Religions and Spirituality

JCC of Central New Jersey to Host its 7th Annual University Lecture Series

Arlene Alda, award-winning photographer and author, will speak at the JCC April 3. Credits: Courtesy of the JCC
Mike Kelly, a journalist and author of The Bus on Jaffa Road: A Story of Middle East Terrorism and the Search for Justice. Credits: Courtesy of the JCC
The Bus of Jaffa Road recounts the story of two New Jersey teenagers killed in a 1996 bus bombing in Jerusalem. Credits: Courtesy of the JCC

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - The 7th annual University Lecture Series at the JCC is back from Tuesday, March 15, through Monday, April 18. 

The audience will meet authors and experts who will speak about their books, their experiences and their research. This year will address a variety of topics including the current presidential campaign, a 1996 bus bombing in Israel that killed two New Jerseyians, and Arlene Alda's early childhood.

The first lecture, on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. features journalist Mike Kelly who recently wrote The Bus on Jaffa Road: A Story of Middle East Terrorism and the Search for Justice which is about the two New Jersey teenagers killed in 1996 in a Jerusalem bus bombing and the case that followed. Kelly has reported internationally, covered the 9/11 attacks, the clean-up of Ground Zero and the 9/11 Commission hearings. He has devoted much of his career to covering terrorism. 

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On Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m., Roger Cohen, award-winning New York Times columnist and former foreign correspondent, turns a compassionate yet discerning eye on the legacy of his own family in order to understand more profoundly the nature of the modern Jewish experience.

The JCC will welcome Arlene Alda, wife of actor Alan Alda, on Sunday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m. Join the JCC for brunch as Alda, award-winning photographer and author of nineteen books takes the audience through her latest book Just Kids From the Bronx: Telling It the Way It Was: An Oral History. Through vivid oral histories, Alda reveals what it was like to grow up in a place that bred the influencers in just about every field of endeavor.

On Wednesday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m., Princeton Professor and weekly CNN columnist Julian Zelizer will speak about the 2016 presidential election which is well underway.  Every day brings new interesting twists and turns. Listen as Zelizer puts this election in historical perspective and talks about some of the larger issues and forces that are shaping the campaign, the candidates and the electorate.

Lastly, on Monday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m., Dan Ephron, author of Killing A King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel, will discuss Rabin's death at the hand of Orthodox Jew Yigal Amir and the years leading up to the assassination. He will help the audience understand Israel today, from the paralysis in peacemaking to the fraught relationship between Netanyahu and Obama. Killing of a King was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2015 by The New York Times.

The University Lecture Series is open to the community. Visit for a full description of all programs and ticket pricing and purchase. Series tickets and sponsorships are available.

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

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