Lifelong Learning & Discussion

Join us for various weekly programs including discussion groups, workshops and lectures, led by experts in their field or university professors, about arts and culture, history, current events, religion, travel, and more.

For more details, please contact Sharon Chodirker at 416-225-2112, ext. 124 or


Join us every Tuesday from 10:00 am to 11:30 am for a weekly lecture on various topics including arts, culture, history, religion, current events and more. Admission is $4.25 for members and $8.50 for non-members.


Jewish Themes in Classical Music by Non-Jewish Composers
Tuesday, April 7
Unlike much classical music that was composed in order to serve the purposes of the church, several well-known composers created masterworks using Jewish themes for their music. Learn some interesting insight into the relationship between Judaism and classical and orchestral music.
Speaker: Howard Mednick, Classical Music DJ

Growing Up Jewish in Iran
Tuesday, April 14
Learn about Farokh’s experience growing up Jewish in Iran.
Speaker: Farokh Hakimi, President of Hakimi Investments

Treasures of ROM’s Judaica Collection
Tuesday, April 21
Discover the wonderful objects in the ROM’s Judaica Gallery, from the earliest mention of Israel (1213-1203 BCE), Judaism is explored from Babylon to China and Europe, examining religious beliefs and providing images of ceremonial objects.
Speaker: Royal Ontario Museum, Department of Museum Volunteers

Movie: An Israeli Love Story (Ahava Eretz Yisraeli)
Tuesday, April 28
A movie in honour of Yom Ha-Zikaron (Day of Remembrance). An Israeli Love Story was adapted from the Hebrew play Sippur Ahava Eretz Yisraeli, which premiered in 2008 and was written by Pnina Gary, based on her own true life story during the period between 1942 – 1948.

Insights Into Tracing Your Roots: An Introduction to Genealogy
Tuesday, May 5
Learn the basics of Jewish genealogy and DNA testing. Speaker: Jerry Scherer, Jewish Genealogy Society, Holocaust Education Week Speaker

Escape to Southeast Asia
Tuesday, May 12
A photographic journey to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Singapore. Speaker: Susan Brown, Travel Lecturer

History of the Lipstick and the Jewish Cosmetic Industry
Tuesday, May 26
Learn about Maurice Levy, Helena Rubinstein, Max Factor, Estee Lauder, Charles Revson and Bobbi Brown who all contributed to the cosmetic industry in different ways in the 20th Century.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer

A Jewish Approach to Happiness in Life
Tuesday, June 2
All humans are driven to pursue happiness in life. Explore what Judaism has to say about happiness and various ways in which we can live more happy and fulfilled lives. The Torah is one of the world’s most ancient and time-tested source of teaching on personal satisfaction and happiness.
Speaker: Rabbi Michael Skobak, Jews for Judaism. Education Director and Senior Counselor

The Ward Uncovered
Tuesday, June 9
What half a million artifacts are telling us about Toronto’s first Jewish community, its personalities, lifestyle and struggle to make it in an alien new world.
Speaker: Ralph Wintrob, former journalist and educator, who specializes in book and historical presentations about the Jewish world.

Founding of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Tuesday, June 16
The great story behind the founding of the orchestra in 1936 in British ruled Palestine, including a tale of bravery by one man, Bronislaw Huberman, on his mission to rescue as many Jewish musicians as he could before the war resulting in many lives saved and a great orchestral tradition in the future State of Israel created.
Speaker: Howard Mednick, Classical Music DJ

Documentary: The Best of Jewish American Comedy Performers
Tuesday, June 23
What is so funny about Jewish comedy and Jewish comedians? Are those different than other comedies and comedians? YES! With Jewish comedy, you can laugh until you cry, or you can cry until you laugh! No other comedy affords you that privilege.
Speaker: Larry Gaum, Documentary Filmmaker

The Secret Language of Art
Tuesday, June 30
Each work of art is rich in symbols and complex in meaning. Understand what the artist wants to say by learning to decipher themes, events and symbolic items in art.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer


Southern Ontario Before the Europeans: 9,000 Years in 9 Weeks
Humans have been living in Southern Ontario since the end of the Ice Age, around 11,000 years, when they first arrived here from Siberia. Starting as nomadic hunter-gatherers, preying on the remaining mammoths and mastodons, they made their way toward Ontario. Here, some of those Paleo-Indians began to settle down and adapt to the local environment. Over time, they acquired agriculture, built large villages, and interacted with other communities across Eastern North America. Learn about Ontario’s first 9,000 years and the people who lived here before the Europeans.
Instructor: David R. Lipovitch, Ph.D.
Thursday, April 23 – June 25
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm • 9 weeks
$90 members $180 non-members

Man, Narrative and Mythology: The New Golden Fleece
Over the last 10,000 years, what makes us unique among species is the ability to create stories about the world. The new world of digital narrative threatens to change everything we know about entertainment, education, medicine and psychology in profound ways. The Jewish mind in creativity, thought and spirit has been unleashed over the past 500 years, with Freud, Einstein, Bob Dylan and Yuval Noah Harari. Learn what the best minds of all time have said about purpose and longing in human life.
Instructor: David Chandross, Ph.D.
Tuesday, April 7, 28, May 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
No class Tuesday, April 14, 21, May 5, 12 and 19
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm • 8 weeks
$80 members $160 non-members

The Josh Rauch Memorial Learning Forum: World’s Major Conflicts Post WWI
Since the end of WWII, by comparison, the world has experienced relative stability. Yet major conflicts and wars have ensued that still threaten world peace and stability. Examine the political history of some of the major lingering conflicts of the post-war 20th century up to the present, including the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict, the Iraq and Syrian Civil Wars, the rise of Islamic Jihad, and more. The origins of these modern-day conflicts will be discussed along with their tragic consequences and the successful and often failing efforts towards a peaceful resolution.
Instructor: Amnon Zohar, Speaker and Lecturer specializing in Middle East and Global Affairs
Thursday, April 23 – June 11
10:15 am – 12:15 pm • 8 weeks
$80 members $160 non-members


Men’s Discussion Group
Discussion on topics of interest to men including sports, food, relationships and health. Facilitator: Charles Goldenberg
Wednesday, April 1
Wednesday, May 6
Wednesday, June 3
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Cost: Free

Women’s Discussion Group
Talking together about food, fashion, relationships, health and more. Facilitator: Miriam Meiri
Thursday, March 19
Thursday, April 2 and 23
Thursday, May 7 and 21
Thursday, June 4 and 18
2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Cost: Free

Course Registration Policy