Fall 2015 Study Group Schedule



Leader: Joe Mittleman

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Session A

Biography explores the portraits of superstars that charmed audiences with masterful portrayals of ordinary men and women thrust into extraordinary circumstances. With this series, we examine the back stories of celebrities who were superstars. Included are these stars that entertained us: Hedy Lamarr, Angela Lansbury, Edith Head, and Sophia Loren. Fee: $19.


Leader: Joe Mittleman

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Session B

Operettas explores lighthearted entertainment for educated, cosmopolitan audiences, sung in the local language, full of dance choruses and witty dialogue. Now, through the magic of film and other sources, we will look at the most famous operettas. These include: Chocolate Soldier, Rose Marie, Bitter Sweet, and Sweethearts. Fee $25.

MOVIE MONDAYS! Anti-heroes and Anti-heroine

Leader: Michael Givant

2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

When the anti-hero appeared in films in the 1960s he was a deeply flawed individual who audiences rooted for or at least made allowance for his character. In 21st century cinema they seem to have blossomed like poppies.

In Whiplash (2014) a teacher treats his music students harshly, if not sadistically. One, a dogged drummer, believes in the American mantra of wanting to be “the best.” Is such a teacher worth pleasing, at what price? J.K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor for his role. The music is excellent as well.

Con men, con women, politicians on the take, and scheming law enforcement officials in American Hustle (2013) make one wonder: Are there any heroes any more or have they all gone with Joe Di Maggio and Mrs. Robinson? Is the 11th commandment really “Don’t Get Caught?” It stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence.

Do “corporate types” at the top levels of American businesses have a social conscience? This question, examined in Margin Call (2011),is still relevant only years after the near collapse of the economy in 2008. First-time director J.C. Chandor is a force. A thinking person’s film.

Take a ride with Tom Hardy, a British actor you may not know, in Locke (2013). Sit in a car with him, fasten your emotional seat belt, and watch as a successful middle-aged man “lets the chips fall where they may,” as the miles go by, because of an indiscretion.

In My Old Lady (2014)a hapless man, well into middle-age, comes to Paris to secure his future. In doing so he comes face to face with his past and what he is. France being France, there’s romance in the picture for Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith’s daughter played by Kristin Scott Thomas.

The class is five sessions. Each class is 2 ½ hours and due to the average running time of the films we will start on time. Each film will be followed by a freewheeling, insightful group discussion. Maximum: 50. Fee $38


Co-Leaders: Adrienne Burack and Brenda Yudin

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Women are from Venus, men are from Mars! Join in a discussion group/expression of feelings from a female point of view. Each session will be based on a single topic, focused on how one feels about circumstances facing our lives today. We hope to enlighten ourselves and each other through our sharing. Fee $44.



Leader: Nelson Burack

9:30 a.m – 11:30 a.m.

This course is intended to be a discussion group that will address issues mainly of concern to men. The topics are chosen by the members of the class. The objective of the group is to share experiences and feelings on topics that generally affect men. The group is expected to be supportive and nonjudgmental. Each member will be considered an equal participant in a non-threatening environment. The class is designed explicitly for men, and is NOT therapy, but IS therapeutic.This study group may be taken as either a four- or an eight-week course. Fee: $25 per session.


Leader: Bobbi Benigno

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Learn basic techniques of water coloring through the interaction of water,color, paper, brush mixing, and general principles of composition. You will be led from subject selections through sketching to a finished painting. Weekly demonstrations and exercises introduce ideas and techniques. Create at least one finished watercolor painting. Beginners or anyone wishing to brush up on skills are welcome. Supply list available upon registration. Maximum: 15. Fee: $44.



Coordinator: Louise Mehrtens

11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Once again our Contemporary Literature group will be discussing a variety of books suggested by both our membership leaders and our very enthusiastic study group participants. Our six sessions will begin on September 9. Please note that there is only ONE week between the first and second session. Our titles are as follows: Sept. 9, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, led by Judy Merl; Sept. 16, The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik, led by Eva Waldner; Sept. 30, Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout, led by Maxine Atkins; Oct. 14, The House Girl by Tara Conklin, led by Annie Berger; Oct. 28, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, led by Barbara .Sosne and Nov. 11, Being Mortal by Atul Gavande, led by Janet Gelfand. Our group is a welcoming one with many diverse points of view. We look forward to many thought-provoking and stimulating discussions. You are welcome to bring your lunch. We hope you will join us. Maximum: 17. Fee:$37.


