13 Dec LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE
The Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) is a robust program of courses taught by specialists and academics from all fields of learning. This is learning for the time of your life because we believe you should keep on learning no matter what time of life you are in, and you should have the time of your life doing it!
WINTER TERM (January 7th – February 13th)
THE FIRST REAL DETECTIVES | Instructor: Stephen Singer, Esq.
Week 1: Discover the earliest true detectives. Eugene Vidocq was the first plainclothes police officer in Western culture. A former convict, he became a police informer, then founded the original detective force in Paris. Alphonse Bertillon was the father of criminal identification. Using an anthropomorphic technique of his invention, he was able to classify recidivist criminals so that they could not disguise their true identity.
Week 2: Jack Whicher was one of the original eight members of the newly created “Detective Branch” in 1894. Described by his colleagues as “the prince of detectives”, he was best known for his participation in the murder at Road Hill House. Another Victorian detective of note was a Hungarian private detective named Ignatius Polaky, a confidant and close friend of Charles Dickens.
Week 3: Allan Pinkerton was the original secret service agent who saved Abraham Lincoln’s life at least once that we are certain of. A wanted criminal himself, he left Europe for America and founded the most significant private detective agency of all time. He had world-wide connections and solved many important criminal cases.
Week 4: William Burns was the direct competitor to the Pinkertons. He was referred to as America’s Sherlock Holmes and was the first director of the B.O.I., the precursor of the F.B.I. He was succeeded by Hoover. Ellis Parker was thought of as “the greatest detective in the world.” He spent over 40 years in law enforcement and was said to have solved 98 percent of the homicides in New Jersey, often without leaving his desk.
January 8, 15, February 5, & 12th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
READING BEHIND THE WORDS: UNDERSTANDING THE SHORT STORY | Instructor: Winston Aarons
The basic elements of a short story are setting, character, plot, conflict and theme. Recognizing what each of these elements are adds to the story and helps the reader understand the structure and meaning of a short story. Participants will read selected short stories and through the close analysis of each work, acquire the skills needed to understand and interpret not only the short story, but longer works of fiction.
Please note: a copy of the first story will be available for you to pick up at the Circulation Desk before the first class.
January 21, 28, February 4, & 11th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
ART AS PROPAGANDA | Instructor: Marion Dolan
Throughout human history leaders have employed propaganda to influence, engage and attract others, strengthening their power, influence and wealth. Aren’t we glad they did? This series of illustrated discussions will investigate these endeavors which resulted in the production of paintings, sculpture and monuments, including some of the most magnificent artworks ever created.
Week 1: Art of Royal Propaganda. Kings and queens of ancient empires in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Rome through the regal courts of early modern Europe commissioned extravagant works of art to enhance their position and prestige, including masterful paintings by Titian, Velasquez, van Dyck and Rubens.
Week 2: Art of Religious Propaganda. Spiritual leaders too used magnificent artworks to illustrate their messages of salvation, redemption and tortures of Hell. Martin Luther succeeded in his preaching of new religious concepts through the printing of cheaply produced drawings and caricatures denouncing the Church of Rome. Rome counteracted through the Reformation, commissioning Baroque masterpieces to draw congregations back to the fold.
Week 3: Art of Military Propaganda. Military and political leaders were always quick to illustrate and display their success in battle and trophies of war. From Julius Caesar to Trajan to the Doges of Venice, the Medicis, Napoleon and even George Washington used monuments and displays of their conquests to promote their causes and their fame.
January 21, 28, February 4, & 11th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
PATHWAYS TO PEACE: LIVING IN A WORLD WITHOUT RELIGIOUS CONFLICT | Instructor: Mark David Luttio, Ph.D.
