Jubilee United Church

40 Underhill Drive | Toronto, Ontario, M3A 2J5 | 416.447.6846

The Jubilee Living and Learning


1:00-2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoons

Each Series  $25               Individual Lectures $10

(cash or cheques payable to Jubilee United Church)


Fall Series:



November 7:  If not now, then when?  If not us, then who? 

Through a summary of my experiences in Iran, I arrive at what we can do to make the world a better place.

Presenter:  Marina Nemat


November 14:  Urban Monkeys – Three cases of Adaptation:

                                    Gibraltar, Honduras, Tai Po

Natural habitat diminishes and wildlife must adapt.  The way our closest relatives do so is the subject of this talk, highlighting three different types of monkeys.

Presenter:  Frances Burton


November 21:  The Limerick Story

A light-hearted romp through the history of the limerick.  These five-line poems can be about almost anything – cities or historic events, science or fantasy, ordinary people or the famous – Winston Churchill or Aphrodite, Meghan or Lady Godiva, Jesus or Atilla the Hun.  As you may know, some limericks are ‘naughty’, but none of those will be part of this presentation.

Presenter:  Ed Rutherford


November 28:  The Art of Music-Making:  A Chat with a Pianist-Composer

This conversation with Benjamin Gabbay will take us through his journey from his first piano lessons to his academic studies of music as an art, a science, and a philosophy.  Benjamin will also perform a selection of piano pieces, including some of his own compositions.






March 6:   The Strauss Family from Vienna

Vienna 1848 – The Austro-Hungarian Empire is in political turmoil, but the music, the Viennese lifeblood, has never been more cheerful.  We’ll meet the Stauss family which dominates the light music scene, and get to know also some of its juicy stories and scandals.

March 13:  Robert Schumann – Scenes from Childhood

For Robert Schumann, “childhood” was paradise lost, the only truly happy time of his life.  Throughout his adult life, recollections of that blissful period emerge in his work.  In our meeting, we will get to know three piano works of a composer who never grew up.

March 20:  The Pilgrimage of Franz Liszt

In sharp contrast to his famous fireworks for the piano, Franz Liszt’s “Annees de pelerinage” is a poetic work, a window to a soul of a young artist whose fascination with literature, nature, art and history inspired the creation of this piano cycle.

March 27:  The Golden Age – Music in Elizabethan England

“When griping grief the heart doth wound,

And doleful dumps the mind oppress,

Then musick, with her silver sound,

With speedy help doth lend redress.”

Walter Raleigh, Shakespeare, Francis Drake, Christopher Marlowe:  Truly the golden age of England, and music did not lag behind.  Domestic music-making was THE fashion under the reign of the virgin queen.

Presenter:  Joseph Sharon


A few words about our presenters:

 MARINA NEMAT was born in Iran and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, she was arrested at the age of 16 and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came close to execution.  She escaped and came to Canada in 1991.  Her book, “Prisoner of Tehran”, has been published in 28 countries, and a second book, “After Tehran:  A Life Reclaimed”, was published in 2o10.  Marina has spoken at conferences around the world, including the University of Milan, Oxford University, and Yale, and it is a pleasure to have her here to launch the Jubilee Fall Lecture Series.


FRANCES BURTON, convinced that non-human primates can show us something about how we got to be human, has studied monkeys in urban settings where they are forced to adapt to the human environment.  The first anthropology doctorate through the programme at CUNY, she taught at the U of T for 40 some years, and was appointed to full professorship at what is considered to be a very young age.  She has published three books, the most recent on the effect of firelight in the process of becoming human.  A grandmother of three, she and her husband live in Cobourg with two cats and a very large dog.


 ED RUTHERFORD was a teacher and principal with the Toronto Board of Education for 40 years.  After retirement, Ed lectured at the University of Toronto Centre for Adult Learning and at many elementary and secondary schools in southern Ontario.  He has had two life-long interests – History and English Literature, and his presentation in this lecture series reflects both of these subjects.


 BENJAMIN GABBAY is a pianist, composer, and a student in the University of Toronto’s Bachelor of Music in Composition Program.  His compositions range from solo piano pieces to large-scale choral works, two of which are scheduled to be premiered by choirs in Toronto and Mississauga in the 2018/19 season.


JOSEPH SHARON has been immersed in the arts from a very young age.  This passion led him to earning a Bachelor’s Degree at the academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel, prior to travelling to Milan, Italy to study at the Civica Scuola di Musica and later to Switzerland, where he studied Performance Practice of Music from the Renaissance and Middle Ages at the Schola Cantorum in Basel.