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 Fall 2020 Semester, starting October 12th, with courses held on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. The registration fee of $185 includes unlimited courses as well as the Lunchtime Lecture Series, curated by Norma Mosheim. Courses are held on Zoom. Dial-in audio-only options are available with the exception of three courses: "The Magic of Movie Making," "Opera Companion," and "Great Living Songwriters." 


For more information contact or 212.273.5304.




Age Perfect with Pilates 
9:00am﹘10:00am  Instructor: Dallas Fuentes

This class consists of seated and standing exercise sequences that are designed to strengthen and lengthen your musculature, lubricate your joints, increase flexibility, improve circulation through breathing, taper waistlines and flatten the abdomen. In the Pilates world these muscles are referred to as “the Girdle of Strength” or the “Powerhouse.” You learn how to engage these muscles and move your body while maintaining the inner support that the Girdle of Strength provides. As you move, you will keep in mind the six pilates principles: concentration, control, centering, breath, fluidity, and precision. After a few sessions your awareness of how you sit, stand and move through space increases. 

Dallas Fuentes is a gerontologist, aging strategist, and certified Pilates instructor. She owns and operates Perfect Parts Pilates, a boutique Pilates studio, where she teaches the classical method of Pilates to the 50+ community in studio and virtually. Her research areas of interest are agelessness, healthy lifespans, living better longer, centenarians, aging in communities of color, “Vintage” Babes and rebranding aging. She recently launched the AfroBoomers’ Salon, an online community of Baby Boomers of African descent and created (in prototype stage) a suite of services that include life-long learning on gamification platforms, virtual exercise instruction and life planning for boomers and seniors.

The Opera Companion: The Metropolitan Opera and More
10:15am﹘12:00pm  Instructor: Jane Marsh

Join internationally renowned opera singer Jane Marsh for an in-depth tour of the new fall 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," "Verdi's favorites," as well as Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, and interesting visits to French, English and American repertoire. Drawing additionally from literary drama, novels, plays, poems, and politics, the classes will be diverse and entertaining fun, depicted through DVD clips. A knowledge of music is not a prerequisite for this class.

Jane Marsh was the first singer to win the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition. She debuted in Italy’s Spoleto Festival as Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, taking her to most of the world’s major festivals, opera houses, and concert halls. Among Verdi, Strauss and Bel Canto, her repertoire includes the signature Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov heroines, performed with Russian conductor Yuri Aronovitch. Recent Italian performances have included Verdi’s Requiem, La Forza del Destino, and Attila. She conducts master classes in the U.S. and Europe, and most recently performed Opera Composers in Song for the CUNY Graduate Center and reappears there in December with an Advent & Christmas Program. Her music anthology Spirit be Joyful was published by Oxford University Press in 2008, for which she created the singing translations and transliterations. 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 is co-creator of and artistic consultant for the Guild’s Masterly Singing Series. She was awarded the New York Handel Medaille for exceptional contribution to the world of music.

Masterpieces of Art: What They Tell Us About Life 
1:20pm - 2:50pm  Instructor: James Smith

Great works of art illuminate the most important joys and sorrows of our lives.  From the values and peaks of our love lives, to the complexities of the parent-child relationship, pieces like Shakespeare’s King Lear and Sondheim’s Company help us see and understand our own struggles in a new light.  We will delve into examples from music, painting, theatre, literature, and opera – with a strong focus on how these works are made in ways that make them so effective in moving us.  Representative examples include Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn, and Bizet’s Carmen.

James Smith was the Executive Director of an educational and cultural non-profit in Cambridge, MA for many years, and has taught in adult programs at the New School and CUNY.

Get a Clue! Crossword Construction
3:00pm - 4:00pm  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. A group puzzle will be submitted to the New York Times. Eighteen puzzles have been featured in the Times thus far! Will Shortz has hailed this class as “one of a kind.”

Andrew Kravis is an Assistant Puzzles & Games Editor at The New Yorker. He co-founded and co-directs the Indie 500 Crossword Tournament in Washington D.C., and he constructs crosswords that have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the app Crosswords with Friends, and many other outlets.

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 World. He received a BA with honors in Economics and Literary Arts from Brown University.


Monday Morning Meditation
9:00am - 9:40am  Instructor: Larry Hurst

This is an opportunity to start the week with a fresh sense of being! In this short session, we learn to meditate experientially, taking time to listen, unconditionally and empathically, for what may be calling for our attention. After a brief group check-in and guided entry into the process, we maintain a period of silence, after which there will be time for reflection. With mind and body working in tandem, we will have prepared ourselves to embark on new learnings and connections.

