Cultural Arts and Jewish Heritage Events

The Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs Department presents events and classes on Jewish and other cultures, interfaith programs, and tutoring for immigrants.<

The Hevesi Speaker Series

Sponsored by Cord Meyer

For registration and 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.

Click here for Spring 2019 Classes

SPRING 2019 EVENTS

REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL

Sunday, April 7, 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. and Monday, April 8, 1:00 p.m.
The ReelAbilities Film Festival features powerful films about the lives of people with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities and their families. Discussions follow each film, often with the filmmaker. These films will move you, make you laugh, and change the way you understand disabilities.
Click HERE for the complete schedule. 

Register at commonpointqueens.org/filmfest or ext. 151 or [email protected]. Suggested donation: $5.

SPEAKER & FILM EVENTS

Suggested Donation: $6 member / $10 non-member

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Nadine Epstein
ELIE WIESEL: An Extraordinary Life and Legacy
Monday, April 29, 1:30 p.m.
Elie Wiesel is best known as the author of Night, a survivor of Auschwitz, and a powerful, enduring voice of the Holocaust. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he was a hero of human rights. To Nadine Epstein, he was also a mentor and a friend. In her new book, Epstein takes a closer look at his legacy, and shares her personal memories, and those of his son and others. Ted Koppel writes, “[Wiesel] performed the alchemy of converting pain, injustice and horror into love, compassion and tolerance. We remember him not so much because he so often succeeded but because he never stopped trying.”

Earth Month Event

John Schwartz
CONFRONTING THE CLIMATE CRISIS: What Are the Facts & How Can We Respond?
Sunday, May 5, 3:00 p.m.
At The Reform Temple of Forest Hills, 71-11 112th Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375
We are seeing a steady drumbeat of climate change impacts around us: record wildfires, devastating hurricanes, freakish extreme cold and heat waves. A recent UN report on climate change warned that if we do not dramatically reduce our emissions, we could see dire consequences as early as 2040. New York Times science writer John Schwartz will explain the latest climate science and will discuss some of the major impacts we can expect in the near future. He’ll talk about how cities are adapting to impacts such as sea level rise that could dramatically re-shape the city. He’ll also discuss strategies to reduce our emissions, including solutions on the societal level and personal actions.

Father Patrick Desbois
IN BROAD DAYLIGHT: A Priest’s Journey to Find the Truth About the Holocaust by Bullets
Monday, May 6, 1:30 p.m.
Genocide in broad daylight does not happen without complicit neighbors. Father Patrick Desbois has documented for the first time how the murder of 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine happened publicly and with the help of local townspeople. At times the shootings were a public spectacle. Based on interviews with neighbors, wartime records, and the application of modern forensic practices, Desbois tries to understand how these killings happened so publicly and how neighbors saw their role. Father Patrick Desbois is the President and Founder of Yahad-In Unum. He was also, from 2001 to 2016, the Director of the National Service for Relations with Judaism, under the auspices of the French Conference of Bishops and, since 2003, and is a consultant to the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism.  In 2016, Father Desbois was named the Braman Endowed Professor of the Practice of the Forensic Study of the Holocaust at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.


Israel Independence Day

AFTERNOON OF ISRAELI SHORT FILMS
Monday, May 13, 1:00 p.m.
Our popular afternoon of outstanding Israeli short  films is back! These four short films highlight different aspects of Israeli life. In one film, a Palestinian doctor goes home to his parents’ village and tries to find his place. In a poignant second film, an Israeli woman confronts her fears and stereotypes. A third film focuses on a woman who takes first steps to break out of her loneliness. Each of our films tells a very full story, with a hint of how much lies beneath the surface, all within the limits of the art of the short film. Participants will vote for the Audience Favorite.

Prof. Mark Rosenblum
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S MOMENT OF TRUTH IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Monday, May 20, 1:30 p.m.
Six big questions face President Trump in the Middle East. Will Trump be able to deliver the “Deal of the Century”? In the wake of the Khashoggi murder, will Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the primary Arab leader advocating for peace with Israel, find his power checked and a peace deal scuttled? How has Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in Syria and Trump’s puzzling relationship with Putin affected Israel’s chances for peace? Mark Rosenblum will discuss these and other questions in the shifting landscape of the Middle East. Professor Rosenblum is Director of the Queens College Ibrahim Student Leadership and Dialogue Middle East Program.

Gregory Wallance
THE WOMAN WHO FOUGHT AN EMPIRE: Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring
Monday, June 3, 1:30 p.m.
This is the true story of a remarkable young woman—the daughter of Romanian-born Jewish settlers in Palestine—who became the daring leader of the Jewish Nili spy ring during World War I. Operating behind enemy lines, Aaronsohn and her spies furnished vital information to British intelligence about Turkish military forces until she was caught and tortured by the Turks in 1917 and eventually killed herself to avoid disclosing secrets. Contemporary settlement leaders accused the Nili spies of exposing the Yishuv to great danger. Were the Nili spies heroes, traitors, or bunglers? Finalist for the 2018 Jewish Book Award for Biography.

Former Congressman Steve Israel
BIG GUNS: The Firearm Industry and Washington Politics
Monday, June 17, 1:30 p.m.
Former US Congressman Steve Israel takes on the gun industry and gun rights extremists in his new novel about the powerful gun industry, a small Long Island town, and Washington politics.  Israel represented a Long Island district in Congress for almost 16 years, retiring in January 2017. He helped write anti-gun violence legislation, but finally left Congress in frustration, realizing that the current Congress would not pass gun control laws. As a member of the House Democratic leadership, Israel has a singular behind-the-scenes understanding of how Washington works.

OTHER EVENTS

6th ANNUAL CHELSEA GALLERY TOUR & Café
Thursday, May 9, 11:00 a.m.

Art historian Harry Weil will once again lead a guided walking tour through a selection of galleries, showcasing painting and sculpture, installation, and video art. Afterward, we’ll relax together with an optional light lunch.

Space is very limited so reserve early!

Cost: $18 per person (lunch not included), $8 additional for van.

INTERFAITH IFTAR DINNERS
Share dinner and conversation with your neighbors at a “Break the Fast” Ramadan Dinner, while learning about Ramadan customs. This year we are invited to participate in the Turkish Cultural Center’s big outdoor event in Sunnyside. We will also have a limited number of spaces in homes of families who are hosting Iftar dinners.

Space is limited and RSVP is strongly suggested.

Location & date TBD. FREE.