Adult Jewish Education Program
Adult Jewish Education at the Jewish Community Centre is a program of interactive, seminar-style Adult Jewish learning. Topics include the full range of Jewish experience: belief, philosophy, arts, culture, history, Israel, and the interface between Judaism and the rest of the world. The courses are pluralistic in nature and provide a comfortable and stimulating environment for Jews from all different backgrounds.
So Amuse Me Already! Jewish Humour and Comedy
Tuesdays: June, 6, 13, 20 & 27 from 9.30-11am
Early Bird Special: Register early and save! Please note that places are limited and will be reserved on a ‘first pay, first served basis’. All reservations received and accepted at least one week prior to the start of the course will get a $10 discount. The Early Bird fee for this 4-week course is $75/ student (regular fee $85).
Charles Burnetts has a doctoral degree in media arts and teaches in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Kings University College, The University of Western Ontario. His book is entitled Improving Passions: Sentimental Aesthetics and American Film (forthcoming 2017, Oxford University Press). Among his research topics are film and TV comedy, and as an avid Seinfeld fan, he has an ongoing interest in issues of Jewish identity in contemporary comedy.
Jewish Humour and Comedy
A recent study in Psychology Today found that despite U.S. Jews making up only 3% of the population, the percentage of comedians in the U.S. was 80%. So what’s so funny about Jews? This course will try to answer this question by looking at many examples of Jewish humour, from the absurdist hypotheticals of the Talmud to the wisecracking neurotics of Seinfeld; and the surrealist nonsense of the Marx brothers to the barbed one-liners of Joan Rivers. We’ll look in particular at how Jewish humour is closely tied to the history, culture and general “mishagas” of an ethnic group that has used comedy and irony in a unique way to make sense of an often confusing and cruel world. As we look at and enjoy some of the funny Jews in Hollywood, T.V., literature, Yiddish theatre and folklore, the course will connect our humour with issues like religion and secularism, assimilation, anti-semitism, authoritarianism and the legal-Talmudic tradition.
The Exciting and Provocative Cinema of Israel
Tuesdays: September 5, 12, 19, 26 & October 3 & 10 from 11:30am-1:00pm
Early Bird Special: Register early and save! Please note that places are limited and will be reserved on a ‘first pay, first served basis’. All reservations received and accepted at least one week prior to the start of the course will get a $10 discount. The Early Bird fee for this 6-week course is $99/ student (regular fee $109).
Shlomo Schwartzberg is a film critic, teacher and arts journalist based in Toronto. He regularly teaches film courses at Toronto’s Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre and Ryerson University’s LIFE Institute, among other venues. He has written for a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Jerusalem Report magazine, The South China Post, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the Canadian Jewish News, and was also the Canadian correspondent for Box Office magazine and Screen International. Shlomo was Director of Programming for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival from 1996 – 2004 and the Chair of the Toronto Jewish Film Society from 2008-11. He is a co-founder of, and writes for, the noted online cultural website Critics at Large (www.criticsatlarge.ca).
The Exciting and Provocative Cinema of Israel: In recent years, Israeli films such as Walk on Water, Broken Wings, The Syrian Bride, Close to Home, Lebanon, Late Marriage, Sweet Mud and Ushpizin have testified to the breadth and depth of a country that is much more than the conflict ridden place it is usually portrayed as being in the media. From social portraits of women, immigrants, Israeli Arabs and religious Jews to the political films about the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, Israeli movies evince a serious and thought provoking look at the issues that concern the country and reveal, as well, the output of one of the world’s more vigorous and consistent national cinemas.