A 4-week multi-media driven course coming directly from Dr. Luttio’s 6-month sabbatical as the Kathleen Cheek-Milby Fellow circumnavigating the globe in search of the causes of religious conflict and the keys to pathways to peace. Luttio trekked over 50,000 miles across the globe by every imaginable mode of transportation, spending significant periods of time in virtually all of the epicenters of our World Religions. From the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to the Basilica of Saint Peter’s in Rome, from the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in Amritsar India to the Monastery of the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, he traversed the planet with only a small backpack in hand looking for answers to the exigent problem of religious intolerance. Come join him as he helps us uncover a new hope for “Pathways to Peace.” This series will include lectures, discussions, and media presentations (with plenty of stories from his travels to spice things up).
January 22, 29, February 5, & 12th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
STAYING SHARP! | Instructor: Barbara Klau
This course will cover the basics of brain fitness, improved cognitive ability, and memory retention, with added activities based on suggestions from past participants. Each week, group and individual mentally-challenging activities, discussions, and a different memory retention technique will be featured. Learn how to remember names and numbers, where you parked your car, and why you walked into the kitchen… this class is interactive, educational, mind-stretching, and fun!
January 23, 30, February 6, & 13th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
JEWISH THOUGHT ON ENJOYING SEX | Instructor: Andy Greenberg
One of the greatest pleasures of being Jewish is, yes, SEX! Now that I have your attention, learn how Jewish thought on this great topic will put a smile of your face and add to your enjoyment of life!
Not Jewish? No problem. This class will be entertaining, interactive, provocative and thought provoking – for everyone.
Andy Greenberg is a motivational speaker with over 35 years’ experience as a sales and marketing expert. He also had his own TV show, is an established author, and has appeared in national news periodicals. Andy is an established lay leader of services, a Jewish educator for 25 years for youth and adults, on the board of directors for several synagogues, and a sought after speaker on Jewish topics.
January 29th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $25
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCENE TODAY | Instructor: Rabbi Richard Polirer
Week 1: How the 1960s shaped US politics ever after
Week 2: The American Century: From FDR to Today
Week 3: Election 2020 – Where Are We Going?
January 30, February 6, & 13th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $55
SPRING TERM (March 9th – April 16th)
SHORT FICTION & POETRY FROM THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE | Instructor: Judith Klau
Both the fiction and the poetry in this most popular venue for serious contemporary writing can present challenges. In the course, participants will have access beforehand to one writing example each week and will (figuratively) wrestle with the works, the instructor, and one another to gain meaning and enjoyment from them.
March 9th, 16th, & 23rd | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $55
IT’S ALL UPHILL FROM HERE: JOYFUL REBELLION IN CAMUS’ PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE | Instructor: Eric Hamm
This class looks at the philosophical movement of existentialism and the possibility of interpreting the key texts of the movement in a positive or optimistic way. All too often is this sort of philosophy treated as “gloomy” or “depressing.”
March 10th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $25
ASPECTS OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY | Instructor: Ronald Feinman
Week 1: Abraham Lincoln and Five Former Presidents in the Civil War Era: When President Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, with the crisis of the Civil War emerging, there were five former living Presidents–Martin Van Buren (1837-1841); John Tyler (1841-1845); Millard Fillmore (1850-1853); Franklin Pierce (1853-1857); James Buchanan (1857-1861). This lecture will focus on the interaction of these five former Presidents with President Lincoln and each other during the years of the greatest crisis in American history. This is one of only four times that we have had five former Presidents alive during a later President’s term of office.
Week 2: Presidential Courage: 20 Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama: This lecture will examine significant moments of Presidential Courage of 20 Presidents, beginning with George Washington and going through Barack Obama, and will demonstrate the difficult decisions made by many of our Presidents, who faced challenges that transformed American history in positive ways. The list of Presidents covered will range from well-known and highly ranked Presidents, but include those Presidents often overlooked or ignored, but also showing true conviction and courage. As John F. Kennedy termed it in his Pulitzer Prize winning book in 1956, they were “Profiles in Courage”.
