Virtual Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Classes

The Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs Department presents thought-provoking virtual classes on art, film, and religion, as well as a book discussion group.



Now you can use your lunchtime to learn something new and stay connected to your community. All classes begin at noon.

Your registration fees help to fund these programs and Commonpoint Queens’ Services to the community.

modern art harry weil


This class focuses on the artists who literally broke the mold. From grand Renaissance altar pieces to modern masterpieces, you will discover the personalities behind history’s greatest treasures, including Rembrandt, Francisco Goya, and Marc Chagall, with art historian Harry Weil. Be prepared for fun, lively discussions and an opportunity to understand some of the great masterpieces!

6 Wed., 12:00-1:00 p.m.
4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26

$60 member / $72 non-member
Click HERE to register

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.


Version 2 matthew film instructorJoin Matthew in exploring how great movies use the power of cinema to rewire our consciousness and defy our expectations – of narrative, character, and identification. Filmmaker Matthew L. Weiss chooses unique and exceptional films that deepen our experience of the world and challenge us to expand our powers of perception. Watch each movie at your convenience and then come together for an always entertaining and often inspiring discussion of some of the greatest films of the last century.

8 Tues., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/25, 6/1, 6/8, 6/15

$80 member / $96 non-member
Click HERE to register

Matthew L. 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.

Attend a class on Jewish responses to the Holocaust

Pirkei Avot is the most popular Rabbinic text because the words of these sages outlining the basic ethical parameters of living the “good” lifespeak to every age. All of the famous Jewish thinkers, from medieval to contemporary times, have added their commentaries, thus keeping the text constantly up to date. Join Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg as we study the sayings of our ancestors and reflect on their relevance for us today.

8 Thurs., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27, 6/10, 6/17

$80 member / $96 non-member
Click HERE to register

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


To register, click HERE.  For more information, you can contact us at [email protected]

Click here for Virtual Cultural Arts Events


Book Discussion Group:

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. Book club meets the first Thursday of every other month.

Thursday, June 3, 12:00 p.m.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid
Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite Wall Street valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love. Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a New York Times bestseller.

Thursday, September 9, 12:00 p.m.
Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
A favorite book of President Obama and Bill Gates and an international best seller, this highly original book is a very readable and groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” Harari begins his history about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role that evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives and connect past developments with contemporary concerns. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years.

FREE, but advance registration strongly suggested. Contact Peggy Kurtz at [email protected].

Volunteer Opportunities Currently On Hold:

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.


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.


Van provided from Commonpoint Queens’ Central Queens, leaving at 10:45 a.m. and returning by 1:15 p.m. Space is limited and advance registration is required!


Click here for Virtual Cultural Arts Events

For more information, email [email protected].