Leader: Robert R. Weiss

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Jerusalem is regarded as holy to the three monotheistic religions. Over 3000 years ago, King David conquered this fortified town and formed theYebusitesand madeit the capital of his united kingdom. His son, Solomon, built the first holytemple on Temple Mount and it became the holiest site for Jews formany generations. The first temple was destroyed by the
Babylonians in 586 BC, and rebuilt as the second temple in 516 BC. After the destruction of the second temple by the Romans in 70 AD, the city was ruled by Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, and the Ottomans. Why was this city so special to so many? Why has so much blood been spilled to possess Jerusalem (which in Hebrew means, will see peace?). Fee: $50.

OPERA - On Sharing the Discovery of a Creative Art Form!

Leader: Walter Chaskel

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Two compelling stories set to music — each sung in French with English subtitles on DVD’s!

In our first opera, Jacques Offenbach’sThe Tales of Hoffman, sung in French with English subtitles,we follow the plight of a lonely poet on afantastiquejourney as he desperately searches for the love of his life from among four tantalizing women. We will trace each heart-rending, tragic tale to discover Hoffmann’s illusory search in vain for the ideal woman! (Hoffmann is played by either Placido Dommingo or Neil Shicoff, to be selected.) Oct. 7, 14, and 28.

Our second opera, also sung in French with English subtitles,La Fille du Regiment(The Daughter of the Regiment) by Gaetano Donizetti, tells the tale of a love affair between animpetuous young orphan woman (Natalie Dessay) who has been adopted by a less-than competent Frenchregiment, and a handsome young Tyrolean villager (Juan Diego Floréz) who has saved her from falling off amountain precipice. Unexpected relationships disrupt the happy loversuntil a wild array of odd-ball events propels them into a joyous, amusing andcharming resolution.‘. . . always leave‘em laughing!Nov. 4 and 11. Fee: $32.



Leader: Art Feeney

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Once more we return to the BBC for our fall series with three historical dramas. First up is The Mill. Set in England in 1833, the horror of child labor is the focal point of this film. Next, we move to the Ireland of 1846 and the Great Famine as we watch as the potato blight and the landholding system devastate poor Irish farmers in The Hanging Gale. Lastly, we return to Britain and follow the story of one English village through the First World War in The Village. Art Feeney is a history buff with a focus on American and British History.Fee: $50.

GREAT BOOKS:Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions

Facilitator: Rosemary Foehl

11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

We will be reading and discussing selections from an anthology published by Great Books. The selections illustrate the best and worst of what can happen when we attempt to mold the complex communities in which we live, into our visions of a perfect state. The 23 readings in the anthology challenge readers to question how society should be structured and governed, as well as what kinds of communities are most conducive to human fulfillment, both privately and in the civic arena. Maximum: 15. Required Book: Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions. Book fee $24.95. Course fee: $50.


Leader: Koro Terroade

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Come and discover the revealing truth of Biblio/Historical myths that have been passed down for centuries as though they were facts. This class will be conducted from a historical perspective. Enrichment, enlightenment, and appreciation are the desired outcome of the study group. Fee: $25.

UNDERSTANDING THE UNIVERSE: An Introduction to Astronomy

Co-Leaders: Nelson Burack and John Heslin

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Who has not gazed with wonder at the night sky? The great canopy of stars stretching overhead suggests that our world is part of a vastly larger cosmos. But how large is it? Where do we fit in? And how did it all begin? These questions have puzzled stargazers for thousands of years.We will explore the answers to these questions and more in a fascinating, nontechnical, video lecture series fromThe Great Courses taught by one of America’s foremost astronomers, Professor Alex Filippenko, at the University of California, Berkeley. Fee: $25.



Leader: Chet Gerstenbluth

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Each week for the first hour the class will set the agenda and exchange ideas concerning local, national, and global issues. Discussion and participation are strictly voluntary, but members are encouraged to express their opinions and bring in news articles to share and discuss. In the second hour we will focus on one or more controversial topics, such as capital punishment, immigration, gun control, etc., in an effort to identify problems, generate solutions, and hopefully, clarify your position. Maximum: 90. This study group may be taken as either a four- or an eight-week course. Fee: $25 per session.

For more information or to receive a brochure, contact ilr@farmingdale.edu or call 631.420.2160.