Community Events

The JCA is proud to present the following annual and one time events to help bring our community together in a spirit of remembrance, celebration, and fun!

JCA presents Sara Hallie Richardson - POSTPONED

Saturday, March 14, 6:30 PM
JCA - 1342 Congress St., Portland, ME  04102
$10 JCA Members - $12 General Public

JCA presents a night of music with Sara Hallie Richardson. Join us for food and drink provided by the Maine Cheese Guild and Maine Craft Distillery.

Portland, Maine based singer/songwriter, Sara Hallie Richardson, performs and writes music through folk, indie, and electronic styles. With influences such as Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, and Bjork, Richardson's songs are known for dense vocal harmonies and soaring melodies as well as combining synthetic and acoustic orchestral sounds. With a BA in vocal performance from the University of Maine, Richardson has received honors such as the Dean's Award for Research and Creative Achievement and the Outstanding Achievement Award in Arts and Communication Media.

After performing her original work with the Portland Symphony Orchestra at Merrill Auditorium in 2016, Richardson moved to Los Angeles to continue her growing career as a singer and songwriter where she worked alongside her idols, was hired by world-renowned producers, and gained recognition for her songwriting.

After two years of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, she couldn’t be happier to be back home.

The Radical Right and the 'New Anti-Semitism' in America
With Mark Potok - CANCELLED

Co-sponsored by the University of Southern Maine, the Maine Jewish Museum, the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, and the Jewish Community Alliance (JCA) of Southern Maine.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

7:00 pm
University of Southern Maine Wishcamper Center - Room 133
34 Bedford St., Portland

Event is free, all are welcome. Seating is limited.

Please RSVP by clicking on the link at right.

Mark Potok is one of the country's top experts on white supremacy, hate groups and right-wing extremism. He has served in a variety of roles at the Southern Poverty Law Center, regularly appears as a commentator on major network, cable and radio news programs, and writes for the Daily Beast.

Recovery-Oriented Passover Seder - POSTPONED

Thursday, April 9, 7:00 PM
Portland Recovery Community Center
468 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME  04101

Please register by Monday, April 6th

Free, potluck-style – please bring a dairy/vegetarian dish to share. All are welcome.

This secular Passover seder will follow the traditional seder framework, but with a focus on recovery from substance use disorder and how it relates to the holiday’s themes of liberation and oppression.

For more information, please contact the JCA at

Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Community Observance & Film

Presented in partnership with the Maine Jewish Film Festival

Tuesday, April 21, 5:30 PM
JCA - 1342 Congress St., Portland
Free, all are welcome.

The free documentary film screening will be The Starfish - the true story of a German-Jewish boy whose life was forever altered at the age of 10, when his parents sent him and his two older sisters to live with non-Jewish families in Sweden to escape Nazi persecution. After living in Sweden for two years, Herb Gildin and his sisters journeyed across Russia and the Pacific to be reunited with their parents as refugees in America. Focused on building his lighting business rather than dwelling on the past, decades went by before Herb told his wife and children about his childhood, resulting in one last journey back to Sweden to attempt to reunite with the remaining family members who had taken him in 60 years earlier. (Run time: 40 minutes).

Yom Ha’atzmaut - Israel Independence Day Community Celebration

Sunday, May 3, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
JCA - 1342 Congress St., Portland

Free, all are welcome. Food available for purchase.

Family-friendly event for all ages. Kids’ crafts and activities presented in partnership with local congregations and Jewish organizations.

Sheera_Adam Ben David for website

Sheera & Adam Ben David in Concert - POSTPONED

Presented by the JCA’s Cantor Kurt Messerschmidt Memorial Fund and co-sponsored by Temple Beth El

Sunday evening, May 3rd, 7:00 PM
Temple Beth El – 400 Deering Ave., Portland
$25 - Regular individual ticket
$50 - 'Supporter' ticket
$118 - Concert Host Committee member ticket - admission includes special reception access prior to concert for ticket holder

Join siblings Sheera and Adam Ben David for a cabaret-style musical evening including Broadway favorites.

