My friend Jack Blecher recently passed away
. . . and I miss him.
I first met Jack 40 years ago when my husband, Jerry Manheim, arrived in Long Beach. Jerry was hired as dean of Letters & Science at CSULB. Jack and Jerry became very close friends and often times met at our home to discuss political ideas and solve world problems. I had my own friendship with Jack. He would pick me up at 5 am so we could join others to protect family planning clinics before their doors opened. We would also attend mass rallies in downtown LA and march for social justice against the war in Iraq. Another highlight of my relationship with Jack was breakfast at my home or at a restaurant where we would have long discussions and talk about family, especially about grandchildren and his great grandchildren.
Twenty years ago, when senior university was born (before it became OLLI), we felt we needed to have our own publication. Jack was chosen to be our editor and The SUN was born. Jack called me and asked that I become one of his first reporters. I am still here today.
Jack started as a PhD chemist and ended his career (professional and volunteer) as the editor of a Pulitzer prize-worthy publication read by more than 1,600 individuals. Over the years I have written
approximately 160 articles. Often times when Jack
received one of my pieces he would respond with “It’s too long,” “It’s too short,” or “ Get rid of that political stuff!”
I will miss the solstice greetings he sent out regularly throughout the years. We took many classes together and often he would give me a hug and kiss in front of classmates. What must they have thought? Who cares! He was a treasure we will miss as we
celebrate his life.
Good things are coming to OLLI! Aside from the wonderful classes OLLI provides,
online registration will be available in 2017. OLLI is in the process of replacing its current
Access database for an easy to use interface that will
allow members to register online. Everyone will need to use an email address in order to Log-In. This will enable members to view classes, check enrollment status and see those classes that have wait lists. It will require that you have your credit card ready to pay and then you are done!
There will be space for people who
prefer walk-in registration (non-computer) on campus at a designated afternoon session. Since the target date for completing the process is February, we will be trying out the new process during the Winter term. We are already grateful for volunteers who are testing and adjusting the new software.
We will still be using the old format to enroll in the Winter January - February OLLI term. Our next Registration start date will be
November 30. The walk-ins will start being taken at 8:30. Mailed in registrations will be accepted after that Wednesday.
Members will be given full details during the Winter session and there will be training on how to register. Some changes may be occurring as the
process continues in order to achieve the best results.
The online registration will include: the classes offered, events, member registration, credit card payments, and online donation capabilities. Imagine avoiding the Saturday morning line-ups and the time it takes to register without this new program, which is called ProClass. More information and details will be available soon.
Membership at OLLI has grown throughout the years, requiring new facilitating procedures.
Enjoy your classes and your future registrations!