Wednesday, September 16, 2015




WHEN: Kick-off event Thursday, October 1, thereafter October 15 – November 12*
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, 411 E. Clinton St., Tenafly
FEE: four sessions $110 JCC members, $140 non-members; individual sessions are $32 for JCC members; $40 non-members. Couples fees also available.
For more information, costs and to register, call Kathy at 201.408.1454 or email or Esther at 201.408.1456;

*Each Thursday begins with coffee and conversation at 10:30 am, followed by a morning presentation from 10:45 am-12 pm; lunch with classmates (bring or buy) from 12-1 pm; and an afternoon presentation from 1-2:15 pm. Registration is available for single Thursdays or for the whole term. Registration for this term is now taking place.

Now that the kids are back to school, adults with a passion for learning can also return to school and expand their horizons at JCC University. The upcoming fall term will feature one of its most diverse array of topics to date. The four-session term, taught by top professors and experts in their fields, will present the perfect mix of current hot topics and historical perspectives.

On the slate of presenters for the opening day is Professor Ronald Brown, who is returning to JCC U to kick off the term on Thursday, October 1, with his morning talk: How to Become President of the USA: Political Campaigns from General Washington to Today. Baby kissing, hand shaking, debates, fireworks, stump speeches, and bumper stickers are all part of the “president making industry” and Dr. Brown will wow the crowd as he talks about our fascinating system for electing our presidents – just as the excitement for our new upcoming election process begins.

In the afternoon David Leopold, curator of the New York Historical Society’s current exhibit The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld and the author of the companion book, will discuss the life of this famous prolific artist and share insights into his instantly recognizable celebrity drawings. As an expert on Hirschfeld, Leopold will talk about how Hirschfeld’s art (example top) defined New York popular culture and tips for finding the hidden “Nina’s” in his work.

Subsequent classes will run for three Thursdays:

Oct 15: The United States and China: Friends or Enemies?

SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Tom Grunfeld will present on the relations between China and the US which have alternated between warm and warlike. A debate continues in US policy circles over how to view China: as a potential ally or as the next superpower rival. This talk explores the history and the future of this relationship.

Just Kids from the Bronx: Telling It the Way It Was

Award winning photographer, author and wife of actor Alan Alda, Arlene Alda comes to JCC University to talk about the oral histories of people who went on to become influencers in just about every field. This collection draws a film-like portrait of the Bronx from the early twentieth century until today.

Oct 29: Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA

Roberta Kaplan, litigation partner at Paul Weiss, describes her strategy and shares her insights into her dramatic oral argument before the Supreme Court justices. Her book depicts the unfolding of the case that became US v. Windsor and the historic political ride and ultimate victory for gay civil rights. She will also share her own difficult coming out journey and its connection to this monumental case.

How the Internet Changed Newspapers, Music, and Television

Fordham professor Brian Rose will examine the many ways the internet has transformed the “old” media. He will trace how this revolution took place in such a short period of time to raise the questions: will printed newspapers continue to exist? Will movie theatres continue in their current form? What will happen to bookstores? Will primetime TV vanish?

Nov 12: The Bus on Jaffa Road: A Story of Middle East Terrorism and the Search for Justice

Bergen Record journalist Mike Kelly comes to JCC U to discuss how the parents of two New Jersey teenagers who were killed in a bus bombing in Jerusalem fought for justice by bringing a case against Hamas and Iran. He will talk about the obstacles in the White House and the State Department that these brave parents encountered on their way to a decision in their favor.

Frank Sinatra in Film

To commemorate the Sinatra Centennial, performing arts expert Marc Courtade will take a look at his films and their backstories. This talk will examine his career in films, from his MGM musicals of the 1940’s to his comeback dramatic portrayals in the 1950’s to his Rat Pack persona of the 1960’s. Join us and remember how entertaining Sinatra was in a wide variety of roles and genres.

JCC U is designed to encourage participants to rekindle old passions, ignite new ones and stay involved in developments that shape today’s world. It is also a place to ask questions, get answers, meet people and make friends.