Larry Hurst is a certified trainer and workshop leader with the International Focusing Institute and uses meditation as a means of renewal and source of inspiration. His background is in the health sciences. After retiring he helped in setting up a wellness network for the UK’s University of the Third Age. He has an ongoing interest in continuing professional development.

Current Legal Controversies
10:00am - 11:00am  Instructor: Leora Harpaz

It seems as though high profile legal controversies are almost a daily occurrence these days. Whether it’s a decision by a state to limit or expand voting rights, a legal challenge to efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, or a new decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, what they have in common is that they are lead stories in the news. This course will examine some of these “breaking news” legal controversies. Students will have an opportunity to suggest topics they would like to have discussed in upcoming classes.

Leora Harpaz is an emeritus professor who taught constitutional law at Western New England University School of Law. 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 Boston University and New York University.

Acting: Scene Analysis
11:15am - 12:15pm  Instructor: Joe George

How do the actors know what to do? All great acting starts with the actor and their script. In this course, we will analyze scenes from many different modern theatrical traditions. Being able to analyze a scene is crucial to any actor's toolbox. Each week, scenes will be read and analyzed to explore what is actually happening in each scene. A deeper understanding of a scene helps the actor with the choices they make to get what they want. No acting experience is necessary. This class will focus on the actor’s homework.

Joe George has worked in education, theater, music, television, voice over and film for over 25 years. Joe is a founding member of the theater/dance troupe Witness Relocation, which toured in the U.S. and internationally. He has performed in just about everything from Shakespeare, commedia, Greek tragedy, rock musicals, downtown and contemporary modern theater. He has been committed to creating new theatrical styles of performance that challenge what’s possible in theater. He holds a B.S. in International Relations from Old Dominion University and an M.F.A. from Harvard University and Moscow Art Theater School. 

History: The Presidents and Their Elections
12:30pm - 1:30pm  Instructor: Douglas Brin

The quadrennial sweepstakes, including the winners who triumphed or failed in office. And the also-rans as well, many of whom had significant influence on future policy. These talks will include in-depth profiles of: FDR, Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, JFK, LBJ, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Douglas Brin facilitates weekly discussion groups at the 92nd Street Y and several independent senior residencies, 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.

Creative Writing 101
1:45pm - 2:45pm  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 Shakespeare for Sundays at JASA and 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. 

Great Living Songwriters
3:00pm - 5:00pm  Instructor: Will Friedwald

When we hear about the "Great American Songbook," we tend to think of songs written 60 to 80 years ago. The purpose of this nine-week series, however, is to show that the songbook is a living, breathing body of work, and that many of its greatest practitioners are still very much with us. The course will focus on composers in a wide range of fields, from broadway musical theater to pop, rock, soul, and contemporary folk music. Through vintage film and video clips, we shall see how living songwriters and teams have had an indelible impact on the music and culture of the last 50 years, and how the great songwriters and musicians continue to interpret these songs in fresh and original ways.

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair,  Playboy magazine and other publications, and reviews current shows for Citiview.  He also 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. 


New York Short Stories
10:00am - 11:00am  Instructor: Jennifer Gilchrist

New York is a city with millions of stories of hope, dreams, fear, pain, anger, exhaustion, luck, romance, creativity, humor, tragedy, and resilience. What better setting for the literary short story? With an emphasis on craft, our exploration of the NYC-set short story will focus on diversity of perspective & of genre: we will read and analyze short works of mystery, comedy, satire, psychological horror, sci-fi, social realism, and modernism by talented writers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Jennifer Gilchrist is a veteran New Yorker who now resides in metro Detroit. Currently the reviews editor of Supernatural Studies Journal, she most recently taught multicultural American literature, American Immigrant Literature, British Drama, Irish Modernism, and Novel-into-Film in the English Department of Hunter College. With a specialty in modernist narrative, she received her Ph.D. in twentieth-century American and British literature from Fordham University.

The Magic of Movie Making: The Art of the Cinematic Trade
11:15am - 1:00pm  Instructor: Max Alvarez

What makes going to the movies so magical? This course dives into all the beauty, masterly and mystical aspects of filmmaking. From the technique of screen acting, process of screenwriting, film editing, the camera, film scoring, set design, make-up for film, and finishing with costume design. A truly magical journey through the process of making films. 