Cantor Sheera Ben-David has spent her life immersed in the Jewish community and congregations. After graduating from New York University and Hebrew Union College, she followed in her father’s footsteps and began her cantorial career as the soloist for Jewish Family Congregation of South Salem, NY, and went on to serve Beth Am Temple of Pearl River, NY, The Reform Temple of Forest Hills, Temple Israel of NYC and Central Synagogue of NYC, and has found her professional home at Temple Sholom of Chicago.

In addition to her cantorial role, Sheera is an award-winning cabaret singer. She has delivered multiple critically-acclaimed runs at The Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel, The Royal Room of The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, and received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post. Throughout her secular singing career, Sheera always remained in service to her congregations and feels the intimate craft of communicating and storytelling through music has only enhanced her connection with the incredible sacred music of the Jewish people.

Adam Ben-David is a Broadway musician and conductor, playing piano or keyboard and serving in conducting and musical director roles in productions including Wicked, Jersey Boys, High Fidelity and the Book of Mormon. Adam is currently touring with Tony and Emmy award winning actor and singer Mandy Patinkin.

Sheera and Adam’s mother, Portland native Bonnie 'Batyah' Godfrey Ben-David, was a principal singer at The Metropolitan Opera House for over 24 years and their father Kerry Ben-David z’l was Cantor Emeritus of Scarsdale Synagogue, Temples Tremont and Emanu-El, and of the Jewish Family Congregation in Lewisboro, NY. Their parents have been tremendous influences musically and spiritually. Sheera and Adam are the grandchildren of Norman and Ethel Godfrey. Norman was the beloved first Executive Director of the Portland JCC.

Capturing Culture on Film with Israeli photojournalist Daniel Tchetchik

Co-sponsored by the Maine Jewish Film Festival, Temple Beth El, Congregation Bet Ha'am, and the JCA

Thursday, May 21, 6:00 PM
JCA - 1342 Congress St., Portland
Free, all are welcome. RSVP at the registration link to the right.

Daniel Tchetchik  has been a staff photographer for Ha’aretz newspaper in Israel since 2003 and the chief editor of the photography blog at Ha’aretz since 2013. During this time he has exhibited his personal works in leading museums and galleries in Israel as well as on international stages in New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Hamburg, and India. Tchetchik will be a visiting artist at Colby this spring, with support from the Center for Small Town Jewish Life.

Tchetchik divides his time between personal projects and documentary assignments; many times each approach provides inspiration for the other. His editorial work has appeared on platforms of the New York Times, The New Yorker, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Myself Magazine, and Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Artist's statement:

"Through my practice, photography, I investigate my natural surroundings. It is a search for visual descriptions and reflections of a contemporary emotion in the landscape and people. My work is displayed both as a photographic series as well as published in artist books, the different platforms present the fascinating possibility of changing narratives with the same photographs. I work with film that often has been exposed to radiation and kept in harmful conditions in order to uncover features of both the photographic medium itself and the subjects in the works.

My latest work, Sunburn, is a body of work which explores the aftermaths of the warming climate on the human condition. Sunburn approaches the element of light not in a romantic manner, but rather through an approach that aspires to reflect the essence of its source."

Code of Conduct

The JCA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all community members, guests, visitors, and staff, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, ability or financial status. Failure to abide by the Code of Conduct may result in the suspension or revocation of participation in JCA programming.

  • Program participants are committed to maintaining a respectful and pluralistic environment.
  • Harassing, bullying, threatening or proselytizing behavior will not be tolerated, and we reserve the right to remove from the premises any individual acting in an inappropriate manner.
  • Distributing flyers, booklets or other literature is prohibited without prior approval.
  • No one may enter the JCA facility while carrying or concealing weapons.