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 Israel
Tuesday, January 14
Join us for a photographic journey to the land of our heritage, our homeland.
Speaker: Susan Brown, Travel Lecturer


Toronto’s Jewish Community
Tuesday, January 21
Learn more about beginning and growth of Toronto’s Jewish community through photographs and stories that correspond to key developments in the community’s history. Along the way, learn about Toronto’s first Jewish settler, the first Jewish institution established in the city, and how Toronto became home to the largest Jewish community in Canada.
Speaker: Michael Friesen, Archivist, Ontario Jewish Archives


Great Composers Writing Comedy: Mozart
Tuesday, January 28
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s perfectly delicious “Le Nozze Di Fagaro” (The Marriage of Figaro).
Speaker: Myriam Shechter, Music Lecturer, Pianist


Great Composers Writing Comedy: Verdi
Tuesday, February 4
Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera, the spirited “Falstaff”.
Speaker: Myriam Shechter, Music Lecturer, Pianist


Great Composers Writing Comedy: Puccini
Tuesday, February 11
Giacomo Puccini’s only comedy, the dazzling “Gianni Schicchi”.
Speaker: Myriam Shechter, Music Lecturer, Pianist


A Month in Paris
Tuesday, February 18
Join us for photos and stories of Carolyn’s recent summer trip to Paris which she did in an inexpensive way, on her own and with a walker.
Speaker: Carolyn Peters, Memoir Writing Facilitator


Lily’s Tales
Tuesday, February 25
Lily’s autobiographical tales explore the life and struggles in the far flung and unique corner of the world, Georgia, in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Learn about heart wrenching stories of people who managed to survive and preserve their culture inside communist society, to leave their country, and to be successful in their newly found home. Books will be available to purchase.
Speaker: Lily Kovan, Author of “Lily’s Tales”


Tales of Transmigration
Tuesday, March 3
The story of three strong and brave women who tried to live their lives the best they could during a tragic time in history in the Soviet Ukraine. Books for sale after the presentation.
Speaker: Elana Clark, Author of “Tales of Transmigration”


Extraordinary Jewish People: Female Scientists and Researchers – Part 2
Tuesday, March 10
Learn about Dr. Lise Meitner, a Jewish-Austrian physicist, Dr. Hedwig Kohn, one of only three women to become physicists, Dr. Rita Levi-Montalci, awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology, and Dr. Mirella Levi D’Ancona, author of over 14 books and 100 articles.
Speaker: Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer


The Story of the Stolen Yemenite Children
Tuesday, March 17
In the first years of the State of Israel, some Jewish immigrants from Yemen had their children taken away and were told they had died. 70 years later, there is still little information about them. Their families live with the burden, but are determined to find their missing family members, and are demanding to know the truth. Hear Naama’s personal story about her brother, taken from her family at eight months old, whom she is still trying to find today.
Speaker: Naomi Zipori, Lecturer, Former Teacher


Jewish Issues on Film: Changing and Complex Realities
Tuesday, March 24
Learn about movies from around the world that have approached issues of Jewish interest. This includes Gentleman’s Agreement, Fiddler on the Roof, The Chosen, History of the World Part 1, and Shindler’s List.
Speaker: Shlomo Schwartzberg, Film Critic, Teacher and Arts Journalist


Too Black to Be Jewish, Too Jewish to Be Black
Tuesday, March 31
Despite facing challenges finding harmony in both the Black Canadian and Jewish communities, using phrasing such as “too Black to be Jewish, too Jewish to be Black” to share her sentiments of feeling divided by her identify, learn how Rivka Campbell still finds ways to be meaningfully involved in her Jewish community. By providing insights on what it is like to be a minority within a minority, Campbell defies the collective assumptions of what it means to be a Jew.
Speaker: Rivka Campbell, Co-founder of the group Jews of Colour–Canada, Sole Canadian Recipient of the URJ’s JewV’Nation Fellowship, Speaker on Jewish Diversity


WORKSHOPS & LECTURE SERIES

The Life and Times of Julius Caesar
Who was Julius Caesar? A hero? A villain? A lover? A fighter? The people’s champion? A dictator? This course examines the history and myth of Caesar, his life and times, and his profound impact not just on the Roman Republic, but on the whole of the Mediterranean world and Western Europe.
Instructor: David R. Lipovitch, Ph.D.
Thursday, January 9 – March 5
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm • 9 weeks
$76.50 members $153 non-members


The Great Women of Science
Come join us for an exciting look at the women who have done amazing work in the field of science. From the discovery of DNA, winning WWII sea battles, and Nobel prizes in medicine and physics, to the design of space shuttles and the discovery of processes leading to life itself, these are all contributions from women in history. In this course, we will study the biographies of 21 great women of science and emerging young geniuses.
Instructor: David Chandross, Ph.D.
Tuesday, January 14 – March 3
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm • 8 weeks
$68 members $136 non-members


The Josh Rauch Memorial Learning Forum
The Rise of Populism, Nationalism, and Autocratic Regimes: A New World Order?

This course examines the origins and challenges posed by the rise of populism, nationalism, and autocratic regimes in Europe, the United States, and South America. We will review the social, economic, and political conditions that have given rise to these so-called movements. We will examine the role of globalization, wealth inequality, poverty, civil wars, mass migration and dislocation in setting the stage for populist demagogues to ascend to power.
Instructor: Amnon Zohar, Speaker and Lecturer specializing in Middle East and Global Affairs
Thursday, February 6 – March 26
10:15 am – 12:15 pm • 8 weeks
$68 members $136 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 8
Wednesday, February 5
Wednesday, March 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, December 19
Thursday, January 9 and 23
Thursday, February 6 and 20
Thursday, March 5 and 19
2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Cost: Free


Course Registration Policy