Courses

Instructor(s):
Pamela Belknap
Mondays, March 18-May 6|10-11:30 a.m.

As a young social worker, Frances Perkins witnessed the traumatic Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, which killed 146 workers. She immediately became an activist, as well as a lifelong advocate for critical reforms and programs. Learn how Labor Secretary Perkins teamed with FDR to create the New Deal legislation, which continues today.

Instructor(s):
Joe Konen
Tuesdays, March 19-May 7|7:30-9 p.m.

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species--births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away--until now. Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew.

Instructor(s):
Betty Zak
Thursdays, March 21-May 9 (May 9 session is 10:30 a.m.-noon)|1:30–3 p.m.

Delve into the reality and psyche of the brave women who tempted both fate and the ire of King Henry VIII for the title of Queen.  Read how history has painted Henry and the Queens. Did some “fail” in the end because they wanted more than the Tudor life? Were they trying to break out of a mold?

Instructor(s):
Jim Lane
Mondays, March 25-May 13|10:30 a.m.-noon

With regards to Western civilization, all roads do indeed lead to Rome. Mary Beard, the esteemed classicist at Cambridge University, takes us on a journey to the heart and soul of Rome, from its inception in 753 BC, through its Republican phase, and into its Imperial age -- nearly a thousand-year span of triumph and tragedy, success and strife.

Instructor(s):
Barbara Parr
Mondays, March 25-May 13|1-2:30 p.m.

Portrait is 100 years old and remains a challenging and relevant classic, as is Joyce's shorter work The Dead.  Guided group discussions focusing on themes, style, character, setting, imagery, and plot will provide an intellectually rigorous and enriching experience.

Instructor(s):
Barbara Parr
Tuesdays, March 26-May 14|10-11:30 a.m.

As America has become more polarized, Haidt challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum.

Instructor(s):
Barbara Greenberg
Tuesdays, March 26-May 14|2-3:30 p.m.

In this timely look at the confirmation process, Wil Haygood’s book reveals Lyndon B. Johnson’s masterful political talent in getting Thurgood Marshall appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Book: Wil Haygood, Showdown

Instructor(s):
Charlene Mileti
Thursdays, March 28-May 16|10:30 a.m.-noon

"... A magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known." The reader is not only witness to the fascinating birth of Rome, but also its inevitable decline.

Instructor(s):
Jim Lane
Thursdays, March 28-May 16|10:30 a.m.-noon

Relive the intense struggle of Michelangelo in his restless search for Truth and Beauty. Set in the turbulent world of 14th and 15th century Italy with its plotting princes, warring popes, brilliant artists and authors, there is indeed a new awakening which reshapes the future of Europe and Western civilization.

Instructor(s):
Terry Meehan
Fridays, March 29-May 17|10-11:30 a.m.

We will examine three of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and their literary sources. The written work will be discussed first, followed by a screening and discussion of the film adaptation. 

Books: J. Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps; P. Highsmith, Strangers on a Train; and C. Woolrich, Rear Window.

Instructor(s):
Darlene Montonaro
Wednesdays, April 03-May 01 (no class April 24)|10 a.m.-noon

Showing up to write isn’t half the battle – it is the battle. This class will help you develop writing habits that will boost your confidence, help you find your "voice," and keep your writing process in motion.

Instructor(s):
Linda Tuthill
Tuesdays, April 23-May 28|1-3 p.m.

Class members write memoir, essays or other forms of nonfiction and bring work to share with the group. Careful listening and response to pieces read in class.

Instructor(s):
Linda Tuthill
Wednesdays, April 24-May 29|1-3 p.m.

Class members write memoir, essays or other forms of nonfiction and bring work to share with the group. Careful listening and response to pieces read in class.

Instructor(s):
Linda Tuthill
Thursdays, April 25-May 30|1-3 p.m.

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye begins a poem with these words: “Before you know what kindness really is / you must lose things.” Poetry is a way to share both depths and heights. Bring 15 copies of a poem you have written to the first class.

