Spring 2016 Course Schedule




Leader: Joe Mittleman                                  Fee: $25

Mondays, Lupton T101                       Apr. 18, 25; May 9, 16          11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Biographies explores the portraits of superstars that charmed audiences with masterful portrayals of ordinary men and women thrust into extraordinary circumstances.  With this series we look at the back stories of celebrities that were singers.  There will be classic clips of the most famous movie appearances.  Included are the singers that entertained us: Ingrid Bergman, Rosalind Russell, Cary Grant, and Jack Lemmon.



Leader: Michael Givant                                Fee: $44

Mondays, Roosevelt Hall, 111          Apr. 18, 25; May 9, 16, 23          2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Who or what is a celebrity? How does one become a celebrity? Does one have to be alive to become one? Are there schools for celebrities? Are they “sold” like politicians, beer, cars, smart phones and brands of yogurt? Is America a celebrity-obsessed society? Five films that examine celebrity will be shown in their entirety each followed by an insightful freewheeling group discussion.

Quiz Show -Directed by Robert Redford takes us backstage to the 1950s when TV, then in its childhood, was replacing radio. Money was a prize to be won or lost by contestants in front of TV cameras beaming nationwide into living rooms. One of those “winners’ became a household name. 

Trumbo -How many film goers know that a film has a screenplay or care who wrote it?  How many people knew who Dalton Trumbo was before this film was released? Why would Congress care if this screenwriter had been a long term member of the Communist party?  Is the “Red Scare” period of over a half century ago, in which this film is set, relevant today?

Pawn Sacrifice - Set during The Cold War, this film goes behind the scenes while raising some questions. Remember Bobby Fischer? What made him an international figure? Are chess grandmasters made or born?  Can a cerebral game and its “champions” become political pawns?

Truth - Starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett (who takes up where she left off in Blue Jasmine). Does the distinguished career of a nationally known TV news anchor make him a celebrity? Does a public mistake help make or break celebrity status? What role does the internet play in the celebrity game?

Steve Jobs - This feature American film about the life of an American technology inventor and entrepreneur who was co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc. celebrates the man and the digital revolution. Beneath the surface are the values and beliefs of American culture that are implicit and unstated, which also should be examined by critical filmgoers.

Please note: All these films are about 2 hours in length except for Quiz Show which is 2 hours and 15 minutes. The day we see this film, 4/25, we will meet at 1:45 to have time for a discussion. Maximum: 50.



Leaders: Adrienne Burack/Brenda Yudin   Fee: $50

Mondays                                            Mar. 21, 28; Apr. 4, 11, 18, 25

Roosevelt Hall, 109                            May 9, 16                                   9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Women are from Venus, men are from Mars! Join in a discussion group focusing on expression of feelings from a female point of view. By verbalizing our experience, we enhance awareness of who we are and how we got there.  Each session will cover a single topic, giving all participants a chance to participate and focus on circumstances that confront and mold our lives today. Maximum: 10.



AM I MY FATHER’S SON?                                                                                   

Leader: Nelson Burack                                 Fee: $25

Tuesdays, Roosevelt Hall, 109          Mar. 22, 29; Apr. 5, 12         9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.                                                                                                  

Tuesdays, Roosevelt Hall, 109          Apr. 26, May 3, 10, 17          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. $25 for each designated four-week session or $50 for both sessions. 


NO POUR PAINTING - WATERCOLOR                                                                                  

Leader: Bobbi Benigno                                 Fee: $44

Tuesdays, Lupton Hall, T101           Apr. 19, 26; May 10, 17, 24     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. Weekly demonstrations and exercises introduce ideas and techniques.

 Learn to make a color wheel by mixing colors on paper

  • Draw from a photograph and then paint the picture 
  • Learn how to paint scenes using geometric shapes, focusing on mountains
  • Create a card using special embossing machine and water colors

 Beginners or anyone wishing to brush up on skills are welcome. Supply list available upon registration.  Maximum: 15.





Coordinator: Louise Mehrtens                     Fee: $38

Wednesdays                                       Mar. 16, 30; Apr. 13, 27

Roosevelt Hall, 109                            May 4, 18                               12:00 p.m. – 2:00 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 March 16. Please note that there is ONLY ONE week break between April 27 and May 4.  All other sessions are two weeks apart. Our titles are as follows: March 16, Once We Were Brothers by Ronald Balson, led by Eva Waldner; March 30, Room by EleanorDonaghue, led by Eileen Garbe; April 13, Dead Wake by Erik Larsen, led by Madeline Lowenthal; April 27, The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, led by Julie Lupson; May 4, The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott, led by Annie Berger and May 18, Them by Joyce Carol Oates, 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.


CURRENT EVENTS IN ISRAEL                                                           

Leader:  Robert R. Weiss                               Fee: $50

Wednesdays                                       Mar. 9, 16, 23, 30

Roosevelt Hall, 111                            Apr. 6, 13, 20, 27                             9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

 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 the face of the earth. Despite its small size, Israel seems to be always in the news.

In this class we will discuss the current events that are facing Israel today. In preparation for this class, we will pick out some articles or TV programs on the subject and try to understand their significance.  Active class participation both in selecting the articles/editorials and in the analysis that follow are encouraged. Debates on controversial points are welcomed.

