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Are you lost during Passover? Does Jewish humor have to be explained to you? Perhaps you just want more insight into the Hebrew Bible. If this is the case, go to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (678-8000).

Did you spend more time plotting how to maim the neighbor's dog then you did studying in school? Thanks to online courses at Marymount Manhattan College (517-0400) you can work when you want, take classes in the nude, save on subway fare, and soak in precious knowledge on your own terms.

The Center for Children + Families Basie Beacon Program (718-949-0110) is an after-school community center for kids of all ages and their families. It offers a range of programs from GED preparation to leadership training to family, group, and individual counseling. It is open to residents of Jamaica, Queens, though volunteers from all boroughs are welcome, so put this supplement down right now and lend a hand!

If you have the urge to construct, deconstruct, organize, and discuss, then the Pratt Institute (636-3669) has the programs for you. Prices range from $637 per credit for graduate school, to $560 per credit for undergraduate classes.

Would it take some kind of divine assistance to guide you through the labyrinth of courses required to make big bucks? Accessibility to preprofessional programs is what makes St. Francis College (718-489-5200) unique. Courses cost $260 per credit for all enrolled students and $780 per credit for nonmatriculated students. Praise the Lord! —Aaron Tillman

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ComputersIf you're wondering how a tech-geek like Bill Gates is the richest s.o.b. in America, some blame can be leveled on Information Mapping (800-463-6627), where your tech monopoly is a phone call away. Learn how to simplify complex procedures and computer apps, and present and develop content for hardware or software manuals. This three-day Silicon Alley course begins on January 26. —Jeffrey Gambles If you need technical or certification training, CALC CANTERBURY (800-638-CALC) could do the trick for you. Get together with your office mates and friends and take advantage of its corporate and volume discounts. Make a difference at The Mac Learning Center (594-2280). You can receive computer graphics training, or utilize your design and layout talents by learning Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator—all the tools you'll need for desktop publishing. New classes begin every week, so don't get mad, get skilled! Keeping your eye on the prize is essential to persevere in any endeavor. If that prize is a spacious corner cubical, then get the ball rolling—make a call on the company dime to Universal Business and Media School (360-1210). They offer "short" computer classes for professionals who lack the time to take a full-length course or only need to learn a certain application. Course prices range from $100 for short courses to longer accredited programs with varying prices. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. —Aaron Tillmanback to top


Cooking
Explore the many avenues of expression in the culinary arts of Spain through the New School's "Food and Wine of Spain: A Tapas Party." The three-hour workshop includes lessons on how to make tortilla, champinones, and gambos al ajillo. The workshop will be held on January 21 and costs $72, plus a $20 materials fee. For more information, call 255-4141. They also offer a four-week online course on "How To Open a Restaurant" (229-5880). Taught by Lisa Chodosh, co-owner of a New York City­based food service consulting firm, the class outlines the necessary steps start-ups must take and discusses licensing, site selection, and restaurant proposals. The noncredit course begins on February 8 and costs $210, plus $16 in fees for additional materials. Create foods that are as delicious as they are healthy through the Natural Gourmet Institute's day-long course on "Vegetarian Cooking Techniques," in which participants will learn the art of steaming and how to make nondairy cream soups and many other high-energy edibles. Classes will be held on January 31 and February 7. The cost is $240. For more information, call 645-5170. Learn how to avoid contamination by harmful microorganisms through NYU's month-long course on "Food Sanitation and Safety." Classes begin on February 11. The cost of the course is $110; there is also a $56 fee for certification. For more information, call 998-5588. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? Master the specialized vocabulary of the kitchen as well as the techniques of classical cuisine at Peter Kump's School of Culinary Arts (410-4601), where the study of French fare is a springboard for general culinary education. —Jazelle Andujar
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DanceForget the sun, the beach, and the 10-foot waves, because what you'd really want to take away from a Hawaiian vacation is hula dancing! And you can find it right here in the Big Apple at Radio Hula (226-4467). The 12-week session is taught by visiting hula instructors direct from Hawaii. Classes are held Tuesdays at 7:45 for beginners and 8:45 for advanced. The semester starts January 26 and costs $140 plus a one-time registration fee. Indoda Entsha Cultural Society (718-638-7622) uses authentic West African dance (and drum) classes as a way to integrate the physical being and the ancestral spirit. Martial arts training will help you kick some ass—um, stress, that is. Lessons for youngsters run Monday to Friday in an after-school program with prices ranging from $120 to $160. Adults can attend Monday and Wednesday at 7:30, and Fridays at 7, for $8 per class. "Peace of mind" seems to be the catchphrase of the year, so relax, relate, and release at the Milton Feher School of Dance and Relaxation (246-4144). Ease into classes like yoga, jazz, ballet, stretching techniques, and meditation. Five classes cost $75. There is something for everyone at April's Dance-N-Feet (718-272-1813), where ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, gymnastics, and hip hop are all available. Baby boomers who want to jam with their kids should inquire about the "mommy and me" class schedule. Four weeks will cost you $32 plus a $10 registration fee. —Adamma Inceback to top


