Classes / Courses / Lectures, Spring 2015




Gallery 3160 “Works on Paper”

Paintings and Etchings by Annie Patt

Curated by Madeleine Appell.


Madeleine Appell is the author of two books on quilting and needle arts, and is the former principal of the High School of Art and Design. She currently teaches at Kingsborough Community College.   






This will be an introductory course in the personal computer. Our goal will be to enable comfortable use of the computer for writing, e-mailing and internet use.

Instructor: Gene Reiser

Gene Reiser has a lifelong passion for folk, protest and Broadway music. He is a former labor relations manager for CUNY.

*Limited Enrollment/Pre-Registration





Contemporary Chinese Issues

This course will explore modern-day problems in China. We plan to cover Tibet, Xinjiang, the economic boom, pollution, and other socio-economic political issues.

Instructor: Winifred C. Chin

Winifred Chin is an adjunct assistant professor of East Asian cultures at NYU and author of “Paper Son” and “Interchange.”


Selected Topics in Education

Education, hotly debated, concerns us all. We will explore charter schools, homework, evaluations of schools, gender, race and governance using a variety of sources.

Instructor: Dr. Susan Prager

Dr. Susan Prager taught sociology at Brooklyn College. Her interests include retirement (currently doing a longitudinal study on retirement) and the family (currently editing her article on family and work among rabbis and cantors).



Actor’s Workshop

Performance training will give you confidence to act and speak in public. You will find that monologues and improvisations are fun. Techniques will be taught culminating in a May performance.

Instructor:  Esther Jaffe

Esther Jaffe has performed in the US and Australia. She has done a stint at the Actor’s Studio, been part of an acting troupe and done a cabaret act. She has appeared on TV, in commercials and in a movie.


“Theatre Arts Performance”

 Producer/Director:   Esther Jaffe



Alfred Hitchcock and His Films

We review several of Producer-Director Alfred Hitchcock’s films, examining themes, plots, bloopers and his fascination with trains, planes, knives and blondes. Class members will participate in dialogue readings.

Instructor: Leo Gerber

Leo Gerber is a movie buff and lectures on American History, Film Facts and Fiction, Popular Songs and Singers, and The History of Vampires. He enjoys researching and presenting background material for his classes


American Documentary Films

We will view documentary films that examine American political, economic and social life.

A discussion will follow each screening.


Dr. Rosalie Reich has had a long career as a Professor of English in the CUNY system.


Sol Makon is a film and music aficionado. He has extensive knowledge in these subjects, much of it attained by taking college courses in these fields. He also has a large media collection at his disposal.


Films Set In NYC – Part 3, The 70’s (cont) and 80’s

Each week we will view a selected feature film (drama, romance, comedy, action) set in NYC from 1968 – 1976.

Instructor: Sol Makon


John Huston – An American Film Genius

I will show films directed by John Huston. The films provide a variety of moods, adventures, and dramatic actions. They were unique, exciting and the Vanguard of great motion pictures.

Instructor: Bernard Schwartz

Bernard Schwartz is a retired NYC public school teacher.  He taught for 41½ years.




Elementary French

This is a conversational French class that will emphasize sounds, pronunciations and reading techniques. We will learn the rules and grammar necessary to write and speak proper French.  

Instructor: Jean M. Prophyl

Jean M. Prophyl is an experienced French teacher  who has taught at Jean Mary Guilloux School and the Prophyl’s Academy.


Hebrew, Upper Intermediate

The emphasis in this course will be on everyday conversation, magazines and Hebrew newspapers.

Instructor:  Miriam Goldhaber


Miriam Goldhaber received her Hebrew education at Flatbush Yeshiva High School and the Jewish Theological Seminary and spent a year in Israel at the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad.


Spanish Intermediate and Beyond

This course is designed for solid consistent practice in conversation, reading and writing.  Self-expression and comprehension are our goals.

Instructor: Edward Drayton


Ed Drayton’s passion for Spanish began when he won the Spanish medal at his Jr. High School graduation.  He graduated from Brooklyn College, and went on to become a NYC public school teacher.




*Mah Jongg for the Beginner and Intermediate

This class will introduce the beginner to the official standard hands and rules of the National Mah Jongg League. Players will learn the names of tiles, rules of the game, special situation rules and strategy. Those who attended this class in the fall of 2014 are encouraged to attend to practice and improve their skills. The official 2015 card is required at the first class. It can be bought online at or by contacting the League at 212-246-3052 or 250 W 57th Street, NY, NY 10107.


Irene Nachinoff is a retired NYC school teacher who now devotes her skills to the teaching of the popular game of Mah Jongg.                     

*Limited Enrollment/Pre-Registration


Social Bridge

For those with knowledge of bridge, come and enjoy supervised play in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Instructor: Ira Barnett


Ira Barnett has been supervising our Bridge class since 2008.




A Joyful Journey to Miles of Smiles Health and Wellness

Learn the ideal way to manage anger, fear and sadness. Practice PEP (Positive Energy Power) Aerobics. Safe and simple self- help strategies, that positively energize your brain and body, will empower you to survive and thrive in a 24/7 stress-filled world.

