Faculty Bios

Sundays at JASA

Faculty Bios

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Eric Alterman is a Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College and Cuny Graduate School of Journalism. He is “The Liberal Media” columnist for The Nation and author of nine books. Alterman received his BA in History and Government from Cornell, MA in International Relations from Yale, and PhD in US History from Stanford University.

Max Alvarez is a New York writer, film historian, and frequent speaker on world cinema culture. Alvarez has held prominent positions as an entertainment journalist, film and theater critic, and motion picture and archival researcher. He has formed presentation partnerships with organizations such as the American Film Institute and the Library of Congress to broaden understanding of the cultural impact of film.

Tyler Bogen is an actor who received a Bachelor’s degree in 2016 from Pittsburgh’s Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts where he starred in many short films and plays. He has recently performed in the sketch comedy show “A Sketch Of New York” right in Midtown Manhattan, and currently works at a Senior Assisted Living residence.

Doug Brin facilitates weekly discussion groups at the 92nd Street Y and several independent senior residences, and has lectured at the JCC. He is a former feature writer for the New York Daily News, and both a history and ethics teacher at the prestigious Dalton and Ethical Culture schools. As a visual artist, his work has been exhibited in major gallery neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Caroline Grant has worked as a professional dancer in TV, theater, and club productions. For the past 25 years, she has taught yoga, dance, and body movement privately and in classes at the Integral Yoga Institute, Barnard College, JASA, and the 92nd Street Y.

Mark Hyman has won both the Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKinney Awards in 2005/06. He holds the Manhattan Bridge Club Championship for 2006. He is an experienced teacher and player.

Avram Jezer formerly taught highly popular Philosophy and Politics classes for Sundays at JASA. Avi graduated with a BA in History from the University of Chicago and an MA in Education from Hunter College. He has worked in the US Congress, helped run a US Congressional campaign, served as an executive search consultant to Fortune ® 10 businesses and technology startups. He taught history and government at Stuyvesant High School and at a Brooklyn College-affiliated early college high school.

Beth Karas spent nearly two decades covering trials for Court TV including many of the biggest crime stories at the time. Karas is a former Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and currently an investigative journalist, consultant, and speaker who operates the website, KarasOnCrime.com.

Scott Klavan is an actor, playwright, and director, who appeared on Broadway with Tovah Feldshuh. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio and a graduate of Kenyon College (two-time Paul Newman Acting Award winner). He was recently published in Best American Short Plays and participated in the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

Pamela Koehler is an adjunct professor of art and art history at Adelphi University. As a teaching artist she has presented lectures, talks, and workshops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Morgan Library, the Whitney, and the Dahesh Museum.

Andy Kravis is a trivia writer and crossword constructor. He is one of the constructors for the mobile app Crosswords with Friends, and co-founded and co-directs the Indie 500 Crossword Tournament in Washington, D.C. He has had crosswords published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsday, and Fireball Crosswords.

Natan Last published his first crossword in The New York Times when he was 16, then the youngest constructor to appear in the Sunday New York Times. Last wrote a book of crosswords, titled Word. He received a BA with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.

Michael Lissner received his JD from Brooklyn Law School. He is admitted and qualified as an Attorney and Counsellor of the Supreme Court of the United States and licensed in New York and Florida. He is a member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He serves as Chairman of The Blue Card, Inc. and is on the National Advisory Council of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants.

Jane Marsh was invited to represent the US in the historically legendary International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and was the first singer to win the Gold Medal in that competition. An internationally renowned singer, Marsh is the Artistic Advisor and Program Consultant to the Met Opera Guild Education Center.

Steve McCann has played tournament-bridge for over four decades. Today he is in high demand as a teacher.

Frances Richey is the author of two published poetry collections. She won the White Pine Press Poetry Prize in 2003. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, prolific songwriter, and longtime Bardolator. He was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city. He co-wrote Give Us Hope, a song performed by the San Francisco Children’s Choir at President Obama’s first Inauguration.

Amy Weiss is the Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at the College of Saint Elizabeth. Her research and publications focus on the intersections of American Jewish history, Israel Studies, and Jewish-Christian relations. She most recently received the American Council for Judaism Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati, Ohio to conduct research on her book manuscript on Jewish-Protestant interfaith alliances and Israel. She received her PhD in Hebrew & Judaic Studies and History from New York University.

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