DramaAt biz Kids NY (243-6638), located in the West Village, Peggy Lewis and her team of instructors turn child stars (and wannabe child stars) into true-blue actors. Students ages eight and up can elect television/film classes or receive full conservatory training including mask work, mime, and commedia dell'arte. Fees range from $380 to $560 for 12 weeks. One of the benefits of studying at Terry Schreiber Studio (741-0209) is that three months of classes make you eligible to audition for the studio's five to six annual mainstage productions. If you're lucky, you can spend those three months studying alongside the next Ed Norton (a proud alum). Yummy. Courses last from four to 12 weeks and cost from $170 to $400. At the Actors Movement Studio (736-3309), Lloyd Williamson and others teach classes designed to enhance and expand Meisner training as well as other schools of acting. The Williamson technique aims at creating a released and open body and developing the voice ($560 to $620 for 14 weeks). Bernice Loren's studio, Expressions (586-6804), leads students in a unified approach to acting, voice, and dance. Students may choose between very small group classes (four pupils or less) which cost $275 for a term of 12 lessons in addition to a registration fee. Private lessons are $35 for an hour and a half. Located in the heart of the theater district, The Actors' Connection (843-4848) hosts a bevy of nightly seminars designed to pair actors with agents and casting directors. During each seminar, actors have the chance to perform monologues, receive critiques, and learn what auditioners look for. Each seminar costs $29. The folks at New York Performance Alliance (566-1500) are not only teachers and administrators, they're film and theatrical producers as well, often casting directly from the student body. Courses include scene study, text interpretation, period styles, commercial technique, and film technique. Performance classes are limited to 16 students and cost from $200 to $400. —Alexis Soloskiback to top


FashionLearn the finer points of body-piercing at the Gauntlet's (229-0180) seminar. It offer tips on needle sterilization and disease transmission prevention as well as beginning techniques for piercing just about everything and anything above the navel. The five-day seminars cost $1095 and are offered February 8 through 12 or February 22 through 27. No listing of fashion design would be complete without mentioning the Parsons School of Design (229-5151) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (217-7642). Each school offers costly courses (running about $40,540 for a two-year program at Parsons or about $7700 for a two-year program at FIT), but with a heightened sense of professionalism and opportunities to work with designer-critics like Donna Karan or Isaac Mizrahi—perks for four-year degree students—both schools are priceless. Financial aid is available. Spring semester for FIT starts February 1. Spring semester for Parsons starts January 26. "If you do not have sewing skills, do not come here," says Alice Sapho, whose mother founded the Maison Sapho School of Dressmaking and Designing (873-9183). Her 10-month course is not for beginners. Instead, she accepts students from around the world to train with her in the art of fine dressmaking. Maison Sapho concentrates on creating original dresses without using commercial patterns. Costs for classes may vary. Classes start in February. Studio Jewelers LTD (686-1944) offers instruction in basic jewelry making, design, and repair. Each 12-week course (considered part-time) provides one-on-one training and materials such as copper and other metals. It also offers three- and six-month­long comprehensive classes that teach the fundamentals of jewelry making as well as diamond setting, pearl and bead stringing, and wax molding. The cost of the 12-week classes ranges from $370 to $550. The full-time three- and six-month courses start at $3100. These courses start February 1 and all others start the first week of every month. For 10 years, Cecelia Bauer has taught the ancient tradition of classical jewelry making to New Yorkers at the C. Bauer Studio (643-8913). This technique—called fusing and granulation—uses no soldering. Instead, she utilizes gold to bond metals together, creating chains and other fine high-karat jewelry. Bauer offers morning, noon, and night classes and summer sessions. The 10-week seminars cost $430 and next start March 2. —David Kiharaback to top


