Adult Classes

The Tucson J offers a wide array of Adult Enrichment Classes. Register for classes below, in person at the Welcome Desk, or please call 520.299.3000.
No refunds once the class has begun.



Introduction To Memoir Writing

Ever thought about writing a memoir? Author Edie Jarolim will get you started with the basics: from creating a narrative out of your life story to fact-checking your memories. Her recently published memoir, Getting Naked for Money: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All, tells how a Brooklyn-born Ph.D. in poetry and guidebook editor (Simon & Schuster and Random House) moved to Tucson and became a full-time writer.

Instructor: Edie Jarolim
Thursdays, October 18-November 15
$85/ $75 members

Communicating with Animals with Dr. Genie Joseph

Monday, October 15, 2-4pm
$20/ $15 J members
Jewish Heritage Center

We know that animals communicate with each other.  But can we learn to enter their world and communicate with them?  Can we learn to “read” body language with the animals we love?  How can we explore telepathic, non-verbal communication?   This interactive workshop explores various projects with animal communication.  We explore teaching animals to use our methods, as well as learning how to connect on their terms.  Do animals have thoughts and feelings?  What would they like us to know?  What if we could communicate with them?  Drawing on the latest scientific findings we explore their inner lives and the powerful human-animal bond.  Includes stories of communicating with animals who have passed on.  Get inspired about how you can improve the connection and deepen the bonds with the animals in your world. Genie Joseph, MFA, PhD, is a certified dog trainer, animal-behavior specialist, and Therapy Dog Handler.  She previously served on the board of Tripler Army Medical Center’s Human-Animal Bond Program, which brings dogs in to see patients and providers, to lower stress and improve morale.  She brought therapy animals into the women’s prison for training and healing of both dog and inmate.  She is the creator of The Animal Consciousness Institute and works with rescue horses.  Ms. Joseph was awarded the President Obama’s Silver Volunteer Service Award for her work with military families.

Advanced Mah Jong
Mondays November 11/5, 11/12, 11/19 and 11/26 from 9 – 11 am
Learn to play American Mah Jong from an experienced teacher in a fun, interactive atmosphere. You will learn how to interpret the card, together with becoming
familiar with all the official National Mah Jong League rules of this exciting, challenging game. This class is limited to 4 students.

Instructor: Deanna Mendelow
$60/ $50 members
Senior Library


Native American Viewpoints

Course will run from October 8 through November 12 1-3pm on Mondays

With Professor Jerry H. Gill, Ph.D. Duke University and graduate instructor at the U. of AZ. in archaeology and Indian Studies, examine Native American views of time and space, human origins, ceremonies and customs, tradition and progress, the vital balance of life, and a vision for the future.
$8 per J member per class
$10 per guest
10% discount when you sign up for the whole series in advance*

*Call front desk to register if wanting the bundled discount


Opera in the Sculpture Garden
Tuesday, October 30

New! Remarkable Jewish People from the ancient world to modern times

Oct 30-Nov 20, Tuesday 2-4pm in Library
Instructor: Roza Simkhovich
$36/$30 members/ $9 drop-in
Senior Library

This class will focus on lives and achievements of Jewish people in the variety of endeavors: religion and philosophy, science, politics and entertainment . The instructor, Roza Simkhovich is a dynamic and engaging speaker. She will provide you with fascinating information, intellectual stimulation and will excite you with a joy of learning. She is an educator with more than 30 years of experience. Taught at U of A for 23 years, and also variety of classes in Russian and Jewish History and Culture for a number of adult education programs in Tucson.

Register Here

New! Could My Idea be a MOVIE?

October 31- November 21, Wednesdays, 1-3pm
$65/ $60 J members
Senior Library

Do you have a great idea that might make a terrific book, movie or TV show?  Find out what it takes to evaluate the commercial viability of your idea.  Learn to do develop the pitch.  What do you need to do to get the idea ready to present?  How do you create a compelling “logline” to propose to a producer?  Learn the tools needed and format for pitching an idea to Hollywood.  What are the Ten Criteria for evaluating whether an idea is viable and marketable?  This class consists of workshopping your ideas, getting feedback, revising your pitch and watching video clips.