Week 3: The Presidential Election of 2020: This lecture will examine the state of affairs in the upcoming Presidential Election of 2020, after many states have already conducted their Presidential Caucuses and Primaries. We will judge where the Democratic Presidential nomination is headed and speculate on possible Vice Presidential running mates. We will also look at the state of the Republican Party if Donald Trump is still in office, or if Vice President Mike Pence has replaced him, and if there is an opportunity for an alternative Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential candidacy.
March 10th, 17th, & 24th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $55
CONSCIOUS AGING: CULTIVATE WISDOM, CONNECT WITH OTHERS & CELEBRATE LIFE | Instructor: Dr. Davele E. Bursor, Ed.D., CPC
Aging is indeed challenging and it requires a strong inner core to help us survive and thrive during these later life stages. However, it is a time of great opportunity for emotional, psychological and mindful growth. This four-part course is meant for seniors who are yearning to engage in dialogue, discussion and exercises to invoke meaning, connection, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, and community to help fortify themselves for their aging years.
Week 1: Conscious Aging Introduction to Conscious Aging and Self-Compassion
Week 2: Forgiveness, Ourselves and Others and Life Review
Week 3: Transformative Practices and Death Makes Life Possible
Week 4: Surrender and Creating a New Vision for Aging
March 11th, 18th, 25th, & April 1st | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
BRINGING JEWISH EDUCATION TO LIFE! | Instructor: Andy Greenberg
For all those interested in what Jewish Education has to do with you. Trigonometry, Geology, Botany and foreign languages are all taught in school and yet what does the average student do with it after class? Hardly anything because they do not know what to do with the knowledge.
This semester we will learn how ancient, medieval and modern Jewish traditions, thoughts, myths and texts can be used every day in secular life –if you are working, retired, raising a family, going on vacation, buying a car or house, getting married or getting a divorce, using your smart phone (or land line), investing or simply reading a book.
As always, knowledge of anything Jewish is not required and all classes are entertaining, interactive, and thought-provoking.
March 12th & 19th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $50
CONTEMPORARY GLOBAL HOTSPOTS | Instructor: Al Biegel Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Week 1: Iran: Impact of US Maximum Pressure Campaign. US decision makers are attempting to limit Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and delivery systems, as well as to minimize Tehran’s malign regional behavior. Discussion will highlight Trump Administration’s strategies to counter Iran’s assaults against US and Allied interests in the Gulf of Hormuz. Should Tehran fail to renegotiate the JCPOA and minimize its malign regional behavior, the US and Allies are likely to continue to exploit Tehran widespread domestic and international vulnerabilities and opt for regime change.
Week 2: Update: US-China Relations. One year after escalating economic trade war tensions between the US and China, both nations have called for a truce. Nonetheless, US concern about rising Chinese technological competitiveness, and its military buildup in the South China Sea has caused Washington to reassess its overall relationship with Beijing. Graphic lecture will highlight US countermeasures to deter China’s violation of WTO economic obligations, and US/Allied actions to deal with China’s expanding military capabilities.
Week 3: Putin’s Potemkin Village: Graphic lecture will highlight the rise of Putin and his reaction to the enlargement of NATO with former members of the Warsaw Pact. Russia’s offensive actions post-Cold War actions, to include Ukraine, Crimea, and Syria, as well as Putin’s rationale for interference in the US elections will be assessed. Nonetheless, Putin is well aware of Russia’s comparative weaknesses and domestic and international vulnerabilities that will impact the outlook for future US-Russian Relations.
Week 4: Update: US-North Korean Relations. Effectiveness of Trump Administration’s efforts to constrain North Korean nuclear and long-range missile delivery systems. Lecture will highlight North Korean efforts to maintain its nuclear deterrent, and counter US/UN tightening economic sanctions to influence Pyongyang’s “denuclearization”. South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, and Russian interests directly influence the development of US strategies to minimize the North
Korean nuclear threat.
March 12th, 19th, 26th, & April 2nd | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
THE OLD TESTAMENT AS INSPIRATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS, PART II | Instructor: Helene Yentis
Week 1: Rembrandt and the Jews
Images are about Rembrandt’s use of Jewish models and his treatment of majestic Old Testament themes.