Instructor(s):
Matt Goldish
Mondays, April 29-May 20|6:30–8:30 p.m.

This course examines the story of the Maharal of Prague and his Golem—a clay man animated through Jewish mystical wisdom. The story of Jews and artificial men, however, is both older and newer, deeper and more popular. We will discuss the idea of the magical man from the Talmud until the 20th century in rabbinic literature, fiction, and film.

Instructor(s):
Jo Bruce
Mondays, April 29-May 20|10-11:30 a.m.

Terse and often mysterious, the stories of the Bible contain gaps and unanswered questions. Though often mistaken as no more than children's stories, the sages of the Rabbinic period created interpretative tales - called Midrash - in response to their questions about the Bible and to express complex theological and ethical ideas.

Instructor(s):
Brian Amkraut, Executive Director of the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, CWRU & Alanna Cooper, Director of Jewish Lifelong Learning, CWRU
Tuesdays, April 30-May 21|7-9 p.m.

Books today serve as a dominant form for disseminating and consuming information. But the book—as a platform for writing and reading—is relatively new, and it may one day become obsolete. The bound and printed paper book was preceded by tablets, scrolls and manuscripts, and it may become a historical relic as electronic media takes over.

Instructor(s):
James Godfrey
Tuesdays, April 30-May 21|1-2:30 p.m.

This course will be conducted as a book seminar/reading seminar drawing from the book “The Search for Modern China” by Jonathan D. Spence. The book will be read by all participants and thoroughly discussed in the four sections (one quarter in each session).

Instructor(s):
Marion Boyer
Wednesdays, May 1-15|1–2:30 p.m

Gregory Orr says we are each born with a natural inclination to write in one of four temperaments, which he identifies as Story, Structure, Music, and Imagination.

Instructor(s):
Larry Josefovitz
Thursdays, May 02-May 23|1-3 p.m.

Wagner’s final opera, Parsifal, premiered at the second Bayreuth Festival in 1882, was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in 1903, and found its way to the New York Yiddish stage in 1913. Despite Christian symbolism and possible antisemitic suggestion, the opera has inspired Jews to listen, perform, and promote a work of genius.

Instructor(s):
Lee Chilcote
Fridays, May 03-June 14 (no class May 31)|10 a.m.-noon

This class is well-suited for writers who have a basic familiarity with the art of writing nonfiction, are engaged in writing personal essays or memoir, and desire feedback on their ongoing projects.

Instructor(s):
Timothy O. Matson
Fridays, May 03-June 07|6:30-8:30 a.m.

Explore the bluebird trail, watch busy bobolinks, or be rewarded with a rare sighting of Henslow’s Sparrow. May and June are busy months for birds. Migrants arrive and some continue their journeys northward. Others, along with permanent residents, establish and actively defend their territories and carry out reproductive activities.

Instructor(s):
Anthony Wexler
Wednesdays, May 08-May 29|10-11:30 a.m.

This seminar considers the work of two of America’s most celebrated Jewish literary figures, who represent very different strands of American Jewish writing. Philip Roth’s assimilated characters seem cut off from the wellspring of Jewish identity, and even actively rebel against the tradition.

Instructor(s):
Alex Jassen
Monday-Wednesday, June 03-05 |10-11:30 a.m. (Includes light breakfast)

Today, the standard Hebrew Bible contains 24 books. But these did not appear as a single text at one sudden historical moment. Canonizing the Bible (deciding which books should be included and which should not) was a centuries-long process, that involved discussions among many religious and scholarly leaders.

Instructor(s):
Judith Shamir
Tuesdays, June 04-July 09|10 a.m.-noon

Hebrew literature engages advanced students in fictional novels and plays by leading Israeli authors and playwrights.

Instructor(s):
Alex Jassen
Tuesday-Thursday, June 04-06 |1:30-3:30 p.m.

This course covers key moments in early Jewish history, spanning from the end of the Biblical period to the emergence of the religion that we know as Judaism today. Included is the story of Christianity’s origins. We will meet sectarians (including Samaritans, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and early followers of Jesus).

