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

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.

Spring Term 2023

Each session includes two talks:
Mornings 10:30 am-12 pm
Lunch (buy or bring your own)
Afternoons 12:45 pm-2 pm

Dates: 2 Thursdays, 5/11 & 6/8, 10:30 am-2 pm
Pricing: 2 Thursdays $70/$80, 1 Thursday $38/$45

May 11

Because we CAN know, SHOULD we know?
Genetic testing has seen extraordinary advances in recent years. With these developments, many personal dilemmas have arisen. Should we get tested? Who should be privy to our information—family members, employers, insurance companies? Director of Columbia’s Masters of Bioethics program, Dr. Robert Klitzman will discuss these and other moral and psychological complexities.

The Picasso 1973-2023 Celebration
With the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death in 2023, France and Spain will partner to organize an international exhibition dedicated to the artist’s legacy that will see 40 shows staged across Europe and the U.S. in 2023. Favorite JCCU art history professor Thomas Germano will bring to life the exhibits and events that are planned across the continents.

June 8

Propaganda and American Society
How, living amidst such a fraught political climate and media environment, can we effectively parse truth from propaganda, fact from spin? Sarah Lawrence professor Matthew Ellis will provide a historical overview of propaganda in American society as well as the anxieties about the role that mass media has played in our democracy. *

Listening To and Appreciating Great Music
At the heart of appreciating great music is a more active style of listening, being more attuned to composers and performers. The Thurnauer School of Music’s associate director Michael Reingold will provide techniques to get more pleasure from great music. We’ll listen to excerpts from many genres including classical, jazz, bluegrass and popular music.

* Sponsored in part by the Berit and Martin Bernstein Open Forum Endowment Fund and the Edwin S. Soforenko Foundation.


Cinema Seminar

Wednesday is Matinee Day!

A “road movie” dramatizes the theme of exploration; it’s the film interpretation of the journey. This semester, Professor Dan Jatovsky will present three road movies. He’ll introduce the film, we’ll screen it together, and then he’ll lead the discussion following the film.

Even if you’ve seen the movie, watching it together and discussing it with an expert makes for a richer experience. So ride along; it’ll be a fun journey.

Lost in America (1985) Starring Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty
A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago.

Sightseers (2012) Starring Alice Lowe, Kenneth Hadley
Chris and his girlfriend Tina embark on a dream caravan holiday through England, but their trip takes a very wrong turn.

The Darjeeling Limited (2007) Starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman
A year after their father’s funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.

3 Wednesdays, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 10:30 am-1 pm, $12/$15 per film, $30/$40 for all 3

Asbury Shorts–An Evening of the World’s Best Short Films
Join us for our annual presentation of Asbury Shorts, a nationally acclaimed short film exhibition, featuring award-winning comedy, drama, and animated films curated from the top global film festivals and introduced by event director, Doug LeClaire.
Wednesday, 6/21, 7:30 pm, $16/$20    Premium Reserved Seating $35


Book Club
Facilitated by Kathy Graff

Step out of your own world for a little, and journey with us into the lives of literary characters. Read for pleasure and then share. Join us to chat casually about books. Books will be high-quality contemporary fiction. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Attendees should read the book in advance of the meeting.
The selection for April is The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo.
Monday, 4/24, 11:30 am, $12/$15


Lifelong Learning

Musical Theater
With John Kenrick, Entertainment Historian

From Hitler to Hollywood: How Jewish Exiles Reshaped American Film
Hundreds of Jewish filmmakers were forced by Nazi oppression to leave Europe. Most found their way to Los Angeles, where their acting, writing, musical and directing talents helped ignite the golden age of the Hollywood studios. How did these exiles survive? And how did their talents enrich and change American film? John Kenrick celebrates this rich and rarely discussed legacy, from CASABLANCA to SOME LIKE IT HOT and beyond.

Guys and Dolls: A Musical Fable of Broadway
How were Damon Runyon’s tales of the gamblers and showgirls of old Times Square turned into a hit musical that remains an international favorite after more than 70 years? Musical theater historian John Kenrick takes us behind the scenes into the creation of the original production, the film version and some memorable revivals. Performance clips will cover three generations performing Frank Loesser’s glorious score.

2 Tuesdays, 4/18 & 5/2, 11 am, $45/$55 or $23/$29 per session

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.


Community Health Seminars

The Skincare Hoax with Dr. Fayne Frey
Every day women see ads from skincare products that send a subliminal message that they are not good enough the way they are. So, they spend money on lotions and creams that promise to make them look ten years younger—but actually only add to the profits of the $500 billion cosmetics industry. What’s really in that pricey jar of “age-defying” skin cream? Frequent speaker, author and nationally known dermatologist Dr. Fayne Frey will explain the myths and hype and provide solid scientific information on what we SHOULD be using.
Wednesday, 5/3, 11 am, Free and Open to the Community