Social Action:


Jewish Foundation for Group Homes:

Teens will be doing several joint programs with the JFGH including Sukkah building and decorating and Hamantash Baking & Purim party.


The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the independence, dignity, choice, and community inclusion of individuals with disabilities, regardless of faith or creed. JFGH’s programs support more than 200 individuals in over 70 sites throughout the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. Support is provided through JFGH’s residential, transitioning youth and social programs.

More Info:


Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington

Teens will learn what they can do to help those facing illness and serious health challenges. Teens will create several different projects to be donated to Children’s Inn at NIH and other area hospitals.


Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington is a 501(c) (3) not‐for‐profit, volunteer based service organization that provides assistance to people facing medical and related challenges. BCGW cares for the physical and emotional needs of the Jewish ill, the elderly and their caregivers in the community, and partner with health‐care professionals to help meet the unique needs of Jewish patients.


BCGW supports and maintains kosher pantries at area hospitals and provides ongoing community education to promote awareness of the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim.

BCGW serves all segments of our community, as well as patients who travel to the region to seek medical treatment at area hospitals and NIH. By offering all our services without cost, we free people to focus on their recovery without additional financial stress.

More Info:


Eden Kosher Homes

Teens will lead a Challah baking program with residents of Eden Kosher Homes, and will paint motivational rocks to be places in the front garden of the Home.

Eden Kosher Homes is a charming and elegant private assisted living home, located in a residential neighborhood in Potomac, Maryland. Eden Kosher Homes opened its doors in 2010 in response to the need for a small, high‐quality kosher assisted living facility where Jewish seniors could remain active in a neighborhood environment. More



Israel Social Action

Teens will partner with several Israel based organizations to help support Israel, among them Chabadʹs Terror Victims Project.


Chabadʹs Terror Victims Project (CTVP) is a non‐profit, humanitarian organization. From the moment an act of violence takes place, G‐d forbid, CTVP’s emergency response teams are there, forging an immediate bond with the victims and their families, bringing them financial, practical, emotional, and spiritual support as they struggle to reclaim and rebuild their lives.

Whatever the crisis, CTVP is there. We stay with all these families for as long as they need us – whether weeks, months or years. There is no end point to our help except the family’s ability to re‐enter their lives successfully. Only then do we move quietly into the background, but still remain available for those times when the horror inevitably reasserts itself and help is needed once again.

More Info:


Cookies for Cops

Teens work together to bake delicious cookies and other goodies that they will personally deliver to our dedicated police officers at the police station.


Home of Hope & Healing

Teens will plant a garden of love for the Home of Hope & Healing, a Jewish home away from home for patients and their families seeking lifesaving treatment at the National Institutes of Health & and area hospitals.

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Guest Speakers:



“Psychiatrist by day, scribe by night”‐ Dr. Richard Epstein:

Dr. Richard Epstein graduated from Yale with honors. He runs a private practice in general psychiatry since 1969. He is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and a Clinical Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. He was the director of the Suburban Hospital, Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder project. He authored a book on psychiatric boundaries and ethics, numerous scholarly research articles, and several chapters in psychiatric textbooks. He served as President of the Washington Psychiatric Society, Trustee‐at‐Large of the American Psychiatric Association, Vice President of the American Association of Practicing Psychiatrists, and the president of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.




Around 15 years ago, Dr. Epstein followed his dream and became an apprentice to a sofer [scribe], studying the intricate laws detailing the stylizing of the Hebrew letters and the specific spellings of certain words. Once he had mastered the art of Safrut, he began the ambitious and time consuming task of writing a complete Torah scroll.


It took Dr. Epstein over 8 years to complete the Torah, whose completion and dedication two years ago was celebrated by hundreds. Dr. Epstein’s remarkable and unique story made world headlines and was featured on Yahoo, in the Washington Post and many other media. Our students will watch a short documentary that was published on Dr. Epstein, followed by a presentation by Dr. Epstein himself.


Mr. Abraham Vishedsky:

With the general of the Holocaust slowly dying out, it is critical for our students to hear firsthand accounts of the atrocities that were committed against our people, as well as the stories of triumph and survival during one of the darkest moments of our history.

Holocaust survivor Abraham Vishedsky will share his personal story of survival and hope.


Karen Barall:

Karen is the Director of Hadassah, The Womenʹs Zionist Organizationʹs Washington, DC office. As Hadassahʹs Director of Government Relations, she is Hadassahʹs chief lobbyist in Washington where she advocates for Israelʹs safety and security, combating anti‐Semitism and Womenʹs Health initiatives such as affordable access to fertility treatments. Barall served as Mid‐Atlantic Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy, where she managed the OU Advocacy’s efforts in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Karen also worked as Director of Maryland Government and Community Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, where she organized the agency’s state and local legislative efforts, secured millions of dollars in state and local funding.


