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We close at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, October 4, and remain closed Wednesday, October 5, 2022, for Yom Kippur. Regular hours resume on Thursday, October 6.

Israel Programs

Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. We at the JCC have a special connection to Israel and have prioritized outreach and educating our members and the broader community about the country, the land, and people. Each month, the JCC will hold a different program about Israel and Judaism; we will introduce speakers, musicians, artists, and more to benefit the community.

For more information, please contact Chief Program Officer Gon Erez at .

Jewish veganism and vegetarianism

Veganism is booming among Jews, especially in Israel. Why is this happening, and what does it
mean? Is there something specifically Jewish about their veganism? Have they changed their Judaism (or Jewish identities) by binding it to veganism?

Jacob Labendz, Ph.D., and co-author Shmuly Yanklowitz have published an edited volume with SUNY Press in 2019, Jewish Veganism and Vegetarianism: Studies and New Directions. Jacob will reflect upon his motivations for embarking on the project and his learning about Jewish
veganism through editing and publication.

About the Speaker: Dr. Labendz directs the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
at Ramapo College of New Jersey. His research explores the dynamic intersections between statecraft, nationalism, and the management of minorities with a particular focus on Jews in and from communist Czechoslovakia and Central Europe. Dr.
Labendz contributes to discussions on antisemitism, Holocaust memory and aftermath, and Jewish food cultures. 

Wednesday, September 14 | 6:30 pm | Benderson



Join us for a fascinating lecture from Dr. Yotam Ophir of UB as he will discuss the ways online social media serve terrorists and extremists. Yotam will introduce a series of research studies he conducted, analyzing millions of posts over 20 years of online activity to explore the ways millions of far-right White Nationalists and neo-Nazis use the website “Stormfront” to build on existing social tensions around science and medicine to legitimize and promote a racist, anti-semitic, misogynistic conspiratorial ideology.

About the Speaker: Dr. Yotam Ophir is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University at Buffalo. His work combines computational methods for text mining, network analysis, experiments, and surveys to study media content and effects in the areas of political, science, and health communication. Dr. Ophir is the head of the Media Effects, Misinformation, and
Extremism (MEME) lab, a member of the Center for Information Integrity (CII) at the University at Buffalo, and a distinguished fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ophir will demonstrate how extremist fringe ideas make their way into mainstream politics, fueling real-world catastrophes, from non-compliance during COVID-19 to the horrific massacre
at a Buffalo grocery store in May of 2022.

Wednesday, December 7 | 6:30 pm | Benderson



COVID-19 posed an unprecedented challenge for global society and nonprofit institutions. The role of philanthropy in meeting the
pandemic’s immediate and long-term needs and sustaining communal engagement has been demonstrated across local and global

The characteristics of American Jewish giving and engagement in times of emergency and crisis are the focus, which presents trends
and data on Jewish philanthropy during 2020.

About the Speaker:
Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim, PhD is Deputy Director U.S. at the Ruderman Family Foundation. Hanna completed her Ph.D. at the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focusing on philanthropic studies. She joined the Ruderman Family Foundation after completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Brandeis University, specializing in the research of Jewish philanthropy.

Hanna is focused on documenting and analyzing the activities of multiple foundations and community philanthropies, working closely with hundreds of philanthropists and practitioners of philanthropic organizations in the Jewish world. Hanna has been acknowledged worldwide as the expert on American Jewish philanthropy. Her work has been
supported by several universities, research institutes, and American and Israeli foundations.

Thursday, November 3 | 6:30 pm | Benderson


Photo Gallery of Israeli Events