Lunchtime Lectures

Lunchtime Lectures

Lunchtime Lectures are free for everyone! To join a lecture and for more information, contact or 212.273.5304


October 3, 2021

Norma Mosheim Memorial Tribute

Join us to celebrate the life of our longstanding lunch lecture coordinator Norma Mosheim. A fixture of Sundays at JASA for 24 years, Norma worked tirelessly to bring an array of talented lecturers and interviews to our students and community. Sundays at JASA will forever be thankful for her commitment to excellence. Friends, colleagues, and staff will share stories, memories, and lots of laughs as we celebrate the life of a true original. 


October 17, 2021

A Conversation with Melissa Newman

What’s it like to have Cool Hand Luke as your father? An Academy Award-winning mother? Growing up in Hollywood and settling down in Connecticut, Melissa Newman will discuss the ups and downs of being the child of Hollywood’s two brightest and time-honored stars. Writer Foster Hirsch will moderate this discussion.

Following a successful career singing jingles for television and radio, Melissa Newman continues to perform frequently as part of a jazz duo, trio, and quartet. Melissa has spent almost 20 years volunteering and working with the inspiring women at Bedford Hills correctional facility, teaching art and singing there and in other communities. She also shows and sells her painting and sculpture through the Artist Collective of Westport. She has two (mostly) grown sons, and a lovely husband. 


October 24, 2021

Mort Gerberg: “Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorker’s Perspective”

The program will consist of Mort showing and discussing how he created cartoons that appeared in his 2019 50-year retrospective at The New-York Historical Society and in its companion book, “On The Scene,” on subjects like life in New York City, social and political comment, women, music, and sports. He’ll also show a selection of topical cartoons that he posted on Twitter and Instagram, and The New Yorker daily cartoons over the past two years and talk about how real-life events that we remember all too well became the inspiration for his drawings.

Mort Gerberg is a born-and-bred New Yorker who has documented the character of our city for decades with his insightful cartoons and writing. He is most celebrated for his work in The New Yorker and other major publications, and for his classic “Cartooning: The Art and the Business,” considered “the most authoritative book on the subject.” In addition to magazine cartoons, he has drawn syndicated comic strips, written or illustrated 45 books for adults and children, and contributed or performed for television and online sites. He also created animated fables and did live sketch reportage for magazines and newspapers, covering politics, sports, and travel. He taught cartooning for 15 years at New York City’s Parsons School of Design, and was a founder and president of the Cartoonists Guild. He was voted Best Magazine Cartoonist of 2007 and 2008 by the National Cartoonists Society and was a City College of New York Communications Hall of Fame Honoree for 2010.


October 31, 2021

Beth Karas: The Story Behind Miranda Rights 

The story of Ernesto Miranda, a convicted rapist in Phoenix in the early 1960s, whose case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court after he challenged the admissibility of his confession. The Court agreed with Miranda and ordered a new trial. The Court also spelled out unequivocal warnings that detectives must give an arrestee before questioning. His case in the Supreme Court is the basis for what we call "Miranda Rights." 

Beth Karas is a legal analyst, consultant, and speaker. She is a former prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney's Office where she investigated and tried cases for eight years. Beth then became a correspondent with Court TV where she remained for almost two decades, covering televised trials around the country. Beth now operates a website KarasOnCrime and hosts a podcast of the same name. She also hosts online trial coverage at the LawNewz Network on


November 7, 2021

Brian Rose: The Golden Age of Television: What Made the 1950s So Special

American television was all set to launch in the late 1930s, but its progress was interrupted by the start of World War II. Finally, by the end of the 1940s, NBC and CBS began broadcasting to their east coast affiliates. They offered viewers a wide variety of programs: situation comedies, vaudeville-style revues, and most impressively, live original dramas. Within a few years, these anthology programs, like Kraft Television Theatre and Ford Television Theatre launched the careers of soon-to-be famous directors like Arthur Penn and John Frankenheimer, actors like Paul Newman and James Dean, and playwrights like Paddy Chayevsky and Rod Serling. But by the end of the 1950s, the era of live TV “theater” was over. This presentation will look at the forces that made this “golden age” such an intriguing chapter in TV history and why it was so short-lived (including brief examinations of blacklisting and the TV quiz show scandals).

