The United States and North Korea—A Tense Relationship
Professor A. Tom Grunfeld, who has been to North Korea himself, returns to JCC U to focus on North Korea. He will examine the history and politics of Korea (both North and South) and then examine US/Korea relations, especially the issues surrounding North Korea’s nuclear program and the American attempt to prevent its development. *
Jewish Comedy: A Serious History
Columbia professor Jeremy Dauber will trace the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from biblical times to the age of Twitter. Both scholarly and funny, this talk will explore the ways Jewish comedy has dealt with persecution, assimilation and diaspora through the ages. From Talmudic rabbi jokes to Curb Your Enthusiasm, from Franz Kafka to Jon Stewart, we will look at a broad range of comedic masterpieces.**
The Power of Different: The Link Between Disorder and Genius
Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, columnist, best-selling author and television commentator will profile famous geniuses who have been diagnosed with “disabilities”. She will also look at lay individuals to show how the sources of our greatest struggles can be the origin of our strengths. Saltz uses the latest neuropsychiatric research to make her case.*
The Hollywood Star System
From Mary Pickford to Meryl Streep, movie actors have always played a crucial role at the box office. Professor Brian Rose will look at how Hollywood relies on star power to draw an audience. We will examine the history of movie stardom, how movie studios manufactured stars and how the stratospheric salaries (often over $20 million) commanded by movie stars are justified.
Everybody Lies: What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
Local author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former Google Data scientist, and current lecturer at Wharton will explain how search terms provide insight into what people are actually thinking and doing. Big data can reveal our biases, anxieties and hidden desires which can be quite surprising. Learn what we really think about politics, race, economics and more.
The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums
Author of nine books on music and popular culture, feature writer for The Wall Street Journal, Will Friedwald will present curated clips as he teaches us about the great albums of our time. A crucial part of music history, the album was planned and structured so that we hear music in a particular way. We will come to understand what makes them special.
Looking at Art—A Full Day Event with Tobi Kahn
Tobi Kahn, renowned painter, sculptor and art lecturer will spend the day with us at JCC U. Tobi, whose own works are in major museums, corporate and private collections has been wowing JCC art lover for years with his perpetually sold out art tours to the newest exhibits in Manhattan. Tobi’s unique teaching style always shows us wholly new ways of seeing.
In honor of Israel’s 70th birthday, the day will feature the work of Israelis. In the morning, Tobi will focus on nine internationally known Israeli photographers whose use of photography as a medium is being stretched and reinterpreted. In the afternoon he will concentrate on seven contemporary Israeli artists who work in painting, sculpture and installation art.
*Sponsored in part by the Berit and Martin Bernstein Open Forum Endowment Fund and the Edwin S Soforenko Foundation
**Co-sponsored with the James H Grossmann Memorial Jewish Book Month Endowment Fund
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10:30 am: Coffee and Conversation
10:45 am-12 pm: First Presentation
12-12:45 pm: Lunch with Classmates (buy or bring your own)
12:45-2 pm: Second Presentation