

Please register yourself and your child(ren) in advance.

  • January 23 | 10 – 11 AM
  • February 20 | 10 – 11 AM

For more information contact Jennifer Radosh at 301.348.3848 or jradosh@benderjccgw.org

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Challah Tots

Thursday, January 31st
10 - 11 AM


Join the Bender JCC for preschool-friendly challah making, activities and a PJ Library story time in preparation for Shabbat. Whole Foods will provide the dough, you bring your creativity to make the perfect challah to take home and bake for Shabbat!

We request you download Whole Foods Market’s App in order to continue enjoying this free program.

Whole Foods Market 11355 Woodglen Dr, Rockville, MD 20852: (Partnered with PJ Library)

  • January 31 | 10 – 11 AM
  • February 28 | 4 – 5 PM
  • March 28 | 10 – 11 AM
  • April 25 | 4 – 5 PM
  • May 30 | 10 – 11 AM

Please register all adults and children attending the event. Please do not bring outside food or beverage to this programFor more information, please e-mail Jennifer Radosh.