Max Alvarez has been delivering talks on cinema history for over two decades. He began his career as a Midwest entertainment journalist before working in various areas of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. In Washington, D.C., he was a museum film curator and an outside coordinator for Smithsonian Institution film programs. His previous books include The Crime Films of Anthony Mann from University Press of Mississippi and his major contribution to Thornton Wilder/New Perspectives from Northwestern University Press. Max’s latest book, The Cinéphile’s Guide to the Great Age of Cinema, highlights nine essential 20th century movie directors and three key film genres for film lovers to discover, rediscover, and explore. Learn more at

Drawing Workshop: Creative Drawing/Works on Paper
1:15pm - 2:15pm  Instructor: Pamela Koehler

Discover the joys of creative expression through drawing and other works on paper. The class will introduce drawing techniques including pencil, watercolor and cut paper collage. The class will include demonstrations, discussion, and exploration of museum works. Students will be encouraged to develop the habit of making art through weekly sketchbook assignments. Inexpensive materials will be suggested during the first class.

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.

Art in the City: Global Edition
2:30pm - 3:30pm  Instructor: Pamela Koehler

Take a worldwide tour of art exhibits and art destinations from across 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 each week. The course will also include weekly highlights of local New York City exhibits and events.

Please see Ms. Koehler’s bio above. 

Figurative Language: The Way into A Poem
3:45pm - 4:45pm  Instructor: Frances Richey 

Whether you are an experienced poet, a beginner who wants to learn to write poetry, or a reader of poetry, this workshop will give you the keys to unlock a poem and enjoy its many gifts. Though participants will not be required to write poems, those who do wish to write will be provided with prompts and exercises that coincide with the writing of poets we read in class. Each week we will focus on one poet, and discuss how and why their poem or poems work. We will look specifically at how metaphor, simile, hyperbole, alliteration, imagery, allusion, and more help the writer to follow Emily Dickinson’s age old instruction: "Tell the truth, but tell it slant.” For the reader, understanding how a poet uses figurative language will greatly enhance their ability to understand and enjoy each poem with greater depth. A course schedule, a list of the poets we will study in class, and recommended reading will be provided. 

Frances Richey is the author of three poetry collections: The Warrior (Viking Penguin 2008), The Burning Point (White Pine Press 2004), and the chapbook, Voices of the Guard, (Clackamas Community College 2010). She teaches an ongoing poetry writing class at Himan Brown Senior Program at the 92nd Street Y in NYC, and is the Poetry Editor for upstreet literary magazine, and Editor of Illuminations for the biennial anthology of poems and prose by Himan Brown Poets and Writers at the 92nd Street Y. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from: The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, Plume, Nimrod, Gulf Coast, Salamander, Blackbird, Cortland Review and The Common, among others. Her poems have been featured on NPR, PBS NewsHour and Verse Daily. Her manuscript, “On The Way Here,” was a finalist for the National Poetry Series in 2019. She lives in New York City. 

Lunchtime Lecture Series
Sundays, 12:15pm - 1:15pm, curated by Norma Mosheim

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. With a different topic each week, the speaker line-up brings together well-known journalists, artists, historians, writers, and academics. 

The lecture series is curated by Norma Mosheim, and is open to all registrants. The programs will take place on Sundays, from 12:15pm to 1:15pm. 

October 18
Dan Kaufman: The Fall of Wisconsin 

Wisconsin, which put Donald Trump over the top in the Electoral College in 2016, is arguably the most pivotal state in the country in this year's presidential election. This talk will discuss the progressive history of the state and the decade-long effort to transform it politically by attacking labor unions, voting rights, and environmental regulations. It will also cover the state's current political sentiment and the prospects of both presidential candidates.

Dan Kaufman is the author of The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics, which was published by W.W. Norton in 2018. He has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Nation among other publications. Originally from Wisconsin, he is currently living in the Catskills with his wife and son. 

October 25 
Brian Rose: The Changing Face of Television

Have you ever binge watched a show over an entire weekend? 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. 

Brian Rose was a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center, from 1982 until his retirement in 2020. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred Q&As 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 1 
Martin Schneit: The Borscht Belt

Marty wants to bring back to life a remarkable time, place, and people. It will never be duplicated. What survives of the Borscht Belt is the memory, and Marty will detail that history and its decline. Marty will talk about sites such as Old Route 17, Red Apple Rest, and Bungalow Colonies, and the hotels like Grossingers, the Concord, and Kutsher’s. He will even conduct a Simon Sez routine with the group! Just about all the comedians back then got their start in the Borscht Belt, and we’ll talk about them too:  Red Buttons, George Burns, Rodney Dangerfield, Sid Caesar, Henny Youngman and Milton Berle.  

Martin Schneit is a born and bred New Yorker and historian. Marty has lectured at the New York Public Library, JCC, the 92nd Street Y, the Health Outreach Program of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Central Synagogue, Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale, The Ziegfeld Society of New York, the patients at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Manhattan, and the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University. The Jewish Braille Institute has recorded Marty's lectures for their audio magazine and lecture series.

