WINTER 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.

Click here for Winter Virtual Cultural Arts Events

modern art harry weil

This class focuses on the artists who literally broke the mold. From Gothic cathedrals to Renaissance masterpieces to abstraction, you will discover the personalities behind history’s greatest treasures with art historian Harry Weil.

6 Wed., 12:00-1:00 p.m.
1/6, 1/13, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17

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


From cave paintings to Roman frescoes to towering cathedrals, this crash course, with art historian Harry Weil, introduces you to some of the earliest works of art and why they were crafted.

6 Wed., 12:00-1:00 p.m.
2/24, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31

$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. Be prepared for fun, lively discussions and an opportunity to understand some of the great modern masterpieces!


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 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.

10 Tues., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
1/12, 1/19, 1/26, 2/2, 2/9, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23

$100 member / $120 non-member
Click HERE to register

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. 

Attend a class on Jewish responses to the Holocaust

Why does the Bible include a book of erotic literature (The Song of Songs)? Why does it include another book which questions God’s justice (The Book of Job)? The Hebrew Bible is a compilation of books that Jewish religious leaders considered to be holy. They chose from a number of possible books, but some of their choices seem strange. In this class, we will explore with Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg the possible reasons for these curious choices and examine the many themes which make these books genuinely traditional as well as relevant for us today.

8 Thurs., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
1/14, 1/21, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18

$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 10 years and at Gettysburg College and York College of Pennsylvania.

To register, click HERE.  For more information, you can contact us at [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. Book club meets the first Thursday of every other month.

  • Thursday, February 4, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural Historyelizabeth kolbert sixth extinction
    In the last few months, we’ve focused on books that help us understand the difficult times we’re living through.  A 2019 UN Report forecast as many as one million species going extinct over the next few decades.  Our next selection helps us understand this crisis and how we got here. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book is beautifully written, moving, and easy to read.  Amazon wrote, “In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before.  She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.”

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 Winter Cultural Arts Events

For more information, email [email protected].