Osher Marin Adult Learning and Living | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Welcome to Adult Learning & Living

 Join us for fun, educational, engaging, social, and sometimes delicious activities. Now with our growing virtual programming, it's easy! Center members, non-members, residents near or far, people of all backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities, fashion styles, chocolate preferences—all are welcome!  Come along and we'll explore the arts, build a broader understanding of our world, taste a few treats together, and possibly pick up a new skill or two. We'd love to have you.


 Our January Offerings
Date Day Time Event Name Description Cost For Tickets & Registration
Jan 4 Monday 10am

Learning Zoom:
Beginner Skills

Meet Danielle Vierra to learn basic skills for using Zoom and its meeting window. 

FREE  Click here 
Jan 4 Monday 11am  Still Traveling: Sensational Seville

Let James Sokol zoom you to southern Spain to tour with our terrific, professional, local guide, who leads these interesting live “tours."

 $15-$50  Click here
Jan 4  Monday   1pm Learning Zoom:
Practice Forum

Join Danielle Vierra for a review of skills taught in our Zoom manuals and for an open forum to ask focused questions about using Zoom.

FREE  Click here 
Jan 5 Tuesday 1pm

Coffee Talk:
Art, Craft & Beloved Objects

Let’s slow down and appreciate the things we have; share one that is particularly special. Bring a favorite object -- a piece of art, craft, jewelry or other object -- and share with Danielle Vierra & others its interesting history and/or the reasons you love it. 

FREE Click here 
Jan 6 Wednesday  1pm 

Music and Morsels: Classical Elegance for the New Year

Pianist Ian Scarfe brings a special New Year's program with insights featuring the most refined and elegant of classical masters - Haydn and Mozart. After the concert, stay for live Q&A!

FREE-$15 Click here 
Jan 6 Wednesday 3pm 

Cocktails & Cabalettas: Operatic Happy Hours

Bring a drink and join James Sokol & others for a happy hour of beautiful music, interesting insights & fun chat.

Cost: $8-$20 Click here 
Jan 7  Thursday   1pm

Broadway Backstage

Let James Sokol zoom you through the Stage Door to meet special guest theater professionals – who bring unique expertise, experiences & insights to our exclusive discussions. 

Cost: $15-$50 Click here 
Jan 10 Sunday  2pm  Terrific Tastings: "Changed" Cheddars


Let us deliver these goodies to your doorstep, then set out some wine, crackers and join culinary host James Sokol for a live, online, guided tasting of "changed" cheddars w/a special guest!

Cost:$15-$60 Click here 
Jan 11 Monday 10am

Learning Zoom:
Beginner Skills

Meet Danielle Vierra to learn basic skills for using Zoom and its meeting window. 

FREE  Click here 
Jan 11 Monday 1pm

Learning Zoom:
Practice Forum

Join Danielle Vierra for a review of skills taught in our Zoom manuals and for an open forum to ask focused questions about using Zoom.

FREE  Click here 
 Jan 12  Tuesday  10am 

Book Fest: 
The “What to Eat When” Cookbook

Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer of the Cleveland Clinic, discusses his co-authored groundbreaking lifestyle guide, which reveals the best foods for healthier living, disease prevention, better performance, and a longer life. Each delicious recipe is paired with practical information about the nutrients and benefits of the ingredients, what portion size to eat when, and helpful substitutions.

$10-JCC Members (Enter “OMJCC” in the coupon code for the member price.)
 Click here
Jan 12 Tuesday 1pm

Coffee Talk:
Book Banter

Join Danielle Vierra & others for a "no reading book discussion!" Gather to hear and share recommendations, commentary & connections.

FREE  Click here 
Jan 13 Wednesday 1pm

Learning Unlimited:
“Just Mercy” a Review

Join Oak Dowling for a review and discussion about the movie “Just Mercy” -- a very popular film and book about the Alabama Equal Justice Initiative and the freeing from prison of Walter McMillian, a wrongly convicted African-American man.

FREE  Click here 
Jan 14 Thursday 5pm

Book Fest:
Erica Katz
The Boys’ Club

Join this author talk to hear about how Sweetbitter meets The Firm in this buzzy, page-turning debut novel - already optioned to Netflix - about sex and power in the halls of corporate America. 

Cost: $6-$35  Click here
Jan 17 Sunday 2pm

Terrific Tastings: French Wine Road-trip


Let us deliver wines to your home, then join James Sokol & Bob Sawicki for a virtual, metaphoric road-trip to three different wine regions in France.