Instructor(s):
Jay Abercrombie
Wednesdays, June 05–June 19|10 a.m.–noon

This field seminar provides a close look at the plants, wildlife and geology of Squire Valleevue Farm.

No strenuous hiking will be involved but participants should be able to maintain an active pace over generally moderate but occasionally hilly or wet terrain.

Instructor(s):
Leah Cooper
Wednesdays, June 05-July 10 |6:30-8:30 p.m

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film, read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television.

Instructor(s):
Linda Goodman Robiner
Wednesdays, June 06-26 |10 a.m.-noon

This workshop will provide a window into important times in your life: how it was to grow up in your home, to survive adolescence, what made you who you are. This journey will help you reflect on your life. Simple exercises and prompts will lead you to write to short vignettes.

Instructor(s):
Leah Cooper
Thursdays, June 06-July 18 |10 a.m. - noon (no class July 4)

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film, read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television.

Instructor(s):
Judith Shamir
Thursdays, June 06-July 18 |10 a.m.-noon (no class: July 4)

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film and read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television.

Instructor(s):
Patricia Sigmier
Fridays, June 07–June 28|10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Enjoy the experience of painting in the outdoors at the University’s scenic Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms. The instructor uses watercolor, however, any medium is acceptable. The group meets each session at a predetermined location on the farm, paints for 2-3 hours, and then gathers for a bag lunch and viewing of the paintings.

Instructor(s):
Michael Weil
Wednesdays, June 12-26 |10-11:30 a.m.

Photographer, nurturer of fellow artists and gallery-owner, Alfred Stieglitz’s own work has often been overshadowed by that of his wife, Georgia O’Keeffe. Read his biography, and learn about Stieglitz’s work as a renowned photographer, as well as his revolutionary influence on the American art scene.

Instructor(s):
Judith Shamir, Michael Weil, Matt Goldish
Wednesdays, June 12-26; July 10-24; July 31-August 14|10-11:30 a.m.

Join us for all three of our book discussions of the Jewish Lives series this summer. All classes are held on Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m.
 

Alfred Stieglitz: Taking Pictures, Making Painters

Wednesdays, June 12-26

Instructor: Michael Weil, Photographer

Instructor(s):
Rivka Taub
Tuesdays, June 18-July 23|10 a.m.-noon

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film, read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television

Instructor(s):
Leah Cooper
Tuesdays, June 18-July 23 |6:30-8:30 p.m.

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film, read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television. 

Instructor(s):
Rivka Taub
Wednesdays, June 19-July 24 |1-3 p.m.

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film, read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television.

Instructor(s):
Rivka Taub
Thursdays, June 20-August 01 |6:30-8:30 p.m. (no class July 4)

Conversational Hebrew allows students to reach their goal of communicating in Israel's native language as well as enjoy Hebrew Literature, songs, drama and film, read Israeli newspapers and view Israeli television.

Instructor(s):
James Kargakos
Tuesdays, July 09-30|1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

What is ‘happiness,’ and how can we experience it more frequently? How can we make our lives feel more purposeful and fulfilling? We humans have been seeking the answers to these questions since the beginning of time.

Instructor(s):
Judith Shamir
Wednesdays, July 10–24|10-11:30 a.m.

Named Israel’s National Poet at the age of only 28, Haim Nahman Bialik’s deeply personal writing established a profound link between the secular and the traditional that would become paramount to a national Jewish identity in the 20th century.

Instructor(s):
Matt Goldish
Wednesdays, July 31-August 14|10-11:30 a.m.

Born in 17th century Portugal, Menasseh and his family were forcibly converted to Catholicism. Suspected of insincerity, and in fear of the Inquisition, they fled to Amsterdam where Menasseh came to serve as a key intellectual and religious figure.

Instructor(s):
Carol Salus
Tuesdays, August 6-27|1:30-3:30 p.m.

Picasso's work is like a diary, as he stated. Through a chronological approach, examples of his paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, and his designs for decor and costumes for the Ballets Russes will be discussed.