Instructor: Edith Namm


Edith Namm is a Counselor, Certified Specialized Graphoanalyst and author of eight books on stress management. Her mission is to share ideal, safe,

simple strategies that empower one to live a healthy, satisfying productive life.


Mindfulness – A Place to Be

Take a moment to slow down, breathe, and simply be. You will notice a rich world of thoughts, feelings and sensory experiences that will keep your mind, brain, and body supple and your heart soft. Learn to listen to yourself by meditating, moving, using words and by being mindful. Bring your sense of curiosity and come play on a path of self-discovery.

Instructor: Peggy Horwitz


Peggy Horwitz, LCSW is a psychoanalyst working with individuals, couples and families. She teaches mindfulness practices to individuals in business, health and service-oriented organizations. She currently practices in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


Nutritional Enlightenment

We will explore avenues for healthy aging.

Diet, weight control and sugar substitutes will be discussed. We will also discuss how the food industry fools us, ways to sharpen memory, help for sleep disorders, allergy remedies and five popular healthy diets.

Instructor:  Helen Reiss


Helen Reiss is a registered dietitian. She taught high school biology and was a Medical Technologist in a clinical laboratory.





The Brooklyn Dodgers and Other Baseball Teams Via Historic Radio Broadcasts

We will listen to Baseball Radio – games that were broadcasted from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.

Instructor: Richard Cahn


Richard Cahn has been a lifetime baseball fan since he was taken by his mother to a Dodger game at Ebbets Field in 1949.


100th Anniversary of the Great War

The First World War was unlike any war fought before with far reaching consequences that are still with us today. We will explore the causes, horrors, and enormity of this conflict through film, documentaries, posters, artifacts, letters, and artwork.

Instructor:  Earl Cantos


Earl Cantos is a retired secondary school Social Studies teacher who has avidly studied the history of the First World War. He currently is employed as a field supervisor and mentor for upcoming social studies teachers.



Enlightenment Thinkers and Their Influence on America’s Independence

Who were these enlightenment thinkers and how were they instrumental in our nation’s founding? We will cover the Founding Fathers, the “thought generators” of the American Revolution and ultimately, the United States Constitution.

Instructor: Walter F. Higgins


Walter F. Higgins was a news writer at CBS News and the owner of an advertising agency. He has taught courses on the Constitution and U.S. government at Brooklyn College (BLL/IRPE) and NYU.


Israel in 2015 – Facing New Domestic And International Crises

Israel’s seven decades of extraordinary nation building is threatened by internal dissention, heightened Palestinian military activity and the Arab Spring.

Instructor:  Milton Pincus


Milton Pincus is a retired supervisor from the NYC Board of Education. He has traveled to Israel 16 times and has donned an IDF uniform four times in its volunteer program.


“Putin in Profile”


It is important to know Putin’s  background as he tries to reconfigure the results of the Cold War.

His background tells us much of what to expect from him as he materializes his ambitions for Russia.

Speaker:   Dr. Charles LaCerra


Dr. Charles LaCerra, Professor Emeritus of History, taught at CUNY, College of Staten Island for 30 years.


Significant Presidential Elections in U.S. History

We will continue examining the history of important presidential elections including their political and economic backgrounds, the candidates, the campaigns and election results and consequences. This term we will deal with Harry Truman’s improbable win in 1948 and its affirmations of both his New Deal and Cold War policies.

Instructor: Stephen Appell, Esq.


Stephen Appell is an attorney who specialized in labor law. A graduate of Cornell and Rutgers Law School, he is an avid student and teacher of historical subjects.


“The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY and Brooklyn College in the 1930’s”

Speaker:  Carol Smith

Carol Smith is a retired faculty member of CCNY.





Cat and Dog Sense

This class offers a fresh perspective using history, science, logic and heartfelt compassion to make you a better friend to your pets.

Instructor:  Vincent Blazewicz


Vincent Blazewicz is a parent, grandparent, cancer survivor, investigator and hospice volunteer who enjoys humor, music and pets.


Old Folk Magick for Everyday Living

Learn old folk magic tricks to help you with problems - money, love, friendship, work, and social contacts. Learn when and how to burn candles – colors, timing, and moon phases. Learn to empower yourself to be everything you can be and have fun while manifesting your wishes.

Instructor: Miss Kity (aka Kathleen Serao)


Kathleen Serao aka Miss Kity, has been a psychic and Tarot consultant for over 30 years. She is the owner and creator of and




Hamlet: Enacting the Text

It has been said that “We are Hamlet and Hamlet is us.” Let’s take the journey again with the Prince of Denmark and explore the unanswered questions.

Instructor: Barbara Tringali


Barbara Tringali is a retired English teacher who specialized in Shakespeare at the High School of Art & Design.


Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

A close reading focusing on the poetry.  One act per class with Act One assigned for the first class meeting.

