Council House will be closed:

Thursday, 8/1 – Thursday, 8/8 for the Back 2 School Store 

Please review NCJW NY’s updated COVID-19 Safety Policies before attending an in-person class (updated 3/27/23). Face masks are now optional indoors in Council Lifetime Learning classes.   

Classes are first-come first-served, and enrollment will be limited due to COVID-19 safety measures. Classes may be cancelled, re-scheduled or changed to a virtual format at any time due to safety concerns.


Given the ever changing situation with COVID-19 all participants should assess whether coming to activities at Council House is right for you. Please consult with your personal doctors and family members before joining us.


CLL programming is only open to members of NCJW NY. Membership costs $72 per year. Click here to become a member (Scroll to the bottom of the registration page to register for our 2024-2025 membership).

For those in financial need the membership fee can be waived and class scholarships are available. Please contact our social worker Letitia about financial aid at

Navigation: Art ClassesExercise ClassesPerforming Arts ClassesClasses and Discussion Groups


Mondays, 10 AM – 12 PM| July 8 – Aug 19 | $35 for unregistered art students, no charge for registered art students | Independent Work
Fridays, 1 PM – 3 PM | July 12 – Aug 23| $35 for unregistered art students, no charge for registered art students | Independent Work

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Two times a week the art studio is open for individuals to come work independently on their artwork. For enrolled art students, this time is included in their class fee. There is a small charge for individuals who wish to work during this time who are not enrolled in art classes.

Mondays, 10 AM – 12 PM| July 8 – Aug 19 | $45 | Rena Rappaport

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Start your Monday off beading among friends. Some equipment will be provided, and students are encouraged to bring their own. Beaders can bring broken necklaces to fix, jewelry needing redesign or they can make new jewelry. Open to beginners!

Mondays, 1 PM – 3 PM | July 8 – Aug 19 | $115| Gene Wisniewski

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Employing a technique that dates back to the days of the Renaissance art academy, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to accurately draw what you see—even if you have little or no experience. I guarantee you’ll be amazed by what you achieve after only one class! More experienced students can enroll to hone their skills.

Tuesdays, 10 AM – 12 PM | July 9 – Aug 20 | $100 | Sigfrido Benetiz

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A fun , hands – on collage workshop for all levels of interest and experiences in this specific art form of art making. Learn how to be able to express yourself creatively with step – by – step instruction. You don’t need to be an artist to recycle pictures, images from magazine into your very own collage making.

Instructor and visual artist Sigfrido Benitez has taught and exhibited for over 25 years which includes Pratt Institute and Boricua College and in many other numerous arts organizations such as El Museo, the Caribbean Cultural Center, Hudson Guild OAC , just to mention a few. Bring to this learning experience your willingness to explore, share your interest, motivation, skills, talents and most of all your creativity which is highly recommended. This class will include instruction in both English and Spanish. Spanish speakers are welcome and encouraged to register!

Un taller de collage divertido y práctico para todos los niveles de interés y experiencias en esta forma de arte específica de hacer arte. Aprenda cómo ser capaz de expresarse creativamente con instrucciones paso a paso. No es necesario ser un artista para reciclar fotografías, imágenes de revistas y crear tu propio collage.

El instructor y artista visual Sigfrido Benítez ha enseñado y exhibido durante más de 25 años, lo que incluye Pratt Institute y Boricua College y en muchas otras organizaciones artísticas como El Museo, el Centro Cultural del Caribe, Hudson Guild OAC, solo por mencionar algunas. Traiga a esta experiencia de aprendizaje su voluntad de explorar, comparta su interés, motivación, habilidades, talentos y, sobre todo, su creatividad, lo cual es muy recomendable. Esta clase incluirá instrucción en inglés y español. ¡Los hispanohablantes son bienvenidos y animados a registrarse!

Tuesdays, 12:30 PM –  3:30 PM | July 2 – July 23 | $125 | Marika Hahn

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In this creative arts experience students learn techniques and skills in painting while developing a personal motif and vision. Class is open to all levels.

Tuesdays, 1 PM – 3 PM | July 9 – Aug 20 | $100| Francine Perlman

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The pastel class explores traditional and abstract pastel drawing. Students learn about the different types of pastel that are being used today, including soft pastel, hard pastel, oil pastel and even water soluble oil pastel. Participants work both from observation and imagination. Work includes pastels in a mixed media capacity combining them with other medium such as marker, watercolor and even collage. Students will have an opportunity to learn about pastel painting through looking at different artists throughout history. At the end of each class, they will also have an opportunity to look at each others work and share their process and thoughts.

Wednesdays, 10 AM – 1 PM | July 10 – Aug 21 | $135| Gene Wisniewski
Wednesdays, 2 PM – 5 PM | July 10 – Aug 21 | $135| Gene Wisniewski

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Students will enjoy highly personalized instruction in drawing and painting in a fun, casual atmosphere. They will learn to express themselves and improve their technical skills in all media including charcoal, pencil, oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Students can work from photographs or develop their own abstract style.

