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LUNCH@LLAIC - Fall 2017

Fall 2017: 
To enhance the LLAIC learning experience, a number of presentations by stimulating speakers, and lively current events discussions, will take place on during lunchtime
at our host site, Temple Shir Tikva (TST), 141 Boston Post Road, Wayland, MA 01778 (Route 20).  These will be given at 1:10 - 2:10 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There may also be occasional special Monday and Friday morning programs as well. 

Your unique ideas are always eagerly solicited and welcomed.

Presentation days and times:  to see the dates and speakers, see below

Tuesdays, 1:10 - 2:10   Speaker Series

Wednesdays, 1:10 - 1:55  Current Events discussions led by Harriet Starrett

Thursdays, 1:10 - 2:10   Speaker Series

Tuesdays, 1:10 - 2:10

Sept. 12 LLAIC
Start of Classes Welcome Program
Sept. 19
No classes
Sept. 26
Bonnie Gilbert
"Social Justice Work Being Done by Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO)"

GBIO is currently very involved in reducing the costs of medical care, reforming the criminal justice system, affordable housing through ownership, and the "Out of Many - one" campaign to support the Muslim and immigrant communities. Bonny is a GBIO board member and chair of the Health Care Committee, and a leader in Temple Sinai's Social Justice Committee.

Oct. 3
Phil Radoff
Phil Radoff, LLAIC's resident opera buff, will preview “Norma,” Bellini’s famous bel canto opera in advance of the Met in HD production which will be featured in local theaters on Saturday, Oct 7.

Norma is generally considered to be the best of Bellini’s operas and a vocal and dramatic challenge for the soprano who undertakes the title role. The opera combines elements of betrayal, jealousy, hatred, and forgiveness in a variation of the Medea legend. Phil Radoff will walk us through this bel canto masterpiece in advance of the Metropolitan Opera’s production in high definition at many area theaters.

Phil Radoff is a retired lawyer with a lifelong interest in opera.  In addition to previewing several Met in HD productions, Phil most recently led a course in Don Giovanni at LLAIC.

Oct. 10
Mary Mansfield - Curriculum Committee Chair Focus Group I: LLAIC Courses

The Curriculum Committee would like your thoughts and ideas on the types of courses that would be most appealing to our membership.  All members are invited to an open discussion of this topic.

Oct. 17
Dr. Rachel Bratt
"What Is Affordable Housing and Why Is It Important? - Understanding (some) Federal, State and Local Strategies"

In addition to defining affordable housing and explaining the Massachusetts state mandate for local affordable housing production, the presentation will view housing policy within the framework of the political economy of the u.s. In particular, a study of housing provides a good opportunity to better understand the connections between economics, law, politics, and private sector interests. In what ways does this help clarify the priorities and motivations of government? What have been some of the major outcomes of federal housing programs? Who benefits from federal housing subsidies? What types of innovations have state and local governments created to try to meet affordable housing needs? Should there be a u.S. Right to Housing?

Rachel G. Bratt received a Ph.D. from MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning and from 1976 - 2014 she was a professor at Tufts University, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She is the author or co-editor of three books, and has written or co-authored dozens of academic and popular articles and book chapters. During 2017, she is a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University.
For more information, see:

Oct. 24
Burton Jaffe
"Has the U.S. Lost Its Fight Against Climate Change?” 

Brief Bio: I have been interested in climate change and renewables for over 15 years.  I had a solar hot water company for a few years, and a consulting business to help developers chose energy efficient products.  I am a member of HILR, the Harvard Institute of Learning in Retirement,  where I have taught a number of classes about climate change. I helped form the Catalyst Club at HILR , a senior group advocating for the environment and environmental justice.I send out a bi-monthly energy newsletter to over 300 people.   For my advocacy and teaching about  climate change I have been awarded a Green Residential Award from Boston Mayor and another award from Boston Mayor Walsh.

Oct. 31
Power failure

Nov. 7
Sue Katz
"Grown-Up Love"  (rescheduled from Oct. 31)
Through excerpts from her latest novel and from her “flash” (shortest) fiction, Sue Katz returns to talk about love and romance and how it can surprise us no matter our age. Her new book has been described this way by Diva Magazine (UK): “A witty, wise and generous story, Lillian in Love is a gorgeous read.” – At 84, Lillian is moving to Manor House to be near Sarah (79), abandoning the demands of her own home, which has been colonized by her children. How will she and Sarah deal with the reactions of relatives, ex’s, and eccentric neighbors to their romance?
Sue Katz’s business card identifies her as a “wordsmith and rebel.” She is a seasoned and engaging speaker on issues of aging and of intimacy. She has lived and worked on three continents: first as a martial arts master in Israel, then promoting transnational volunteering in Europe, and most recently, teaching fitness and dance to Boston's seniors and elders. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published for decades in anthologies, magazines, and online. Her books include, Lillian in Love, Lillian’s Last Affair and other stories, and Thanks But No Thanks: The Voter’s Guide To Sarah Palin. You can reach Katz at

Nov. 14
Peter Schmidt
"Is AI the Second Industrial Revolution?"

