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Mid-day Event Series - Spring 2015

To enhance the LLAIC learning experience, a number of presentations with stimulating speakers will take place during lunchtime in  Spring 2015.  To see the speakers and presentations on a particular day of the week, click on the day below:

1:00 - 2:00

 Temple Beth Elohim

Harriet Janel-Starrett of LLAIC will be leading a discussion on the Middle East.

The American presence in the Middle East is a question debated all over the country and the world. We are about to host the Prime Minister of Israel, whose aims and behavior have been questioned in the American media. We are facing an army of very angry fanatics, crumbling state structures, a nuclear-threat Iran (and maybe Saudi Arabia  - they could have bought a package from Pakistan a long time ago). What should the US do? (And if you are in favor of military action: what should it be, and do you have teen age grandsons?). Please come prepared to discuss the problem as thoughtfully, and calmly as possible. We have all seen a lot of history...what have we learned?


Shivani Sahni, Ph.D.  Director, Nutrition Program and Assistant Scientist II, Institute for Aging Research Instructor, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Sahni is a Nutritional Epidemiologist interested in examining the role of nutrition in the prevention of chronic diseases of aging. She is specifically interested in determining the role of diet and nutrition in bone loss, fracture, muscle health, and body composition. She is also interested in dietary assessment in diverse populations.

Dr. Sahni received her M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Nutritional Epidemiology from Tufts University, Boston, MA. She also holds a Master’s degree in Dietetics from Delhi University, India. She teaches Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health course at Harvard Medical School and provides guest lectures in Nutritional Epidemiology to a number of local institutions, including Tufts University, Boston University and others.


Larry Duberstein. Mr. Duberstein is the author of 9 previous volumes of fiction, including "The Marriage Hearse" (New York Times New & Noteworthy), "Carnovsky's Retreat" (New American Writing Award), "The Alibi Breakfast" (Publishers Weekly starred notice), "The Handsome Sailor" (New York Times Notable Book) and "The Day The Bozarts Died" (BookSense Notable Book).

In his other incarnation as a human being, Larry is the father of three beautiful daughters, an accomplished woodworker and builder, an avid tennis and basketball player, and the person who walks Alice Brownstein, the wonder dog.

He will be speaking about his latest book "Five Bullets".


Fara Faramarzpour  "History of the Modern Middle East"

"History of the Modern Middle East, its Turkish, Persian, Arabic and  Hebrew cultures.  The impact of western colonialism, and the new borders created after the Great War. United States invasion of Iraq and its consequences in the Arab world. Globalization and the demand of the young for democracy, and economic opportunity."

I have always been fascinated by the role of culture in creating history. The Arab invasion in the seventh century, the Mongol invasion in the thirteenth century followed by the invasion of the Middle East by the Turkish tribes.

Since retirement I have been teaching classes in history of science, History of the Modern Middle East, and other short classes at BOLLI.

Lawrence Climo is a retired physician living in Andover. Larry is a Vietnam Vet. During that war Larry participated in an  unusual mission for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the  U.S. government and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross by the Republic of  Vietnam.  He recently wrote a book detailing that unusual experience.  His book, titled, "The Patient Was Vietcong", was published in 2013.

The title of his talk is: “An American Doctor in the  Vietnamese Health Service.”

Current Events - Our own Harriet Janel-Starrett will once again guide us through an informed discussion of American and world politics, economics, history and whatever else is happening.


Marsha Kunin and Ruth Baden: Poetry Reading                  
from their books and other works.

To read their biographies, click here.


LLAIC Annual Meeting:  A celebration of our first year.

 Temple Shir Tikva
11:15 start

Harriet Janel-Starrett of LLAIC will be leading a discussion on the Middle East.

For a description of the discussion, see 3/2/15 above or click here.

This is in lieu of a subject from The New Yorker.

11:45 - 12:45

Carole Levy  On the day of the election, a discussion of the Israeli election in the overall context of the Middle East. Of interest to everyone who has been following events in that region of the world.

 Temple Beth Elohim

Bridget O'Leary, New Rep Theater   (Associate Artistic Director) is in her fourth season at New Rep as Artistic and Education Associate. Most recently, she has directed New Rep’s productions of  DollHouse (Elliot Norton Nomination, Best Production, 2011) , boom,  Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,  and Fool for Love. Other directing credits include:   Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, for Summer Festival Theatre, Roxbury Latin;  Aunt Dan and Lemon, for Whistler in the Dark; The Boys of Winter (IRNE Nomination, Best New Play, 2008) for BKS productions;  The Devil’s Teacup (IRNE Nomination, Best New Play, 2007) at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; and  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The American  Clock, Much Ado About Nothing,  Curse of the Starving Class,  Dancing at Lughnasa, and Sarah Kane’s  Crave and  4.48 Psychosis, all at Boston University.

