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.


Escape to Europe
Tuesday, January 8
A photographic journey to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Three beautiful cities, each one rich in culture and history.
Speaker: Susan Brown, Travel Lecturer


Interesting Customs from Around the World
Tuesday, January 15
When we travel, how do we know that the customs and traditions we take for granted at home are the same in other countries? A fun and informative look at customs around the world that can smooth your travel or just help you learn about fascinating ways we differ from others.
Speaker: Harvey Skolnick, Betel Current Events Volunteer, Professor Emeritus, Sheridan College


How a Missionary Brought me Back to Judaism
Tuesday, January 22
Robert Walker shares his fascinating story about how his journey back to Judaism was spurred by an encounter with a Christian missionary.
Speaker: Robert Walker, National Director, Hasbara Fellowships Canada


Fun with Classical Music: Operative Drinking Songs – Part 3
Tuesday, January 29
The subject matter of many operas is often a tale of doom and gloom, of murder and revenge, and the heroine often dies of tuberculosis in the end. But many serious and comic operas include riotous, rollicking drinking scenes in a tavern or at a party, where the characters partake in a good beverage and have a good time, along with some great music. We will examine several of these. L’Chaim!
Speaker: Howard Mednick, Classical Music DJ


Classical Music & Opera – Part 1
French Perfume: Operas by French Composers
Tuesday, February 5
We will be discussing Jules Massenet’s Romantic “Manon”.
Speaker: Myriam Shechter, Music Lecturer, Pianist


Classical Music & Opera – Part 2
French Perfume: Operas by French Composers
Tuesday, February 12
We will be discussing Camille Saint-Saen’s Epic “Samson et Dalila”.
Speaker: Myriam Shechter, Music Lecturer, Pianist


Classical Music & Opera – Part 3
French Perfume: Operas by French Composers
Tuesday, February 19
We will be discussing Bizet’s Fiery “Carmen”.
Speaker: Myriam Shechter, Music Lecturer, Pianist


Jewish Architects
Tuesday, February 26
There is no simple way to categorize Jewish architects as they are a diverse group and come from distinctly different political periods, economic strata and cultural backgrounds.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer, Volunteer Docent at McMichael Art Museum


Hearts of Hate: Confessions of a Teenage Neo-Nazi – Part 1
Tuesday, March 5
In her powerful and inspiring presentation, Hategan tells the story of being recruited by the Heritage Front at age 16. By age 18, her testimony would lead to the criminal convictions of prominent white supremacists and lead to the end of the Heritage Front. Having discovered her Jewish roots and converting to Judaism, she discusses the global resurgence of antisemitism and outlines the recruitment and radicalization tactics of extremist movements that prey on young minds.
Speaker: Elisa Hategan, Writer, Public Speaker and Journalist, and Regional Coordinator for Central Canada and the United States for Against Violent Extremism (AVE)


Remember Your Name: A Journey into Time, Memory and Epigenetics – Part 2
Tuesday, March 12
Can suffering be passed down through generations? Can our loves and fears be a reflection of ancestral memory? Is multigenerational trauma real? A powerful story of loss, remembrance and belonging begins with a heartfelt exploration of her family’s roots and the haunting journey to Eastern Europe that changed everything; named after her newest memoir, personal reflection is combined with historical research in this moving presentation.
Speaker: Elisa Hategan, Writer, Public Speaker and Journalist, and Regional Coordinator for Central Canada and the United States for Against Violent Extremism (AVE)


The Many Faces of Itzhak Perlman
Tuesday, March 19
Virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman is one of the most versatile artists of our times; this talk will give you a peak behind the concert hall and the musician’s practice studio.
Speaker: Joseph Sharon, General Manager, Circles Enrichment


Jewish Superstitions – Bubbe Meises
Tuesday, March 26
Jewish superstitions have been passed down through the generations. Learn about the reasons behind both the well-known and unusual customs we still practice today.
Speaker: Ruth Cohen, Lecturer, Humourist and Motivational Speaker


WORKSHOPS & LECTURE SERIES

Archaeology Course
The History of the Ancient Near East
A great sequel to “The Ancient Near East in a Nutshell” (Fall Session). The earliest great civilizations were all founded in the ancient Near East. It is there that writing was invented and as a result, history was first recorded. Learn about the political history of the great powers of the ancient Near East, The Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hittites and Persians, and how they interacted with their neighbours, the Aramaeans, Canaanites, Israelites and others. Discover how little has changed about Middle Eastern politics over the last few millennia and how the fates of the nations of the region have always been interwined.
Instructor: David R. Lipovitch, Ph.D.
Thursday, January 10 – March 7
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm • 9 weeks
$76.50 members $153 non-members


Philosophy Course
Hyper Reality, the Future, the Human Body, and the Shape of Things to Come
We are on the verge of a profound transformation of society into something never seen before. Digital communication, globalization, the liberation of fashion, bitcoin, big media, virtual reality and robotics will transform society in ways we could never dream possible. The human lifespan will stretch over 200 years, space habitation is a distinct possibility and new research will show us that even our old idea that there are only two sexes, male and female, is not the whole truth. More than half the earth’s population will be over 50 years of age and our knowledge of the cosmos will expand continuously. The astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson conjectures that the entire universe is just a simulation. Biocentrism, the idea that consciousness produces all of life is finding a foothold in philosophy. Come explore the future with us in a fascinating journey which weaves together art, technology and philosophy in ways we never thought possible.
Instructor: David Chandross, Ph.D.
Tuesday, January 15 – March 5
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm • 8 weeks
$68 members $138 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, January 2
Wednesday, February 6
Wednesday, March 6
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Free


Women’s Discussion Group
Talking together about food, fashion, relationships, health and more. Facilitator: Miriam Meiri
Thursday, January 17 and 31
Thursday, February 14 and 28
Thursday, March 14 and 28
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Free


Course Registration Policy