About Us

The Humanities Institute for Lifelong Learning (HILL) is a long-standing community resource for adult education. A Coordinating Committee, made up of volunteers, oversees the operation of the program. The Committee is responsible for the selection of courses and presenters. We welcome recommendations for both courses of study and instructors.

HILL courses are offered in the fall and spring. Classes meet once a week during 6-week sessions. Respected professors from area Universities and Colleges and distinguished professionals from the broader community teach these courses. HILL courses are drawn from the humanities, and related cultural areas, and include selections that focus on contemporary issues, respond to community interests, and appeal to a wide audience.

HILL offers five courses per semester. For the past five years we have had enrollments ranging from 50 to 200 registrants per class. “Special Programs” are also presented as topics of interest arise.

Classes are held at the Delmar Reformed Church, conveniently located on Delaware Avenue near the Four Corners in Delmar. Parking is available in the church parking lot and on the neighboring streets. The handicap accessible meeting hall offers a welcoming and comfortable space. Updated audio-visual equipment ensures the ability to coordinate the varied needs of the presenter and the audience.

The operation of the HILL program is greatly facilitated by the support of the Bethlehem Central School District and the Bethlehem Public Library.

Our History

Humanities Institute for Lifelong Learning (HILL) was founded in 1993 by Fred and Helen Adler. Their goal for HILL was that it would become the home of cultural and educational experiences for the Town of Bethlehem and the Greater Capital District. The Adlers' path to HILL began while living in Pittsburgh where they both worked and began to raise their family following WWII. Social activism was an important part of the Adlers' life. When Fred later refused to sign a loyalty oath during the ugly McCarthy era, which would have meant possibly exposing friends to FBI investigations, he was blacklisted. They left their home, moved to Delmar, and began careers that would touch many lives and bring their dream of lifelong learning to our community.

Helen Adler came to Bethlehem Central High School in 1956. During her 25-year teaching career, she taught and worked to develop the AP (Advanced Placement) English course. She also developed integrated classes with the Social Studies, Science and English departments. She began a Creative Writing Club and its publication “The Thinking Reed.” Helen Adler touched the lives of countless students and helped them begin their own lifelong learning process. After her retirement, she continued to work in her community to enrich lives through the “Books in the Morning” program. Then in 1993, she and Fred fully implemented the concept of lifelong learning when they founded HILL.

The dream of the Adlers' and the commitment of the HILL community continue to grow and evolve.

The Current HILL Committee

Bruce Bushart
Tom Clash
Jim Demetriades
Maryanne Gridley
Polly Hartman
Barry Isenberg
Allen Israel
Wendy Jordan
Henry Peyrebrune
Dick Ramsey
Debra Renner
Barbara Richer
Martha Rozett
Donna Sawyer