In 2007, she assisted Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg at the National Playwrights’ Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and worked as an assistant on new plays by Rebecca Gilman and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Before moving to Boston, Bridget worked in Washington, D.C. with the Olney Theatre Center, Theater Alliance, Cherry Red Productions, Charter Theater, Studio Theatre Second Stage, and Phoenix Theatre DC, of which she was a founding member. Selected D.C. directing credits include:  Independence,  Parallel Lives, and the creations of  Unwrapped and  Lulu Fabulous by area playwrights. Bridget received her MFA in directing at Boston University.  She lives in Watertown with her husband Chris.


Neville Frankel, author.  Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Neville Frankel immigrated to Boston with his family when he was 14. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he pursued doctoral work in English literature at the University of Toronto. While in Canada, he wrote "The Third Power", a well-reviewed political thriller about the transformation of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. He also received an Emmy for his work on a BBC documentary,"
 The Hillside Strangler: Mind of a Murderer". In 2002 he returned to South Africa for the first time in 38 years. Over the next decade he went back several more times, researching what would become "Bloodline". 

Neville Frankel was honored to be a 2013 Jewish Book Council Author and a 2013-2014 Boston Book Lab Author. He has participated in speaking engagements around the country.  At present, he is working on a prequel to "Bloodline", a work of historical fiction set in Eastern Europe during the last century.


Mary Mansfield presents the TED Talk "The Price of Shame and The Cost of Cyber Bullying", featuring a speech given on March 19, 2015 by Monica Lewinsky.

"Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop," says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, "I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously." Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant - and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.
Join us to watch the speech and to participate in a discussion of this very important and timely topic that affects us all and especially our grandchildren.


Susan P. Curnan, Director of the Center for Youth and Communities and Professor of Social Policy and Management at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

"The Val-Kill Spirit of Freedom, Curiosity and Determination: A conversation about what we can learn from Eleanor Roosevelt about living our lives and changing the world"

To view her impressive biography, click here.


Current Events Discussion led by Harriet Janel-Starrett.
(postponed from 4/16/15)

Frank Villa   "Search for Extraterrestrial Life"
Frank Villa has a lifelong interest in the natural sciences. He is a natural teacher who finds great joy in explaining complex principles and processes and bringing the latest quests and discoveries of science to a general audience. He has developed curricula and taught courses in many settings on topics as diverse as the formation of the universe, alternative energy sources and human genetics.

He is a former teacher of high school physics and earth science, a fully rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, and is a small business owner whose company specializes in the design and outfitting of science laboratories.

In addition to his degrees in the sciences, to explore his interest in the “big questions”, Frank achieved  a Master’s Degree in Religion and Theology from Andover Newton Theological School in 2004


Ann Roman, “How to Advocate for Yourself and Where to Get Assistance with Consumer Transactions”

Ms. Roman is the Director of the Consumer Assistance Office – Metro West.  The office works in cooperation with the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General to provide free information and telephone mediation to help consumers resolve issues concerning consumer transactions.   Ms. Roman began as a volunteer mediator in the office in 2004 and became the director in 2010.  She participates in the Consumer Federation of America, an organization dedicated to consumer advocacy and education, to identify trends and emerging areas of concern.
Ms. Roman will be speaking on how to effectively advocate for yourself when problems arise and what resources are available to help you in the resolution of your problems.


Talk Back Session with Members -
Discussion of how the LLAIC Program is going; here's your chance to let us know.


TED Talk - Experienced facilitator and teacher, Mary Mansfield will present a video entitled "How Schools  Kill Creativity" by Sir Ken Robinson, and then allow plenty of time to discuss it.


Quentin Prideaux:  "Climate Reality"

The talk reviews the causes and impacts of climate change, the actions we need to take, and what it all means for Massachusetts and the Northeast. Quentin will discuss why some have been confused about the facts and, although the subject is serious, Quentin keeps it positive and lighthearted where possible. The talk will lead into a question and answer session.
Quentin Prideaux is a Partner in the management consulting firm Alder Associates and lives in Wellesley with his wife, Delissa, and two children; Alex (15) and Samantha (10).  He has a degree in Physics from Bristol University, leads Sustainable Wellelsey, and is a trained presenter for The Climate Reality Project and for Climate Voices.

Any other events will be posted as soon as they are scheduled.

We are deliberately leaving dates open to have time for socializing and for pursuing other extra-curricular activities such as a short fiction discussion group, or a  current events round table discussion.
Your unique ideas are eagerly solicited and welcomed.

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

Updated May 9, 2015
Peter Schmidt,
Feb 11, 2015, 8:28 AM
Peter Schmidt,
Apr 5, 2015, 12:07 PM