Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs Events

For more information, contact Peggy Kurtz (718) 268-5011 ext 151 or

The Hevesi Speaker Series: Conversations with Authors & Special Events

For a Copy of the Winter 2018 schedule of events and classes, click here!

$5 suggested donation for members / $8 suggested donation for non-members (unless otherwise noted)

Martin Luther King Day Event
TEN DOLLARS TO HATE: The Man Who Fought the Klan and Won
Patricia Bernstein
Monday, January 15, 1:30 p.m.

Over the last two years, the U.S. has seen an alarming resurgence in extremist groups long considered to be very marginal, groups promoting anti-immigrant sentiment, racism, and anti-Semitism. There are disturbing parallels between the current incarnation of hate groups and the period of the 1920s, the peak of the Ku Klux Klan. Today most Americans are not aware of the power of the 1920s Klan, a mass movement with millions of members all over the U.S., not in the South alone.  

The Klan was not just racist, but also violently anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant, and Klan members controlled some local and state governments and were represented all the way up to the U.S. Senate. Author Patricia Bernstein tells the story of the massive Klan in the 1920s and of the courageous prosecutor who became the first in the nation to successfully fight the Klan.

NAIROBI DAYS: Coming of Age in Kenya

Shelina Shariff-Zia
Monday, January 22, 1:30 p.m.

The worldwide Indian diaspora is in many ways similar to the Jewish diaspora, leading to a complex cultural heritage. Some of the Indians in the diaspora are Muslims, who fled pogroms and discrimination in their homeland. Journalist Shelina Shariff-Zia’s autobiographical novel explores her mixed Indian and African heritage as seen through the eyes of a young girl who is a member of the Indian community in Kenya. The novel follows her life from childhood to the political upheavals of the 1980s, during which the Indian minority was targeted, and her eventual immigration to the U.S., bringing a complex cultural heritage with her. Nairobi Days is a coming of age story, a love story, and above all a celebration of life. Shelina Shariff-Zia teaches English at Bronx Community College and is a member of the Central Queens Y.

Interfaith Discussion
Thursday, January 25, 7 p.m.

At the First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills

Join us for a structured interfaith discussion. Participants have found these discussions very rich and rewarding. Smaller group discussions will help us go a little deeper to understand each other’s stories and viewpoints.

FREE, but space is limited and registration is required.

TURKISH ART WORKSHOP: The Art of Painting on Water with Artist Mustafa Yasar
Thursday, March 8, 11:15 a.m.

Ebru, a decorative paper art, is one of the oldest Turkish arts. Where or when it started remains a mystery. Patterns are formed with color on the surface of the water and then transferred to paper. Come watch and enjoy trying your hand at it. Each painting is unique and it is never possible to achieve the same design. Mustafa Yasar is a water marbling (ebru) artist living in New York. He has taught and demonstrated his work in colleges, libraries, and cultural centers, and his work can be found in public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.

Registration is required. Purchase your tickets online by visiting

$15, including materials fees.

THIS NARROW SPACE: A Doctor, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem

Elisha Waldman
Monday, March 19, 1:30 p.m. 

In 2007, Elisha Waldman, a New York pediatric oncologist, was offered his dream job at Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center. He was going to give something back to the land he loved. This Narrow Space is his memoir of the seven years he spent taking care of children - Israeli Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and Palestinian Arabs - with one devastating thing in common, cancer. Navigating Israeli bureaucracy, war, cultural clashes, and the religious restrictions of his patients that sometimes interfered with their care, Waldman learned to be content with small victories: a young patient whose disease went into remission, brokenhearted parents whose final hours with their child were made meaningful and comforting. He tells the story of the complex cultural terrain he learned to navigate and about the heartbreakingly brave and endearing children he cared for, children from Me'ah She'arim, Ramallah, and Gaza City.

Thursday, March 22, 7:00 p.m.
At the Central Queens Y

Don’t miss this very special event, which sold out last year! The Passover seder - a feast that combines symbolic foods, songs, and the telling of the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt - is a favorite holiday in many Jewish families, a celebration of freedom for all. Share the Passover seder customs and a kosher, vegetarian meal with your neighbors! We’ll keep it short enough to leave plenty of time for discussion. Learn, or help us explain, the history behind this very special holiday. Come taste the bitter and the sweet (horseradish and haroset, a sweet relish) with us. Everyone is welcome!

Space is limited. RSVP is strongly suggested. $21 in advance/$25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here, or visiting

Sunday, Mar., 11 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and Monday, Mar., 12 12:30 p.m.  
At the Central Queens Y

Click HERE for 2018 Schedule.

The Central Queens Y and the Samuel Field Y are proud once again to host the ReelAbilities Film Festival, bringing an outstanding selection of international films and filmmakers to the community. ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. Post-screening discussions with filmmakers and actors bring the community together to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience.


  Jewish Book Council

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Central Queens Y
67-09 108th Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Telephone: 718-268-5011
  Samuel Field Y
58-20 Little Neck Pkwy
Little Neck, NY 11362
Telephone: 718-225-6750

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