Lectures & Learning

Our lectures and learning programs bring subjects alive through the enthusiasm of our instructors and their passion for the material.

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”–Harry S Truman 


JCC U—Keep Learning Fall Term 2021

Fall Term 2021 In Person

Top professors and experts present on a diverse array of topics. Rekindle previous passions, ignite new interests, meet new people, and stay involved in the developments that shape today’s world.

Session Schedule
10:30 AM Coffee & Conversation
10:45 AM-12 PM Morning Presentation
12-12:45 PM Lunch (buy or bring your own)
12:45-2 PM Afternoon Presentation

Oct 14

Morning Presentation
Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes
Peabody Award-winning writer and producer, Ira Rosen who scaled the heights of TV journalism, breaking some of the most important stories, gives his account of his decades at America’s most iconic news show. Take an off the record look at the show’s legendary correspondents and the stories that made them. *

Afternoon Presentation
Frank Gehry: “Starchitect” of Some of the Most Recognizable Buildings of Our Time
Favorite art history professor, Thomas Germano presents a visual overview of the works of Frank Gehry. Believing that the boundaries between art and architecture need to be blurred, Gehry’s designs have taken on a unique sculptural form, exceeding the limits set by earlier generations of modernist architecture.

Oct 28

Morning Presentation
Leaders in Crisis: American Presidents Who Saved Our Country Part 1
Columbia Law School lecturer Jess Velona presents the first part of a two-part series which examines how Washington chose to cross the Delaware and carry the fight to the British when independence seemed lost, Lincoln steered through the Civil War, FDR confronted economic collapse in the banking crisis, and Kennedy faced the end of the entire world in the Cuban Missile Crisis. (continued…see below) **

Afternoon Presentation
A Performance-Based Talk with Tonight Show Magician Joshua Jay
Professional magician and bestselling author Joshua Jay brings us up close with magic, revealing the artistry, inside history, and fascinating traditions of this mysterious subject. He will discuss his book How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Matters. Come on this rare excursion into a truly secret world with a very charismatic performer. *

Nov 11

Morning Presentation
Leaders in Crisis: American Presidents Who Saved Our Country Part 2
Columbia Law School lecturer Jess Velona presents the second part of his series. (It stands on its own, so no worries if you missed the first) Using video, Velona recreates the key meetings when leaders agonized over stark choices, and the speeches by which they rallied the nation to meet the crisis. (see above for further description)

Afternoon Presentation
Unstoppable: Siggi B. Wilzig’s Astonishing Journey From Auschwitz Survivor to Wall Street Legend
Renowned Holocaust scholar and filmmaker Joshua Greene tells us the ultimate immigrant story of Siggi Wilzig who was liberated from Mauthausen and came to America where he started selling neckties from the back of his car and in a little over decade rose to CEO of an oil company and a bank with assets over $4 billion. *

*Co-sponsored with the James H Grossmann Memorial Jewish Book Month Endowment Fund
**Sponsored in part by Berit and Martin Bernstein Open Forum Endowment Fund

3 Thursdays, $95/$115 or 1 Thursday, $36/$44, 10:30 am-2 pm

First 10 participants to register for the full JCC U series will receive Ira Rosen’s book Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes

Special Event! Alan Zweibel presents Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier
Comedy writer Alan Zweibel regales us with stories about his career penning the classic material of comedy superstars Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Gary Shandling. An original SNL writer hired by Lorne Michaels, Zweibel has won multiple Emmy and Writers Guild of America awards. He also collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award-winning Broadway Play 700 Sundays and won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for his novel The Other Shulman.

Join us for an hour of big fun. You’ll leave with a smile and a book.

Thursday, Nov 18, 11 am, $20/$25 includes book

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning programs are sponsored by the Millicent and Harold May Family Endowment for Lifelong Learning in memory of Edward J. Newman, M.D. and the Michael J. Levitt Family Endowment Fund for Lifelong Learning.

Impressionism with a Woman’s Touch: Berthe Morisot​
With Michael Norris, PhD
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot (1841-1895), the French Impressionist whose art often focused on modern young women and children, captured her world in a vibrant, changing style. Various museums, such as the Newark Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art will help tell her story in art.

2 Mondays, Oct 18 & 25, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, $40/$50

Sublime Studies: The Etudes of Chopin and Debussy
Steven Masi, Faculty Member of the JCC Thurnauer School of Music
When Chopin published his piano Etudes, the world of piano music was changed forever. His Opus 10 was a manifesto of Romantic piano technique and celebrated the possibilities of a newly emerging instrument. Almost a century later Claude Debussy lauded the piano with his twelve Etudes, his last piano music. We’ll look at the ways that Chopin and Debussy approached the Etude and elevated the study from the pedantry of the practice studio to inspired concert pieces. 

2 Mondays, Nov 8 & 15, 1:30-2:30 pm, $40/$50