Sundays at JASA Spring 2020 Semester

Sundays at JASA

  • Sundays at JASA Spring 2020 Semester

    Welcome to Sundays at JASA!



    If you are interested in attending a class please contact the instructor via email to get their “Meeting ID and or Password.” You will need the ID to join in the class. Each week there will be a new “ID” to join the class.

    Classes on Sunday, March 22

    Art in the City 
    Pamela Koehler:

    It Was a Very Good Year- Banner Years for the Movies - Part II
    Max Alvarez:

    The 1950’s: A Decade of Conforming or Harbinger of Change 
    Doug Brin:

    Get A Clue! Crossword Construction 
    Andrew Kravis and Natan Last: and 

    Beethoven Symphonies
    James Smith:

    Classes on Wednesday, March 25

    Jewish Book Club 
    Amy Weiss:

    Broadway Mixtape 
    Will Friedwald:

    Creative Writing 
    Leo Scaff:

    FREE Open House 
    Sunday, February 9 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, February 23 – May 3
    (no courses April 12)

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

    New reduced registration fee $185 for the whole semester!

    Spring 2020 Courses and Descriptions 

    Drawing Workshop / Works on Paper
    9:00am – 9:55am Instructor: Pamela Koehler 
    Beginning and experienced students will explore drawing and other media through works on paper. We will focus on drawing and observation, and will also experiment with materials such as collage and watercolor. Works of great artists will be a source of inspiration. Topics will include gesture, still life, perspective, and the expressive use of a line and color. No previous art experience necessary. 

    Tai Chi
    9:00am – 9:55am Instructor: Michael Braudy
    Join Michael Braudy in an introduction to Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercise class. Develop an internal sense of strength through balance, explore the healing benefits of Tai Chi through postural awareness, proper rooting (our connection with heaven and earth), breath, and energy flow. No previous experience necessary!

    Shakespeare: An Actor Speaks
    10:00am – 10:55am Instructor: Leo Schaff
    A Sundays at JASA favorite! This semester we will finally finish the Final Phase of Hamlet, with a Focus on Film. If you haven't been on this journey, do come join us, as we'll open with a quick review. Actor, singer and songwriter Leo Schaff will lead the class in a close-reading, one-of-a-kind, dramatic exploration of this Shakespeare masterpiece.

    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.

    Art in the City
    10:00am – 10:55am Instructor: Pamela Koehler 
    New York's diverse neighborhoods contain a rich variety of museums, galleries, architecture, and public art. Each week we will look at different exhibitions of art the city, and discover some of the hidden treasures that make New York such a unique and beautiful place to live. A field trip will be planned during the semester, and members of the class are invited to share their experience, and present some of their favorite locations throughout the course. 

    It Was a Very Good Year: Banner Years for the Movies – Part II
    10:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Max Alvarez
    Join Sundays at JASA film history instructor Max Alvarez for Part II of this informative and entertaining course dedicated to memorable movie years. In an age where a handful of quality films arrive annually, this course reminds us of years when masterworks kept flying off film industry conveyor belts. Each two-hour session features at least ten selections from landmark films and extensive historical background on the movies and their brilliant makers. Max Alvarez will cover a 30 year time period from the 1940s to the 1970s. Films include timeless classics like How Green was my Valley, Stairway to Heaven, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Red River, 12 Angry Men, Pickpocket, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Exorcist, and much more.

    The Opera Companion: The Metropolitan Opera and More
    10:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Jane Marsh 
    Join internationally renowned opera singer, Jane Marsh, for an in-depth tour of the new, spring 2020 Metropolitan Opera productions, and famed opera personalities’ biographies. This semester’s course will include a number of diverse operas under the theme of "royalty at the opera," as well as Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, and interesting visits to French and Slavic repertoire. Drawing additionally from literary drama, novels, plays, poems, and politics, the classes will be diverse, entertaining, and fun. A knowledge of music is not a prerequisite for this class.

    Equal Protection and the Supreme Court
    11:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Leora Harpaz
    This course will examine the way the Supreme Court has interpreted the core constitutional concept of equality of treatment protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It will explore the varying ways the Court treats discrimination based on race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, non-citizenship, wealth, residency and other characteristics used by the government to impose differences in treatment.