Week 2: Highlights from Famous Haggadahs (The Story of Passover)
Images illustrate a fixed text, but the artists enrich the ancient text with their new interpretations. This visual midrash varies in different places and times, such as Medieval Europe, modern Israel, American Jewish communities, and contemporary Haggadahs from the 21st century.
March 17th & 24th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $50
FAMOUS HISTORIC CRIMINAL TRIALS | Instructor: Stephen Singer, Esq.
Week 1: In 1692-3 over one hundred people were accused of witchcraft in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Witchcraft was one of the capital offenses at that time. The greatest number of incidents occurred in the area of Salem and we have the
most accurate records of what happened there; which is why when one speaks of the witch trials in America, they always refer to Salem.
Week 2: In Victorian England and just about every place else in civilized society at that time, being gay was a felony (“ a sodomite “). Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish poet, novelist and playwright was foolish enough to believe that his popularity and
success could save him. When he chose to fight charges of sodomy against him, he lost everything.
Week 3: Being insane before the middle of the Nineteenth Century simply meant that you were either literally “raving mad” or locked within a cocoon of silence.
While mentally ill people weren’t executed, they were treated worse than animals. People paid admission to visit “lunatic asylums” to view the inmates. Today, with the advent of modern psychiatry, we recognize different forms and degrees of mental
disease, but how mental illness is a defense to murder, is the question.
Week 4: Joan of Arc, now a saint, is known in France as “The Maid of Orleans”. A peasant girl who claimed to hear voices and experience visitations from God, eventually came to the attention of the would-be King of France, embroiled still in
the Hundred Years War with the English. He allowed her to blend with the troops, to inspire them and lead them to victory. After she was captured and sold to the English, she was burned at the stake as a heretic, but was she simply mentally ill?
March 25th, April 1st, 8th, & 15th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
GREAT NATIONAL ARTWORKS | Instructor: Marion Dolan
Every country produces its own individual artistic heritage reflecting that society’s character, values, ideals, attitudes and history. This series of discussions will investigate the national heritage of four different countries exhibited in their most
admired artistic output.
Week 1: The Artistry of Italy. For many centuries Italian artists and sculptors led the world through their innovations and daring new types of art, developing scientific perspective and realistic representations, trompe-l’oeil. All artistic roads led to
Rome and Florence. Italy still produce outstanding artworks in many fields.
Week 2: The Artistry of France. In the nineteenth century France advanced to become the most important center of artistic production. The art world was centered in Paris, the artists, critics, dealers, writers, art academies and exhibitions. Their
avant-garde experimented with radical, unorthodox techniques daring to break all the rules of classical traditions.
Week 3: The Artistry of England. Artistic styles in England tended to follow their own particular taste and interests in painting, sculpture and architecture. Until contemporary times their art market valued traditional, more conservative styles of
painting, but boasted great artists such as John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, and more recently David Hockney and Damien Hirst.
Week 4: The Artistry of America. Painting in America was slow developing but came to the forefront with the Hudson River School and their depictions of the vast primitive, untouched landscapes. But artists were almost required to travel to Paris
for training until the devastation of WWII. Then the center of the art world passes to New York where it still thrives today.
March 26th, April 2nd, 9th, & 16th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $60
POLITICAL WRITING | Instructor: Jeffrey Morgan
Week 1: From Colony to Democracy with Jefferson and de Tocqueville with a reading and discussion of the historical significance of The Declaration of Independence and Book II, Chapter 5 of Democracy in America.
Week 2: The Civil War & Separate but Equal with Lincoln and DuBois with a reading and discussion of The Gettysburg Address, The Emancipation Proclamation, and Chapter 9 of Souls of Black Folk.
Week 3: The Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King with a reading and discussion of King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and his I Have a Dream speech.
March 31st, April 7th, & 14th | 2:00 PM -3:30 PM | Fee: $55