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Siegal Lifelong Learning

Politics + Contemporary Issues

Politics + Contemporary Issues

Mondays, March 20–May 15 | 1-2:30 p.m
No class April 10


Barbara Greenberg, Attorney and Magistrate


In Our Defense by Caroline Kennedy and Ellen Alderman is a primer about the Bill of Rights. Each chapter focuses on one of the first ten amendments of the United States Constitution, using an actual case to study the issues surrounding that amendment. Each week, students will review one chapter, one amendment and one case, discussing the laws that have developed from those facts. The class will use each case as the springboard for a discussion about how and why laws change, current laws focusing on that amendment and how constitutional amendments and the cases that follow those protected rights affect our daily lives.  Book: In Our Defense, Caroline Kennedy and Ellen Alderman 


Gates Mills Community House | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, March 28–May 16 | 7:30–9 p.m.


Joe KonenLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


This book offers us a vehicle for a nuanced understanding of Islam. Carla Power, a Western reporter who grew up in several predominantly Muslim countries, writes of her dialogues with prominent India-born and now London-based Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi. The dialogue enlightens us on a nonviolent understanding of Islam. The sheik shows us how he distinguishes between culture and politics on the one hand and religion and spirituality on the other. Book: Carla Power (2015), If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran.

First Unitarian Church of Cleveland | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >


Wednesdays, March 22-May10 | 10-11:30 a.m.

Jim Lane, Leader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


Can there be laws governing warfare which limit the barbarity of actions during the times of armed conflict? Indeed there can be--and are--regulations which protect human dignity and lessen suffering, regulations which have been formally agreed to by most nations. This class is based upon an international curriculum developed by the Red Cross and is composed of discussions generated by readings and video sources. Topics to be covered include 1) humanitarian actions, 2) historical codes, 3) applications of the rules of war, 4) weaponry and targeting, 5) child soldiers and prisoners of war, 6) war crimes and the particular case of My Lai, 7) judicial and non-judicial actions dealing with violations, and 8) the needs arising from the destruction of war and the special case of refugees. Printed materials will be provided at cost for their reproduction and binding.


Rosemont Country Club | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Fridays, March 24-May 12 | 10-11:30 a.m.

Charlene MiletiLeader-Teacher, Off-Campus Studies


In the fifth century, Athens, Greece, was a burgeoning democracy, the first of its kind to exist in human history. Born in 494 BCE, Pericles of Athens would rise to become one of the city's most beloved leaders. While Pericles' astute grasp of military and political affairs would place him at the head of Athens' government, he is, nonetheless, more memorably remembered as the tutelary leader of the city. Contrasted with our modern democracies, Pericles' government functioned as the primary source for educating the citizenry in matters of civic and personal virtue. After his death, Athens would never again flourish as it did during Pericles' leadership. Book: Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy, D. Kagan


Judson Park | Members: $82; Nonmembers: $97 | REGISTER >

Tuesdays, April 25-June 13 | 10-11:30 a.m. 


Alan Rosenbaum, Lecturer in Lifelong Learning, CWRU


Academic freedom and the open exchange of idea has long been a cherished principle of American college life. But “the times they are a-changing.” We will explore the campus phenomenon of “safe spaces” where only those who think alike and look alike are admitted. And we will address when hate speech turns into hate crime. Class participants may expect a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives.


Landmark Centre | Members: $120; Nonmembers: $140 | REGISTER >