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4 vistues Paul's
Lev-Strauss Seminar sm
Agora Foundation - Seminar Series Nov 1,

Upcoming Online Events

The Agora Foundation is a nonsectarian 501(c)3 non-profit endeavor, providing great books seminars and other educational opportunities to those who are busy with careers, families, and daily responsibilities yet are seeking to further their education. The goal of these offerings is to provide an understanding of the ideas that shape civilizations and to promote civil discourse on complicated subjects.


Generously funded by The Ahmanson Foundation, Southern California Edison, The Shanbrom Family Foundation, the Ventura County Community Foundation, the WRG Foundation, the Constance Eaton and William Hart Fund, the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Ojai, and private donations, the Teachers for Lifelong Learning Program provides training to high school teachers in this engaging approach to learning, and The Ojai Chautauqua provides panels promoting civil discourse on controversial and complicated subjects. 

Upcoming Regular Events


Online Seminar Series

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Wednesday, March 22

12:00-1:30PM PDT

A story with no real beginning or end, the work has come to assume a preeminent place in English literature. Join us as we work through the text every other Wednesday afternoon.

March 22 Reading:

Book One - Chapter Five of Finnegans Wake by Joyce continued (Page 105)


12:00-1:30PM PDT


Barry Rabe

Online Format:

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Online Seminar Series

Treatise on Law by Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, March 25

12:00-2:00PM PDT

The term natural law is a little hazy. Is natural law simply a more authoritative version of positive law? f natural law is real is it grounded in the metaphysical or in something else?

March 25 Reading:

Treatise on Law by Aquinas - Question 94


12:00-2:00PM PDT


Carl Bobkoski

Online Format:

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Online Seminar Series

The Origins of Totalitarianism 
by Hannah Arendt

Sunday, March 26

12:00-2:00PM PDT

Published in 1951, the book strives to understand the causes and the mechanics of Nazism and Stalinism in the 20th century. We invite you to join us as we explore this entire work, meeting about once per month. 

March 26 Reading:

Antisemitism -
Chapters One and Two (pages 3-53)



12:00-2:00PM PDT


Andy Gilman

Online Format:

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Ojai Chautauqua Interview with Richard Hajas on the
State of Water in the Ojai Valley - January 31, 2023


The purpose of The Agora Foundation's Ojai Chautauqua panels is to engage Ventura County in civil discourse about controversial and highly passionate subjects. In 2023, The Ojai Chautauqua will produce a series on panels addressing the issues Ojai is facing, including water, tourism, housing, education, agriculture, environmentalism, and more. To this end, the linked video interview with Richard Hajas provides a starting place for our water conversation… what is our current state, what are our projected resources, and what should be done going forward?


Society is changing. Sustaining a civil conversation, a deep inquiry, and a train of thought are becoming rare talents. To meet this challenge, the Agora Foundation creates and fosters dynamic learning communities, centered on exploring the great texts and ideas that civilization has produced. Through rigor, inquiry, goodwill, and open dialogue, participants grow to become informed, inspired, and influential contributors within their communities. Understanding the foundations and developments of human society offers an insight into current events that is beyond reactive or reductive... it’s reasoned.


Interview Participants:


Richard Hajas - Board Chair of Casitas Municipal Water District and Board President of the Ojai Basin Ground Water Management Agency


Tom Krause - Board President of the Agora Foundation


Andy Gilman - Executive Director of the Agora Foundation


Key Points from the video:


  • We have received two years of additional supply in Lake Casitas from the recent rain, with water still flowing into the lake, now giving the lake five years of storage at current use, if there is no rain during that five-year period.


  • The lake at full storage provides ten years of storage, if there is no rain.


  • Safe yield from the lake has become more prudent and manageable since the recent droughts.


  • To whom is Lake Casitas responsible to?


  • What factors are considered to determine safe yield and sustainable projection?


  • How should we think about new development and agriculture in Ojai, as it pertains to water use?


  • What are the best ways to reasonably manage our water supply?


  • What is the current state of the Valley’s ground water basin?


  • What are the main sources that contribute to Lake Casitas, and how has the Robles Diversion Canal performed in getting water into the lake?


  • The balance between environmentalism and human water use.


  • Using engineers versus lawyers to fix these water problems.


  • The progress of the state water connections, as a back up for our supply.


  • We’re in pretty good shape… for now. And our situation can be managed.


  • The current status of the Endangered Species Act lawsuit along the Ventura River, initiated by the ChannelKeepers, and then by the city of Ventura.


  • The impacts of removing the Matilija Dam.


  • What can Ojai Valley residents and organizations do to help the situation?

UPDATED 10/4/22 - View the September 28, 2022 
Ojai City Council Candidate Forum

View the November 14, 2020 Online Special Music Event
From Lugubrious to Luminous: Words about Music
(and where they take us!)

View the May 28, 2020 Ojai Chautauqua Panel - The Future of Education After COVID-19.

An Introduction to The Agora Foundation. What is liberal education? 

An Introduction to The Agora Foundation's Ojai Chautauqua Panels.

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