Exercise Class

Winter 2012 Intersession Schedule

The 2012 Winter Intersession, given between semesters, offers to retirees and those semi-retired, a sample of LIRA’s almost year-round program and friendly community. The program is planned and much of it provided by the members themselves. The general public is invited to all Intersession programs. The time for these programs is 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Most of the Intersession programs will be held in the Talon Room at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Lowell, Mass. Please contact Jeri Durant for the exact location of the program. Some programs will be held at another location not yet determined as of this posting.


The program will include interesting hands-on examples of collectible books, together with interesting facts about collecting. Topics: How do you identify a first edition, resources used in identifying a collectible book, caring for and displaying your collection. Those who come may bring a book to be appraised (one per person).

Coordinator: Judith Raiguel*

January 11 THE ELUSIVE QUEST FOR HAPPINESS or How Do You Know if You Have It? Arnold Kerzner*

What is Happiness all about from a social, psychological, and neurobiological perspective? Is Happiness too narrow a goal for which to strive? From where does life satisfaction derive? How do we balance our needs with the needs of others? Is there a “Gender Difference” in how men and women pursue Happiness? Dr. Arnold Kerzner, a Family Psychiatrist, will address these questions incorporating numerous articles, research, a questionnaire, his personal philosophy, lots of humor and, most certainly, time for audience participation.

Coordinator: Claire Frassica*

January 18 BROWSING THROUGH BIRKE’S DUCUMENTARY - A Witty and Poignant Documentary Szifra Birke

Polish-born Nathan and Sally Birke came to Lowell, Massachusetts in 1947, after the Holocaust. Their story of survival, perseverance, and success comes to life in the witty and poignant documentary Browsing Through Birke’s, produced and directed with great intimacy by Los Angeles filmmaker Steven D. Grossman. In this film, daughter Szifra (Shifra) shares her recollections of childhood while guiding us through the personal and intimate stories about the mother every customer adored and her cantankerous, opinionated, and not-made-for-customer-service father at Birke’s Department Store in Lowell. Szifra will introduce the film and will be available for questions and information after the film viewing.

Coordinator: Jean Schott*

January 18 BOOK DISCUSSION Toby Hodes *

12:30 - 2:30 p.m. The Social Animal, non-fiction by David Brooks


Southern Spain and Morocco have a shared history beginning in 13th century until 1492 and the Catholic Monarchs Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Last spring Connie was in Andalusia and the northern cities of Morocco. The illustrated talk explores the beautiful Moorish architecture of Granada, Cordova, and Seville, the Riff Mountain city of Chefchaouen, medina of Fes, capital of Morocco, Rabat, and modern mosque of Casablanca.

Coordinator Dorothy Bromage*

February 1 ART IN AMERICA – TWO EXAMPLES Jean Schott*

There are two topics in this presentation: 1) The art of the 20th century realist painter Edward Hopper, 2) Quilts of America

Coordinator: Judith Palais*

February 8 A JOURNEY ALONG THE MIDDLESEX CANAL Dorothy Bromage* and Bob Hanlon*

If you are a member of LIRA, the chances are good that the Middlesex Canal, built between 1795 and 1803, ran through your town. For fifty years, it connected the Merrimack River and the Port of Boston. The 27-mile barge canal was one of the main thoroughfares in eastern New England until the advent of the railroad. The Middlesex Turnpike also contributed to its downfall. The story of what was sometimes referred to as the “incredible ditch” will be told in a short video, in map study, and by Tom Raphael, President of the Middlesex Canal Association.

Coordinator: Virginia Michaels*

February 15 BRINGING GOD INTO THE FIGHT Dr. Mark Allman

Dr. Mark Allman is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Theological Studies at Merrimack College and a faculty associate in the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations. He is one of only a few scholars working on postwar ethics and the just war theory. His talk will address the fact that religion has been used to justify and condemn warfare and will explore various religious approaches to the use of deadly force.

Coordinator: Joe Casadone*


A summary of federal and state laws and regulations designed to protect our environment. Discussion will focus on laws that have been enacted to protect air, water, land and people. These include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Emergency Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund). As mandated by these laws, the Environmental Protection Agency and its state counterparts have written volumes of regulations that affect every facet of industry and commerce. Particular attention will be paid to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan which deals with oil and hazardous materials releases and their impact on real estate transactions.

Coordinator: Ann Dahlman*


12:30 - 2:30 p.m. The World to Come, historical fiction by Dara Horn

February 29 DR. JOHNSON RETURNS TO HAITI Dr. Larry Johnson

In May 2010, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Johnson made his first medical mission trip to Haiti with Project Medi-Share. A year later, he returned, this time with his son Philip, and found a lack of progress from the devastation of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of January 2010. Dr. Johnson will tell his observations of the Haitian people and the medical situation in the part of the country where he worked.

Coordinator: Jeri Durant*

*Member of LIRA