Lunch Lectures

Sundays at JASA

Lunchtime Lecture Series

Lunchtime Lectures:
March 4 – May 13
(no lecture on April 1)
Time: 12:00 – 12:45 pm
Location: John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street, New York City (Map)


The Regina F. Gordon Lunchtime Lecture Series at Sundays at JASA

regina-imageRegina Gordon (1934-2015) was a lifelong New Yorker who thrived on her connection to her many family members and friends. She worked in financial services at Neuberger Berman and lived in Southbridge Towers in Manhattan. An avid learner with an intense curiosity and independent spirit, she was a frequent participant in Sundays at JASA. Regina lived frugally, invested prudently, and contributed generously to JASA and other nonprofit organizations that directly serve the needy. She lives on in the memories of her family and friends whose lives she touched and who loved her. The Regina F. Gordon Lunchtime Lecture Series was dedicated in 2016 in her honor and in recognition of her generosity to JASA, both during her life and through her estate.

The Regina F. Gordon Lunchtime Lecture Series is offered free of charge to all registered participants of Sundays at JASA. Bring your lunch and enjoy a different, thought-provoking topic every week!

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Eleanor Roosevelt

March 4 Lecturer: Blanche Wiesen Cook
Blanche Wiesen Cook is a distinguished professor of history at John Jay College and Graduate Center, CUNY. Her biography of Eleanor Roosevelt has been hailed as the essential portrait of a woman who towers over the 20th Century. It provides us with an unblinking portrait of a woman whose passion and commitment has inspired generations of Americans to seek a decent future for all people. In addition to her Eleanor Roosevelt biography, Ms. Cook has written The Declassified Eisenhower, and Crystal Eastman on Women and Revolution. She was featured on air in Ken Burns’s documentary, The Roosevelts.

Mario Lanza: The Man and His Music

March 11 Lecturer: Bill Ronayne
A one hour audiovisual presentation on the life and career of the legendary tenor from Philadelphia by noted Lanza authority Bill Ronayne. The presentation includes a photo slide show and clips from all of Lanza’s films plus a rare live appearance on British television. Ronayne is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY. He is the founder and president of the Mario Lanza Society of New York and the President, Secretary, and Publicity Director for the Mario Lanza Institute and Museum in Philadelphia. He has written extensively about Lanza, organizes events in his honor and regularly gives lectures about Lanza’s life and career. He is the author of a reference work about Lanza’s radio program entitled “The Mario Lanza Show-An Anthology” and the recently released “The Films of Mario Lanza.”

Elder Financial Abuse Prevention and Fraud Awareness

March 18 Lecturer: Amy Zeng and Michael Lissner
Amy Zeng is the Global Fraud Awareness and Governance Lead for J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management (AWM). Amy is responsible for developing the fraud awareness and training strategy to educate clients and employees on fraud trends and how to adopt best practices to prevent fraud from occurring in the future. She is a graduate of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Michael Lissner received his JD from Brooklyn Law School. He is admitted and qualified as an Attorney and Counsellor of the Supreme Court of the United States and licensed in New York and Florida. He is a member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He serves as Chairman of The Blue Card, Inc. and is on the National Advisory Council of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants.

Bunny Mellon: The Pursuit of Perfection

March 25 Lecturer: Meryl Gordon
Bunny Mellon, the American aristocrat and style icon who designed the White House Rose Garden for her friend JFK, served as a living witness to 20th Century American history, operating in the high-level arenas of politics, diplomacy, art, and fashion. Meryl Gordon, author of this new biography, was given access to thousands of pages of letters, diaries, and appointment calendars after Mellon’s death in 2014 at the age of 103. Ms. Gordon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Mrs. Astor Regrets, and is on the graduate journalism faculty at New York University.

April 1 – Easter – Closed

Aging in America: A Cultural History

April 8 Lecturer: Lawrence Samuel
By tracing the story of aging in the United States over the course of the last half century, Lawrence Samuel, founder of Boomers 3.0, vividly demonstrates the ways in which getting older tangibly contradict the prevailing social values and attitudes of our youth-obssessed culture. This was not always the case. Old age was revered in early America, in part because it was so rare. Aging in America chronicles through time the fascinating history of how we age and think about aging. Samuel is also the author of several books, including Freud on Madison Avenue: Motivation Research and Subliminal Advertising in America.

Life Behind the Microphone

April 15 Lecturer: Naomi Lewin
Radio host Naomi Lewin worked her way up from stations in Kentucky and Ohio to WQXR in New York. She’ll talk about how she got started in radio, some of the interesting people she interviewed (including Marcel Marceau!), reporting for NPR, intermission features she produced for the Metropolitan Opera, and the weekly feature she created called Classics for Kids – its most ardent fans are great-grandmothers. Hear how radio has evolved over the last quarter-century, and why it’s now an endangered species.

Friendships and Romance

April 22 Lecturer: Joshua Halberstam
Do we choose our friends and lovers? (Indeed, what do we really choose freely in our lives?). What constitutes true friendship (and can friendship withstand sexual “benefits”)? And who counts as a true enemy? Joshua Halberstam teaches communication at Bronx Community College/City University of New York. He has published books and articles in a wide range of subjects including philosophy, education, and Jewish studies.

Words and Music of Stephen Sondheim

April 29 Lecturer: Mel Haber
This illustrated lecture features videos of Stephen Sondheim and traces his career starting from his early days (West Side Story and Gypsy) to his work as the writer of both words and music for such shows as Company, Sundays in the Park with George, and Sweeney Todd. Many memorable songs will be highlighted, sung by Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, Sarah Vaughan, Elaine Stritch, and others. Mel Haber, Ed.D. has been teaching business writing to adults for over 30 years, but has also been a devoted music lover, primarily of popular music and opera. He has presented many programs about music at libraries and adult education centers.

A two-part presentation on international affairs by Alan Weisman, a former producer for 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, and the CBS Evening News. During his tenure at CBS, he covered the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, The Falklands War, the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster; produced and wrote segments including “The Last Survivor of 9/11” and “The Fall of Baghdad”; and worked with Charles Osgood, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer, Dan Rather, and Walter Cronkite. He is the author of Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather, and Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle.

I: What Does Putin Really Want?

May 6 Lecturer: Alan Weisman
The impression presented in the media is that Vladimir Putin controls everything in Russia and throughout the region, giving him an aura of invincibility. But how much of that is reality and how much is a clever illusion, deceiving not only America but the rest of the world as well?

II: What Does China Really Want?

May 13 Lecturer: Alan Weisman
China’s rapid rise, its complex economy and its military muscle-flexing in its region has created fear and concern in America and throughout the world. But what does China really want? World domination? Control of financial markets? A proxy war fought by North Korea? This is what will be discussed.

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