Family Engagement with the Bender JCC & PJ Library
With Covid health restrictions limiting our in-person abilities, all family engagement programs including Bender-Dosik Parenting Center classes will be linked on this Jplay page.
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.
Bond with your little ones in a nurturing and hands-on environment and connect with new families at the Bender-Dosik Parenting Center!
Our parenting center provides activities, classes, and educational opportunities for the whole family. Celebrate Jewish holidays, cultivate essential developmental skills, create play-filled memories, and much more in a warm, welcoming community.
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.
Jewish Bedtime Stories & Songs
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!
Join a growing global community of more than 200,000 PJ Library families throughout North America and Israel and sign up today!
Visit PJ Library of Greater Washington to learn more about our local PJ Library Community.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-348-3848 with any questions, suggestions, or just to help out!
Join us for free weekly events like Mini-movers, Storytime and Shabbat Playdate!
UPCOMING J Play EVENTS
|Delivering Good||Monday, March 8th - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM|
|VIRTUAL Passover Story Time||Thursday, March 18th - 4:30 PM|
|IN PERSON Passover Party||Sunday, March 21st - 10:00 AM|
|VIRTUAL Make Room for Matzah||Sunday, March 21st - 10:00 AM|
|VIRTUAL Passover Grandfriend Program||Tuesday, March 23rd - 4:00 PM|
|Bim Bom Bag (Passover): Explore Jewish Themes & Holidays with the Bender JCC!||Wednesday, March 24th - 4:30 PM|
|VIRTUAL Passover Goosechase||Friday, March 26th -|
|Small Things Matter Kokua Foods Program||Wednesday, March 31st - 10 AM - 1 PM|
|IN PERSON Mini Drum Circle, Music & More! (2- to 5-year-olds) Lead by Bach to Rock||Tuesday, April 6th - 4:15 PM|
|VIRTUAL Estate Planning for Expecting Families and Families with Young Children||Tuesday, April 20th - 8:00 PM|
Monday, March 8th
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
“Food is the fastest way to reveal our sense of community.” Jose Andres
Delivering Good is a partnership between the Bender JCC, the Montgomery County Food Council, and Montgomery County School System designed to deliver food packages directly to county residents who are unable to travel to other distribution sites.
Volunteers will sign up to help organize produce and shelf-stable items to be delivered to residents’ homes. This is a fabulous opportunity for families, teens needing SSL hours, and anyone looking for ongoing Tikkun Olam(Healing the World).
This project will take place inside the JCC and will abide by all County Covid Safety guidelines. Due to space restrictions, if you plan to attend as a family, each family member must be registered separately.
- Monday, March 8 | 12:00-2:00 | Food Prep
- Tuesday, March 9 | 4:00-6:00 | Food Packing
- Monday, March 22 | 12:00-2:00 | Food Prep
- Tuesday, March 23 | 4:00-6:00 | Food Packing
- Monday, April 5 | 12:00-2:00 | Food Prep
- Tuesday, April 6 | 4:00-6:00 | Food Packing
- Monday, April 19 | 12:00-2:00 | Food Prep
- Tuesday, April 20 | 4:00-6:00 | Food Packing
VIRTUAL Passover Story Time with Guest Author
Thursday, March 18 | 4:30 PM
Where: You will receive a zoom after you register
Join us for a reading and discussion of the new book THE PASSOVER GUEST by Susan Kusel. Susan and Sean, the illustrator will be joining us for this fun event. (Best for Kids 3 – 8 years old)
THE PASSOVER GUEST is a fresh retelling of a classic I. L. Peretz story. It’s the spring of 1933 in Washington, D.C., and the Great Depression is hitting young Muriel’s family hard. Muriel assumes her family is too poor to hold a Passover Seder this year, but an act of kindness and a mysterious magician change everything. Susan and Sean, who are both from the D.C. area, did a tremendous amount of research to accurately capture Washington, D.C. in the 1930s.