November 8 
Siobhan Nestor: The Life Cycle of a Costume: From Conception to Stage 

Costume and wardrobe expert Siobhan Nestor will explore the journey of a costume from a designer's sketch, going through the build within a costume shop, and the various people who work to bring it to the stage.  

Siobhan Nestor is a costume maker, most recently for the Soloist Women at the Metropolitan Opera.  She holds an MFA in Costume Production from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.  She has worked at New York City Ballet where she ran the Men's Costume Department and at Carelli Costumes where she worked on many Broadway shows.  This month, Siobhan started as an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University teaching Theater Production and Costuming. 

November 15 
Peter Bogyo: Broadway General Manager

Get a glimpse into the normally closed world of Broadway in this fascinating and entertaining talk that demystifies the "most important and least understood role in show business" - that of the General Manager. What? Who? How? This talk will leave you with a solid appreciation and understanding of this vitally important role, and what the business half of show business is all about.  Not to seem too serious, the talk will also be laced with humorous insights and personal anecdotes.

Peter Bogyo is a General Manager, Executive Producer, Producer of Special Events, and author. On Broadway, he has worked with many eminent producers, authors, directors, actors, and designers. A graduate of Yale, Peter has been a member of the Broadway League and a Tony Award voter. His book, Broadway General Manager: Demystifying The Most Important And Least Understood Role In Show Business, has met with critical acclaim. His latest book, A Dog’s Life: A Collection of Humorous Tributes Celebrating Man’s Best Friend, has been called “hilarious,” “absolutely delightful,” and “funny, warm and endearing.” It is currently available for download or pre-order online.,,

November 22 
Joshua Halberstam: Regret

We all have our regrets. We also say regrets are useless. But are they really? And what do you regret more - things you did or things you didn’t do? Your attitudes - for example, for being angry - or not angry enough? In this discussion, we’ll look at some recent intriguing studies on how regret works, what sort of regrets people tend to have, and how to use regret positively. 

Joshua Halberstam is a Professor at BCC/City University of New York where he teaches communication and philosophy. Before teaching at BBC, Halberstam taught at Teachers College, Columbia University, and New York University. He has published widely in the areas of epistemology, ethics, the philosophy of religion and Jewish studies.  He is also the author of a novel, A Seat at the Table,  and most recently, The Blind Angel: New Old Chassidic Tales, a translation of Chassidic tales from the Yiddish.  Dr. Halberstam lectures regularly at educational and organizational venues and has been a frequent guest on television and radio.

November 29 
Michael Lissner: Seniors and the Law

Experienced elder law attorney Michael Lissner addresses legal issues impacting seniors, including the necessities of Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney, the benefits of a Living Trust, common scams that target elder adults and the possible benefits afforded victims of Nazi persecution and their families.

Michael Lissner received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1982.  He is admitted and qualified as an Attorney and Counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States, is further licensed as an Attorney and Counselor at Law in the States of New York (Appellate Division, 2nd Department) and Florida, and is a member of both the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  He serves as Chairman of The Blue Card, Inc., a national not-for-profit organization that provides financial aid to needy Holocaust Survivors, and has been a faculty member for many years with Sundays at JASA. Michael has lectured extensively about Elder Law, Estate Planning and planning for Survivors of the Holocaust and their families.


December 6 
Foster Hirsch: The Blacklist in Hollywood in the 1950s

The talk will look at the ways in which the political tensions of the period - the fear of the Red Menace, the HUAC hearings, the blacklist - are reflected in three seminal films of the period: High Noon (1952), The Robe (1953), and On the Waterfront (1954).

Foster Hirsch is Professor of Film at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and the author of fifteen books. He is at work on a history of Hollywood in the 1950s, to be published next year by Alfred Knopf.

December 13 
Peace of Heart Chorus: A Concert of Hope

Though COVID-19 has separated us from our live audiences, we persevere and innovate by presenting this program, both stirring and uplifting, featuring traditional and contemporary songs, as well as a brief documentary film about our most recent project “New York Sings Along.” COVID-19 has put a sharp focus on providing support to first responders and essential workers everywhere, as we have done with “New York Sings Along.” That actually brings the choir back to its roots.

The Peace of Heart Chorus was originally formed in November 2001 to assist New Yorkers who were coping with the emotional toll of 9/11 by offering the healing power of music. Each year since then, they have performed vocal music in a diversity of styles, languages and cultures in hundreds of concerts. They partner with hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, soup kitchens and other nonprofits to serve some of the most vulnerable populations in our city.  During years of continuous service, they have expanded and their mission has evolved, but despite the passage of time, they remain resolute in their commitment to support people in need of a song. Visit, email or call (347) 829-7642.




With funding from New York Foundation for Eldercare.