OLLI Outlook
The Monthly Newsletter of OLLI @Berkeley
December 2013
OLLI Announcements
Annual Fund Update
Winter 2014 Speaker Series
In Memoriam
Faculty Profile: Erich Gruen
Fee Assistance Program
Fourth Age Salon
Academic Adventure in Oxford
Faculty News
Campus News: Fredrick Wiseman's At Berkeley
The Lunch Bunch
OLLI's Idea Box
Member Benefits
OLLI Academic Calendar
Join Our Mailing List

Like us on Facebook    View our videos on YouTube    View our photos on flickr
OLLI Staff
 Susan Hoffman

Program Coordinator
Nicole Magnuson

Communications Coordinator
Satya Levine

Classroom and Events 
Gerard Alcantara

Research Assistant
Chelsea Crown

Student Staff
Nika Allahverdi
Chelsea Crown
Stephen Frianeza
Tammy Huynh
Hansen Ling 
David Lu
Brianne N Lynn
Alexis S Nya-Kemajou
Kelsey Hannah Rich
Lucy Hong Tang
Julie Xiao
Winnie Wei Zhuo

OLLI @ Berkeley
University of California
1925 Walnut St #1570 Berkeley, CA94720-1570
tel. 510.942.9934
fax. 510.642.2202

Eight classes have already filled--now is the time to register for Winter term! Check out the course offerings and register online.

OLLI Announcements

Winter Party -- Thursday, December 12 

OLLI's Annual Winter Potluck Extravaganza is on Thursday, December 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Freight and Salvage Lobby. Bring a dish to share and enjoy the company of your fellow OLLI members. Spouses and partners are welcome. RSVP online.


Email Forum for OLLI Members -- Coming Soon!

The Email Forum task force, composed of OLLI members who serve on the Member Services Committee and an OLLI staff representative, are putting the final touches on the long-awaited email forum for OLLI membership. Look for an announcement shortly! If you are an OLLI member and are interested in volunteering as a forum moderator, please contact Sue Boyle at susanlboyle@comcast.net.


Staff Opening at OLLI -- Program Assistant

We are delighted to report a new full-time staff opening at OLLI @Berkeley. The Program Assistant will provide support for the Curriculum and Annual Fund Committees, the Director, and the course development and evaluation processes. If you know anyone who might be interested, please direct them to Listing 17084 at jobs.berkeley.edu.

Annual Fund Update

Annual Fund Has a Strong Kickoff

To date, 151 donors have contributed to OLLI's Annual Fund for 2013-14--thank you! With a goal of $75,000, we hope for a generous response to the yearly letter which will come to you in next week's mail. Please note the tax benefit expiring in 2013: Taxpayers older than 70.5 can donate up to $100,000 a year directly from IRAs to charity as an alternative to taking an itemized charitable deduction. Donate online

Winter 2014 Speaker Series
Wednesdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m.  Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
Free to OLLI members, UCB faculty, staff, and students (with ID)
$10 general admission
More info |
RSVP online

February 5
Searching for Cosmic Rays
Spencer Klein, Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Research Physicist, UC Berkeley

February 12
Extreme Weather in a Changing Climate
Michael Wehner, Staff Scientist in Computational Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

February 19
Harnessing the Plasticity of the Older Brain
Adam Gazzaley, Associate Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry, and Director of UCSF Neuroscience Imaging Center


February 26
Nutritional Inadequacy and Age-Related Diseases
Bruce N. Ames, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley and Director, Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute 
NEW: March 5
Learning and Longevity: Applying the Insights of Neuroscience
Susan Hoffman, Director, OLLI @Berkeley
In Memoriam

OLLI remembers those in our community who have passed in the last year. Members are invited to send names of loved ones for inclusion in the December 2014 newsletter.


George Hersh (d. February 21, 2013)

A founding member of OLLI @Berkeley, George served on the first planning committee in 2003, and on the following OLLI committees: Curriculum (2008-2010), Membership (2008-2010), Advisory Research Team (2011-2012).