Presenter:  Genie Joseph, PhD

Genie is an award-winning filmmaker and former CEO of Hawaii Movie Studios.  She is President of Independent Film Arizona and a screenplay judge at a prestigious International screenwriting contest where she reads over 100 scripts a year.  She has heard hundreds of pitches for TV, Film, and books.  She is a published author and an award-winning screenwriter with five produced movies.  She has been teaching Introduction to Motion Pictures and Television at Chaminade University in Honolulu since 2003 and teaches film appreciation at the Jewish Community Center in Tucson.  She is currently listening to pitches for TV ideas that can be shot in Tucson with Southern Arizona Video Productions.

New! Beginning Hand Drumming

Wednesdays, 10 to 11:30 AM
Oct 3 – Oct 31

First of all, hand drumming is good for you, just ask any occupational therapist.  It’s also a great way to be social, and it’s fun, and challenging.  In this class, we will be learning how to play west african and caribbean rhythms,  In order to play these rhythms, we will also have to learn the three basic sounds that a hand drum makes:  open tone, slap, and bass tone.  Primarily, we will be playing conga drums, as well as bell, shekere, low drums, blocks and claves.  Playing together is the real magic, of course…..and we will do a lot of that.

$30 rental fee for conga drum due on the first day of class.  Student will have that drum for the duration of the class.

Instructor:  George Rowe
$95/$89 MEMBERS
J Care

New! Intermediate Guitar:  Playing Lead and Rhythm Guitar Up the Neck

Wednesdays, 6:30-8 PM

Sept 26 th – Oct 24th

Have you hit a wall in your playing?  Trapped in the first 3 frets of the guitar?  This class will break you out of that, and have you playing lead and rhythm guitar all over the neck.  Class will be blues heavy, with it being understood that jazz, rock and country can be approached in much the same way.  Movable chords, pentatonic scales and the ability to use them are still some of the most important tools in a guitar player’s tool case.

Instructor:  George Rowe
$95/$89 MEMBERS



Dance Class & Performance with Debra Levasseur-Lottman

Thursdays, 10-12 September 6 through December 13

$10 per class meeting


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to create your art for the big stage?  Would you like to come together with other creative spirits and produce a work of Jewish Art?

Just imagine collaborating to create a theme where you contribute both your art: musician, writer, visual artist or dancer, etc., as a ‘solo’ journey, and as a fusion of all the arts combined, culminating in a momentous, performance.

If you want to bring your art to the next level, this is the class for you!  Note:  Some of you may not want to perform, but may choose to create work, performed by others, in your group.  This is perfectly acceptable!

Instructor:  Debra Levasseur-Lottman/Presenter, Choreographer-Performer/Dance Educator B.A., Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago &  MFA, In Studio, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

$10-$20 per class

Nature Talks Series: 


Gulf of California – Tucson’s Closest Saltwater: Environmental Challenges – Monday, Sep. 17th, 10 – 11:30 am

Salt water is only four and a half hours away.  Puerto Penasco is Tucson’s Beach and was ALMOST part of Arizona!  Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the “aquarium of the world.”  We’ll discuss the incredible Gulf of California and the environmental issues facing this unique biotic community. We’ll learn about the Monterey Bay Aquarium sponsored, Sea Food Watch program.  We’ll also learn about the beloved La Vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise, and it’s struggle for existence.
Instructor: Luiza McKaughan
$15/$10 Members
Jewish Heritage Center

Developing Super Corals: Newest Biosphere2 Research – Monday, Oct. 22nd, 10 – 11:30 am

We’ve lost over 50% of the world’s coral in the last thirty years.  67% of the Great Barrier Reef is dead!  What’s happening to the life sustaining “Rain Forests” of the ocean? The main reason is increasing ocean temperatures due to climate change.  The solution may be found right here in Tucson! Learn how the University of Arizona’s, Biosphere2 is attempting to develop a Super Coral capable of surviving the dual threats of temperature and acidification.