Brian Rose is a professor emeritus at Fordham University, where he taught for 38 years in the Department of Communication and Media Studies. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred Q&A’s with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.


November 14, 2021

Alison Poe: Spotlight on the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Ancient Greek and Roman Statues

This lecture will look at highlights among the marble and bronze statues on display in the world-class galleries of ancient Greek and Roman art at Metropolitan Museum in New York. We’ll see how Greek sculptors strove for and increasingly achieved a naturalistic yet idealizing style of representing the human body. We’ll examine the ways that powerful individuals chose to be portrayed in antiquity, including Alexander the Great’s successors, the Roman Republican elite, and the Roman imperial family. We’ll learn how to spot “Greek” statues in museums that are actually Roman, and we’ll cover the hot, dangerous process of hollow-casting bronzes. Next time you go to the Met, you’ll think about ancient statues differently!

Dr. Alison Poe has taught courses on ancient and medieval art at Rutgers and Drew University in NJ and online for Fairfield University in CT. She works on Roman imagery and on the ways ancient Greece and Rome are represented in later visual cultures, including children’s book illustrations and contemporary fashion. She co-edited the volume Receptions of Antiquity, Constructions of Gender in European Art, 1300-1600 CE. 


November 21, 2021

Larry Lowenthal: Ernest Hemingway

One of the most popular and influential writers in world literature, Hemingway truly revolutionized modern writing styles in fiction. Even 70 years after his tragic death, all of Hemingway's works are in print and are read by millions of admirers throughout the world. The presentation will discuss his life, his works, his unique "tip of the iceberg" style, and his essential themes: stoicism, honesty, physical courage ("grace under pressure"), and existential loneliness. 

Larry Lowenthal was born in New York City and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. He received his B.A. and M.A. in English from Northwestern University and his Ph.D in English from New York University. He taught literature at Washington State University and Gettysburg College before moving to Israel in 1970. He taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University before returning to America in 1976. Settling in Boston, he spent seven years as an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University, teaching in both the Jewish Studies and English departments.


December 5, 2021

Will Friedwald: Talking Sinatra - A Perfectly Frank Conversation with Bill Boggs

Join New York television legend and author Bill Boggs (host of Mid-Day Live and creator of the new comic novel “Spike The Wonder Dog”) and JASA's own historian and cultural critic Will Friedwald (author of the classic “Sinatra! The Song Is You” and the new “Straighten Up And Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole”) for a conversation about life, the creative process, and, of course, all matters Frank Sinatra.

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Playboy magazine and reviews current shows for Citiview. He is the author of nine books including the award-winning “A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers,” “Sinatra: The Song Is You,” “Stardust Melodies,” “Tony Bennett: The Good Life,” “Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies,” and “Jazz Singing.” He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

December 12, 2021

Annie Edgerton: Wine: What You Need To Know!

Annie will lead participants on a wine journey: visiting key wine regions and the main grapes they grow there, and exploring some off the beaten path gems. She will address selection, storage, and service, and answer some of the most common questions about wine, including food and wine pairing. Annie will help you pinpoint your preferences, demystify some of the confusing language surrounding the great grape, and point you down the route of delicious exploration. 

Annie Edgerton has been working in the wine industry before she was legally able to drink! She holds the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, and is a Certified Sommelier, among many other designations, and she recently completed her first year in the prestigious Master of Wine program. Annie works as a Wine Appraiser and Consultant, and as a Wine Writer, Educator, and TV Host – helping people love wine, one sip at a time!


December 19,2021

Andree Aelion Brooks: Jews and the American Civil War

Jews were deeply involved in the Civil War on both sides and at various levels. Why were they eager to participate? Why were both sides so violently against the Jews as the war ground on? What was the real story of Judah P. Benjamin, often described as the "brains behind the Confederacy”?

Andrée Aelion Brooks is a journalist, author and lecturer specializing in Jewish history. Formerly a contributing columnist for the New York Times, she is an Associate Fellow at Yale University, and founder of the Women’s (political) Campaign School at Yale. Her award-winning books include a comprehensive biography of Dona Gracia Nasi, a Jewish leader who was the richest woman in Renaissance Europe; “Russian Dance,” about a Jewish Bolshevik spy; and “Out of Spain,” a children’s program in Sephardic history. She was honored in 2013 by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.