Eugene Coyner (d. May 18, 2013) 

A member of OLLI @Berkeley since Fall 2012. Read his obituary.

Faculty Profile: Erich Gruen

by Don Queen, OLLI member


This winter term, Erich Gruen will teach "The Jewish Diaspora in the Greco-Roman Era."  Professor emeritus Gruen taught Greek, Roman, and Jewish history for over 40 years at UC Berkeley. He has authored two books on the subject: Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition and Diaspora: Jews Amidst Greeks and Romans.


In his course, Professor Gruen will take a new look at images of the Jewish Diaspora and contrast them with what historians know about the experience of the Jewish people during the Greco-Roman Era. Professor Gruen explains:


"The scattering of Jews has been emblematic of their existence for 2,500 years--and the 'wandering Jew' a dominant image throughout the centuries. But that is not the whole story. Jews in the Greco-Roman period settled all over the Mediterranean long before the destruction of the Temple. ... [D]uring the Greco-Roman era (after Alexander the Great and before Nero), the Jews who settled throughout the Mediterranean did so voluntarily and were not exiles. ...The class will explore their relations with Gentiles, accommodation to life under foreign rule, participation in Greek and Roman culture, the tensions between assimilation and tradition, and their attitudes toward the homeland."


Professor Gruen will also address "the treatment of the Jews living in the Diaspora--a sort of prelude to anti-Semitism which is an issue still with us."


Erich Gruen was born in Vienna in 1935. He stated that his family was fortunate to have family and friends generous enough to sponsor them for entry into the United States in 1939. He attended public schools in Washington, DC before entering Columbia University, where his interest in ancient history was developed: "I did have a professor when I was an undergrad at Columbia University who was a wonderful teacher, scholar, and human being who helped me identify Ancient History as the field I wanted to go into." After earning his BA with highest honors in 1957, he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University. He describes the Oxford curriculum of "reading history" with a tutor: "The work that I did at Oxford was extremely important in giving me a sense of how one works in that field." After graduating in 1960 with a BA with First Class Honors, he obtained his PhD in History from Harvard University in 1964, where he then taught until he began teaching at UC Berkeley in 1966.


Dr. Gruen has also been a visiting professor at Oxford, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford, University of Colorado, University of Minnesota, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Getty Villa in Malibu. He has published ten books and over 90 articles and reviews. Among his many honors and citations, Dr. Gruen is particularly proud of his receipt of the Austrian Cross of Honor for Arts and Letters, awarded in 1999.


After retiring from UC Berkeley in 2007, Professor Gruen has continued teaching and serving on committees for PhD candidates. He also has taught a course at San Quentin State Prison through the PUP (Prison University Program), in which students read and critique original historical materials. He is looking forward to teaching at OLLI this winter where, happily--unlike at San Quentin--reading assignments are optional and no "do not wear denim" dress code applies to distinguish teachers and volunteers from the students.


Erich Gruen will teach The Jewish Diaspora in the Greco-Roman Era on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon beginning January 29.

Fee Assistance Program

We hope you know that OLLI offers fee assistance for those who cannot otherwise afford the membership or course fees. Spread the word if you know someone who could benefit! 


To apply, send a letter explaining the circumstances to 1925 Walnut St. #1570, Berkeley, CA 94720-1570 or apply by email to berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu


For Winter 2014, the application deadline is Friday, January 17. (Please note, fee assistance is offered only for courses that have spaces open. See the website for currently available offerings.) More info at http://olli.berkeley.edu/lib/FAQs/FAQs-FeeAssistanceProgram.pdf

Fourth Age Salon
The next Fourth Age Salon will be on Monday, December 9, 10:30 a.m.-noon. 
Join OLLI's Fourth Agers and Director Susan Hoffman for a presentation on "Now Hear This," OLLI's awareness campaign to create a better listening and learning environment at Berkeley.
For more information, contact OLLI research assistant Chelsea Crown (chelseacrown@berkeley.edu).
Academic Adventure in Oxford

The Oxford Berkeley Program is accepting enrollments for next summer: July 21-August 9, 2014. Now in its 45th year, the Program is designed for an intellectually curious audience: independent adults who wish to widen their horizons through traveling and discovering the world through the lens of an academic discipline. Program "scholars" live and study at University of Oxford's Merton College, and immerse themselves in the daily rhythms of life at college. For more information or to enroll, visit: http://extension.berkeley.edu/static/oxford, or call 510-642-3824.