Presented by the Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia’s Growing Jewish Families, Bender JCC and the Edlavitch EDCJCC and funded by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and The United Jewish Endowment Fund.
IN PERSON Passover Party
Sunday March 21 | 10:00 AM
Cost: $15 per gift bag
Where: Front Lawn at the JCC
Add a little color to your Passover Party!! Join us for colorful crafts, story time, a snack, and a goodie bag.
Social distancing, limited class size, no sharing of equipment, along with other safety guidelines will be followed during class. All kids over 2 and caregivers are required to wear a mask. Caregivers will be required to stay for the entirety of the program.
If you have any questions, contact Lauren Dworkin at email@example.com.
VIRTUAL Make Room for Matzah
Sunday, March 21 | 10:00 AM
Kits need to be purchase by March 14th.
Cost: $10/kit (recommend one kit per child, family max cost is $20), includes the program
$5 per family, just for the program (no kit)
Join us for virtual Passover workshop with PJ Library author and illustrator Alan Silberberg! He will premiere his hilarious new book, Meet the Matzah, and teach a doodling class to explore the foods and symbolism of Passover. Order a kit to have more fun Passover projects at home. Most appreciated by ages 4-7, though all are welcome.
Kit pick-up information:
Bender JCC on Thursday, March 18, 12:15 – 12:45 PM
Please email Lindsay Kagin at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
Co-sponsored by PJ Library Greater Washington, Love and Religion – An Interfaith Workshop for Jews and their Partners, Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital, Capital Jewish Museum, Bender JCC, Pozez JCC’s Growing Jewish Families, and Jews United for Justice.
VIRTUAL Passover Grandfriend Program
Tuesday, March 23 | 4:00 PM
Register by March 15 to receive art materials in the mail.
Join us for a multi-generational event for PJ kids and their “grandfriends” to gather for Passover to share stories, create flowers, and celebrate togetherness.
If logging in from a separate home than your grandchild or your child’s grandparent, please register each person separately.
This program is a collaboration of PJ Library, the Bender JCC, Edlavitch DCJCC, HoneymoonIsrael, Pozez JCC’s Growing Jewish Families, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Wednesday, March 24th
Bim Bom Bag (Passover): Explore Jewish Themes & Holidays with the Bender JCC!
Cost: $15 (Please purchase 1 ticket per child)
- Sign up deadline: Wednesday, March 17
- Receive your bag by: Monday, March 22
- Zoom accompaniment program: Thursday, March 24, 4:30 PM
The Bender JCC presents a bagtastic and exciting opportunity to learn about Jewish customs and holidays through arts & crafts, stories, and discussions. When you sign up, we will hand-deliver* Jewish themed arts & crafts activities to your door to work on independently with your kid(s). A few days later we will get together over zoom and share our creative crafts, read a story, and learn cool facts about the Jewish topic. This program is perfect for children 3+ years old.
Please contact Jennifer Radosh if you have any questions.
*Contactless deliveries are for Montgomery County zip codes only, if we cannot access your home from the outdoors, please email Jennifer Radosh at email@example.com and we will make arrangements.
VIRTUAL Passover Goosechase
March 26th to April 5th
Deadline for registration: March 22nd
Have fun for Passover! We’ve created a fun community-wide virtual scavenger hunt! If you choose to accept this challenge, you will be given a list of missions (things you may find at home, in your neighborhood, in your community, or online) to complete using the free online app called Goose Chase. Our Chase will run from March 26th to April 5th. Sign up by March 22nd to reserve your spot!
During a Goose Chase scavenger hunt, you will be asked to complete missions that range from taking pictures to answering questions. All ages can participate in the hunt and the best way to win is through teamwork. The hunt is creative, interactive, and fun. Think of it as a crazy game show and YOU are the contestant! The hunt will take you approximately 2 hours but you don’t have to do it all in one day. Leading up to the event, you will receive an email with a link to the app and instructions on playing.
