Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs

Contact Peggy Kurtz 718.268.5011 ext 151

The Hevesi Speaker Series: Conversations with Authors & Special Events

For a Copy of the Fall Brochure, click here!

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



One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim

Sabeeha Rehman

Monday, September 25, 1:30 p.m.



In her new memoir, Sabeeha Rehman tells an immigrant’s story, from her arranged marriage in Pakistan to life in the U.S. and her work as a tireless advocate for interfaith understanding. Beginning with her account of a hurried arranged marriage, which becomes a love match lasting forty years, Rehman undercuts stereotypes as she describes her journey from secular Muslim in an Islamic society to observant Muslim in a society fearful of Islam. She describes her struggles to balance assimilation with heritage, overcoming religious barriers from within and distortions of Islam from without. Sabeeha Rehman is Director of Interfaith Programs at the American Society for Muslim Advancement.




Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil

Yvette Manessis Corporon

Monday, October 2, 1:30 p.m.

Yvette Manessis Corporon grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about how the people of the small Greek island Erikousa hid the Jewish tailor Savvas and his daughters from the Nazis. Even though everyone on the island knew Savvas’ family was hiding there, no one gave them up and the family survived the war. Seventy years later, Yvette found their descendants in Israel, leading to a tearful reunion. Only days later, her own cousin’s child was gunned down in a neo-Nazi attack in Kansas. As Yvette’s family mourned, the lessons she had learned from Holocaust survivors helped her cope with this tragedy. This is a story about courage and the importance of vigilance against hatred.


Interfaith Sukkah Dinner

Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m.

At the Reform Temple of Forest Hills

Join us for dinner under the stars, in a sukkah, sharing the traditions of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, together with members of the Turkish Cultural Center, Afghan families, members of the Reform Temple of Forest Hills, and others. Sukkot celebrates the fall harvest and the 40 years of the Israelites wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt. This Jewish holiday is marked by eating in an open-air hut, or sukkah. Bring your questions and learn about the customs and faith of your neighbors! All are welcome.

Family friendly event, children welcome! Dinner is strictly kosher and vegetarian.

The Reform Temple of Forest Hills is located at 71-11 112th Street, Forest Hills

$15 per person, $5 for children under 10. Register at or at 718.268.5011, ext. 151 or email

Advance registration is required. Space is limited, so register early.




Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism

Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos

Monday, October 16, 1:30 p.m.

In the 1930s Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were young Jewish refugees in Paris, idealistic and in love. Ultimately Capa became one of the truly great photographers of the 20th century, whose photographs remain the best known images of the great events of the century. As photographers, Capa and Taro set off to capture their generation's most important struggle, the fight against fascism, beginning with the Spanish Civil War and then World War II. Capa and Taro pioneered modern photojournalism, bearing witness by giving a human face to war with their iconic shots of a loving couple resting, a wary orphan, and, always, refugees. This is the inspiring story of one exceptional couple who helped shape our modern world of politics and journalism.













LIONESS: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel

Francine Klagsbrun

Monday, October 23, 1:30 p.m.

Francine Klagsbrun’s new biography reconsiders Golda, an iron-willed leader of Israel’s founding generation, chain-smoking political operative, and tea-and-cake-serving grandmother who became Israel’s fourth prime minister, and one of the most notable women of our time. A passionate socialist Zionist, she moved to Palestine in 1921 and her political career took off quickly with the help of David Ben-Gurion. Golda brought fiery oratory and shrewd deal-making to the cause of Zionism. As Prime Minister, Golda negotiated arms deals with Richard Nixon, agonized over understanding Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein. But her career ended in tragedy when Israel was unprepared for Egypt’s and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973.




21st Annual Author’s Cafe to benefit the Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs

JEWISH COMEDY: A Serious History

Jeremy Dauber

Sunday, November 5, 2:00 p.m.

At the Forest Hills Jewish Center

106-06 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375

This year our author’s cafe lightens up, with a serious look at a fun topic, Jewish humor. In his new book, Prof. Jeremy Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from the Bible to the age of Twitter. Dauber explores how Jewish comedy has dealt with persecution and diaspora through the ages. He explains popular comic archetypes such as the Jewish mother and the schlemiel and schlimazel. He also explores comic masterpieces, from the Book of Esther and Talmudic rabbi jokes to Borscht Belt skits and Seinfeld, and the work of such masters as Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Philip Roth, and Jon Stewart. Jeremy Dauber is Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Columbia University.

Kosher dessert & coffee.

$18 minimum donation in advance/$23 at the door.

Group & student discounts available.

Advance tickets may be purchased through Friday, November 3 at 3 p.m..  After that tickets may be purchased at the door.  
Note that this event is at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, at 106-06 Queens Boulevard.




Kristallnacht Program

Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris

Anne Nelson

Monday, November 6, 1:30 p.m.

Anne Nelson tells a story of enormous courage in the face of evil, the tense drama of Suzanne Spaak who gave her life to save hundreds of Jewish children from Auschwitz. Spaak married into the country’s leading political family. When the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance and used her fortune and status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups. Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne organized women to “kidnap” hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers. In 1945 Suzanne was caught by the Gestapo and was executed shortly before the liberation of Paris. An award-winning author and war correspondent, Anne Nelson teaches at Columbia University.






I WAS TOLD TO COME ALONE: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad

Souad Mekhennet

Monday, November 13, 1:30 p.m.

As an independent, unmarried Muslim woman who grew up in Germany and is now an award-winning reporter for the Washington Post, Souad Mekhennet has lived her entire life between cultures. Her complex cultural identity has granted her access to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist operatives, including members of ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban. In her new book, we accompany Mekhennet on her quest through the neighborhoods of European cities where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization and in tense meetings in Iraq and Syria with terrorist leaders (which led to a surprising number of marriage proposals). As an investigative reporter, Mekhennet seeks answers to questions about the roots of militant extremism.



Thursday, October 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Everybody loves a great story, and Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery has many of New York’s best stories to tell. Join us for a tour of Green-Wood with the Director of Programs, our very own past art history teacher, Harry Weil. Founded in 1838, by the 1880s this National Historic Landmark had earned an international reputation for its beauty and was second only to Niagara Falls in tourist visits. Many of New York’s most famous and infamous are buried in Green-Wood, along with their colorful stories and dark secrets. Bring your brown bag lunch.

$15 for tour, $8 additional for van.

Register at or at 718.268.5011, ext. 151 or email Advance registration is required. Space is limited, so register early.



  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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