Israel Programs

Connecting our community to the people, history, culture, and land of Israel remains a core value of the Bender JCC. From lectures and dance to film, music, and art, the Center offers exciting, innovative ways to learn about Israel—past, present, and future.

Programs include the Center’s annual free Israel Fest, Israel-centric holiday celebrations and commemorative events, free lunch & learns, and much more.

Israel Fest: Presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Bender JCC

May 21, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

IAC National Conference

November 3-6, 2017 | Convention Center | Washington, D.C.

Join thousands of community members at the IAC National Conference in Washington DC to experience influential thought leaders, industry experts, senior political figures, diplomatic figures, community leaders, prominent journalists and more. This inspiring three-day journey will explore Israeli-American and Jewish identity, unite the Israeli-American and Jewish communities, and understand how we can effectively strengthen Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish People.

The IAC National Conference offers participants the opportunity to engage and select from a variety of plenaries, breakout panels, workshops, and discussion topics specifically tailored to meet the various interests of our broad audience.

Together we will examine core areas including:

  • Jewish and Israeli identity of the young generation
  • Israel as a Nation State of the Jewish People
  • Israeli American and Jewish peoplehood

Examining the current state of these vital issues of Jewish peoplehood, we will explore how Israeli-Americans, who constitute 10 percent of the Jewish American Community, can serve as a living bridge to the broader community and Israel.

Click Here for more information about the IAC National Conference. Click Here to Register.

JCCA 20th Maccabiah Games Trip to Israel

July 2-13, 2017

Experience the opening of the 20th Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem with Jewish athletes from all over the world! A new way to see Israel!

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to experience Israel in a brand new way with your JCC family. Walk in Jerusalem, hike in the north, explore the hi-tech and delicious food scenes in Tel Aviv and so much more!

Meet interesting and diverse people, participate in unique programs and connect with Jewish people from throughout the world. Who knows, some of the many JCC sportsmen and sportswomen who are participating may be from your own community!

Important Information

1/13/17 – Israeli-American Council D.C., Bender JCC of Greater Washington Announce Joint Venture

Today, the Israeli-American Council and the Bender JCC of Greater Washington announced a new joint venture to establish an IAC Center (Merkaz) at the Bender JCC, and to formalize the two organizations’ joint initiatives to bring together the Jewish-American and Israeli-American communities.

“We have entered an exciting new era of collaboration between the IAC and JCCs across the country. Our joint venture with the Bender JCC will help to bring a new wave of IAC programming to the Greater Washington area to benefit Israeli-Americans and the broader Jewish community. We will look to replicate this model for partnership in other regions in 2017,” said IAC Chief Executive Officer Shoham Nicolet.

IAC programming in the Merkaz space includes IAC Eitanim, a teen leadership program; IAC G’vanim, an adult leadership program, and IAC Keshet, a Hebrew learning program for children. IAC-D.C. will also use the center to host IAC Shishi Israeli events, where Israeli-Americans and Jewish Americans bond over an Israeli Shabbat dinner and educational activities for kids.

“Israeli-Americans and Jewish Americans have so much to give to each other,” said Michael Feinstein, CEO of the Bender JCC. “We are thrilled about the prospects of this new joint venture with the IAC. By creating vehicles for these two unique communities to come together we can enrich American Jewish life in so many ways.”

Kol Ami – Jewish Peoplehood Leadership Academy

Kol Ami is a six-month post-high school program — from September to February — designed to enable students with the opportunity to live in a Jewish pluralistic environment together with their Israeli counterparts. This program is best for those who want to learn more about themselves and how they can better impact the Jewish communities around the world.

With the understanding that Israel is an integral part of the world Jewish tapestry, Kol Ami will create a social network aspiring to excellence and which takes responsibility for impacting the future of the Jewish people.

During the six months of personal growth and development students will:

  • Gain leadership skills
  • Explore the land of Israel
  • Volunteer in the local community
  • Build physical endurance and navigation skills – the same skills Israelis learn to prepare for service in the IDF

For more information, contact Harrel Fenigstein at: marketing@kolami.org.il or +972-52-613-0366.