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.  

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

ART HISTORY: WHAT DOES SCULPTURE SAY?Matthew Fischer cultural arts class

We’ll look at great sculpture through human history to understand how the very meaning of sculpture has changed, from powerful sacred objects, embodying even the gods, to sculptures reinforcing the power of the patriarchal system, to contemporary art, using everyday objects, challenging our way of looking at the world. We’ll start with prehistoric fertility figures, Egyptian and Greek sculpture. We’ll discuss medieval religious art, Bernini, Donatello, and Michelangelo, African Nkondi sculpture, then move into modern sculpture with Rodin, Brancusi, Duchamp, Moore, and contemporary art. 

Matthew Fischer is a working artist whose work has been exhibited in solo and group shows. He has an MFA from Columbia University and is currently teaching at SUNY New Paltz, the 92Y, and the Creative Center at University Settlement.

6 Thurs., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/28, 6/4, 6/11
$48 member / $60 non-member


Watch 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. He has appeared in productions along with Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, and Rosie Perez and has done improv comedy in NY. 

6 Tues., 12:00-1:15 p.m.
4/21, 5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 6/2, 6/16
$48 member / $60 non-member
Links to films will be available the day before.

Attend a class on Jewish responses to the Holocaust
There is no single Jewish concept of God. We’ll explore Jewish theologies, from the Bible to renegade philosopher, Spinoza, to modern times. We’ll include Maimonides, Martin Buber, Mordechai Kaplan, and Milton Steinberg. 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.

9 Wed., 12:00-1:15 p.m.
4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27, 6/3, 6/10, 6/17
$72 member / $90 non-member


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.

Third Thursday of each month, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. (except April – meets 4th Thursday due to Passover)

FREE, but advance registration strongly suggested. Please contact Peggy Kurtz at (718) 268-5011 ext. 151 or [email protected].

Thursday, April 23, 12:00 p.m. Short Stories and Fables of Leo Tolstoy
“Master and Man,” “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” “What Men Live By,” “Alyosha the Pot”

These stories can be found for free online at or:

“Master and Man”:

“How Much Land Does a Man Need?”; “What Men Live By”; and “Alyosha the Pot”:

Please contact (718) 268-5011 ext. 151 or [email protected] for information on May 21 and June 18 book discussion group.

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.