Arts & Education: Sundays at JASA

Arts and Education: Sundays at JASA

Sundays at JASA is a one of a kind, college-level continuing education program for adults 50+. Each semester offers a wide range of courses and lectures. Our instructors include luminaries from the worlds of politics, the arts, media, and more.

Join us for the JASA's 2022 Spring Semester from May 1 to June 19 with courses held on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays from 9:00am - 5:00pm. Class descriptions are listed below with times. The registration fee of $120 includes all of the classes listed below. Courses are held on Zoom. Dial-in audio-only options are available for most courses. There will be no classes May 8 (Mother's Day) and May 29- 30 (Memorial Day weekend).

For more information contact Sundays@jasa.org or 212.273.5304
 

Register for Spring Semester
 


Course Catalogue 

SUNDAYS

         10:00am – 11:45am The Opera Companion: Touching Upon Romantic Era Operas and More 

         12:00pm – 1:25pm  Get A Clue! Crossword Construction

         1:30pm – 2:30pm Get A Clue! Advanced Crossword Construction

         2:00pm - 3:15pm Afternoon Performance Series

         3:30pm – 5:30pm Broadway Mixtape: Stephen Sondheim: The Songs and Shows

 

MONDAYS

         9:00am – 10:15am What Just Happened? The News Today

        10:30am-11:30am Keeping Up With the U.S. Supreme Court  

         11:45am-1:15pm Cinema Lecture Series

         1:30pm-2:30pm U.S. History: The American Presidency

         2:45pm-4:15pm Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Part II  

         4:30pm-5:30pm Creative Writing

WEDNESDAYS

         10:00am – 11:00am Jewish History: The Hebrew Bible in American History and Culture 

         11:45am – 1:00pm Postmodern American Poetry, Part II

         1:15pm – 2:30pm New York Short Stories

         2:45pm - 3:45pm Art in the City: Global Edition

         4:00pm – 5:00pm Drawing Workshop
 

Register for Spring Semester
 



Course Descriptions

SUNDAYS
 

The Opera Companion: Touching Upon Romantic Era Operas and More
10am-11:45am  Instructor Jane Marsh

Join international renowned opera singer, Jane Marsh, for an in-depth tour of opera productions for the spring of 2022. This semester’s opera course will include stylistic opera diversity, including the Baroque Era, the Bel Canto and Romantic Eras, and the Verismo and the Impressionistic Eras, all of which open up Ms. Marsh’s commentary on the vocal equipment and technical production needed for these operas. Drawing from literary drama, novels, plays, and political history, the classes will be entertaining fun, all presented through a plethora of apropos YouTube clips. Musical training is not necessary for these classes.

Jane Marsh was the first singer to win the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition. Among Verdi, Strauss and Bel Canto, her repertoire includes the signature Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov heroines. She has appeared as performer and M.C. in international and U.S. radio and television venues and since 2007, has presented Metropolitan Opera Guild lectures and master classes on Bel Canto, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Mozart, Strauss, and the Russian repertoire. She was awarded the New York Handel Medaille for exceptional contribution to the world of music.


Get A Clue! Crossword Construction
12:00pm – 1:25pm  Instructor: Natan Last 

Learn the principles of crossword puzzle construction: basic history, finding a theme, making a usable grid, and creating the fill. A group puzzle will be submitted to the New York Times. Twenty puzzles have been featured in the Times thus far! Will Shortz has hailed this class as “one of a kind.”

This class is capped at 25.

 

Get A Clue! Advanced Crossword Construction (Administrative Approval Required)
1:30pm – 2:30pm  Instructor: Natan Last

Learn the principles of crossword puzzle construction: basic history, finding a theme, making a usable grid, and creating the fill. A group puzzle will be submitted to the New York Times.  Nineteen puzzles have been featured in the Times  thus far! Will Shortz has hailed this class as “one of a kind.” This class is capped at 25.

Natan Last published his first crossword puzzle in the  New York Times  when he was 16, then the youngest constructor to appear in the  Times. Last wrote a book of crosswords, Titled Word. He has a B.A. with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.


Afternoon Performance Art Series
2:00pm – 3:15pm Host: Joe George

Each Sunday afternoon, we will present a lecturer, a poet, or reading from a play. Our new venture into the performing arts is an opportunity to give the community at large some entertainment while many of us remain limited in our ability to attend live performances. Every week, Program Director Joe George will virtually host a reading from established poets with instructor Mark Tursi, a play read by professional actors, and lecturers from a wide range of topics addressing the issues of the day. The interest in these afternoon performances have grown in popularity and are not to be missed.

