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.

Winter 2023 ONLINE CLASSES

FROM OUR LIVING ROOM TO YOURS

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

Click here for information about our Book Discussion Group


FILM DISCUSSION GROUP with FILM CRITIC MATTHEW L. WEISS

Film ClassJoin us in exploring how great movies use the power of cinema to rewire our consciousness and defy our expectations.

10 Tues. beg. January 3
12:00-1:30 p.m.
$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.


Practical & Ethical Wisdom for Life with Rabbi Irwin

What is the good life? What does it mean to live a moral life, to be a good human being or Jew? Musar, Jewish practical ethics, has guided Jews through the difficulties of their personal lives for hundreds of years.  Human nature has not changed.  The deep human insight drawn from classical Jewish texts, from people who lived millennia ago in circumstances so different from our own, is often breathtaking.  In the light of Jewish ethical literature, we’ll take a look at the values that can help guide us today through the confusions of everyday life, such as doing random acts of kindness, recognizing when we’ve done wrong and what to do about it, and how to feel a deeper sense of inner peace. This semester we will continue our exploration of middot (personal ethics) such as humility and peace.

6 Thurs. beg. February 9
12:00-1:00 p.m.
$60 member / $72 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.


ART HISTORY WITH HARRY WEIL – ART IN OUR TIME

6 Wed. beg. January 25
12:00-1:00 p.m.
$60 member / $72 non-member

How do artists respond to what’s happening in the world around them? Can something beautiful also be political? This class explores how modern contemporary art (made after 1860 – today) processes, critiques  and questions what is making news in the headlines, including hot button topics: military conflict, feminism, LGBTQ rights, mass shootings, acts of terrorism, and much more! Our focus won’t be on choosing who is right, or who is wrong, but rather exploring art’s role in helping us to make up our own minds. We will be looking at painting, sculpture, photography, and performance.

Harry Weil is the Director of Public Programs at the Green-Wood Cemetery where he curates tours, concerts, performances, and art installations. His projects have been features in The New York Times and New Yorker, among other publications. Harry has a PhD in art history from Stony Brook University. 


For more information, email [email protected].

Click here for Virtual Cultural Arts Events

 

 


NEW! Free Winter Classes with the National Museum of the U.S. Army

 

Join Commonpoint Queens and the National Museum of the U.S. Army for 4 amazing virtual history classes in partnership with the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration. All classes are free and registration is limited – click here to register.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Sivan Ben-Aderet at [email protected] or 718-423-6111.

 

Defining “American”: Native American Soldiers in World War I and the Path to Citizenship
Thursday, February 16, 2023 – 12:00pm

Participants will engage with the Army’s history through artifacts, primary sources, and Soldiers’ Stories. From the Revolutionary War and through present day, American Indians have proudly served the U.S. Army often without recognition or the benefits of citizenship. During World War I, nearly 12,000 indigenous Soldiers served in the armed forces with distinction. Their actions to protect the nation focused attention on disparities among indigenous Americans and paved the way for all indigenous people to enjoy the promise of American citizenship.

 

The Accomplishment of the ENIAC and the Women Computing Pioneers

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 12:00pm

Discover how a talented group of female mathematicians laid the groundwork for the field of computer programming. In 1943, the U.S. Army recruited seven women mathematicians to set up and operate the Army’s newest top secret weapon: the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). These unsung heroes wired the electrical connections that enabled the world’s first electronic, digital computer to complete 300 calculations per second. In doing so, they built a framework for the field of computer programming.


Making A Way Out of No Way: African American Soldiers in World War II
Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 12:00pm

Generations of African Americans have served their country, many serving in segregated units and not always given the respect and honor due to them. Although African Americans fought with distinction in World War II, they returned home to a segregated America. In 1948, President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which called for equal opportunity for all members of the Armed Forces. The segregated Army became a thing of the past and the segregation of American society began to crumble.


Fighting for Freedom: Nisei Soldiers and World War II
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 – 12:00pm
Second generation Japanese Americans, known as Nisei, demanded the right to join the armed forces during World War II. On February 9, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the relocation of Japanese Americans living on the west coast. Further, the government classified males of Japanese ancestry as enemy aliens. This classification disqualified them from military service. Despite the odds, thousands of Nisei Soldiers bravely served in World War II. Participants will explore the commitment, challenges, and sacrifices of the Nisei Soldiers.

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.

Frances Spuffordlight perpetual
Light Perpetual
Thursday, January 5, 2023 – 12:00pm

This very moving novel imagines the lives of five young people, decade by decade, as they live through the extraordinary changes of twentieth century London.   Their intimate, ordinary everyday dramas, as sons and daughters, spouses, parents, grandparents; as the separated, the remarried, the bereaved. Through decades of social, sexual, and technological transformation, as bus conductors and landlords, as swindlers and teachers, patients and inmates. Days of personal triumphs and disasters; of second chances and redemption.

 

FREE, but advance registration strongly suggested. Please register here.

For more information, contact Peggy Kurtz at [email protected]