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Opportunities for Lifelong Learners Expand with OLLI’s New Boulder Branch

Barbara Darling came by the Boulder JCC the other day in her new role as manager of the Boulder OLLI, which is about to present its third 8-week season of classes, workshops, field trips and speakers.

Darling and I worked together at the Boulder Daily Camera in the early 1980s, and as life comes full circle, we find ourselves dedicated to providing adult learning opportunities for a community we have loved for many years. As we compared notes, we discovered that we are both gratified to serve Boulder’s active and sophisticated senior population – and impressed by their immense curiosity, their commitment and skill as volunteers, and their hunger for social engagement.

Given the overlap in our agency’s mission, it makes perfect sense that the JCC will host an OLLI  class in September.

“OLLI is a wonderful program with over 18 years’ experience creating adult education that is rich in content and builds community,” BJCC Senior Director of Programs Nancy Lipsey notes. They are the perfect partner to help the Boulder JCC expand what we can offer for adults during the day.”

Now in 123 cities from coast to coast, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has been offering adult learning opportunities since 2001. Founded by Bernard Osher, a Jewish philanthropist committed to the education, the arts, and world politics, OLLI has been in operation at DU since 2004.

After several local residents reached out to DU’s OLLI executive director Barbe Ratcliffe, Boulder became the newest – and fastest growing – OLLI site in January, bringing the number of metro Denver sites to 6.

Registration is now open for the third season of classes, which begin September 16 at Mountain View United Methodist Church, with courses in history, music, film, writing, literature, philosophy, current events, science, wellness, and more. Most classes meet one day a week for two hours and are facilitated by OLLI member/volunteers who have professional knowledge or scholarly interest in a subject area. Facilitators include retired university faculty members, skilled professionals, and independent scholars. Participants can sign up for as many classes as they wish for $130 registration, and can take classes at all six locations.

Czech director Milos Forman, whose parents perished in the Holocaust, won the 1976 Oscar for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

The Boulder JCC will host an exploration of 30 years of Academy Award winners, spanning 1976 to 2007. Denver movie buff and popular OLLI facilitator Bob Magnani pulls together videos of important scenes from 30 films with the intent “to evoke the feelings viewers had about these major films and to share those thoughts with each other.”

“What makes a great film? Was this the best of its year? Has it survived the test of time?” Magnani intends to ask these questions as he shows clips and provides background. To register CLICK HERE

The Boulder JCC is not the only organization OLLI is partnering with as it finds its place in a vibrant community of lifelong learners. On August 22, OLLI and the Jaipur Literature Festival are hosting a panel with three local authors discussing how they explore cultural communities in their novels. To register, CLICK HERE

For the catalog, CLICK HERE.

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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