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 sharonc@betelcentre.org.

LIFELONG LEARNING LECTURES

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.


Life as Depicted in Art: “About Face” – Part 2
Tuesday, October 29
The representation of human emotions through facial expression in art.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer


The Starchitecture of France Gehry: From the Binoculars Building to Bilbao and Beyond
Tuesday, November 5
Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry burst upon the international scene with his unorthodox “Binoculars Building” in 1991. It was his 1997 Guggenheim Bilbao that generated a publicity explosion and made “starchitect” a household term. This lecture explores his meteoric rise, and how he has disrupted the very meaning of design within architecture.
Speaker: Peter Harris, Assistant Dean & Secretary, Faulty of Arts & Science, U of T, Former Program Coordinator, Later Life Learning, U of T


Travel to the South of Spain
Tuesday, November 12
Learn historical information about the years of 1100-1500 for such cities as Seville, Malaga, Cordoba, Granada, Gibraltar, Ronda and others; Jewish heritage in Cordoba and other cities, as well as one culture embracing four religions.
Speaker: Jerry Willer, World Traveller


The Story of Isaac: First Capitalist of America
Tuesday, November 19
Learn about Isaac, who dreamed to be a great actor, but instead he became the first capitalist of America. The fascinating life of an outstanding individual who invented the Singer Sewing Machine.
Speaker: Victor Rodos, History Buff


Extraordinary Jewish People – Part 1
Tuesday, November 26
Learn about Alberts Morton Kurzman, one of the pioneers of tattooing in the United States, Samuel Marcus, the father of the automobile, Felix Saltan, who wrote the famed “Bambi”, and Harry Hudini (born Erik Weisz), American illusionist and stunt performer, famous for his sensational legendary escape acts.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer


Leonard Bernstein: Conductor, Teacher, Performer and Composer – Part 1
Tuesday, December 3
Leonard Bernstein was one of the most influential people in the music world in the 20th century, leaving his mark in many different aspect of music from classical and orchestral music to popular and jazz music. Explore the many aspects of this remarkable man in the year after the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth.
Speaker: Howard Mednick, Classical Music DJ


Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story – Part 2
Tuesday, December 10
The Broadway musical and motion picture, West Side Story, is one of Bernstein’s greatest legacies which included elements of opera, jazz and Latin American styles. Though a tragedy, a modernization of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” it is also full of energy with great choreography and even some comic scenes, with which Bernstein’s music captures it all.
Speaker: Howard Mednick, Classical Music DJ


Extraordinary Jewish People – Part 2
Tuesday, December 17
Learn about Carrie Marcus Neiman, co-founder of luxury department store Neiman Marcus, Jennie Grossinger, the guiding force behind America’s premier resort “Waldorf of the Catskills” or Grossinger’s Hotel, and Sally Milgrim, a successful and influential designer who designed Eleanor Roosevelt’s inauguration gown in 1933.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer


The New Arctic: Beauty, History, Challenges
Tuesday, December 24
Join this journey through the Canadian and Greenland High Arctic, share in the daring expeditions of Arctic explorers, marvel at immense icebergs, enjoy the company of polar bears and experience life in the Northernmost Inuit Communities in the world.
Speaker: Robert Shechter, Travel Photographer and Lecturer


WORKSHOPS & LECTURE SERIES

Archaeology Course
The Land Between the Two Rivers: The History & Archaeology of Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia was home to some of the earliest and most influential cultures of the ancient world. In the current era, the region is marked by violence, turmoil and the rampant destruction of cultural heritage. Learn about the region’s cultures and history from the era of hunter-gatherers to the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great.
Instructor: David R. Lipovitch, Ph.D.
Wednesday, October 30 – December 18
10:30 am – 12:30 pm • 8 weeks
$68 members $136 non-members


Philosophy Course
The History of Ideas
Major ideas that have shaped civilization will be discussed. From the earliest systems of medicine where Mary the Jewess first invented alchemy in Alexandria, to the compelling art of DaVinci, to the mysterious dark ages and into the scientific revolution, there is an unbroken thread of ideas which shape our thinking. As history unfolds, our knowledge of the world expands and we come to see the world in new ways.
Instructor: David Chandross, Ph.D.
Tuesday, October 29 – December 17
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm • 8 weeks
$68 members $136 non-members


Understanding the Middle East Course
Stormy Winds of Change in the Modern Middle East
The major social, political, military, ecological and cultural storms will be reviewed and analyzed. Learn about the Syrian and Yemen civil wars, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the divergent interests and goals in the Middle East of the super powers, and the quest for hegemony in the region and the Islamic world by Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Instructor: Amnon Zohar, Speaker and Lecturer specializing in Middle East and Global Affairs
Thursday, October 31 – December 19
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm • 8 weeks
$59.50 members $121 non-members


DISCUSSION GROUPS

Men’s Discussion Group
Discussion on topics of interest to men including sports, food, relationships and health. Facilitator: Charles Goldenberg
Wednesday, October 2
Wednesday, November 6
Wednesday, December 4
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, October 10 and 24
Thursday, November 7 and 21
Thursday, December 5 and 19
2:45 pm – 4:30 pm
Cost: Free


Course Registration Policy