Sundays at JASA Fall 2019 Semester

Sundays at JASA

  • Sundays at JASA Fall 2019 Semester

    Welcome to Sundays at JASA!

    Open House 
    Sunday, September 15 from 10:00am – 2:00pm 
    John Jay College, 524 West 59 Street, 2nd Floor, New York City 
    - Faculty presentations begin at 10:30am  - Refreshments will be served

    Course Dates 
    Sundays, September 22 – December 8
    (no courses September 29 and December 1)

    John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street, 2nd Floor, New York City
    (between 10th and 11th Avenues)

    $185 for the Fall 2019 Semester 

    New reduced registration fee of $185 for the whole semester!

    Sundays at JASA Fall 2019 catalog

    Fall 2019 Courses and Descriptions 

    America and You: A Historical Relationship
    9:00am – 9:55am Instructor: Avram Jezer
    The United States has gone through radical transformation over the past 70 years. We will use texts, music, and first-hand accounts to help you explore how America’s stories and your stories intersect.

    Sunday Morning Workout
    9:00am – 9:55am Instructor: Caroline Grant
    Take part in a series of gentle movements to music that can be done standing or sitting. All exercises are designed to keep the body mobile, boost immunity and improve cognitive function by enhancing flexibility, strength, balance and coordination.

    Drawing Workshop
    9:00am – 10:55am Instructor: Pamela Koehler
    Beginning and experienced students will focus on observational drawing / learning to see, and will sharpen their observational skills through the study of great master artists. Topics include gesture, contour line, simple perspective, and the expressive use of a variety of drawing materials. No previous art experience necessary.

    Current Events
    10:00am – 10:55am Instructor: Eric Alterman
    Discuss the major issues of our time and current breaking news with background provided by a moderator knowledgeable in national and international trends. Experience the latest news up close and personal with noted journalist and historian, Eric Alterman. 

    Shakespeare: An Actor Speaks
    10:00am – 10:55am Instructor: Leo Schaff
    A Sundays at JASA favorite! This semester’s class will focus on Hamlet. Actor, singer and songwriter Leo Schaff will lead the class in a close-reading, one-of-a-kind, dramatic exploration of one of Shakespeare’s masterpieces. 

    A World of Art
    10:00am – 10:55am Instructor: Pamela Koehler
    Take a worldwide tour of art exhibitions, museums, and collections from around the globe. From iconic museums and World Heritage sites to lesser-known hidden gems, students will become virtual tourists and explore the art and culture of a different city around the world each week. The course also includes highlights of local NYC exhibits.

    It Was a Very Good Year: Banner Years for the Movies
    10:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Max Alvarez
    Join Sundays at JASA’s film history instructor, Max Alvarez, as he takes you through ten terrific and diverse movie years, ranging from 1939 to 2005. Each two-hour session features at least a dozen selections of landmark films and extensive historical background on the films and filmmakers. Films will include: The Little Foxes, The African Queen, North by Northwest, La Dolce Vita, The Last Picture Show, Gone with the Wind, Brokeback Mountain and many more!

    The Opera Companion: The Met Opera’s 2019-20 Season
    10:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Jane Marsh
    Join international renowned opera singer, Jane Marsh, for an in-depth tour of the new Metropolitan Opera season. This semester’s course includes a diverse range of operas including productions under the theme of “royalty at the opera,” Wagner’s "The Flying Dutchman," and highlights from French and Slavic repertoire. Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess" will highlight America’s contribution to the art form. The class will explore ways in which opera intersects with literary drama, literature, and politics and will include a wide range of film and audio clips from staged productions.

    Freedom of Speech and the Supreme Court
    11:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Leora Harpaz
    Freedom of speech may be the most important individual liberty protected by the U.S. Constitution and it plays a major role in protecting our democracy. Government attacks on expression are a central feature of the Free Speech Clause’s history. This course will explore the Free Speech Clause and how the Supreme Court deals with free speech controversies. Examples may include: opponents of U.S. entry into World War I, Communist Party members in the 1950s, civil rights marchers, or Vietnam War protestors.