FilmYou just might get the best deal in town at the Downtown Community Television Center (966-4510). AVID classes start at only $120. Basic Video Production Workshop is available in English or Spanish, and costs $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Register early because these nocturnal classes fill up quickly. The New School Film Department (229-5630) offers courses in production, screenwriting, theory, and more. Spring semester starts February 1. Prices range from $365 to $1600 per class. Call for info and schedule of classes. Learn to write, shoot, direct, and edit your own film at the New York Film Academy (674-4300). Four-, six-, or eight-week intensive filmmaking workshops are available; summer workshops are also held in Paris, England, and Los Angeles. The academy will loan you a basic lighting kit and an Arriflex 16mm camera. Tuition is $4000, and additional lab and course fees may apply. Classes start the first Monday of every month. The leader of the independent film and video pack, Film/Video Arts (673-9361), offers classes, postproduction facilities, and equipment rentals at affordable rates. Introductory AVID classes ($575) start every weekend, and other classes are available on an ongoing basis. Those with a penchant for the avant-garde can find all the resources they need at Millennium (673-0090), a nonprofit film, arts, and community membership organization that's been around for more than 30 years. Workshops in AVID, optical printing, basic filmmaking, 16mm film editing for the independent filmmaker, and more cost between $100 and $200 plus a membership fee; equipment loans, production studios, and screening rooms are available to members and nonmembers. —Soo-Min Ohback to top


FinanceLooking to start your own business? Why not pocket the benjis from playa extraordinaire Uncle Sam, yo. The Small Business Administration's (8A) Business Development Program (264-4322) throws seminars on how to apply for federal government contracts. If your business is owned by a "socially and economically disadvantaged person" it may be eligible for all kinds of loans and assistance. Seminars are held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 26 Federal Plaza. The next seminar takes place January 28. The National Association of Investment Corporations (NAIC) (533-6972) holds its monthly meeting at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After the council meeting, sit in on informative sessions on buying stock, Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRP), and laugh sessions directed at suckers who believe they'll actually see their SS benefits. Meetings take place at 6:15 the second Friday of each month at Eighth Avenue and 27th Street, Building A, eighth floor, faculty alcove. The New School (229-5690) offers a number of asset-saving courses for financial losers. Try "Six Steps to Financial Security" or "Financial Strategies for Midlife." The school's been teaching the financially challenged since 1919. Request a course bulletin at www.newschool.edu. Classes begin February 1 and registration is ongoing. Money notburning a hole in your pocket? The 92nd Street Y (996-1100) offers an array of courses on how to stretch a dollar, from "Organize Your Finances Now" to "Debt-Free Living." Learn how to live without groceries for a while. A new round of workshops begins February 1. Registration ends on the first day of class. Prices range from $40 to $65. The Open Housing Center (941-6101) has been fighting housing discrimination since 1964. It is also a resource—assisting first-time minority home buyers. Workshops include finding the ideal mortgage and figuring your closing costs. —Jeffrey Gamblesback to top


International StudyUnearth layers of ancient history in the Middle East and Asia through the enterprising program Distant Horizons (800-333-1240), with traveling options that shuttle participants to places like Ma'rib, Yemen and Sri Lanka, with many other destinations in between. Eighteen-day tours begin February 25 and costs range from $4200 and $6490. Weary of the conventional? Then opt to complete your master's in three summers through NYU's School of Education study-abroad program for graduates. Here, you'll blend two summers studying in countries such as China, Italy, or Greece with one spent in Gotham at the Washington Square campus. The application deadline is April 1. For more information, call 998-5090. Examine "The Struggles of Black Women & Men in Latin America" through the World Gender Studies Abroad Program at Medgar Evers College. The program is open to all and will be held in Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, from August 1 to 12. The cost is $1250 and includes airfare, room, and board. Get more details at 718-270-5051. Parlez-vous français? The New York/Paris Exchange Program at Queens College plunges CUNY undergraduate and graduate students into an intensive three-week course in either Paris or Seillans. In order to enroll, students must have completed at least three college-level courses in French or have it be determined they're proficient in French. The cost is $4000. For more information, call 718-997-4608. The sun, the beach, and Spanish? Becoming fluent in the fastest growing language may just be a prerequisite for the millennium, and the International Education Resource Center offers all college students the chance to study it firsthand in the Dominican Republic. For more information, call 718-231-8333. —Nicole Whiteback to top


