Winter 2017 Classes, Reading
Groups, and Volunteer Opportunities

Contact Peggy Kurtz 718.268.5011 ext 151

You can register for these classes online by clicking here!

Questions?  Please contact Peggy Kurtz at the above number, or


Watch some of the greatest films of the last century and enjoy lively discussions with film critic Matthew Weiss. You'll learn to see the kinds of things most of us miss when we watch a movie.  How do great films defy our expectations of character, narrative, identification, and editing, and deepen our experience of the world?  Matthew Weiss has done everything on a film set from acting and producing to directing. He has appeared in productions along with Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo, and Rosie Perez, and he has done improv comedy in NY. Bring your lunch.  We’ll provide cookies, coffee, and food for thought!

5 Tuesdays, 12:20 – 3:00 p.m.
Jan 3, 17, Feb 28 and Mar 14, 28
$50 m / $60 nm


BEHIND THE HEADLINES:  Digging Deeper into the Politics & Law Behind the News

The 2016 election broke all the previous models.  With a Republican controlled Congress and new appointment to the Supreme Court, we will be in new territory.  Now the world is watching to see where a President Donald J. Trump administration takes us. What are the implications for foreign policy – for U.S. policy toward Israel, involvement in Syria – or for domestic issues such as health care or for gun control?  What are the consequences for the very serious climate change issues we face? At each session, we’ll dig deeper into an issue in the news), including the history, legal background, and the politics of the specific issue.  Former NY State and City Comptroller, former Assemblyman, and Professor of Political Science, Alan Hevesi is a seasoned veteran of political campaigns and politics.

3 Tues.: Jan. 24, Feb. 21 & Mar. 21
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
$30 m / $36 nm


Enlightenment and Emancipation in
Eastern and Western Europe

Jewish culture, throughout the ages, has seen revolutionary and evolutionary changes. Confronting major traumas and new cultures led to new forms of Judaism and cultural changes.

Moving on through Jewish history, we’ll begin with Jewish life in Eastern Europe and move to Western Europe from the 17th to 18th centuries. What was the impact on Jewish communal life as the doors of the ghetto were suddenly opened in the late 1700s?  We’ll explore the social, economic, political, and religious changes in the Jewish community in response to the challenges of Enlightenment thinking and to Western Emancipation. We will explore the contribution of conversos to Jewish life in Amsterdam, Baruch Spinoza’s challenge to Judaism, Moses Mendelsohn’s response and the emancipation of French Jewry.

A retired Reform rabbi, Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg taught at York and Gettysburg Colleges in Pennsylvania.

7 Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 25
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
$56 m / $70 nm


An Art Class for All Levels

Join us as our class continues to explore the challenges and satisfactions of creating artwork, all in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  We’ll explore ​the elements or building blocks used to create works of art, experimenting with different mediums such as drawing, watercolor, collage, and printmaking or others to tap into your own creativity. All levels of ability and experience welcome!

A working artist, Susan Ross has taught art for forty years in the public school system.

6 Thursdays, 11:15 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Jan. 12 & 26, Feb. 9 & 23, Mar. 9 & 23
$54 m / $66 nm
Materials fee extra, if needed.




Our extremely successful tutoring program is expanding!  Do you have skills to offer, which could help Afghan or Turkish immigrants, in exchange for the personal rewards of helping people get a positive start in the U.S.?  In addition to our ongoing tutoring program for women at the Afghan Women Center in Fresh Meadows, we are adding a second morning/week at the CQY, working on conversational English with Turkish immigrants.  We are getting wonderful feedback from tutors and students alike, both of whom are finding the program enormously rewarding. Registration is required and space is limited!  

Friday mornings, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Women for Afghan Women Center

(Van provided from CQY to Fresh Meadows Center,
leaving at 10:00 a.m., returning by 12:45 p.m.)

Thursday mornings, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Central Queens Y



Two Free Readers’ Discussion Groups:

Daytime Book Group 

Registration requested.  New participants always welcome!

Find out what makes this daytime book group so special that it was featured in an article in the national JCCA newsletter!  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! 

Meets on third Thursday each month (except April) from 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. FREE but registration is requested.

December 15, 12:15 p.m. – E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

A Room with a View  was published in 1908 to both critical and popular acclaim; today this may still be Forster’s best loved novel.  The central character is a young woman named Lucy Honeychurch, who runs away from the man who stirs her emotions, remaining engaged to a rich snob. The moral is utterly simple:  throw away your etiquette book and listen to your heart. 

January 19, 12:15 p.m. – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Since its publication in 1813, Pride and Prejudice’s blend of humor, romance, and social satire have delighted readers for 200 years. In telling the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and their five daughters, Jane Austen creates a classic love story and closely observed view of her society.  Jane Austen’s sharp prose is as witty as it is perceptive.    

February 16, 12:15 p.m. – James Joyce, Dubliners

James Joyce’s magnificent , profound, and very readable collection of short stories offers poignant glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners. Perhaps the greatest short story collection in the English language, James Joyce’s Dubliners is a vivid and unflinching portrait of “dear dirty Dublin” at the turn of the twentieth century.   We’ll read “The Dead” and other stories.  Please call for a list of the selected stories: 718.268.5011 ext 151 or email

Thursday, March 16, 12:15 p.m. – James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain

Baldwin's first major work, this novel is an American classic. With lyrical precision and psychological directness, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's coming of age as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935.

Please call or email if you are having trouble getting a book!

For a printable flyer to share, please click here.

Evening Book Group

Registration requested.  New participants always welcome!

Join us as we turn over a new page with the New Year, at our Monthly Evening Book Group!  Explore new fiction while connecting with new acquaintances over baked treats, coffee and tea—or muse over old favorites while munching meringues.  New faces and suggestions for good reads always welcome!  A professional librarian, Yasmin Spiegel-Solomon is currently a curriculum writer.

First Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m.  FREE. 

December 7, 7:30 p.m. – Affinity Konar, Mischling

It's 1944 when twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain. That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks—a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin—travel through Poland's devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it. ~ Amazon

January 4, 7:30 p.m. – Alice Hoffman, The Marriage of Opposites

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her older husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. ~ Amazon

March 1, 7:30 p.m. – Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

New York City in 1939. A young escape artist and budding magician named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep into the heart of Manhattan, and the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From the shared fears, dreams, and desires of two teenage boys, they spin comic book tales of the heroic, fascist-fighting Escapist and the beautiful, mysterious Luna Moth, otherworldly mistress of the night. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink. ~ Amazon

For more information, contact Peggy Kurtz at 718.268.5011 ext 151 or


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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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