Cost: $15-$98

Click here

Jan 17  Sunday   5pm

Book Fest:
Lisa Lillien
Hungry Girl Fast & Easy

Lisa Lillien’s #1 bestselling cookbooks are about keeping things easy, while serving up big portions of better-for-you food that tastes great! Kick off the new year with Lisa as she shares her fastest and easiest recipes for meals and snacks –including a live cooking demo!

Cost:  $6-$30 Click here 
Jan 18 Monday 10am

Learning Zoom:
Beginner Skills

Join Danielle Vierra for a review of skills taught in our Zoom manuals and for an open forum to ask focused questions about using Zoom.

FREE  Click here 
Jan 18 Monday 1pm

Learning Zoom:
Practice Forum

Join Danielle Vierra for a review of skills taught in our Zoom manuals and an open forum to ask focused questions about using Zoom. 

FREE   Click here
Jan 18 Monday 2pm

Songs of Dreams: A Multi-Genre Musical Celebration of MLK Day

Join James Sokol to journey through an array of music – Broadway, pop, opera & more! – exploring the theme of “dreams” along the way.

Cost: $5-$12.50 Click here
Jan 19 Tuesday 1pm

Coffee Talk: Documentaries & Discussion

View “The Speed Cubers” online and be ready to actively discuss before our gathering. Join Paula Love for a talk about this fascinating documentary.

FREE For discussion registration, click here

For documentary,
click here
Jan 24 Sunday 1pm

Terrific Tastings: Benevolent Brownies & Blondies


Let us deliver goodies to your doorstep, then join culinary host James Sokol for a live, online, guided brownie & blondie tasting with special guests! 

Cost: $15-$50  Click here 
Jan 25  Monday   10am Learning Zoom:
Beginner Skills 
Meet Danielle Vierra to learn basic skills for using Zoom and its meeting window.  FREE  Click here 
Jan 25   Monday 11am   Learning Zoom:
Practice Forum
Join Danielle Vierra for a review of skills taught in our Zoom manuals and for an open forum to ask focused questions about using Zoom.  FREE  Click here 
 Jan 25 Monday  1:30pm  Exploring Opera: Sensational Seville  Join James Sokol for a musical journey thru Seville to see actual sites, discuss & watch video performance clips of some of the operas set in these locations.  Cost: $12.50-$20  Click here 
Jan 27  Wednesday  1pm  Learning Unlimited:
A Hunger for Stories 
Join Dale Biron to celebrate poems that help us remember what is possible, even when such things feel improbable.  FREE   Click here
 Jan 27 Wednesday  5pm 

Book Fest:
Scott Turow
The Last Trial


Two formidable men collide in this "first-class legal thriller" and NYTimes bestseller about a celebrated criminal defense lawyer and the prosecution of his lifelong friend -- a doctor accused of murder. 

 Cost:  $11-$25 Click here 
Jan 31  Sunday  5pm 

Book Fest:
Gabrielle Glaser
American Baby...

In conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist


This NYTimes bestselling author & journalist explores – in American Baby – the untold story of a predatory, secret adoption system in postwar America through the dual stories of Margaret and the son she never intended to give up. 

Cost:  $11-$35  Click here 

Subscribe to enjoy our newsletter.

Contact James directly at jsokol@marinjcc.org.

Moments of Joy, Laughter & Learning!
These uplifting, themed emails provide interesting insights and links to video clips, perfect for fans of Broadway, pop, opera, classical music, comedy & more. And, watch for the lagniappe (re: “a little something extra”).

Subscribe to receive notices of upcoming programs, special events, and our newsletter Moments of Joy. Send your name, email address, and city of residence 

To increase the probability of our emails reaching your inbox, please add James’ email above to your eAddress book.

Subscribe here.

Fill your senses.
Join us for exciting online events with custom concerts, thoughtful films, and local food tastings. These are one-of-a-kind, not-to-be-missed events!

Virtual Music & Morsels
Bring coffee/tea & dessert to your computer, take your front row seat, and join us for a 1-hour live concert with a special guest artist who will not only perform, but also offer insights into the program’s pieces. Live Q&A enriches the experience! Your ticket purchase helps support not only our programs, but also our guest artists(s) whose schedule(s) and income(s) have been severely cut by this challenging period.