Instructor: Brian Keener


Brian Keener is a retired professor at NYC College of Technology. He is the author of John Updike’s Human Comedy: Comic Morality in The Centaur and the Rabbit Novels



The Short Story: American and International

Like any art form, the short story holds a key to the life of its time and the life reflected therein. There are within this shared universe, reverberations of the complexities of both life and fiction.

Pick-up first story in the office, 3160 Boylan

Instructor: Dr. Rosalie Reich


Dr. Rosalie Reich has had a long career as a Professor of English in the CUNY system.





“Are you too close to the car in front of you?”

The Mathematics & Physics of Tailgating

Speaker:    Fred Friedland


Fred Friedland teaches Mathematics at Baruch College. He has given lectures at BLL/IRPE since 1990.


Reading the New York Science Times

Great things are happening in the world of science today. Read and bring the Tuesday, NY Times Science Section to class for our informative discussions about the latest breakthroughs.

Instructor: Dr. Leslie Jacobson


Leslie Jacobson has been a long-time Professor in the department of Health and Nutrition Sciences. She is a “founding mother” of IRPE and has been a major supporter of our organization since its beginning.




Investing: An Overview

Financial considerations for children, grandchildren, planning for and managing retirement, deep dive into stocks and minimizing risks will be discussed.

Instructor: John Kane


John Kane is a business executive with over 20 years of experience in the biotech industry. He attended Emory University and has an MBA from NYU with a focus on finance and marketing. He is an avid investor and enjoys teaching.




“American Music?” Jews, Blacks and Italians Create America’s Music. (Continued)

If the U.S. is basically a White Anglo-Saxon society, how is it that one of its essential contributions to world culture, American music, has been dominated by three “outsider groups” – Blacks, Jews and Italians? This course will consider their contributions and interactions. We will listen to lots of great music.

Instructor: Gene Reiser


Gene Reiser has a lifelong passion for folk, protest and Broadway music. He is a former labor relations manager for CUNY.


Opera and People Who Made Music

The life and times of Gershwin, Caruso, Puccini, Verdi, Pavarotti, Toscanini, Lorenzo DaPonte and the music they gave to the world.

Instructor:  Aldo Mancusi


Aldo Mancusi is the Founder of the Enrico Caruso Museum and has been its Curator for over 25 years. He has been a faculty member at BLL/IRPE since 2011.


Two Musical Tributes to Abraham Lincoln

We will discuss and listen to Aaron Copeland’s “A Lincoln Portrait” and the cantata “The Lonesome Train.”  Inspirational words to stirring music.

Instructor:  Gene Reiser


Gene Reiser has a lifelong passion for folk, protest and Broadway music. He is a former labor relations manager for CUNY.





Yoga and Body Movement Awareness

This course will consist of a series of postures and breathing exercises combined with relaxation techniques and exercises.

Instructor: Cynthia Arenson


Cynthia Arenson is a graduate of Brooklyn College and has a Masters in Exercise Physiology from Queens College. She has taught yoga for 30 years.





Thinking and Writing Outside the Box

Do concerns with political correctness and propriety interfere with your responses to the muse? Are you blessed with the courage to take the risks associated with thinking and writing outside the box? Try it, and you just might amaze yourself.

Instructor: Louise Jaffe


Louise Jaffe is the author of many published poems and short stories. She is Professor Emerita of English at Kingsborough Community College.






Are You Too Close to the Car in Front of You?”

The Mathematics & Physics of Tailgating

Speaker: Fred Friedland

Fred Friedland teaches Mathematics at Baruch College. He has given lectures at BLL/IRPE since 1990.


“Disaster Preparations”

Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event

of an emergency.

Special presentation by the American Red Cross


Gallery 3160“Works on Paper”

Paintings and Etchings by ANNIE PATT

Curator: Madeleine Appell

Madeleine Appell is the author of two books on quilting and needle arts, and is the former principal of the High School of Art and Design. She currently teaches at Kingsborough Community College.


Hollywood’s Ethnic America

America’s core values issue from basic white Protestant roots. Non-“WASP”s were initially portrayed as stereotypes but, courtesy of Jewish moguls in Hollywood, a pluralist vision of a multi-ethnic society gradually emerged.

Speaker:  Joseph Dorinson


Joseph Dorinson is a Professor of History at Long Island University and has lectured on humor and culture for BLL/IRPE since 1990.


“Jews Music and the American Dream”

Speaker:  Ben Sidran

Sidran Ben Sidran, author, lecturer, musician and award winning NPR radio host. Mr. Sidran  has been referred to by the Chicago Sun Times as a "Renaissance Man cast adrift in a modern world". He has recorded with Eric Clapton, Diana Ross and The Rolling Stones


*Museum Walks and Talks

Coordinator: Linda Silverman


Museum at Elridge Street

The Morgan Library & Museum

The New Museum

Grey Art Gallery at NYU

Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital Hard Hat Tour

*Pre-registration is required




“The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY and Brooklyn College in the 1930’s”

Slide show

Speaker:  Carol Smith


Carol Smith is a retired faculty member of CCNY.