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.

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


IAC National Conference


For the first time, we are taking our signature annual event to South Florida, the heart of one of the most dynamic Israeli & Jewish American communities in the country!

Come together with thousands of thought leaders, community members, nonprofit professionals, influencers, students, entrepreneurs and policymakers for a once-in-a-year experience.

Register by March 12, 2018 for a 50% Pre-sale:  Registration


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: or +972-52-613-0366.

 Fun Facts about Purim

1. Esther was a vegetarian (or at least a flexitarian).
According to Midrash, while Queen Esther lived in the court of King Ahasuerus, she followed a vegetarian diet consisting largely of legumes so that she would not break the laws of kashrut (dietary laws). For this reason, there is a tradition of eating beans and peas on Purim. (After all, you’ll need something healthy after all the hamantaschen.)

2. You’re supposed to find a go-between to deliver your mishloach manot, the gift baskets traditionally exchanged with friends and family on Purim.
The verse in the Book of Esther about mishloach manot stipulates that we should sendgifts to one another, not just give gifts to one another. As a result, it’s better to send your packets of goodies to a friend via a messenger, than to just give them outright. Anyone can act as a go-between, so feel free to recruit the postal service or even that nice guy in the elevator to help you deliver your gifts.

3. Esther Scroll is the only biblical book that does not include God’s name.
The Book of Esther also makes no references to the Temple, to prayer, or to Jewish practices such as kashrut [keeping kosher].

Read all 8 Fun Facts here!

Hebrew Word of the Month