Instructor: Franklin Lane, Certified Arizona Master Naturalist, Oceanographic Technician, Biosphere2 – University of Arizona
$15/$10 Members
Jewish Heritage Center

 Learn About Wildlife Tracking
Thursday, October 11, 6 pm – 7:30 pm

Explore Nature through the art of tracking.  Discover some of the basics of tracking by identifying feline, canine, and other mammal tracks. Hear how biologists, naturalists, and citizen scientists are using wildlife tracking to assist in conservation efforts around Tucson.

Instructor: Michelle Kostuk, Certified Wildlife Tracker – Sky Island Alliance, Certified Arizona Master Naturalist, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology B.S., University of Arizona. $15/$10 Members
Demonstration Kitchen

Around Town – Learning New Ways to Grow Food and Catch Water Backyard Rainwater Harvesting: Creating Resiliency
Wed, Oct. 3, 6 pm – 7:30 pm

Water conservation in Tucson and how you can help.  Learn how rain water harvesting can create more resilient communities in southern Arizona.

Instructor: Joshua Ruddick, Santa Rita High School Teacher, Certified Arizona Master Naturalist
$15/$10 Members
Senior Library

Birds of Wonder

Hummingbirds – Feathered Jewels – Friday, Sep. 14, 10 am – 11:30am

Hummingbirds hold a special place in the hearts of many people.  With their feisty behavior, spectacular colors, and amazing powers of flight, ‘hummers’ are favorites of birders and non-birders alike.  We will focus on the hummingbirds of southern Arizona – their identification and good places to look for them (including your backyard!).  We will also discuss ways to attract these remarkable birds to you yard.
Instructor: Luiza McKaughan
$15/$10 Members
Jewish Heritage Center

Owls – Mysterious Rulers of the Night Skies – Monday, Oct. 15th, 10 am – 11:30am

Owls are iconic birds, instantly recognizable around the world.  In many cultures, owls are revered as wise, intelligent animals, while in other places they are considered to be evil or signs of bad omen.  We will separate fact from fiction and explore the world of owls, including their habitats, diet, identification, and conservation.  Since owls are not often seen, we also will focus on their vocalizations –  sound is often the only way we know of these birds’ presence.
Instructor: Luiza McKaughan
$15/$10 Members
Jewish Heritage Center

Meet Your Plants (and Birds)

Nature Walk along Loop Trail – What’s Blooming & Who’s Singing

Thursday, September 6th, 7 am – 8:30 am

Thursday, October 4th, 7 am – 8:30 am

Enjoy an early morning stroll along our recently completed Pima County 100 mile Loop Trail. We’ll be walking about one mile total – paying attention to the desert plants along the trail and the bird life along the Rillito.  Bring water, hat, sunglasses and sunblock.  Binocs would be great too.

Guide: Luiza McKaughan, Certified Arizona Master Naturalist, Certified Interpretive Guide, former Interpretive Ranger, National Park Service

$5/FREE Members

Meet Art Gallery

Agave, Saguaro & Ocotillo: Pollinators & Traditional Uses – Wed. Sept. 26, 12:00-1:30pm

Take a closer look at iconic desert plants and their intimate relationship with bats, hummingbirds and yes, White-winged Doves!  Learn their important role in the desert ecosystem and their cultural uses.  See a demonstration of how sisal rope is made.

Instructors: Diana Holmes, Certified Arizona Master Naturalist, Mission Garden Docent,Luiza McKaughan, Certified Arizona Master Naturalist, Certified Interpretive Guide, former Interpretive Ranger, National Park Service
$15/$10 Members
Computer Lab

For more information please contact Jeremy Thompson, Arts & Culture Program Manager, at or 520-299-3000 x 236.