DOROT University Without Walls Offers New Class Line Up for Homebound Adults

Homebound Adults Can Engage in a Lively Virtual Classroom by Telephone or Computer

There are dozens of colleges and universities in New York City, but for many homebound New Yorkers, setting foot in a classroom is an insurmountable challenge.

To that end, we at SelectCare Home Care Services of NY would like to introduce Dorot’s incredible University Without Walls (UWW) program, which allows homebound adults to engage in a lively virtual classroom by telephone or online. Dorot recently released it’s Spring/Summer 2016 class catalogue and is now accepting applications!DOROT

Now in its 27th year of operation, the UWW syllabus is full of interesting, sometimes off-beat courses than run the gamut from high-brow topics like art and music appreciation, guided virtual tours of famous museums, local history, discussions of contemporary politics, and even a few “just-for-fun” sessions dedicated to gabbing about golden age movie stars and Broadway singalongs. DOROT describes itself as “secular but culturally Jewish” and as a result also offers a strong list of theological discussion groups and history classes covering the Jewish cultural experience from Abrahamic to modern times.

The program is designed with fixed incomes in mind and generally cost $15 per session, with each class usually running for about 50 minutes. Classes are led and moderated by local college and university professors and each class is intentionally kept small to encourage students to get to know one another over the course of the semester.

Most classes are conducted by phone, however DOROT is slowly adding computer and tablet-enabled classes, which provide students with visual aides and images related to the lesson.

Future students interested in enrolling may register in any of the following ways:

 – Register starting THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2016.

 – Register by MAIL (complete the registration form on pages 17-20 of the syllabus linked above).

–  Register by TELEPHONE at 212-769-2850 or toll-free at 1-877-819-9147.

 –  FAX your registration form to: 212-769-4989.

 – Register ONLINE at

One of the great things about this program is that home-bound seniors also get a chance to interact with one another, sharing their experiences, keeping one another company and, as you can see in this video, lead to “virtual hangouts” after the school bell.

Below are a few of the most interesting classes I found (apologies for my bias towards local history):

The Intersected History of Immigration and Transportation in New York City

2 Mondays at 12 PM, May 16, 23

Polly Desjarlais, Senior Museum Educator, New York Transit Museum

Explore how transportation history intersected with the influx of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From the immigrant workforce who built the subway to the influence of mass transit on the ways different neighborhoods were settled, this history will come alive through discussion, photographs and shared stories.

Moving the Masses: The History of the Subway before 1940

2 Mondays at 12 PM, March 21, 28

Polly Desjarlais, Senior Museum Educator, New York Transit Museum

Through historic images, discussion and shared memories, embark on a journey through the remarkable history and development of New York City’s subway system up to the 1940s. From the IRT to the IND, explore engineering marvels, how the system shaped the city, and the evolution from private to municipal operation.

Just Conversation

4 Fridays at 1 PM, June 3, 10, 17, 24

Harriet Walle, BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, New York University

We will discuss our favorite movies and film stars and why we love them.

Book Discussion Group

4 Mondays at 2 PM, May 2, 9, 16, 23

Bill Rapp, Performer

Reading is usually a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. If you like what you read, it’s only natural to want to share it. Join this class for a casual conversation to exchange ideas and share your reading enjoyment. The book selections will be provided.

The History of Andrew Carnegie and the Brooklyn Public Library

Session A: 1 Monday at 1 PM, April 4

Taina Evans, Coordinator of Older Adult Services, Brooklyn Public Library

Andrew Carnegie’s 1901 gift of library buildings allowed BPL to create permanent homes for books and programs within walking distance of every resident in every neighborhood. Join this discussion to explore the 18 beautiful gifts, in an effort of architects and librarians to created modern public spaces, for the Brooklyn community.

Purim Stories We Don’t Tell Children

1 Wednesday at 11 AM, March 23

Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Shira Ruskay Center/JBFCS

We will look at some of the darker or “R-rated” stories found in the Megilat Esther and its Rabbinic commentaries.

We SelectCare Home Care Services of NY are always looking for new opportunities to enrich the lives of our clients, and programs like DOROT’s University Without Walls are an incredible resource.  To learn more about SelectCare and how our staff of home health care experts can help enrich the lives of you and your loved ones, call us today.