Programs for all ages

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Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs

Contact Peggy Kurtz 718.268.5011 ext 151

The Hevesi Speaker Series

For a Copy of the Spring Brochure, click here!

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



Josh Aronson

Mon., April 24, 1:30 p.m.


Orchestra of Exiles: The Story of Bronislaw Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic, and the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors

A musical celebrity, Bronislaw Huberman toured worldwide and played for European royalty.  But after witnessing the tragedy of World War I, he committed his phenomenal talent and celebrity to aid humanity. With the rise of Nazism, Huberman began a crusade to create the Palestine Symphony, which later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Against nearly impossible obstacles, Huberman created a world-class orchestra of exiles, one of the great cultural achievements of the 20th century. His tireless work ultimately saved nearly one thousand Jews from the Holocaust. Josh Aronson is an Academy Award nominated director and a concert pianist.

Photo of candle flame: Matthew Bowden




Jason Gewirtz

Israel's Edge:  The IDF's Elite Unit

Monday, May 1, 1:30 p.m.

How will Israel keep its strategic edge over an increasingly dangerous Iran? Israel has been preparing for this day by creating a secretive IDF unit called Talpiot. Instead of being trained to fight, the few soldiers selected for Talpiot are taught how to think. Talpiot is tasked with keeping Israel a generation ahead of a rapidly strengthening and technologically capable Iran. Instead of fighting skills, Talpiots are taught advanced physics, math, and computer science, and they develop secret weapons, cyber-warfare, and intelligence strategies. The soldiers of Talpiot are truly unsung heroes behind the scenes. Jason Gerwirtz covers Israeli news for CNBC.




Art Historian Harry Weil

Thursday, May 11, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

New York is the center of the art world, and the art galleries in Chelsea set the tone for what is in and out of style. Art historian Harry Weil will lead a guided walking tour through a selected group of galleries, showcasing painting and sculpture, installation and video art. We’ll explore what makes an artist ‘hot’ in the art world, looking at both established and emerging artists. Afterward, we’ll relax together with a optional light lunch at an affordable restaurant.

$15 per person ($6 extra for van).

This Even Has Been Sold Out


Prof. Mark Rosenblum

Trump in the Middle East: Where Are We Headed?

Monday, May 15, 1:30 p.m.

President Trump appears to be steering course for a break with past American policies in the Middle East. Does President Trump's administration present a once in a lifetime opportunity for Prime Minister Netanyahu to formally annex the West Bank? If so, is a democratic one state solution viable, while still maintaining a Jewish homeland? Is a two state solution still possible or has that been closed out by the reality of the settlements? Will President Trump pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and, if so, where would this lead? In the complicated world of the Middle East, what are the implications of President Trump's movement toward a closer relationship with Russia?

Prof. Mark Rosenblum is Director of the Ibrahim Student Leadership and Dialogue Middle East program at Queens College.




3rd Annual Afternoon of Short Israeli Films

Monday, May 22, 12:30 p.m.

Our afternoon of short Israeli films is back! Our headliner, Strangers, is an award-winning short film highlighting the diversity represented by the people of Jerusalem. Beneath their various identities, religions, and cultures, people reveal what lies beneath those stereotypes most people don't look through. Other films focus on two strangers on a train in Paris, and a small boy and his mother who live in no man's land in Hebron (The Mute's House, pictured).

Credit: Ariel Richter and Tamar Kay





Bonnie Anderson

The Rabbi's Atheist Daughter: Ernestine Rose
19th Century Jewish Feminist Pioneer

Monday, June 5, 1:30 p.m.

A radical feminist once more famous than Susan B. Anthony, Ernestine Rose was a Jewish woman who became one of the 19th century's best known feminists and freethinkers. A rabbi's daughter, Rose refused an arranged marriage and left her family and Poland forever at age 17. Immigrating to New York in 1836, she became a famous orator, speaking for women's rights and against slavery. A Jew, an atheist, an immigrant, and a woman, Rose was written out of history. On the 100th anniversary of NYS Women's Suffrage, Bonnie Anderson returns an extraordinary Jewish woman—one of the mothers of American feminism—to her rightful place in history.

Bonnie Anderson was Professor of Women's Studies at CUNY Graduate Center.

Photo credit:  Carolyn Monastra


Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner
at the Turkish Cultural Center

This event is now CLOSED. Please contact Peggy Kurtz to be placed on the waiting list.

Thursday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.

Cost TBD

Share dinner and conversation with your neighbors at our "Break the Fast" dinner, while learning about Ramadan and Tisha B'Av customs and enjoying a Kosher and Halal Middle-Eastern meal.

Space is limited and an RSVP is strongly suggested. Last year's event sold out!

To be placed on the waiting list, please contact Peggy Kurtz at 718.268.5011 ext 151 or [email protected].

Registration will soon be available online.

Jason Williams

Besa, The Promise: Film Screening and Discussion with the Producer

Monday, June 12, 12:30 p.m.

Besa is the story of the Albanian people--almost all of them Muslims--who were guided by their traditional honor code to save nearly 2,000 Jews from the Holocaust. This tale of fundamental decency and courage was nearly lost forever in the decades after World War II, until a Jewish American photographer set out to help Albanian Rexhep Hoxha find the Jewish man his father sheltered as a young child 60 years before, in order to fulfill a wartime oath. When Hoxha finally finds the man who had been hidden with his family, an intense personal drama is set in motion.

Discussion follows with producer Jason Williams. 

Movie still from Besa: The Promise 


  Jewish Book Council

UJA Federation of New York
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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