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Course Schedule - Spring 2019


Biography  Fee: $25

Leader: Joe Mittleman                                

Roosevelt Hall, 111   

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Apr. 15, 22, 29; May 6         

Biography explores the portraits of superstars that charmed audiences with masterful portrayals of ordinary women thrust into extraordinary circumstances. This video series examines the behind the scene stories of the celebrities that were superstars; Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia. Now meet the stars behind the roles whose real lives were as funny, eventful, and involving as anything on the screen; The Golden Girls: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. 

Who Am I Today?  Fee: $50

Leaders: Adrienne Burack/Brenda Yudin

Roosevelt Hall, 109  Laffin Hall, 321*    

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.   

Mar. 11*, 18*, 25: Apr. 1, 8, 22, 29: May 6

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 welcome new participants to join us in discussing topics of interest in today's ever-changing world, as we navigate life's journey together.  By participating, we hope to enlighten ourselves and each other through sharing. Please note: the first two classes will be held in Laffin Hall, 321. Maximum: 15.



Contemporary Literature  Fee: $38

Coordinator: Louise Mehrtens                   

Roosevelt Hall, 109   

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.                 

Mar. 20; Apr. 3, 17; May 1, 8, 22

Once again our Contemporary Literature group will be discussing a variety of books suggested by both our membership leaders and our very enthusiastic group participants. Our six sessions will begin March 20th.  Please note that there is only one week between sessions four and five.  All other sessions are two weeks apart. Send in your registration quickly, since the study group fills up fast. Our spring selections are as follows: March 20, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, led by Janet Gelfand; April 3, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, led by Karen Gowrie; April 17, The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, led by Eva Waldner; May 1, Beneath the Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan, led by Sue Levine; May 8, The Rent Collector by Camron Wright, led by Bonnie Marks; and May 22, Educated by Tara Westover, led by Eileen Garbe. The 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: 22. 

Current Events in Israel  Fee: $44

Leader:  Robert R. Weiss                            

Roosevelt Hall, 111            

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Mar. 13, 20, 27; Apr. 3, 10, 24; May 1           

Israel is one of the smallest countries on the face of the globe. It is the size of the small state of New Jersey, and has a population of 8.2 million, of which 20 percent are Arabs and the rest Jews. It is the only Jewish country on earth. Despite its small size, Israel seems to be always in the news. In preparation for this class, we will pick out newspaper articles or TV programs on the subject and try to understand their significance.  The first hour of the class will be a lecture discussing these topics, and in the second hour we will discuss the current events that are facing Israel today.  Active class participation both in selecting the articles/editorials and in the analysis that follows is encouraged. Debates on controversial points are welcomed.



Great Forgotten Black and White Movies  Fee: $38

Leader: Art Feeney Assisted by Mary Barry                                     

Roosevelt Hall, 111       

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.               

Mar. 21, 28; Apr. 4, 11, 18; May 2                                    

Our first of four film noir films from the 1940s and early 1950s will be The Third Man(1949). A visually-stylish thriller - a paranoid story of social, economic, and moral corruption in a depressed, rotting and crumbling, 20th century Vienna following World War II. Crossfire (1947) a landmark Hollywood drama for its sharp look at the touchy subject of anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States Sunset Boulevard (1950)is a classic black comedy/drama, and perhaps the most acclaimed, but darkest film-noir story about "behind the scenes" Hollywood. A World War II movie Bataan (1943). In the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines, a ragtag American unit commanded by Sergeant Bill Dane attempts to blow-up a bridge in order to slow the Japanese advance.

We will finish with a political drama and a western. All the Kings Men (1949) the rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal. Red River (1949), Dunson (John Wayne) leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son. 

Great Books: The Civically Engaged Reader  Fee: $50

Facilitators: Linda Ilan, Linda Lupario, Marilyn Seidler

Roosevelt Hall, 109                     

12:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m.

Mar. 14, 21, 28; Apr. 4, 11, 25; May 2, 9

Join us in stimulating discussions of provocative and diverse readings that range across literature, philosophy, and religion. These selections invite reflections of all kinds of civic-minded activities, from giving and serving to leading and associating and on the vital connections between thought and service. Required book: The Civically Engaged Reader. The book fee is $24.95. If you need to purchase the book, please indicate this on your registration. The books will be ordered by 2/22. If you register after that date, you will be responsible for getting the book on your own. Books can be purchased at greatbooks.org or Amazon.com. Maximum: 15.

An Abbreviated History of the Jews; From Antiquity to Exile, 70 CE  Fee: $38

Leader:  Robert R. Weiss                            

Roosevelt Hall, 111    

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.            

Mar. 14, 21, 28; Apr. 4, 11, 18

Apr. 4, 11, 18                       

The Jews are an ancient nation whose documented history starts about 1000 BCE and its popular lore goes back to the 14th century BCE.  To understand this extraordinary phenomenon one must be familiar with the history of the Jewish people.

In this course, we will review the beginning of the Hebrew tribes; the Exodus from Egypt

(1250 BCE); the conquest of the Promised Land; the early Israelite kingdom starting with Kings Saul, David, and Solomon; the building of the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem (940 BCE) and its destruction by the Babylonians (886 BCE). We will also study the return from exile after the Cyrus Declaration (538 BCE) and the rebuilding of the Temple on the same mount in Jerusalem, now known as the 2nd Temple; the wars of the Maccabees against the Syrians (starting 175 BCE) and Hashmonai dynasty that followed.  We will end with the war of the Jews against the Romans (67-70 CE) leading to the 2nd exile in which the Jewish people scattered far and wide.  A list of books will be available at the first




Am I My Father's Son?  Fee: $38

Leader: Nelson Burack                               

Laffin Hall, 321   

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Mar. 29; Apr. 5, 12, 26; May 3, 10                               

This study group 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. 

Current Issues Forum  Fee: $50

Leader: Chet Gerstenbluth                         

Whitman Hall, 150      

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.           

Mar. 15, 22, 29; Apr. 5, 12, 26; May 3, 10                                                                                                                   

Each week for the first hour the class will set the agenda and exchange ideas concerning local, national, and global issues. Discussion and participation is 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.



Life after Beethoven: Franz Schubert  Fee: $10

Leader: Jeffrey Norwood                           

Roosevelt Hall, 111                      

12: 30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Tuesdays Mar. 26                 

For those composers who had to work in the "shadow" of, arguably, the greatest composer who ever lived, creating musically something that could compare to Beethoven's work was quite a challenge. These gifted composers were constantly being compared to the monumental greatness of Ludwig van Beethoven. Who could ever write a symphony once Beethoven had finished with it? Indeed, Beethoven cast a long shadow and had raised the bar quite high. As a result, the romantic composers had to look to different genres and attempt to create something new. This session will examine the life of one of the greatest composers who followed the late great Ludwig: Franz Schubert.

Back by popular demand, musicologist Jeffrey Norwood will concentrate on representative masterworks from the pen of Franz Schubert. He will take you on a musical journey that will help you rediscover many of the great masterpieces and listen to them in new and innovative ways. 

The Romantics: Hector Berlioz  Fee: $10

Leader: Jeffrey Norwood                           

Roosevelt Hall, 111   

12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday Apr. 9                     

This course is specifically designed to enhance your enjoyment of classical music. In this session, musicologist Jeffrey Norwood returns to us in order to take you on a musical journey that will reveal to you the genius of the innovative romantic composer, Hector Berlioz. Prof. Norwood will help you rediscover some of the many great masterpieces of this highly original composer and listen to them in new and exciting ways. The journey promises to be not only informative but also highly entertaining!