New at the JCC in Scotch Plains, the University Lecture Series @ the JCC will focus on topics of Jewish content and/or relevance. It is designed to be a dynamic vehicle for intellectual conversation and stimulating debate.

The March series is presented in partnership with Kean University and the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University.

The first lecture, on Thursday, March 4, is "Jewish in America: Am I Giving Up Something?" Dr. Dennis Klein, Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Kean University will explore how Jews juggle being Jewish and participating fully in the surrounding culture.

On Thursday, March 11, Dr. Gilbert Kahn, Professor in the Department of Political Science at Kean University and columnist for the New Jersey Jewish News, Long Island Jewish World and Chicago Star, will present "The U.S. and Israel Today: the Best of Times or the Worst of Times?" Dr. Kahn, who is also a U.S.-Israeli relations expert, will address the evolution of the current relationship between the U.S. and Israel from the perspective of the political behavior of American Jews.

The final lecture in this series, on Thursday, March 18, is "Jewish Pop Culture on the Lower East Side in the Early 20th Century." Edward Portnoy, Adjunct Professor of Yiddish language and literature at Rutgers University, will take the audience through the Lower East Side's cultural richness in the early 20th century.

All lectures are at the JCC of Central New Jersey, 1391 Martine Avenue, Scotch Plains from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 per session or $32 for the series for JCC members, seniors 65+ and students. Tickets are $14 per session or $38 for the series for community participants. For more information or to register for the University Lecture Series @ the JCC, contact Michele Dreiblatt, Cultural Arts & Education Director, at 908-889-8800 ext. 205 or mdreiblatt@jccnj.org. Online registration is available at www.jccnj.org 

The JCC of Central New Jersey is located at 1391 Martine Avenue in Scotch Plains. The JCC of Central New Jersey is a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, United Way and the United Fund of Westfield. Financial assistance is available for membership and various programs.