    Jewish Book Club (Institute of Judaic Studies)
    11:00am – 11:55am Instructor: Amy Weiss
    In this course, participants will read and discuss award-winning contemporary Jewish fiction. Readings, to be provided in advance, will include (among others) "How We Avenged the Blums" by Nathan Englander, "Come on Zion Put Your Hands Together" by Rachel Kadish, "Little Rooster" by David Bezmozgis, "Tikkun" by Ayelet Tsabari, and excerpts from Dara Horn's In The Image and Eternal Life.

    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, current events, and...each other's writing! Students share work in a constructive and supportive environment.

    The 1950s: A Decade of Conforming or a Harbinger of Change to Come?
    1:00pm – 1:55pm Instructor: Doug Brin 
    From a booming economy and becoming one of the world’s strongest military powers to the McCarthy Era, Korean War, and Civil Rights Movement, join Doug Brin this semester as he unpacks this packed decade. This course includes topics ranging from the Presidential Sweepstakes to "new sensations" in film, from Richard Nixon to Frank Sinatra, and much more!

    Beethoven's Symphonies: A Fresh Look
    1:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Jim Smith 
    The Beethoven cycle has longed been considered the pinnacle of symphonic composition. This survey will provide an up-to-date view on why we continue to be so moved and amazed by their power and variety. You will see how Beethoven changed the course of symphonic history, and influenced all the others who came after him. The course assumes no musical background – all are welcome. We will see how he adopted and transformed symphonic form, how his style developed over his lifetime, and look at how his influence changed the course of musical history.

    Broadway Mix Tape Series
    1:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Will Friedwald
    JASA & Will Friedwald's Clip Joint present "The Broadway Mixtape," a ten-part series focusing on the great work of musical theater. Each session tells the story of a classic show - its history and backstory, tracing its evolution from the origins (in the source material) up through the original Broadway production, subsequent revivals and film versions, as well as jazz and pop interpretations of these classic songs. All sessions feature a delightful mixture of great performances captured on vintage film and video, starting with original Broadway cast performances, popular singing legends like Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis, jazz giants like Erroll Garner and Louis Armstrong, and occasionally, the composers and lyricists themselves!

    1:00pm – 3:00pm Instructor: Scott Klaven 
    Acting may seem like a mysterious, even magical art form, but it can be learned. Using techniques he has learned as a lifetime member of The Actors Studio, Scott Klavan will take you from the audience to the stage. Scott has performed on and off Broadway, in regional theatre, on TV, and the Web. His senior students have been cast in Shakespeare in The Park, and his direction of the first “Broadway Srs.,” musical project, was written up in the New York Times. Studies have proven that the self-expression, physical commitment, and group interaction of acting is medically beneficial. The class features improv and scene study with exciting theater pieces, culminating in a public performance. No experience necessary.    

    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

    The Regina F. Gordon Lunchtime Lecture Series was dedicated in 2016 in her honor and in recognition of her generosity to JASA, both during her life and through her estate. An avid learner with an intense curiosity and independent spirit, she was a frequent participant in Sundays at JASA. She lives on in the memories of her family and friends whose lives she touched and who loved her. Join us for the 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. 

    Live Performance
    February 23 Guest Performer: Roman Lankios
    Our Lunchtime Lecture Series kicks off with a delightful treat of dulcet harmonious Jewish songs, played on xylophone. Roman brings his unique sound to kick off our spring semester. This is a performance not to be missed!

    Ways to Win: Progressive vs Moderate Approaches in 2020
    March 1 Guest Speaker: Rebecca Neuwirth
    An election year is upon us already. As presidential candidates debate, voters must decide which candidate they choose. Rebecca Neuwirth will discuss strategies played on both sides of the progressive and moderate platforms and their impact on voter choice.

    Automobiles in 2020: A New Revolution
    March 8 Guest Speaker: Lawrence Ulrich
    Lawrence Ulrich, an award-winning automotive journalist and former Chief Auto Critic at The New York Times, brings an expert look at Self-Driving Cars, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and other technology that is already beginning to revolutionize transportation. In this lecture, Ulrich will discuss the enormous potential benefits of advanced car technology for older adult drivers, which he believes ensures continued mobility, safety, and independence. Ulrich argues that there's little to fear from technology that once seemed a science-fiction fantasy just a few years ago but now has clear potential to reduce crashes and injuries while saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs each year.

