With the summer’s lethargy beginning to give way to the energy of the new season, the JCC of Central New Jersey is inviting people to sign up for its fall programs.
The first big hurrah at the center in Scotch Plains will be the “10-10-10” gala on Sunday, Oct. 10, to celebrate its newly renovated facilities. The day will feature demonstrations and activities for all ages, to give members and nonmembers a chance to explore the expanded and revamped health and fitness facilities and the renovated Weinberg Conference Center, which will be available to rent for special occasions.
In the weeks leading up to that, in addition to the regular programs getting under way, other special events are on the roster.
Barbara Weisbart, the director of adult enrichment, said one of the most exciting events for seniors this season will be a college-level art appreciation course. The weekly classes, which will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 15, and run until Dec. 8, will be taught by Prof. Tony Nicoli, chair of the fine arts department of Union County College. He will explore the aesthetics of different forms — painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and crafts — examining works from around the world. The participants can take the course for college credit, or simply audit it.
Weisbart said the course is free, thanks to sponsorship by Dr. Sy Geller of Scotch Plains, who has been participating in the JCC’s seniors program since his retirement 16 years ago.
Geller told NJ Jewish News, “I’m really being selfish. I heard Prof. Nicoli talk at the JCC a number of years ago, and he was so interesting, I wanted to hear him again. He really provides insight into what makes a masterpiece a masterpiece. I thought rather than have people go to the college, we’d ask him to come to us.”
Family programs, designed for parents and children to do together, will start on Sunday, Sept. 26, with a Sukkot Farmer’s Market. In the sukka in the JCC cafe courtyard, a local co-op farm will offer samples of its organic harvest specials and, along with the etrog and lulav, the Sukkot ritual items, there will be crafts and food tastings.
One of the JCC’s most popular programs, the Annual Jewish Film Festival of Central New Jersey, returns for its sixth session, starting on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The festival, which used to be held in Westfield, will move to the AMC Loews Mountainside 10 Theater, on Route 22 East in Mountainside, because the growing turnout over the years has called for a larger venue.
The lineup starts with a screening of Menachem and Fred, a true story of two brothers separated during World War II and united 60 years later, the one now an assimilated American, the other an observantly Jewish Israeli. That will be followed by Eli and Ben (Oct. 13), Nora’s Will (Oct. 20), Berlin ’36 (Oct. 27), and Saviors (Nov. 3.)