Faculty News

Roger Housden is leading his Literary Pilgrimage to the Soul of England, June 1-8, 2014. Groups are limited to 10 participants. Click here to learn more.

Kathryn Roszak, OLLI instructor for the Cal Performances Dance course, is the Enrichment Lecturer for a cruise of the Russian waterways from St. Petersburg to Moscow, taking place August 7-20, 2014. She will lecture on Russian performing arts, especially ballet and folk dance. Ballet and traditional folk dance performances are planned for this journey. More info at http://alumni.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Russia_final_0.pdf.

OLLI Instructor Kathryn Roszak is the recipient of a grant from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation supporting her creation of "A Modern Schubertiade," a contemporary salon of music, dance, and poetry sponsored by Goethe-Institut, to be presented next spring in San Francisco. For more on Ms. Roszak and her company, Danse Lumiere, see dlkdance.com.

Pierluigi Serraino will lecture and sign copies of his most recent monograph Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions, Friday, December 6, 2013, 5-7 p.m. at William Stout Books, 1605 Solano Avenue, Berkeley. 

Campus News: Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley

Frederick Wiseman's documentary film, At Berkeley, opens this week at the Elmwood in Berkeley and at San Francisco's Roxie Theaters.  We highly recommend it.  Watch the trailer. Read a review on RogerEbert.com. 

The Lunch Bunch

by Lucille Poskanzer, OLLI member


2068 Center St., between Shattuck Ave. and Milvia St.

Berkeley, CA 94704




This new place, located close to the OLLI classrooms, is a modern and hip glorified sports bar, complete with a back-lit bar, an eclectic menu, and 8 television screens (thankfully muted). It appeals to young professionals and doesn't attract Berkeley High students. The burgers are really good, in many variations, and there are a number of other menu options of all sizes. Lots of alcoholic drink choices too, if you are so inclined. This is a good place for large groups, as well as hanging out after class. Happy hour begins at 2 p.m. on weekdays.
OLLI's Idea Box
Have a great idea for an OLLI course? Have you heard someone speak who would be an interesting instructor? Do you know an organization who would provide a discount to OLLI members? Please share your ideas using this link and we will forward to the appropriate staff or committee for consideration.
Member Benefits
Berkeley Symphony: 10% Discount 
Berkeley Symphony is offering a 10% discount on single tickets to OLLI members for the 2013-14 Season at Zellerbach Hall. Call the box office and identify yourself as an OLLI member when you order your tickets.

Berkeley Arts and Letters: 50% Discount 
Berkeley Arts and Letters offers a 50% student discount to OLLI members on advance tickets purchased through their website. Their next program begins in February 2014. Visit http://berkeleyarts.org for more information.

Jazz Caffe: 10% Discount 
Show your OLLI student card and get 10% off on food and non-alcoholic beverages (when ordered with food). The Jazz Caffe is located at 2087 Addison Street, just across the street from Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse. You can order ahead by stopping in on your way to class or over the phone at 510.883.0231. Check out their menu: http://www.jazzcaffe.biz/caffe.htm
OLLI Academic Calendar
Berkeley Open House: Jan 7
Lafayette Info Session: Jan 9
Term: Jan 27-Mar 10

Berkeley Open House: March 11
Lafayette Info Session: March 13
Term: March 31-May 9

Term: June 2-26

Term dates through the 2014-15 academic year are available at http://olli.berkeley.edu/calendar/academicCalendar.html.