Sundays at JASA: Spring Guest Lectures

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10:30am - 11:30am Michael D. Lissner

Your Personal Health and Lifestyle Management

Throughout his long career, Michael has provided legal advice to seniors. We are thrilled to have him return with a senior-lifestyle focused lecture. The program will cover how to retain personal and financial independence, build your trust in those that provide care for you, understand the legal decisions that impact your life so they can have a positive impact after your death, and help you stand up to fear and tell it to take a hike.

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 at the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) in New York City.  Michael has lectured extensively about Elder Law, Estate Planning and planning for Survivors of the Holocaust and their families.

11:45am - 12:45pm Amy Weiss

Passports for Palestine: Forged Travel Documents and American Volunteers in Israel's War of Independence

Approximately 1,100 Americans traveled to Palestine, and later Israel, between 1948 and 1949 to volunteer in the nascent Israel Defense Forces. The Nationality Act of 1940, however, had previously declared that Americans could lose their citizenship if they participated in a foreign military without the permission of the United States government. Given the illegality of joining Machal (the Hebrew acronym for the military unit comprised of “volunteers from abroad”), American Jews and a handful of non-Jews devised various clandestine methods to travel to Israel. An analysis of the legal and extra-legal frameworks used by American Machal to enter and exit Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, reveals the significance that travel played in these volunteers’ wartime experiences. It also reflects the tenuousness of the early US-Israel alliance, as the US government opposed participation in an overseas war, but the lack of overall prosecution for those that traveled to Israel suggested a more friendly and diplomatic response. 

Amy Weiss holds the Maurice Greenberg Chair of Judaic Studies and is an Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and History at the University of Hartford. During the 2022 – 2023 academic year. She is also a Faculty Fellow in Ethnic Studies for UHart’s Center for the Humanities and a Center for Jewish History—Fordham University Research Fellow. She previously held the Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. She is currently writing a book manuscript on the evolving relationships American Jewish communal organizations have forged with evangelicals on issues relating to Israel. Her work has appeared in the edited volumes Armed Jews in the Americas, Teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict in the College Classroom, and Minhagim: Custom and Practice in Jewish Life. Weiss received her PhD from the departments of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History at New York University.

1:00pm - 2:00pm Marty Schneit

Ethel Merman: An American Icon Illustrated 

Ethel Merman was New York City’s girl next door. She went from being a  stenographer from Queens, and became the queen of the Broadway musical in its golden age.  On October 14, 1930, she brought the house down with her performance of George and Ira Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm. Ethel’s rag-to-riches story fueled the hopes of everyday people, giving any office girl or newspaper boy hope that they could make it. Marty will discuss the following standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals: Everything’s Coming Up RosesRose’s TurnAnything GoesLife is Just a Bowl of CherriesThere’s No Business Like Show Business, and Alexander’s Ragtime Band.

Marty Schneit, 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, the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University. The Jewish Braille Institute has recorded Marty's lectures for their audio magazine and lecture series.