Unless otherwise noted, online registration closes 3 business days prior to the start date. After this time, please call the Welcome Desk at 914-366-7898 to register. Many of our programs can be pro-rated after they begin as long as space is available.
Registration for Summer 2020 programs opens on 3/11 for Members and 3/13 for Non-members. (Scroll down for Summer Program Listing.)
From Hunter-Gatherers to Farmers, Native Americans in the Eastern Woodlands with Eugene Boesch
4 Fridays, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
February 7, 14, 21, 28. Please register by February 1
Members and non-members, $5 administrative fee / Library
The presentation will examine Native American cultures and adaptations in the Eastern Woodlands over the past 14,000 years ago. Changing climate and environmental settings over that time, particularly the end of the last ice age and the appearance of an essentially modern climate, as well as population movements, resulted in the development of many prehistoric cultures and diverse life ways. However, Native American continuity of occupation on the land is readily apparent through the archaeological record. That record shows that populations grew and declined, subsistence, trade, and ritual activity became more complex, and relationships to the land changed. Although popular culture has developed its own take on past Native Americans, the reality of the story is quite different and little known by most. The true story however is more fascinating than fiction. Eugene Boesch, of Mahopac, has undertaken archaeological investigations in the Hudson Valley area for 30 years. His work has primarily focused on Native American cultures and adaptation in the Eastern Woodlands of North America and on early Euro-American settlement in the Hudson Valley region. He has also worked in Israel, California, and the Illinois River Valley. Dr. Boesch teaches at Adelphi University and Westchester Community College, and is a member of the Westchester County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and the Putnam County Historic Preservation. He presents programs for the Renard Lecture Series at the Shames JCC on the Hudson.
This program is funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services—Administration on Aging (AOA), New York State Office for the Aging, Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services.
Hasidic Stories of Magic and Mysticism with Rabbi Ben Newman
4 Thursdays, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
March 5, 12, 19, 26. Please register by February 27
Members $50; Non-members $65/ Youth Lounge
In this four session class, Rabbi Ben will guide us on an exciting and provocative journey through the rich traditional of Hasidic tales. Sessions will include stories of dybbuks, golems, reincarnation, and enlightenment. Rabbi Ben Newman, Jewish Life Coordinator at the Shames JCC is also on staff at Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings, as well as the founder and spiritual leader of Shtiebel, a new paradigm Jewish community in the Rivertowns of Westchester, NY. Rabbi Ben is the author of a series of children’s books called The Enchanted Sukkah about a time travelling sukkah. In addition to being a writer and a rabbi, Ben is a singer-songwriter who delights in chanting, playing guitar, and using an Indian instrument called a sruti box.
Topics in Money and Finance with Michael Shamosh
4 Fridays, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
April 3 – May 1. Please register by March 27
Members $50; Non-members $65/ Library
If money “makes the world go ’round” just what is it? In this course we will learn about the history of money and the role of financial assets in our lives. Along the way we will have a look at the current state of financial markets and how the media often misstates what is actually happening. Michael Shamosh is a retired consultant to brokerage companies and investment advisors. He was a senior strategist at several firms, a hedge fund manager, and the portfolio manager of a mutual fund. Michael is an instructor at the Collegium at Westchester Community College. He presents programs for the Renard Lecture Series at the Shames JCC on the Hudson.
Topics in Kabbalah with Rabbi Ben Newman
4 Thursdays, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
April 30 – May 21. Please register by April 23
Members $50; Non-members $65/ Youth Lounge
Appropriate both for the beginner and those already familiar with Kabbalah. Rabbi Ben will discuss the intersection of Kabbalah and a variety of subjects. Sessions will be on: Kabbalah and Ethics, Kabbalah and Buddhism, Kabbalah and Modern Philosophy, and Kabbalah and Popular Culture. Rabbi Ben Newman, Jewish Life Coordinator at the Shames JCC is also on staff at Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings, as well as the founder and spiritual leader of Shtiebel, a new paradigm Jewish community in the Rivertowns of Westchester, NY. Rabbi Ben is the author of a series of children’s’ books called The Enchanted Sukkah about a time travelling sukkah. In addition to being a writer and a rabbi, Ben is a singer-songwriter who delights in chanting, playing guitar, and using an Indian instrument called a sruti box.
Summer Series: Lectures, Music, and Film Series
Age 18 and up
7 Mondays, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM. Doors open at 9:30 AM
June 29 – August 17 (There is no program on July 6)
Fee $5 per person, per presentation / Library
Musical concerts and first person accounts are combined with traditional lectures by scholars and experts in their fields. Presenters offer stimulating, informative, engaging, and unique insights in music, literature, art, history, sports, film, archeology, and pop culture, and more. The series is open to all and geared toward people 50 years of age and older seeking a cultural and intellectual experience. Join us once or participate each week! Advance registration is not required.
