Virtual Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Classes

The Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs Department presents events and classes on Jewish and other cultures, interfaith programs, and tutoring for immigrants.


For registration and more information: Email [email protected] or call (718) 268-5011 ext. 151.

The Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs Department presents a wide variety of cultural events, classes, interfaith programs, and a tutoring program for immigrants. We aim always to bring you programs that open up new ideas and foster a richer appreciation of Jewish and other cultures and current affairs, and offer answers to your questions about the world today. Food for the mind and for the soul.



We all need a break right now!  While our building is closed, our classes are moving online.

Now you can use your lunchtime to learn something new and stay connected to your community.   We are offering online classes at noon, to make them available to those of you who are working from home, as well as to everyone else.

To register, click HERE.  

HOW TO LOOK AT MODERN ART modern art harry weil

Harry Weil is back for the summer! If you’ve taken the Chelsea Gallery Tour, then you know art historian Harry Weil. We are thrilled that he can join us to teach this summer class.

Are you puzzled by modern art, but curious? Why did Picasso “chop up” figures? What is there to see in a Jackson Pollock drip painting? This class will help you understand the major movements of the 20th century, beginning with Impressionism and including early modern art such as Cubism and Expressionism. We’ll also discuss why the Nazis labeled modern art as “degenerate.”

Harry Weil has a PhD in Art History from Stony Brook University and is currently the Director of Public Programs and Special Projects at Green-Wood Cemetery. Be prepared for fun, lively discussions and an opportunity to understand some of the great modern masterpieces!

6 Mon., 12:00-1:00 p.m.
7/6, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8/3, 8/10
$60 member / $72 non-member


Version 2 matthew film instructorWatch some of the greatest films of the last century and enjoy lively discussions with film critic Matthew Weiss. You’ll learn to see the kinds of things most of us miss when we watch a movie. How do great films defy our expectations of character, narrative, identification, and editing, and deepen our experience of the world?

Matthew Weiss has done everything on a film set from acting and producing to directing. As an editor his films have played festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca and he is the regular “Film Guy” correspondent on Sam Seder’s The Majority Report podcast. 

We will send out the link to the film ahead of time to give you time to watch the film over the weekend. Then we’ll meet for the discussion on Tuesdays.

7 Tues., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4, 8/11, 8/18
$70 member / $84 non-member

Attend a class on Jewish responses to the Holocaust

There is no single Jewish concept of God. Jewish theologians from ancient to modern times present us with many alternatives to consider. Continuing from the spring class we will explore the theologies of Jewish philosophers such as Mordechai Kaplan, Milton Steinberg, Martin Buber, A.J. Heschel and Jewish Mysticism (Isaac Luria).. How do they understand the nature of God? What does God require of us, if anything? Do all accept the claim that God is omnipotent and One? How do they approach the problem of evil? The student might be surprised to find his or her questions and viewpoint reflected in one or more of these Jewish options.

Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg is a retired Reform Rabbi who, after serving several congregations, has taught at Central Queens for 10 years and at Gettysburg College and York College of Pennsylvania.

6 Wed., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
7/1, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5
$60 member / $72 non-member

For more information or to register, you can also contact us at: (718) 268-5011 ext. 151 or [email protected].


Come find out why this book group has such a devoted following! Thoughtful, lively, provocative discussions focus on the best new and classic literature and non-fiction. Moderated discussions dig into the books to get the most from them, yet we also have a lot of fun. New participants are always welcome. We will skip the month of July, but will meet again on August 6 at noon, moving in the future to the first Thursday of the month.  

Thursday, August 6, 12:00 pm – Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

ta nehisi coates between the world and meWe decided on a contemporary book about what it’s like to be Black in America today.  You will have to either buy a copy or borrow from the library or read an e-book. Some Queens Public Libraries will resume “to go” pickup service beginning July 13. Do reserve your copy NOW so that you can get a copy in time.

Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of Black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion.

What is it like to inhabit a Black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder.

Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

If you have not participated recently, you do need to register by emailing [email protected].

Click here to join the Zoom Meeting on August 6.  Join early at 11:45, for technical help. You can also join the meeting by phone (call 646-558-8656 and enter the passcode 551936).

Volunteer Opportunities:

ENGLISH TUTORING FOR IMMIGRANTStutoring center for afghan women cultural arts

This program is on hold until the health emergency is over.  Please be in touch if you are interested in tutoring next fall.

Our extremely successful tutoring program continues! Do you have skills to offer which could help immigrants in exchange for the personal rewards of helping people get a positive start in the U.S.? One day a week, volunteers tutor women at the Women for Afghan Women Center in Fresh Meadows. We have received wonderful feedback from tutors and students, both of whom find these programs enormously rewarding.

Space is limited and advance registration is required! Contact Peggy Kurtz at (718) 268-5011 ext. 151 or [email protected].

Fri. beg. 1/24, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Van provided from Commonpoint Queens’ Central Queens, leaving at 10:45 a.m. and returning by 1:15 p.m.