Recent newspaper articles have featured numerous stories about artificial intelligence and robotics taking American jobs.  Learn more about AI, and get a view of its future in a TED talk "How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution"; then join the discussion afterward.

After a first career in experimental high-energy physics, Peter Schmidt joined a robotics startup company to work in machine vision for industrial inspection, and then continued in that field in several other high-tech companies until retirement. As a frequent course leader he has given courses in science and technology as well as in non-scientific subjects.

Nov. 28
Tim Mazur
"The “Is” and the “Ought” of Being a Corporate Ethics Officer"

A few years ago “business ethics” wasn’t much more than a bad party joke and an ineffective course forced on MBA students.  Today, across the globe, there are tens of thousands of “ethics officers” or “ethics and compliance officers” working in corporations, government agencies, universities, nonprofit organizations, and elsewhere.  Why?  What, exactly, do they do? Can an ethics officer “improve” the ethics of employees?  Should she, or is trying to do so … unethical? 

Tim is a business ethicist with 30 years’ experience as a corporate ethics officer, university professor, consultant, and leader of the field’s professional association (for detailed bio, click here).  Please join him in a dialogue about the past, present, and desired future of corporate ethics officers.

Wednesdays, 1:10 - 1:55

Sept. 13
Start of Classes Welcome Program
Sept. 20
No classes
Sept. 27
Harriet Starrett
Current Events discussion (canceled because of funeral at TST)
Oct. 4
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Oct. 11
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Oct. 18
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Oct. 25
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Nov. 1
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Nov. 8
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Nov. 15
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Nov. 29
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion
Dec. 6
Harriet Starrett Current Events discussion (Makeup week)

Thursdays, 1:10 - 2:10

Sept. 7
Start of Classes Welcome Program
Sept. 14
Laura McKenzie Pollock
"Demystifying Hypnosis"

Clinical hypnosis is a highly effective, extensively researched treatment for a wide range of medical and psychological conditions. In this presentation, Lorna McKenzie-Pollock will define and describe hypnosis, present a brief history of hypnotic healing from different historical periods and diverse cultures, cite some of the most recent research on the subject, and outline various conditions that have been successfully treated with hypnosis.

Lorna McKenzie-Pollock, LICSW, has a psychotherapy practice in Brookline. She is certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis as an approved consultant, and is past president and currently associate director of the New England Society of Clinical Hypnosis. In addition to her master's degree in social work from Boston University, Ms. McKenzie-Pollock has a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado.
Sept. 21
No classes
Sept. 28
Daniel Corp, Ph. D.
"Brain Plasticity: Learn at any Age"

Daniel obtained his PhD in Neuroscience in 2016 from Deakin University, Australia. He currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School. His research has focused on changes in the brain, termed "plasticity," that control the brain's ability to adapt to learning and experience. He will discuss the brain's ability to change in response to learning at any age -- learning a musical instrument, juggling, and learning a language. This presentation will demonstrate everyone's ability to learn and to change ingrained habits through effort and attention, and inspire us to continue to learn.

Oct. 5
No classes
Oct. 12
No classes
Oct. 19
Dr. Allen Taylor
and Kim Kronenberg
STEP (Science Training Encouraging Peace)
"Bringing Together Israeli and Palestinian Health Care Leaders"

STEP is a person-to-person program that brings young Israeli and Palestinian healthcare leaders together and funds their training, in pairs, in academic graduate programs in the health and medical sciences in Israel/Palestine. STEP Fellows study intensively together for the full length of a MS or PhD program. Face to face and day after day, they hone their skills and pursue answers to the region’s public health or medical problems. These academic “boot camp” experiences build trust, interdependence and friendships. 
STEP Fellows commit to being professional resources to one another during and after completion of their training when they return to their communities, establish careers, build businesses, enhance community services and act as bridges between their populations.

For more information, visit the website at

Oct. 26
Stuart Altman
"Why Medicare for All Would Not Be Good for Medicare Beneficiaries or Most Other Americans."

