Tuesday, November, 17 2020. Issue 43.
Next week, expect a new look to this newsletter as we rename it
Up Next at the J, where we'll continue to share our growing list of events, classes, travel, and discussions from all of our programs—on site and online.

Come join us!
Cultural Arts & Trips
Holiday Festivities & Marrakech 

Moments of Gratitude:

Songs of Thanksgiving

Wed, Nov 25:  11:00am

I am thrilled to announce the launch of Songs of… a new free/low-cost music program that celebrates holidays with an exploration of a related theme across multiple music genres. We launch the series with Songs of Thanksgiving (Nov 25).

For details & tickets, click below.

Still Traveling:  

Marvelous Marrakech

Mon, Dec 7:  11:00am 

Let me take you on our much-anticipated trip to a magical North African country! So different from most Arab-dominant countries, Morocco has its own unique, fascinating culture - a blend of indigenous Berber, Arabian, Sub-Saharan African & European (Christian & Jewish) influences.  In this first series on Morocco, let me take you to Marvelous Marrakech (Four Mondays, Dec 7-28) to meet and tour with our knowledgeable guide for visits around his diverse and vibrant city. Discover wonders that await!

For details & tickets, click below.
Early Childhood Education
Our preschool program has a few spots open for your inquisitive, energetic 4 and 5 year olds—in San Rafael and Tiburon. Our Early Childhood Education program is safely open, and everyone remains healthy while the children are getting the best start for their educational journey.

Small class sizes, professional teachers, and a values-based curriculum await your young students.
If interested in immediate or future enrollment, please contact the Tamar Lai at tlai@marinjcc.org. She'd love to introduce you to the program.
Jewish Culture
An Evening of Poetry

We're bringing together two wonderful Marin poets to talk about their experiences as writers during a time of crisis, the importance of community, and their shared sense of reverence for the natural world. Jane Hirshfield is an honored and distinguished poet, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Meryl Natchez is a poet, translator, and reviewer, and chair of the Marin Poetry Center, which is cosponsoring this event.

November 19, 7:00pm-8:00pm

Cost: FREE, registration required
Adult Learning & Living

What Are You Watching?

 Nov 24, 2020 01:00 PM
Pacific Time 

Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever), pull up a chair & join us for an engaging chat.

With several streaming services, hundreds of television channels, and countless web offerings, opportunities for viewing new and classic films, shows, one-offs, mini-series and on-going programs are myriad. Join me and others to share and compare what you are watching, favorite resources and biggest surprises! Learn about entertaining, interesting, educational, or uplifting treasures you may have missed and recommend your favorites to others.

Cost: Free
For details & registration, click below.
Zoom practice makes perfect.

Please take a look at our Learning Zoom webpage and download the easy step-by-step manuals. Then register for one of our live online practice sessions.

Advance registration required. Zoom classes require a minimum of five registrants by 10:00am on the morning of the program.

Thanks to our donors, the manuals and sessions are free!

Learning Unlimited: 

Poetry Repair Shop

 Nov 25, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time

Join Dale Biron for this poet's discussion!  Poems are repair shops, poets the repairwomen, and men. Of course, poets are always working to heal themselves. When skillful, they also support the healing of readers and listeners. Why are the repairs needed? Because, at times, we overlook or deny critical parts of life. If we reject pain and absurdity, we turn brittle and bitter. Refuse beauty and joy; we become barren and sad. The healing answer is wholeness, embracing it all: the pain and the joy. Spend an afternoon with poetry that celebrates and specializes in just such help and healing. Poems that say, “yes" to life's everything.

Cost: Free
For details & registration, click below.
What a Character!
They’re not the leads and often play the tough guy, hard luck dame, gossipy best friend, or the quieter half of a bro-mance. Character actors and actresses bring texture, reality, and fun to a movie. Here are a few of the best, past, and present.
2015’s Trumbo is one of my favorite recent films, telling the true story of Dalton Trumbo, the screenwriter of Spartacus and other classics, persecuted and jailed for his political beliefs during the McCarthy era. John Goodman portrays the only person in town who will allow Trumbo to work, though under a pseudonym. What makes the scenes with Goodman so unforgettable is his hilarious performance as a vulgar, low-rent producer. Goodman has said he based the character on actual subpar producers who had anger issues. Most people think of Goodman in The Big Lebowski , Argo or as Roseanne’s Husband or The Conner’s patriarch, but whenever this fine character actor shows up, the material is instantly elevated.
Nobody could have played Tanya Harding’s weird mother as perfectly as Allison Janney. Janney had a fascinating road to the top, from stage to television hits (West Wing, Mom) to indelible supporting roles in American Beauty, Nurse Betty, Hairspray and The Help to leads in recent films like the under-rated 2019 Bad Education with Hugh Jackman. Janney has a strength of character that makes her one of the most popular character actresses of her time.
We all have our classic favorites and mine is Clifton Webb among others. Webb lived his life as an openly gay man, unusual at the height of his popularity in the 1940’s and 50’s. I constantly revisit Webb as caustic radio star Waldo Lydecker in 1944’s Laura. When I need some stirring music, it’s Webb as John Philip Sousa in 1952’s Stars and Stripes Forever or to get a tear in my eye, the original brilliance of The Razor’s Edge with the under-rated Tyrone Power. It is film fun to watch him fall in love with Dorothy McGuire in Three Coins in a Fountain or go down with the ship in 1953’s Titanic.
It is surprising to note that Thelma Ritter never won an Academy Award, though she was nominated as Best Supporting six times. Excellent at heart breaking drama (Pick Up on South Street), she could play comedic working-class best friends or housekeepers in The Misfits, Pillow Talk and All About Eve. Ritter inspires character actresses right up to today, displaying an authenticity that is both rare and beloved by cinema enthusiasts.
The list of fine character players is as unending as film itself. From Bruce Dern to Marjorie Main, Steve Buscemi to Mary Wickes, Philip Ahn to Walter Brennan, Eve Arden to Woody Strode…we thank the character players in the trenches who make our filmgoing experience rich and real.
Stay well, Friends.