Thursdays, 10 AM – 12 PM| July 11 – Aug 22 | $80 | Yvette Bendahan

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Private, individualized instruction for all levels. Students learn how to cut the glass, assemble pieces according to a pattern or create something original in color, shape and form. The final accomplishment is a thing of beauty in color and design.

Thursdays, 1 PM – 4 PM| July 11 – July 25 | $100| Marika Hahn

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This series is designed for adult beginners and participants wanting refresher classes. Liquid Watercolors are a transparent medium that’s easy to mix and flows beautifully. Participants experiment and practice multiple techniques and gain confidence with watercolor painting and brush control. Watercolor is a magical medium and offers both controlled and unexpected results which can be stunning. Emphasis is on painting techniques including wet on wet, wet on dry, layering, composition and cropping. Demonstrations take place throughout the classes.

Thursdays, 1 PM – 4 PM| July 11 – Aug 22 | $100| Francine Perlman

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Printmaking is an artistic process based on the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface, most often paper or fabric. Learn about the many ways of printmaking, while we focus on monotypes and explore several non-traditional materials and techniques.  All levels of experience welcome. Beginners can expect to discover the joy of surprise results and unexpected beauty.

Fridays, 10 AM – 12 PM| July 12 – Aug 23 | $175| Jose Picayo

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Learn traditional weaving techniques—and invent your own—this Summer! Experimentation and play are encouraged as we learn and build upon new skills in the weaving studio. This instructional class is perfect for absolute beginners and experienced weavers alike. We will cover the basics for those new to the process and those seeking a refresher. Experienced weavers will have the opportunity to expand their skills through individualized projects.

Tuesdays, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM | July 9 – Aug 20 | $80| Margot Townsend

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These effective and comfortable guided lessons will help you to improve your balance, flexibility and ability to function in daily movements.

Tuesdays, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM| July 20 – Aug 20 | $85| Roger Puckett 

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Welcome to the world of Tai Chi & Chi Gong Movement, a powerful practice rooted in ancient Chinese wisdom. Combining walking, Qi (chi) Gong, meditation, and movement science, Tai Chi & Chi Gong Movement offers a holistic approach to improving your overall health, vitality, balance, flexibility and inner strength. Our expert instructor will guide you through the ancient practice of Tai Chi & Chi Gong Movement, helping you unlock the transformative benefits of this time-tested practice. With our structured lessons and supportive community, you’ll experience noticeable improvements in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Tuesdays, 3 PM – 4 PM | July 9 – Aug 20| $85 | Mike Lesser
Thursdays, 3 PM – 4 PM | July 11 – Aug 22 | $85| Mike Lesser

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This group fitness class will be sitting in a chair as well as standing using the Pilates Principles to build an awareness and connection to deep core stabilizing muscles in a focused fun format. This is a barefoot class to gain better connection to the floor.

Wednesdays, 11 AM – 12:15 PM | Ongoing | Richard Goldberg | Free to members
Fridays, 10 AM – 11 AM | Ongoing | Richard Goldberg (Virtual) | Free to members 

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Members practice the art of meditation through silence, relaxation, gentle movement, and conversation. Newcomers are always instructed in the procedure and all questions regarding practice are answered. For Zoom information, reach out to Gabriela Illescas at


Mondays, 2:45 PM- 4:45 PM | July 8 – August 19| $125 | William Lyon Lee

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Each class, open to all levels, begins with warm-ups and site reading exercises, and progresses to vocal pieces from various sources. Singing is great for the health and the spirit, especially in groups!

Unless otherwise noted, discussion classes are free to members, and are offered year-round.

Mondays, 11 AM – 12 PM|  Ruth Taller & Arlene Kossoff

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Each week members read a short story, provided one week in advance, and participate in a facilitated discussion about that story. Discussions are lively and thought-provoking! For Zoom information, reach out to Gabriela Illescas at
*Space is limited

Tuesdays, 11 AM – 12 PM| Howard Fischer

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Male members discuss issues that affect their lives — problems they have, resources they need, how they order their lives, physical and mental health issues, friendship, etc. 

Wednesdays, 1 PM – 2 PM | Ruth Taller and Arlene Kossoff

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Members read a new article or non-fiction essay each week and come for a stimulating discussion. For Zoom information, reach out to Gabriela Illescas at *Space is limited

Thursdays, 9:30 AM – 12 PM | Beverly Katz 

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Knitwits will be meeting at Council House on alternate Thursdays starting on June 6.

Thursdays, 1 PM – 2 PM | Member-Led

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A weekly discussion of topics pertaining to how it FEELS to age. Topics include coping with physical and mental disabilities, financial concerns, loss of loved ones, etc.

Fridays, 9:30 AM – 12 PM | Member-led
Fridays, 12:30 PM – 3 PM | Member-led

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Space available for experienced Mah Jongg players. Mah Jongg rules apply- no betting. Beginners welcome to start their own game.

Last Friday of Each Month, 1 PM  – 2PM | Marcia Rudnitsky 

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For Zoom information, reach out to Gabriela Illescas at