Dr. Stuart Altman, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, is an economist with five decades of experience working closely with issues of federal and state health policy within government, the private sector, and academia. He has demonstrated leadership in health care through service on numerous government advisory boards on both the federal and state levels, including 
service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/Health at the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare from1971 to 1976; as Chairman of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission (ProPac) from 1984 to 1996; and in 1997 as an appointed member of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. Currently, Dr. Altman chairs the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission as part of the state’s attempt to moderate the growth in healthcare spending and recently became a member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Provider Price Variation. Dr. Altman has also been recognized as a leader in the health care field by Health Affairs and by Modern Healthcare. In 2014 he was awarded the Graham Life Time Achievement Award in Health Services Research by the Association of Health Administration Programs. He has served on the Board of Directors of several for-profit and not-for-profit companies, and he is a member of The Institute of Medicine and chairs the Health Industry Forum at Brandeis University. He is a published author of numerous books and journal articles, the most recent, Power, Politics and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of Century-Long Battle. Dr. Altman served as Dean of the Heller School from 1977 to 1993 and from 2005 to 2008. He also served as interim President of Brandeis University from 1990 to 1991.

Nov. 2
Ruth Baden
Ruth Baden, LLAIC’s Poet Laureate and course leader, will conduct a Poetry Slam.  Members will be invited to read a poem or two that they have written – or one by another author that they love and whose work they wish to share.  What makes it special for LLAIC is that we will not have a judging.  You judge when you decide what to read or bring to the group.

Ruth will be reading from her book of poems, East of the Moon, plus some poems slated to be published in her next book on women and aging. She will have copies of her book for autographing and signing. She writes, and will read about love, death, and living; about growing up and growing old.  If we are lucky we will hear her Pavanne for a Dead Potato Latke. She is currently the course leader for “A Hit Parade of Poets and Poets” offered the first five Tuesdays of this semester.

Ruth will start us off by reading one or two of her own.  Then members attending will be invited to come up and read.  Rules are simple:
  1. Up to two poems
  2. Maximum two pages each
She has been playing with words all her life, beginning with her first short story, “The Tale of the Lost Lollipop” when she was six. It was a very short story – one and a half pages. At 17 she won a national essay contest on the subject My Best Teacher,” sponsored by a radio program called “The Quiz Kids.”

She continued writing and publishing until she entered law school at 50.  At 70 Ruth kept her promise to herself to retire to just write poetry. Her first book, “East of the Moon,” had a long gestation. It was published by Ibbetson Street Press in 2010. The book won an award from the Massachusetts Center for the Book as a “Must Read” poetry book of the year. She is working on a new collection of poems about women and facing the issues of being eighty.

Nov. 9
Yvonne Abraham
"October 9, 2016: The Day Everything Changed"

Yvonne Abraham has been a Metro columnist at the Boston Globe since 2007. Born in Sydney, Australia, to Lebanese immigrants, she earned a degree in History and English Literature at the University of Sydney.  She came to Boston on a Rotary Foundation fellowship in 1993 to get a master's degree in journalism at Boston University.
After a year as a staff writer at Boston Magazine, Yvonne was hired by the Boston Phoenix, and then joined the Boston Globe in January 1999. She has chronicled the evolving face of America, covering assignments that have taken her from the State House, on presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and to Pakistan after September 11, 2001. In her columns on Thursdays and Sundays, she focuses on the lives of those who might otherwise be invisible, and on defending them from the politicians whose words and deeds affect us all.
Nov. 16
Dr. Maurice Geracht
"What is Narrative Language and why does it Matter" 
A comparison of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"

Please read this very short Mark Twain essay in preparation for the talk. You'll see that 1)  in the original story the Easterner (the narrator of the frame) is contemptuous of and does not understand Simon Wheeler as a tale teller; and 2) in "The Notorious Jumping Frog..." the French translator does not understand the reputation of the tale as an example of American humor. Why is that?  Why is that relevant to the narratives of our personal, social, and political lives?

A Holy Cross student described Maurice Geracht: "This guy is THE most interesting English professor in the world. He doesn't drink beer but if he did it would be Dos Equis. In all seriousness, the guy is awesome."

Maurice Geracht has been on the Holy Cross faculty since 1965. He has lectured widely on John Dryden, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Tobias Smollett, William Makepeace Thackeray, Henry James,  Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, Honoré de Balzac, André Gide, Joseph Conrad and Virginia Woolf, as well as Renaissance and Modern painters. He is the editor of Interfaces, a bilingual illustrated journal focusing on the dividing line - the "interface" - between language and the image.

Nov. 30
The LILAC Players Present ...
Three One-Act Plays:

PEOPLE IN THE WIND by William Inge
THE TINY CLOSET by William Inge

The myriad of characters you find at a bus stop, the hidden secret of a lonely man, and the desperate attempt of three women to find a purpose for their lives...come enter the worlds of all these people as the LILAC PLAYERS bring you their fall production at Temple Shir Tikva on November 30 at 1 p.m. The performance will run about one hour.

Mid-day Event Archive:
To view mid-day events of past semesters, click here.

Updated Nov. 18, 2017

Peter Schmidt,
Sep 20, 2017, 6:37 AM
Peter Schmidt,
Nov 9, 2017, 4:34 AM