LanguageThe American Sign Language Institute (675-7275) gets you up to speed and out: new semesters begin in February, April, and June. Having grasped the basics of American Sign Language (levels one through 10), you will still have enough time for Street Signing or ASL Storytelling. The cost of a two-month course is $150. The CP Language Institute (246-2054) offers courses in Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, and (although a Eurocentric Slav will foam at the mouth on this) Russian. The institute lets the student choose between group classes ($13/hour), semiprivate instruction ($20/hour) or one-on-one ($30/hour) sessions. Free trial lessons are offered as well. Correspondence courses in braille from the Hadley School for the Blind (800-323-4238) are absolutely free. All it takes to receive the starting material is a phone call, and the instruction is carefully tailored to each student's own pace. The Language Immersion Institute (914-257-3500) double-dares you to leave your English at home. During its weekend courses and two-week summer sessions you will enter an authentic language environment—more authentic, in fact, than the real thing, since there are no English-speaking locals at hand to take pity on the tourist. Corporate and general rates vary. —Michael Zilbermanback to top


Music"Emanate, don't imitate," advises vocal teacher Melissa Cross. "Singing is about being real, being yourself, not somebody else." Through down to earth technical and creative exercises drawn on familiar imagery, students learn to sing as naturally as they speak. For more information, call the Melissa Cross Vocal Studio (868-0522). The Studio (967-6124) offers musicians of all skill levels a relaxed environment in which they can take lessons, play with others, and even start their own band. Workshops, rehearsal spaces, and opportunities to perform at local clubs are just some of their services geared toward helping musicians grow. Call for prices. Learn engineering from the ground up or find out about a specific area of recording through Uptime Recording Services' (462-3226) comprehensive engineering course. Students work with microphones like Neuman and AKG, operate a fully automated 48-track console, create mixes, and gain an understanding of digital audio systems. Whether it's "Jazz Ensemble," "African Hand Drumming," or the new "Samba School" program, the Collective provides instruction in a wide range of musical styles. For more information on beginning and advanced classes, call 741-0091. Harnessing a wide range of resources available on the Web, "The Internet for Musicians" at the New School (229-5353) examines techniques for locating music software, sequences, notation, MIDI, samples, and recordings. Successful cybermarketing techniques used by bands and record labels as well as legal issues are also discussed. Sessions begin February 1 and cost $360. —Tina Whelskiback to top


NatureMaster the art of training plants at Wave Hill (718-549-3200, ext. 215) with gardener Laurel Rimmer, who will instruct class participants on the art of "Ivy Topiary." For a fee of $7, materials, such as wire for forming your own ivy ring designs, will be provided. Registration for the January 23 event is open, but seating is limited. Turn your backyard or matchbox-sized Manhattan apartment into the arboretum you've always wanted with help from the New York Botanical Garden workshop, "The Hobby Greenhouse." Instructor Andrew Messinger illustrates how to construct, style, and maintain your ideal garden. Day-long classes are held over two consecutive Saturdays, January 30 and February 6. Fee for members $80; nonmembers $88. For more information, call 718-817-8747. But the fun doesn't stop there. This Valentine's Day, take a long, hot bath with the one you love in oils brewed at the workshop on creating herbal products. Call 718-817-8747 for more information on the February 14 course. Fee for members $51; nonmembers $54. Interested in a career in wildlife? Learn about the varieties of occupations and what kinds of experience are necessary to enter the field at the Bronx Zoo (718-220-5131). Coffee and tea will be served. Separate sessions will be held on February 20 and April 10. Fee for members is $28; nonmembers $30. At the Queens Botanical Garden (718-886-3800) learn how to maintain the youthfulness of plants or multiply their numbers for landscaping or personal enjoyment in a free lecture on "Plant Propagation" on February 27 at noon. A lineup of artists and writers gather for one night only at the New York Open Center (219-2527) in a celebration of "The New Earth Before the Millennium." Members pay $8; nonmembers $10. —Jazell Andujarback to top