Joe George is an actor, musician, playwright and educator. Joe has appeared in many Shakespeare plays over the years, including Julius Caesar, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. Joe has appeared in regional theaters, off broadway and many downtown theater productions. Joe is a founding member of theater/dance troupe Witness Relocation Theater Company. He has appeared in many national and regional commercials, voice over and television. He is a graduate of A.R.T. Institute at Harvard Univ. and The Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT).


Broadway Mixtape: Stephen Sondheim: The Songs and Shows
3:30pm – 5:30pm Instructor: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald's Clip Joint / The Broadway Mixtape presents an in-depth look at the music and career of the man whom many people believe to be the most significant composer / lyricist of the musical theater of the last 60 years, if not of all time. We'll take a deep dive into all 18 of his classic Broadway musicals, from the unproduced Saturday Night (1954), through such masterpieces as West Side Story, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods - among others! We'll look at a wide variety of interpretations, from great Broadway headliners to jazz and pop stars, and take a look at the broader context in which Sondheim's music has become part of the cultural bloodstream.

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.


MONDAYS


What Just Happened? The News Today
9am-10:15am  Instructor: Gregg Birnbaum

Join veteran journalist and professor Gregg Birnbaum for a course examining the most important news developments of the week, at home and abroad. Politics, health care, criminal justice/policing, the economy, societal and global changes, foreign affairs and more will be on the table in this discussion-driven course enriched by class members sharing their views. The course will draw from major media outlets for its topics and source material. Our goal is to come away each week more informed, with a better understanding of major news events and having benefited from both the instructor’s insights and the differing perspectives of class members. 

Gregg Birnbaum is a former assistant managing editor for politics at NBCNews.com, where he supervised coverage of national politics and the 2020 presidential campaign, as well as the White House, Congress and Supreme Court. Birnbaum also previously held senior editing positions at the Miami Herald, CNN.com, the New York Daily News, Politico, and the New York Post. He teaches journalism at Baruch College and the University of Florida.


Keeping Up With the U.S. Supreme Court
10:30am-11:30am  Instructor: Leora Harpaz

This course will discuss cases the Supreme Court has already decided this year as well as ones the Court will decide before its current Term ends, including cases on its regular docket as well as its increasingly important shadow docket. In addition, we’ll preview cases the Court has already agreed to review in the Term that begins on the first Monday in October as well as some pending petitions seeking Supreme Court review.

Leora Harpaz is an emeritus professor of constitutional law at Western New England University School of Law as well as founder of the annual Supreme Court Conference where she has been a speaker for over 20 years. Since receiving emeritus status, she has been an instructor in several senior learner programs and taught undergraduate law courses in the political science department at Hunter College. She received her B.A. from Stony Brook University, and has law degrees from both Boston University and New York University.


Cinema Lecture Series
11:45am-1:15pm Instructor: Max Alvarez

Sundays at JASA film instructor Max Alvarez shares selections from acclaimed movies and discusses the careers of the artists in front of and behind the cameras. This semester will include Los Angeles on Film, Singin’ in the Rain: A 70th Anniversary Celebration, Hollywood Battles Television: Wide Screens and Thrill Rides in 1950s Movies, 1962: The Year in Film, Part 2, Scaling the Mountains on Film, A Tribute to Sidney Poitier (1927-2022).

Max Alvarez is a film historian who has been presenting multimedia cinema history courses for Sundays at JASA since the fall of 2013. He is the author of The Cinéphile’s Guide to the Great Age of Cinema (2020), The Crime Films of Anthony Mann (University Press of Mississippi 2013), and a major contributor to Thornton Wilder/New Perspectives (Northwestern University Press 2013).


U.S. History: The American Presidency
1:30pm-2:30pm Instructor: Doug Brin

The 'greats,' 'near-greats,' mediocrities, and downright failures among the 45 men who've held the office. Did crucial events make them or break them? Plus a closer look at revisionist interpretations concerning their tenures.

Doug Brin facilitates weekly discussion groups at the 92nd Street Y and several independent senior residences, and lectures 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 neighborhood galleries in Manhattan.


Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Part II
2:45pm-4:15pm Instructor: Leo Schaff and Joe George

Friends…lend me your ears! Julius Caesar is the tale of a tottering republic. In this course, which has been expanded, we will read and discuss the tale of Brutus, a nobleman, and his fall from grace. The play is both personal and political, loaded with conflicts of honor, ambition, fate and serious implications about the future of Rome. The power of persuasion, prophecy, and the malleable mob made this play an instant classic.

Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime Bardolator, he also teaches at the 92nd Street Y and 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.

Joe George is an actor, musician, playwright and educator. Joe has appeared in many Shakespeare plays over the years, including Julius Caesar, As You Like It, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. Joe has appeared in regional theaters, off broadway and many downtown theater productions. Joe is a founding member of theater/dance troupe Witness Relocation Theater Company. He has appeared in many national and regional commercials, voice over and television. He is a graduate of A.R.T. Institute at Harvard Univ. and The Moscow Art Theater School (MXAT).