    Jewish Book Club (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    11:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Amy Weiss
    Read and discuss short stories with Jewish characters or themes. This course will emphasize contemporary Jewish fiction by authors including Molly Antopol, David Bezmozgis, Dara Horn, Nathan Englander, and Etgar Keret (among others). New trends in Jewish fiction will also be discussed. Readings will be provided in advance. In collaboration with JASA, JBI International (formally known as The Jewish Braille institute) will make it possible for people who are visually impaired or blind to participate in Judaic Studies courses by preparing relevant reading materials in audio, large print, or braille format - free of any charge.

    Creative Writing 101
    11:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Leo Schaff
    Writers of all types and experience levels are welcome to this deep-dive into the art and craft of creative writing. Find inspirations through art, music, and current events. Students share work in a constructive and supportive environment.

    Understanding America: The Immigrant Experience in the 19th Century (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    1:00pm – 1:55pm Instructor: Doug Brin
    Immigration has been a flashpoint as well as a source of pride and identity throughout United States history. Learn about the immigrant experience in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and how large waves of immigration both enriched the American experience and expanded the idea of what it means to be an American. This course will include profiles of Jacob Riis, Albert Einstein, and Irving Berlin. Discussion topics include the role of Ellis Island, the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty for newly arrived immigrants, and excerpts from an original memoir of a struggling Jewish family in turn-of-the-century New York City.

    Masterpieces in Art: What They Say About Life
    1:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Jim Smith
    This popular course will take an up-close look at art masterpieces across disciplines. Dig into great works of art like Rembrandt’s Bathsheba, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Verdi’s La Traviata, Balanchine’s Apollo, and Keats’ Grecian Urn, and discuss what makes them so powerful: more particularly, how they relate to the issues we face in our own lives.

    1:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Scott Klaven
    Prepared monologues, scenes, and improv exercises introduce students to the concepts of modern acting and hone the skills of the more experienced student. Students will present their work in a showcase at the end of the semester.

    Advanced Beginner/Intermediate
    1:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Bonnie Gellas
    Bridge players with some experience will enjoy this advanced beginner to intermediate level class. Each class will begin with a bridge hand that reflects a playing or bidding problem. Supervised play will follow the lesson.

    The Symphonic Poem
    2:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Philip Harwood
    A symphonic poem is a musical piece, in one movement and at various lengths, which tells a story. It could be based on a poem, a play, a landscape, or an event. In this course, historian Philip Harwood discusses and presents musical narratives (through recordings and video) by composers such as Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saens, Strauss, and others. Every work will be a musical adventure!

    Get a Clue! Crossword Construction
    2:00pm – 3:00pm Instructors: Andy Kravis and Natan Last
    Learn the principles of crossword puzzle construction – basic history, finding a theme, making a usable grid, and creating the fill. This lively course is team taught by Andy Kravitz and Natan Last, experts in the field of crossword construction. The Sundays at JASA Crossword Construction class regularly has puzzles published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Will Shortz has hailed this course as “one of a kind.”

    Lunchtime Lecture Series

    Join us for The Regina F. Gordon Lunchtime Lecture Series, free of charge for ALL registered students. With a different topic each week, the speaker line-up brings together well-known journalists, artists, historians, writers, and academics.

    LIGHTSUP/FADETOBLACK: Three Original Short Plays
    October 6 Presentation: Theater of Light
    Professional theater company, Theater of Light, Inc., will present three new, original short plays by noted playwrights and performed by professional actors. Theater of Light uses the power of theater to inspire, encourage, and empower audiences in nontraditional settings.

    Gay Life Since 1940: How Culture and Politics Combined to Produce the Modern LGBTQ Movement  
    October 13 Lecturer: Charles Kaiser
    Charles Kaiser, journalist and author of New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The Gay Metropolis, will trace the history and origins of the modern LGBTQ movement back to World War II. Kaiser will explore how seminal works of literature and art like Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, Kinsey’s Sexuality in the Human Male and films like Cabaret, Brokeback Mountain, and Moonlight combine with political activism to achieve a transformation in the status of LGBTQ Americans.

