PRESS RELEASE: The JCC of Greater Washington Receives $6.25 Million Naming Gift from the Sondra & Howard Bender Family Rockville, MD –The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington has a new name! It’s official. What began as the Jewish Community Center of the District of Columbia and was renamed the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington over 50 years ago will now be named the Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender JCC), as the result of a $6.25 million gift from the Sondra and Howard Bender family to name the JCC and its early childhood center. The name change comes as a part of the Center’s Centennial Capital Campaign which was launched at its 100th anniversary celebration in 2013 and became public in the spring of 2015. When the campaign’s initial planning goal of $10 million was reached, the goal was increased to $12 million. With this gift from the Bender Foundation, the campaign has reached $15.7 million. “The Bender family has had an incredible long-term impact on the JCC and the Greater Washington Jewish community through their volunteer and philanthropic leadership,” says President and CEO Michael Feinstein. “This transformational gift takes the campaign to a level that was unimaginable when we started planning over three years ago. We have already accomplished so much more than we thought possible. Our goal now is to raise an additional $2 million to complete the remaining critical priorities including an inclusive playground for the Center and broader community, an expansion of the indoor pool complex to include a therapy/training pool, and a much-needed updating of our lobby with a new café.” This is the largest single gift that the Bender Foundation has made to date. According to Julie Bender Silver, “We felt that this gift was the perfect way to honor our parents’ legacy. From our earliest days, they taught us what giving back to our community looked like. Our family has had a long-time strong connection with the JCCGW, particularly in the areas of programming for families with young children and supporting Camp JCC’s special needs inclusion program. We are thrilled to play a role in providing our community with a modern, state-of-the-art JCC to support its exceptional programming that meets so many community needs.” The JCC remains open while phase 2 of the campaign renovations is underway. Phase 2 includes the creation of a new entrance to the Bender Early Childhood Center as well as its lower level, and renovation of the indoor pool and adult locker rooms. Completion of the work in the Bender ECC is expected in time for school to open in August, and the indoor pool and locker rooms are expected to be complete in mid-September. Bender JCC Board Chair Lisie Gottdenker remarked, “We could not be more grateful to the Bender family and the entire community for their support of the JCC throughout this campaign. The Bender’s leadership and gift will allow our renovated building to be a hub for enriching Jewish life for decades to come.” Campaign and construction updates can be found at A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in late September 2016. Media Inquiries: Treva Bustow, Bender JCC Chief Marketing Officer; 301-348-3750;

Centennial Capital Campaign Leadership

Jodi and Scott Cohen, General Campaign Chairs
Campaign Co-Chairs
Wendi and Daniel Abramowitz Heidi and Michael Brodsky Jessica and Andy Chod Eve and Andy M. Stern Robin and Matthew Weinberg
Honorary Chairs
The Bender Family

Barbara Bender Howard M. Bender Z”L Julie Bender Silver and David Silver Nanette and David S. Bender Michelle and Jason Belinkie Jena Belinke Riley and Chris Riley Eileen and Richard Greenberg

The Gildenhorn/Speisman/Winer Families

Alma and The Honorable Joseph B. Gildenhorn Cathy and Michael Gildenhorn Blanche Speisman Brenda and Robert Speisman Leslie and Dennis Speisman Stephanie and Ian Speisman Carol and Michael Winer

Jerome A. and Deena L. Kaplan Family Foundation

Deena and Jerome Kaplan Karen Kaplan

Carol and Gary Berman Paul Berger Martha and Stuart Bindeman Gail and Paul Chod Lorraine and Robert “Bobby” Cohen Marcy and Neil Cohen Carole and Barry Forman Harriet and Greg Friedman Norma Lee and Morton Funger Sheila and Sy Herman Kerry Iris and Eric Kassoff Phyllisz”l and Philip Margolius Amy and Alan Meltzer John VerStandig and family Janyse and Bernie Weisz
Norma and Dean Eisen The Honorable Stuart Eizenstat Janice and The Hon. Brian Feldman Molly Meegan and Abbe David Lowell Robyn and Steven Lustig Barbara and Robert Phillips Terry and Howard Ross Sarah and Devin Schain Jennifer and Neal Simon Selma and Harvey Sweetbaum Robin B. Taub
Gilly Arie Mindy Berger Brent Berger Rob Black Nathan Bortnick Andrew Bridge Monique Buckles Robert Epstein Brian Gaines The Hon. Doug Gansler Felicia Gottdenker Amy Guberman Neil Gurvitch Holli Beckerman Jaffe Robyn Judelsohn Randi Meyrowitz Brian Pearlstein Arthur Polott Adam Polsky Helen Rubin Andrew Sachs Tracy Bloom Schwartz Reed Sexter Darryl Shrock Andy Shulman Brad Stillman David Waghelstein The Hon. Jeffrey Waldstreicher Samantha Wasserman Sharon Zissman