PhotographyIf a traditional class doesn't fit into your schedule, try learning photography from home. Besides the valuable tips offered on their acclaimed Web site (www.nyip.com), the New York Institute of Photography, America's oldest and largest photography school, administers an equally credible program via videocassettes, texts, and taped instructor feedback on your assignments. For more information, call 867-8260. At the International Center of Photography (860-1776, ext. 156), distinguished photographers teach a wide variety of workshops and classes to students of all skill levels, including "The Photo Essay: From Concept to Presentation," "The Working Photographer," and "Getting Close: Access, Observation, and the Documentary Image." Besides offering classes and workshops on topics such as Fashion and Wedding and "Fashion and Nude Photography," Arvis Art Photography (766-3686) also provides students with a member-operated photo club that allows them to hone their techniques. Beginners through professionals are welcome. With an emphasis on creativity and self-expression, the School of Visual Arts has designed the workshop "Basic Photography I" for novices or relative beginners. Cameras, equipment, negative development, enlarging, bleaching, spotting, and mounting are all discussed. Darkroom facilities are also available. Twelve sessions cost $350. For more information, call 592-2050. —Tina Whelskiback to top


Religion and SpiritualityTrain yourself to diminish years and acquire vitality at the Source of Life Center's four-session seminar on ways to "Slow Down the Aging Process." John Rozsa illustrates the specific steps necessary to regain youth and achieve essential goals. Classes are held on consecutive Thursdays, beginning January 14. Tuition is $95. For more information, call 244-5888. Learn the basic concepts of the Eckankar religion, which posits that the divine currents of light and sound are twin aspects of the Holy Spirit and sustain all life, at an introductory presentation on "Staying in Tune with the Light and Sound of God" at the Flushing branch of the YMCA on January 19. For more information, call 475-2061. The New York Theosophical Society (753-3835) holds lectures most Sunday afternoons on a variety of spiritual issues, including Gary Boucher's discussion on January 24 of "The Many Faces of God" and the threads which link a host of religions, and Michael Gomes's talk on "Love, Death, and Immortality" on March 21. There is a suggested donation of $3 to $5 for all lectures. Tap into the world inhabited by the Dalai Lama and gain a comprehensive understanding of one of the world's largest religions with "Understanding Buddhism." Classes begin on February 2. For a wider discussion on the history and impact of various religions, opt for "Comparative Religions," in which you'll tackle everything from Judaism to Confucianism. Classes begin on February 3. Both courses are offered at the New School (229-5353), run 13 sessions, and cost $365. Attend a variety of free and open meditation classes held weekly at the Asian Classics Institute (475-7752). "Evening Meditation," which meets on Wednesdays, is one of the most popular; reflect on a subject of your own choice at Saturday morning's "Open Meditation"; and, on Sundays, choose from a beginner's course or a class on how to prepare a meditation room. Weekend courses are held at a nearby site, The Three Jewels. Call for a complete schedule. The Tarot School (800-804-2184) offers continuing study in basic and advanced tarot through regular classes and a correspondence course. Degrees, workshops, and retreats are also available. Preregistration is not required for the ongoing series of three-hour classes that meet every Monday at 6 p.m. Tuition is $22 per class. —Jazell Andujarback to top


Visual ArtsIt's a dry heat at Urban Glass, where artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith, the Starn twins, and Matthew Barney go for the biggest kiln on the East Coast. Don't be intimidated though; classes in blowing, casting, neon, bead making, fusing, and more are available at all skill levels. For more information, call 718-625-3685, ext. 237. Whether you have an art background or just creative itchings, you can stretch the spectrum of your creative capabilities through the personalized approach of The Inspired Act, which offers small group seminars and individual consultations to help you express yourself more fully and naturally. For more information, call 744-0580. —Tim Gilman-Sevik Ever wondered where all those snazzy "President in Crisis" logos came from? At the School of Visual Arts (592-2050), a class on "Broadcast Design" will teach you how to create television news graphics, on-air identities, and title sequences. Other selections from a bevy of courses include "Digital Design," "Metal Sculpture," and the all-important "Anatomy." The spring semester begins on January 25; classes cost between $350 and $700. Pratt Manhattan (461-6040), a division of the venerable Pratt Institute, joins doodles with Dells in its classes on painting and digital art. Other related courses include a "Painting and Drawing Workshop," "The Elements of Pastel," and "Painter Update." The semester gets under way on February 2, classes start at $330. The Manhattan Graphics Center (219-8783) offers a wide range of classes designed for beginners as well as experienced printers. Spring courses include etching, silk screen, lithography, Japanese woodcut, photogravure, and even rubber-stamp carving. Classes range from $85 to $385 in price and from one day t

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