The Silver Age of Spanish Music and Dance: El Amor Brujo (Love, the magician): A Spanish Ballet with Anna de la Paz
Monday, June 29, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
The original 1915 version of the Spanish ballet, “El Amor Brujo,” composed by Manuel de Falla to the libretto by María Lejárraga, was a commercial failure. Its 1925 reprise was far more successful, with new additions like the “Ritual Fire Dance.” This lecture will take us back in time to the Silver Age of Spanish music and dance and to the creation of this seminal work, with an emphasis on the contributions made by dancers Pastora Imperio and Antonia Mercé. Anna de la Paz, a Spanish dance artist, is a performer, producer and educator, specializing in the classical and folkloric dances from Spain. After moving to New York City in 1999 she worked with American Bolero Dance Company, Danzas Española, Migración and Memorias, and was on the creative team that produced Making Music Dance, a cross-fusion of flamenco, tap and world music. She was co-director of “Walk to the Beat”, an annual improvisational music and dance festival in Nyack, NY. Anna currently teaches her own classes at the Helen Hayes Studios in Nyack and gives lectures, teaches and performs as an artist-in-residence at colleges and schools in Rockland County.
What Will They Think of Next? with Susan Teltser-Schwarz
Monday, July 13, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Speaking about “What Will They Think of Next?,” humorist Susan Teltser-Schwarz shares perspective on out-of-the-ordinary products and services, as well as funny colloquial phrases. For example, consider the inventive thinking behind products like battery operated lollipops, applause boxes or cologne for dogs! How about terms like “speakeasies” and “rubber checks”? Learn how these items and terms come to be and what happens to them. You will be motivated, entertained and see samples! Susan Teltser-Schwarz is an instructor at The Center for Applied Liberal Arts, NYU where she is well known for her New York Behind the Scenes course. As a cultural researcher and writer, she regularly hosts The Metro Beat for WFDU-FM, and is a New York correspondent for London’s The Oldie magazine.
Top Ten Songs That Changed U. S. History with Marc Ferris
Monday, July 20, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Music shapes and reflects history. Here are the top ten songs that made a huge cultural impact in their day, examined within their historical context, including Home on the Range, Lift Every Voice and Sing, and The Times They Are A-Changing. Marc Ferris, guitarist and singer, authored the acclaimed book Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America’s National Anthem. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, CBS This Morning and many other major media outlets.
What is Modern Art? with Beth S. Gersh-Nešic
Monday, July 27, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
What do we mean by the words “modern art,” “modernism” and “modernity”? Are we referring to the 19th century bohemian rebels in Paris or the 20th century beatnik rebels in Greenwich Village? Is it only abstraction? What about Picasso’s beautiful pink nudes and distorted self-portraits? The answer is all of the above and more. Please join us for a slide lecture on the history of modern art from the mid 19th through late 20th centuries. Art historian and Director of the New York Arts Exchange, Beth S. Gersh-Nešic, Ph.D., has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate courses in NY, RI, and MA. Most of her publications are on Cubism, Picasso and the poet/critic André Salmon. She contributes to the magazine Bonjour Paris.
How Music Works: The Baroque Era with Barry Wiesenfeld
Monday, August 3, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
In “How Music Works” we cover various aspects of music history, personalities, milestones, styles, and so much more. This session covers J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, and the beautiful complexity of Baroque music! Indeed, Baroque era innovations grew into the music we know today. For example, the development of counterpoint and polyphony, the orchestra, bass lines, and many other characteristics of music began then, and are still current. This session culminates with a discussion of the fugue, one of the most fascinating musical forms ever envisioned. Barry Wiesenfeld is a freelance musician, a published author and is on the music faculty of SUNY and Ramapo College. He has accompanied Grammy-winning artists, performed on three continents and has played on numerous recordings, radio and TV.
Film: At Eternity’s Gate (2018)
Monday, August 10, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (note time change)
During a self-imposed exile in Arles and Auvers-Sur-Oise, France, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh develops his unique, colorful style of painting. While grappling with religion, mental illness and a tumultuous friendship with French artist Paul Gauguin, van Gogh begins to focus on his relationship with eternity rather than the pain his art causes him in the present. Directed by Julian Schnabel with Willem Dafoe, Mads Mikkelsen, Emmanuelle Seigner.
Blues and Soul of New Orleans with Steve Chizmadia
Monday, August 17, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Enjoy the morning as Steve plays guitar and sings Creole, Cajun, Zydeco, jazz, and blues music at our JCC. Steve Chizmadia of Peekskill is an award winning artist from the Hudson Valley with strong roots in the singer, songwriter tradition, country and rock. He is a winner of The 2011 Hudson Valley SongFest Emerging Artist Competition, 2011 Wildflower! Music and Art Festival songwriting competition, 2011 Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest (Third Place), and a 2011 Kerrville New Folk finalist. His first CD “It Is What It Is” reached number 12 on the folk D.J. Charts in 2007.