    Seniors and Technology: Avoiding Financial and Legal Elder Abuse
    March 15 Guest Speaker: Council Member Ben Kallos and Attorney Michael Lissner
    Two for the price of...FREE! Council Member Ben Kallos is thrilled to join the Lunchtime Lecture Series as a guest speaker. Council Member Kallos will discuss the benefits of technology and how it can improve quality of life. Council Member Kallos will also discuss his fight against over-development in New York City. Attorney Michael Lissner is a student-favorite speaker at Sundays at JASA. Michael will discuss the warning signs of elder abuse and how to protect yourself from elder abuse. Learn how to prevent, avoid, and report attempted incidences.

    The Changing Face of Television
    March 22 Guest Speaker: Brian Rose
    Brian is back once again to discuss how television has rapidly changed over the past decade.The emergence of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube, and a variety of new streaming services has revolutionized how we access, watch, and enjoy television.

    Fraud Protection
    March 29 Guest Speaker: Amy Zeng 
    Amy Zeng will leave you armed with helpful tips and tools on how to identify possible financial scams. In this lecture, Amy will discuss the warning signs of a potential scam and share strategies on how to prevent being financially exploited. Amy will also discuss the suggested responses when dealing with a scam. 

    Painters and Poets
    April 5 Guest Speaker: Mark Tursi
    Professor Mark Tursi is a poet with several published books of poetry. Mark is delighted to give a lecture on 'Ekphrasis.' This lecture will discuss how poetry and visual art influence one another. Professor Tursi will guide you through a maze of poetic vision that promises to be interesting and fun!

    Why "To Kill a Mockingbird" Matters
    April 19 Guest Speaker: Tom Santopietro

    In the midst of a successful Broadway run starring Ed Harris in the role of Atticus Finch, writer Tom Santopietro comes to discuss his most recent book Why "To Kill A Mockingbird" Matters. Tom takes on this beloved classic and its rightful place in current times.The conscience of Atticus Finch could be heard around the world, but with today's rapid globalization of selfies, social media, and the Kardashians, is it still heard?

    The Fall of Wisconsin
    April 26 Guest Speaker: Dan Kaufman
    National bestselling author Dan Kaufman joins Sundays at JASA Lunchtime Lecture to discuss his searing account of how a once progressive state came undone by a think tank of conservatives driven to remodel the nation. What role will Wisconsin play in the 2020 election? What role, if any, has the Trump administration played on the future of conservative and progressive platforms in the state of Wisconsin?

    Live Performance
    May 3 Performers: Peace of Heart Choir        
    The spring 2020 Lunchtime Lecture Series comes to a close with a wonderful live performance by the Peace of Heart Choir. Tap your toes and sing along to the glorious sounds. This remarkable choir is sure to delight your heart. 

    Faculty Bios

    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.

    Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime “Bardolator,” he also teaches Shakespeare at the 92nd Street Y, and was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city.

    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 U.S. History from Stanford.

    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.

    Jane Marsh was invited to represent the U.S. in the 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.  

    Leora Harpaz is an emeritus professor at Western New England University School of Law. She taught constitutional law and is the founder of the annual Supreme Court Conference, where she has been a speaker for over 15 years. Since receiving emeritus status, she has taught law courses in the Political Science Department at Hunter College. She received her BA from Stony Brook University and has law degrees from both Boston University and NYU. 

    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 intersection of American Jewish History, Israel Studies, and Jewish-Christian relations. She received her PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from NYU. 

    Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime “Bardolator,” he also teaches Shakespeare at the 92nd Street Y, and was NY1 New Yorker of the Week for his popular Shakespeare classes for seniors throughout the city.

    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 a history and ethics teacher at the prestigious Dalton and Ethical Culture Schools.

    Jim Smith was the Executive Director of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education for 24 years, where he also taught courses in Classical Music listening. He is energized by the connections between art, psychology, current events, history, and the life of the spirit.

    Scott Klaven is an actor, playwright, and director who had 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.

    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 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, becoming the youngest constructor to appear in the Sunday NYT. Last wrote a book of crosswords, Titled Word. He received a BA with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.

    Pamela Koehler is an artist and adjunct professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Adelphi University. She has presented workshops, lectures, and talks for museums and cultural institutions throughout the New York region including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Morgan Library and Museum, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. 

    For more information contact 212.273.5304 or 
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