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.


This class focuses on the artists who literally broke the mold. From grand Renaissance sculptures to modern masterpieces, you will discover the personalities behind history’s greatest treasures, including Jan van Eyck, Diego Velazquez, Joseph Mallord William Turner, and Wassily Kandinsky, 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.
10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10

$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.


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Explore 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.
10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14, 12/21

$100 member / $120 non-member

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

Numerous authoritative commentaries on the Torah have been produced over the millennia by men. Today, many scholars – particularly women – view some established “interpretations” as misinterpretations. Using modern-day commentaries, such as The Torah: A Women’s Commentary published by Women of Reform Judaism, join Rabbi Goldenberg as we continue to explore several stories of Biblical women such as Hagar, Lot’s daughters, and the women in Moses’s life, from the perspective of women scholars and poets.

8 Thurs., 12:00-1:30 p.m.
10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/18, 12/9, 12/16

$80 member / $96 non-member

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.


For more information, you can contact us at [email protected]

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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, 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.

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].

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!


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For more information, email [email protected].