Co-hosted by the Bender JCCGW, Edlavitch DCJCC, Pozez JCC of Northern VA, PJ Library, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Small Things Matter Kokua Foods Program
In-Person activity: $15 per family
At Home/Dropoff: FREE
Spend your Day of Service with the Bender JCC (or at home!)! Help us support Small Things Matter Kokua Foods Program to address food insecurity in our community.
IN PERSON: We will gather in small shifts outside to bag rice and beans for families in need. Your family ticket includes all the supplies needed. The only thing you need to do is bring your family! Select a 30-minute shift between 10 AM and 1 PM at the Bender JCC on March 31. (Inclement weather options will be provided if necessary)
This event will be held outside and socially distanced in accordance with Montgomery County guidelines. Children over 2 will be required to wear masks.
AT HOME/DROP OFF: We are looking for volunteers to make bags of rice and beans at home (you purchase the ingredients yourself) and drop them off at the JCC between 10 AM-1 PM. Please register so we know how many folks to expect. Drop off information will be sent to you prior to February 15.
AT HOME Instructions:
- Bag 4 cups of rice or beans using a measuring cup and quart size plastic zip lock bag
- Write an inspirational quote on an index card (one quote per card)
- Attach quote to the bags with tape on the top and bottom of the card
- Place bags in a grocery bag for drop off
- If making more than 5 bags, please do both rice and beans bags (but do not mix together in the same bag.) We want to make sure they get both rice and beans with the donation.
Tuesday, April 6th
IN PERSON Mini Drum Circle, Music & More! (2- to 5-year-olds)
Lead by Bach to Rock
Tuesdays April 6 – 27 | 4:15 – 4:45 PM
Where: Front Lawn at the JCC
Whether they’re a budding rock-star or an aspiring classical soloist, Rock City is the place to find real music education for your preschooler.
Through dynamic musical and movement-based activities, exposure to live instruments and musically inspired story-time, budding young musicians gradually develop the skills needed to read music, play simple rhythms and develop fine motor control – skills that are essential for future success in playing an instrument.
Classes focus on foundational musical concepts such as fast and slow, sound and silence, high and low and even singing major scales and exciting drum circles!
Bach to Rock will provide each student with their own musical instrument (no sharing). For extra comfort bring your own picnic blanket!
Social distancing, limited class size, no sharing of equipment, along with other safety guidelines will be followed during class. All kids over 2 and caregivers are required to wear a mask. Caregivers will be required to stay for the entirety of the program. We will also require caregivers to fill out a Bender JCC Daily Health Form the morning of every class.
In the case of inclement weather, classes will be rescheduled.
If you have any questions, contact Jen Radosh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 20th
VIRTUAL Estate Planning for Expecting Families and Families with Young Children
Tuesday, April 20 | 8:00 PM
Where: You will receive a zoom link after you register
These days, so much is out of our control, but there is no better time to educate yourself about estate planning for you and your loved ones. Taught by Andrew Friedman, an estate planning attorney and brand-new father himself, this hour-long virtual meeting will cover the basics of estate planning, what documents you need (wills, trusts, powers of attorney), how to protect your family in case of unforeseen circumstances, and how you can execute your Will and estate planning documents even while practicing social distancing. Bring your questions!
About Andrew Friedman:
Andrew Friedman is an estate planning attorney for clients in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. His passion for estate planning stems from his love of people and his first-hand experience witnessing the meaningful value this work brings to his clients’ lives. Over the years he has worked with hundreds of clients with various planning needs, including drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other testamentary solutions. He also assists personal representatives and trustees with probate and trust administration.
Andrew’s e-mail: email@example.com
Andrew’s direct line: 240.778.2331
If you have any questions, contact Jen Radosh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presented by the Bender JCC, Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia’s Growing Jewish Families, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and PJ Library.