Creative Writing
4:30pm-5:30pm Instructor: Leo Schaff

This course calls on writers of all stripes, persuasions, and experiences. Memoirs, poetry, short stories, song lyrics, and letters-to-the-editor are all welcome. Find inspiration through art, music, current events, or simply hearing each other’s work. Writers are helped through writing prompts to help guide topics if needed. When it comes to writing, everything is on the table.

Leo Schaff is an actor, singer, and songwriter. A longtime Bardolator, he also teaches at the 92nd Street Y and 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.


WEDNESDAYS
 

Jewish History: The Hebrew Bible in American History and Culture
10am-11am Instructor:  Amy Weiss

This course examines the role the Hebrew Bible has played in American history and culture. Specifically, it demonstrates how Hebraic ideas (values, traditions, and stories that emerged throughout ancient Israel) have shaped the United States, from its founding through to the present. We will use passages from the Hebrew Bible to inform our understanding of significant moments in American history, including the creation of the American government and rule of law, the elimination of slavery, the establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday, the role of the Ten Commandments in American culture, and the existence of various slogans and symbols (i.e. the 1954 inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance). 

Amy Weiss is the Maurice Greenberg Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford. 


 

Postmodern American Poetry, Part II
11:45am-1pm  Instructor:  Mark Tursi

Spontaneous, uncertain, irrational, absurd, fragmentary, oppositional, language-centered, and carnivalesque are just some of the terms used to characterize Postmodern American poetry. Does Postmodernism really demarcate the end of Modernism? What distinguishes Postmodern poetry from Modern poetry and other contemporary literature? In this class, we will explore the way in which Postmodern poets investigate language, human experience, and the imagination in ways that are quite different from previous generations. It is also a lot of fun to read and discuss! We will cover the poetry and poetics of some of the most significant literary movements—mostly in America—following World War II: the Beats, the New York School, Neo-Surrealism, Oulipo, Language Poetry, Cyberpoetry and several others.

(Please Note: Although this is a two-part course—Postmodern American Poetry, Part II will be taught in the Spring Session—either one can be taken in isolation. Everyone is welcome to enroll in either course individually or both courses in a sequence. Part I will cover the poetry movements from World War II to around 1975 or 1980. Part II picks up from there and ends in the present.)

Mark Tursi is the author of four poetry books including the forthcoming title, The Uncanny Valley. He is currently working on several writing projects including a novel, an anthology of American Surrealist poets, a cross-genre work that blends philosophy, fiction, literary criticism, and poetry in response to and ‘in conversation’ with Dante’s Inferno, as well as a scholarly work titled Experience & Emptiness that explores the confluence of Postmodern philosophy with Surrealism, Zen Buddhism, and notions of the sublime. He teaches various courses in the humanities at Marymount Manhattan College, Mount Saint Mary College and Pace University.


New York Short Stories
1:15pm-2:30pm Instructor: Jennifer Gilchrist

New York is a city of millions of stories of hope, dreams, fear, anger, despair, romance, luck, creativity, humor, and resilience. What better setting for the literary short story? With an emphasis on craft and perspective, we will analyze short works of tragedy, irony, satire, psychological drama, and stream of consciousness by New Yorkers and temporary-New Yorkers such as Abraham Cahan, O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Gish Jen, Jean Stafford, and Deborah Eisenberg.

Jennifer Gilchrist is a veteran New Yorker who now resides in Metro Detroit. She taught literature courses at Hunter College and has published articles in Twentieth-Century Literature and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In addition to her instruction at JASA, she is the review editor of Supernatural Studies: A Journal of Art, Culture, and Media. With a specialty in modernist narrative, she received her Ph.D. in twentieth-century American and British literature from Fordham University in the Bronx


Art in the City: Global Edition
2:45pm – 3:45pm  Instructor: Pamela Koehler

In this course we will explore the nature of visual expression and the ways in which artists transform ideas into works that communicate across time and culture. Through lively discussion and careful observation, we will engage with works of art from museums and collections around the world, and explore new ways to connect to them virtually.

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.


Drawing Workshop
4:00pm – 5:00pm  Instructor: Pamela Koehler

Explore your creativity in this hands-on exploration inside the art of drawing and watercolor painting. We will explore a variety of skills and techniques, including color mixing, composition, brushwork, and observational sketching. Drawing and painting in watercolor can increase our observation and imagination, as we notice and appreciate more of the world around us. Beginning and experienced artists are welcome and students are free to work in either drawing or watercolor throughout the semester.

**A suggested materials list with inexpensive options will be provided.

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.


Register for Spring Semester

146