    Immigrants and Klezmers: Two Jewish-American Music Scenes (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    October 20 Lecturer: Mark Slobin
    Mark Slobin, Professor of Music Emeritus at Wesleyan University and author of Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World and Tenement Songs: Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants will discuss the breadth and diversity of Jewish-American music, from the popular music of the immigrant age to both traditional and modern interpretations of Klezmer.

    Bette Midler: The Divine Miss M
    October 27 Lecturer: Mel Haber
    Popular music expert Mel Haber will discuss singer, songwriter, actress, and comedienne Bette Midler’s varied career. This multi-media presentation will include clips of Bette Midler’s many performances and videos of her singing her hit songs.

    Noël Coward Revisited
    November 3 Lecturer: Ken Starrett
    British playwright and actor, Noël Coward, was well-known for his witty plays and flamboyant personality. Coward wrote more than 50 plays during his long career, including Private Lives and Blithe Spirit. Ken Starrett, long-term North American Director of the Noël Coward Society, will discuss Coward’s early life and his professional successes in both the UK and US. The presentation will include film clips from some of Coward’s most memorable productions.

    Unspeakable Crime: Dissecting a Sensational Murder Trial
    November 10 Lecturer: Beth Karas
    Renowned investigative journalist and former CourtTV correspondent, Beth Karas, will discuss the investigation and trial of a sensational crime – a priest charged with the murder of a nun in 1980. Karas attended the trial and will share the intricacies of the case, which went unsolved for 24 years and finally culminated in the arrest of a priest in 2004.

    Seeing Things Our Way: Art and Propaganda in the Twentieth Century
    November 17 Lecturer: Gene Wisniewski
    Visual art has been used as propaganda since the days of the ancient Greeks. Artist Gene Wisniewski will discuss the role of propaganda over the past 100 years, from the cataclysmic events of the 20th century to our own internet age. Wisniewski has 20 years of experience teaching and lecturing on visual art. He is the author of The Art of Looking at Art, which will be released by Rowman and Littlefield publishers in Spring 2020.

    My Jewish Journey Between Genders: My Transgender Journey Among Jews (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    November 24 Lecturer: Joy Ladin
    Author and academic Joy Ladin will discuss her experiences as a transgender woman in various Jewish communities, from the upstate NY conservative shul in which she became a bar mitzvah to Orthodox Yeshiva University, where she has taught for 16 years. Joy Ladin holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University, and in 2007 became the first (and only) openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. Her memoir, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders, was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award.

    Older, Wiser, Shorter: An Emotional Road Trip to Membership in the Senior Class
    December 8 Lecturer: Jane Seskin
    Author and psychotherapist, Jane Seskin, will read from her latest book of poems OLDER, WISER, SHORTER: An Emotional Road Trip to Membership in the Senior Class. Seskin, the author of numerous books, non-fiction articles, and poems will discuss her writing process and how personal and public writing can be a vehicle for growth and change as we age, and a tool for calling out ageism.

    For more information contact 212.273.5304 or 
    Price: $185.00
    Price for Members: $185.00
    9:00am – 9:55 am Courses
    America and You: A Historical Relationship
    Sunday Morning Workout
    Drawing Workshop
    10:00am – 10:55am Courses
    Current Events
    Shakespeare: An Actor Speaks
    A World of Art
    10:00am – 11:55am Courses
    It Was a Very Good Year: Banner Years for the Movies
    The Opera Companion: The Met Opera’s 2019-20 Season
    11:00am – 11:55am Courses
    Freedom of Speech and the Supreme Court
    Jewish Book Club (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    Creative Writing 101
    1:00pm – 1:55pm Courses
    Understanding America: The Immigrant Experience in the 19th Century (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    1:00pm – 3:00pm Courses
    Masterpieces in Art: What They Say About Life
    Advanced Beginner/Intermediate
    2:00pm – 3:00pm Courses
    Get a Clue! Crossword Construction