Terrific Tastings
Partnering with family-owned businesses, many of which may be struggling during this challenging period, we are delighted to create our live, online, educational tasting experiences. Each month features a different specialty & a different guest who bring unique insights to the tasting. Come for the treats, stay for the fun! Click here for more info. 

Still Traveling
Would you like to still travel? Now you can without leaving your home – just stay still! Let us whisk you away for an interesting, educational & fun live, guided group tour in a destination beyond your front door! Join a guide from one of our popular Cultural Arts Trips to explore a topic or site at a distant destination as (s)he Zooms across the time zones to lead us. Live Q&A, photos, graphics and video clips (when available) will transport us to the destination! Your ticket purchase helps support not only our programs, but also our special guests – professional guides – who are mostly or completely out of work.

Share your thoughts.

Drop into Coffee Talk. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever), pull up a chair, and join others for an engaging chat.​ 


Book Banter
Join our "no reading book discussion" to hear and share recommendations, commentary & connections! Whatcha reading?  Fiction?  Non-Fiction?  Best sellers?  Short works?  Share your latest, greatest find, champion an old/classic favorite or just hear what others are reading.

Documentaries & Discussions
Dive into new worlds & experiences through factual storytelling about real people, places & events. Discover an unusual, interesting or unknown topic; gain a new perspective. Documentaries offer engaging, often thought-provoking journeys. Watch this month’s recommendation, then bring your reactions, ideas, point of view & questions to our interactive discussion.

Stories of the Passed
Think of a wonderful, funny, inspiring, endearing and/or treasured memory of friends, family, colleagues or others who are no longer. Whether about a funny conversation, a memorable travel moment, a first date, a hilarious misunderstanding or other uplifting situation, come tell a story, honor memories of dear ones by sharing and hearing "stories of the passed." 

Watcha Watchin’?
With countless web offerings, TV channels & streaming services, chances for viewing new & classic films, shows, one-offs, mini-series and on-going programs are myriad. Join us to share & compare what you are watching, favorite resources and biggest surprises! Learn about entertaining, educational, or uplifting treasures and recommend your favorites.

Expand your mind.

With Learning Unlimited, you can revisit a favorite subject or pick up a skill by diving into something new at our one-time lectures w/Q&A on a variety of subjects.


Exploring Opera with James Sokol

Whether an opera newcomer or a long-time fan, join us for a single session or a full series of our popular classes. Put down your opera glasses, take your front row seat, and explore this gorgeous, if sometimes intimidating, art form. Join James Sokol who started his career under Beverly Sills at NYCOpera, worked on projects with Opera Company of Philadelphia, then moved to work at San Francisco Opera. With years of in-theater and teaching experience, backstage anecdotes, beautiful video performance clips, and a down-to-earth perspectives, Sokol creates classes that always delight.



Keep an eye on our upcoming events for presenters and educators who are regularly scheduled to share their expertise on a variety topics—from current events to local art installations to financial and legal education.


Broadway Backstage

Let us sneak you in the Stage Door to go backstage on Broadway! A different, special guest theater professional who brings his/her unique expertise, experiences, and insights to our discussion will be featured at each of these exclusive, behind-the-scenes visits. Live Q&A and photos/video clips (when available) will enrich our experience. Your ticket purchase helps support not only this program, but also our special guests – theater professionals – who are mostly or completely out of work.

Opera Behind the Scenes

Let former opera professional & instructor James Sokol pull back the curtain and take you on exclusive, behind-the-scenes visits to the opera. Meet a different special guest opera professional, who brings his/her unique expertise, experiences & insights to our discussion. Live Q&A and video clips highlight our visit. Your ticket purchase helps support not only our programs, but also our guests – opera professionals – who are, mostly or completely, out of work. Come learn, off-stage, what makes the magic happen on-stage!


Adult Learning & Living Donors

 A special thanks to the donors who through their commitment to quality programs, care for the community, and the generosity of their gifts, are helping to make this season's Adult Learning & Living programs possible.

Nov 1, 2019 – Oct 31, 2020.

Anonymous, Ursula Gropper & Nate Sumner, Leslie & Steve Isaacs,
Jewish Community Federation, Kelter Foundation, Kurland Family
Foundation, Melanie & Peter Maier, Edith “M.” Pankratz, Jackie & Larry
Slayen, Carla Sokol, Woman of Her Word/Michele Spitz.

