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.

Registration is now open! Your registration fees help to fund these programs and Commonpoint Queens’ Services to the community.

ART HISTORY: They Made It There – Artists in NYC


For almost two hundred years, New York City has been the center of the art world. Whether for a few months or a lifetime, painters, architects, photographers, and designers have flocked to the Big Apple to make a big name for themselves, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and so many more! In this six-part class, art historian Harry Weil will introduce us to artists and various media of the New York art scene in the 19th and 20th centuries.

6 Wed., 12:00-1:00 p.m.
1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/16

$60 member / $72 non-member

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. 


Film ClassExplore 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 via link and then come together for an always entertaining and often inspiring discussion of some of the greatest films of the last century.

10 Tues., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15

$100 member / $120 non-member

Matthew L. Weiss has done everything in the world of film from craft service to editing, acting, producing, and directing. As an editor, his films have played in festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca, and he is the regular “Film Guy” movie correspondent on Sam Seder’s The Majority Report podcast.


Rabbi's class

How do we make sense out of Biblical texts that challenge our Jewish values or cause us to feel uncomfortable? Reading about a punishing God who demands “an eye for an eye” or requires that a “rebellious son” be stoned to death may test the limits of our understanding. So, our teachers often overlooked or sidestepped teaching these difficult and sometimes misunderstood parts of the Torah. Join Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg as we confront some of these texts head on and try to understand, evaluate, and learn from them.

8 Thurs., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 3/10

$80 member / $96 non-member

Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg is a retired Reform Rabbi who has served congregations in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico and has taught at Gettysburg College and York College of Pennsylvania.


For more information, email [email protected].

Click here for Virtual Cultural Arts Events


Registration is now open!

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.

Thursday, December 2, 12:00 p.m.invisible man ralph ellison
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

This brilliant novel established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the 20th century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood,” and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate, suspenseful, and funny tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.

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


Click here for Virtual Cultural Arts Events

For more information, email [email protected].