OPERA – The Magic Flute

Leader: Walter Chaskel                                 Fee: $20

Wednesdays                                       Apr. 6, 13, 27                       

Roosevelt Hall, 111

Technical Assistant: Mary Barry                                                                   

Historical Consultant: Jacqui Chaskel                                                 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


We will be exploring "Die Zauberflöte" – The Magic Flute - the final great opera by Mozart!  It will be sung in German with English subtitles. If you have ever seen Amadeus— either the stage play or the film version, a life of Mozart — you will have experienced wonderful musical theatre, but not necessarily an authentic biography of W. A. Mozart!  Our purpose is not to tell his life’s story; but to correct errors; and to tell the story of the opera. In addition to telling you the story, this course will be a loving attempt to present and clarify some of the incorrect aspects and false impressions of the life of Mozart, through his great opera The Magic Flute, and a sampling of his final work, his Requiem.  As a course in operatic music, we will share both the music and the story, plus individual readings to enhance the work of our remarkable, great master. Welcome to the magic of The Magic Flute!




ANCIENT PROPHECIES OF THE MESSIAH: Fulfilled or Unfulfilled?        

Leader: Koro Terroade                                 Fee: $25

Thursdays, Roosevelt Hall, 111        Mar. 17, 31; Apr. 7, 14               9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Come and discover if the ancient prophecies have been fulfilled or have yet to be fulfilled.  Take a journey into Israel’s past and discover the prophets. This class will be conducted from a historical perspective.  Enrichment, enlightenment, and appreciation are the desired outcome of the study group.


GREAT BOOKS: Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian

Facilitators: Linda Ilan, Linda Lupario, Marilyn Seidler   

Thursdays, Roosevelt Hall, 109        Mar. 17, 31; Apr. 7, 14, 28                           Fee: $50

                                                           May 5, 12, 19                             11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

We will be reading and discussing selections from an anthology published by Great Books.  Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and memoirs that speak to past experiences, concerns, and aspirations of those who have served in the military and made the often difficult transition back into civilian life. Specific readings will be selected by the members of the group. Each facilitator will be responsible for leading one of the eight sessions.  She will be responsible for researching information about the author and gathering any additional material for discussion relative to the reading. Maximum: 15. Required Book: Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian.  Book fee $19.95.

PLEASE NOTE:  This book was used in the spring 2015 semester. If you need to purchase the book, please indicate this on the registration form. The books for the class will be ordered on 3/2.  If you register after that date, you will be responsible to get the book on your own.  To purchase your book, please go to greatbooks.org.



Leader: Art Feeney                                       Fee: $44 Thursdays,

Roosevelt Hall, 111    Mar. 10, 17, 31

Assisted by Mary Barry                   Apr. 7, 14, 21, 28                       2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.        

This year we will tackle Ken Burns' Baseball. This PBS miniseries links the history of baseball to the history of the United States. We will watch the National Pastime grow along with the country. The United States will be beset with wars, economic panics, depression, and racial problems. At the same time Baseball will deal with racial prejudice, gambling, that eventually led to the Black Scandal and the near ruination of the game. We will watch America, led by three of its greatest Presidents: FDR, Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan, as baseball is dominated by three of its all-time greats: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Willie Mays. Don't like my three picks as greatest Presidents and/or my three greatest ballplayers of all time? Good! This course is designed to have many discussions on both subjects. Come join us this spring and watch our country and baseball mature side by side.

Art Feeney is a lifelong student of History & Baseball. His brother, Charley, is in the Baseball Hall of Fame as a sportswriter. As a youngster Art went to many Major League games. Art spent a lot of time around major league baseball players. This gave him a view of the game that very few people are fortunate to get.



Co-Leaders: Nelson Burack/John Heslin    Fee: $25

Thursdays, Lupton Hall, T101        Apr. 28; May 5, 12, 19          9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.          

In this study of the universe, we will choose select video lectures from the 96 available to us,from the series The Great Courses. Included topics will be: Jupiter and Its Amazing Moon, Comets, Catastrophic Collisions, Search for Extra-Terrestrials, Structure of the Milky Way, Expansion of the Universe, The Big Bang, and others of similar interest. We will explore these topics in a fascinating, nontechnical way taught by one of America’s foremost astronomers, Professor Alex Filippenko, at the University of California, Berkeley.




CURRENT ISSUES FORUM                                                                               

Leader: Chet Gerstenbluth                            Fee: $18

Fridays, Whitman Hall, 150             Mar. 4, 11, 18                        10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

                                                                       Fee: $25

Fridays, Whitman Hall, 150             Apr. 29; May 6, 13, 20          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.   




Leader: Rosetta Friedman                            Fee: $5

Thursday, Mar. 10                            Roosevelt 111                         10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This class will discover Henri Matisse, one of the world’s greatest artists.  Imagine a room with lace curtains, patterned rug, and a green chair.  The dinner table is set with beautiful china, wine, fruit, etc.  What do you see looking through the window? You will have a chance to create your room, your patterns, on the wall, floor, and your dining table.  We will also cut out colored paper to create works of art like Matisse. 


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