Before joining the JCRC, Karen served as a politically appointed foreign affairs officer in the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti‐Semitism and as Special Assistant for Community Affairs to New York Governor George Pataki. Karen has an extensive background in Jewish communal service and grassroots activity where she has actively served in leadership roles to encourage community activism. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Lander College for Women of Touro College. Karen and her husband Allan live in Potomac, Maryland with their two children.


Karen will be one of the presenters on the Israel panel discussion.




JCADA: Healthy Relationships

Navigating friendships and what it means to be a good friend in middle school is challenging. Research shows that developing positive interpersonal skills with peers in early adolescence can help foster healthy relationships later in life.


In this workshop, participants assume the role of a character who is navigating one of the many friendship issues individuals in middle school confront including changing friend groups, relational aggression, and being a bystander.


As the character, the participant has to make the tough choices that one may face in these situations. This workshop utilizes experiential tools including icebreakers, creative brainstorming, and role‐play in a developmentally appropriate way that meets the unique needs of middle school students.


During this program, participants will:

 Understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy friendships;

 Recognize and discuss behaviors and attitudes associated with trust, exclusion and social cruelty including verbal, physical and cyber bullying; and

 Identify a plan of action if they are experiencing one of these issues or for supporting a friend experiencing one of these issues.


JCADA takes a holistic approach to domestic and dating abuse that integrates clinical support with community education and prevention. We provide high quality services to all residents of the Greater Washington DC community, without regard to ability, background, faith or gender. More Info:


Rabbi Mendel Bluming

Rabbi Mendel Bluming will lead several intriguing and engaging discussions on critical topics for teens.


Rabbi Mendel Bluming is the Chabad representative in the Potomac Maryland area and serves as the rabbi of the Chabad Shul of Potomac. He received Rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Hillel Pewzner of Paris France, a leader in Franceʹs rabbinate, kashrut and Jewish educational system, and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz of Jerusalem Israel, author of the Steinsaltz Talmud amongst many other works.


He was ordained as a Jewish judge, a Dayan, by the late Rabbi Pinchas Hirshprung, the Chief Rabbi of Montreal, considered one of the foremost Torah scholars of our generation.



Rabbi Bluming is a highly respected Rabbi in the Greater Washington area, and is a leading authority for many day to day halachik questions for hundreds in the community. In addition to his scholarly wisdom, he sensitivity guides hundreds of people in their interpersonal relationships, helping them build stronger and trusting relationships with their spouses, children or friends.






Gary Rosenthal Studio

Teens will get a tour of Gary’s studio, and hear from Gary about the many special Chessed projects he is involved with. Teens will create their own unique piece of Judaica.

Gary Rosenthal has been sculpting in welded metals for almost 30 years. Together with a team of talented craftspeople, he creates one of the most popular and unique lines of Judaic art in the country: The Gary Rosenthal Collection. Work from the Gary Rosenthal Collection has been presented to Presidents from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to George

W. Bush, and to celebrities. The Collection can be found throughout the world in many fine galleries, private collections, and the following museum shops: Smithsonianʹs Renwick Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass, American Craft Museum, Bʹnai Bʹrith Museum, The Jewish Museum, Skirball Museum of Culture, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

More Info:


Sunflower Bakery‐“Where Caring is our Main Ingredient”

Sunflower Bakery is an exciting enterprise that combines skills training with actual work experience. Their mission is to prepare individuals with developmental or other cognitive disabilities for employment in baking and related industries through skilled, on‐the‐job training.


These are challenging times for many, but challenges are even greater for individuals with disabilities. Sunflower Bakery provides training critical for achieving workplace success in a totally inclusive environment. Their trainees produce high quality, kosher, non‐dairy baked goods for businesses, schools, organizations and individuals in the greater Washington, DC area. They work alongside adult volunteers and staff, who do not have disabilities, to better simulate a typical bakery experience.

More Info:


Siena’s Pizza

Teens will get a behind the scenes glimpse into Kosher pizza making.



Color Me Mine

Teens will design and decorate their own beautiful ceramic Seder Plate


Goldbergs Bagels

Teens will enjoy a delicious Kosher brunch at this famous bagelry


In House Programs:

Rosh Hashanah Farmers Market

An interactive farmer’s market experience where teens will discover the holiday’s culinary side. Teens will learn about symbolic holiday foods while creating unique recipes, and will leave with a collection keepsake to reenact the dishes at home.


Latka Wars!

Latka showdown and cooking competition. Teen use their creativity to whip up the most original and tasty latka. Parents are invited to serve as the judges.


Jewish Canvas Painting

Mr. Mark Yonkovitz is a noted artist who has been painting beautiful masterpieces for over 3 decades. Mark will lead the teens in a guided canvas painting, depicting a Judaic scene.