Dr. David & Rosalind Bloom, Jody & Ed Cale, Annette & Richard Delaney, Nancy Ellenbogen & Joel Lurie, Ilene Genet & Bob Standish, Jean & Alan Kay, Kelter Foundation, Harriet Kossman, Judith & David Layne, Margarite Olmos, Joyce Ratner. 
Lorraine Barry, Marilyn Beller, Carolyn & Richard Cogan, Moira & Kenneth Feingold, Liz & Joe Greenberg, Gisela Hewitt, Barbara Kirkner, Joan & Jim Kirsner, Sue Moriguchi, Ruthellen Toole. 
Barbara Begany, Carolyn Bieneman, Jona Consani, Dwight Daley, Dimensions in Travel, Michael & Lori Ferguson, Jeanne Gnuse, Christine & Ron Grossi, Nancy Hemmenway & Thomas Welsh, Flavinia & Stevie Kirz, Susan Kolb, Susan & Mark Lachtman, Rosalie Marcovecchio, Kim & Marc Press, Melanie Sperling & Robert Rodvien, Neva Turer, Lorraine Voskanian.
Becky Anderson, Elizabeth Austin, Lee & Frank Battat, Jo Ann Berman, Janet Braff, Judith & Richard Burns, Joanne Chappell & George Hagan, Gloria Cote, Pamela Dekema, Barbara Dembo, John & Martha “P.” Denison, Louise Dibble, Etty Dolin, Mary & Oak Dowling, Judith Einbinder, Jane Epel, Gayle & Abe Farkas, Barbara Friede, Bernice Greene, Erica Heath, Gail & Jerry Jacobs, Iris & Alvin King, Julie Klein, Sheri Liebscher, Joan Lithgow, Diane Martin, Elaine McKenna, Jeanie Merriman, Jane Merryman, Jackie & Howard Nemerovski, Joyce O'Connor, Joyce Pavlovsky, Jeanne Radtke, Donald Reinberg, Jack Rengstorff, Steven Reynolds, Joyce & Gary Rifkind, Marcia & Michael Rubenstein, Walid Saad, Donna & Mark Saberman, Carol Savio, Judie & Leonard Shaw, Damien Keller & James Sokol, Gregory Spencer & Ben Isaacs, Kathleen Urmini, Beth Vivio, Alice Walker, Barbara Ward, Judy Whellan, Marilyn Williams, Diane Williams, Laurie Williamson, Sondra Wuthnow.
Lauri Arbeit, Faith Barry, Barbara & Nathan Becker, Joan Bekins, Marion & Wayne Bulette, Virginia Button, Justin Chew, Betsy & Chuck Cordes, Jim Cox, Barbara Cullen, Carol Cuzner, Jeffrey Dake, Marilyn de Guzman, Ronnie & William Feldman, Susan Fishman, Barbara Fopp, Carole & Mark Friedlander, Janet Friedman, Susan Fyles, Michael Gorton, David Gowdey, Rosemary Greenberg, Karen Haines, Gloria Herzog, Marc Horowitz, Francine Hulot, Susan Kelly, Sheri & Jerome Langer, Jerrold Levine, Maxine Litwak, Linda Marks, Bente & Arne Martinsen, Holly Middleton, Judith & Neil O'Hanlon, Josephine Pelletier, Pamela Rand. Lois Roach, Marc Samuelson, Jules Schechner, Debra Schloss, Marilyn Schneider, John Schwabacher, Paula Siegel, Peter Snoek, Sandra Spector, Philip & Rebecca Susser,, Jane Wallace, Suzanne Waterman, Carol Wolfe, Deborah Yaffe. 
Alicia Allen, Barbara & Larry Babow, Marilyn Bagshaw, Diana L. Blank, Catherine Blumberg, Ellin Chess, Carol Carter Colbert, Carlotta P.B. Gonzalez, Judy Gries, Tom Herington, Diane Hyde, Kate Johnston, Donna Kaulkin, Jessie King, Shirley Long, Gerald Lopatin, Barbara Merino, Dorothy Nirenstein, Laura Phipps, Jane Rivera, Crissy Davis Roach, Wendy Robbins, David Rose, Michelle Rosengaus, Melanie Rubin, Carole Shaw, Marjorie Siegel, Lexie Sifford, Maureen Tarpey, Delore Veenstra, Sandra Watts, Rhea Wolkowitz, Loretta Zweig. 

Make a donation of any amount at
and designate your gift to "Adult Learning & Living"

Thank you for your support!