Council House will be closed on:
Monday, 1/16 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, 2/20 for Presidents’ Day

Please review NCJW NY’s updated COVID-19 Safety Policies before attending an in-person class (updated 6/10/22). 

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 2022-2023 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| Jan 9 – Mar 27 | $35 for unregistered art students, no charge for registered art students | Independent Work
Fridays, 1 PM – 3 PM | Jan 23 – Mar 31| $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| Jan 9 – Mar 27 | $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 | Jan 9 – Mar 27 | $100 | Marilyn Walter

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Discover the magic of developing and incorporating a sketchbook/workbook into your creative process.  For those who love to paint, collage, draw, or use digital devices learn to “see” the unlimited possibilities and different ways of starting a sketchbook.  Gather information knowledge, and inspiration from other artists’ images as you see and finesse your artwork to completion. Individual instructor attention and group participation in ongoing discussions of work in progress is an important aspect of the class. Bring a few pieces of work for the first class for discussion. 

Tuesdays, 12:30 PM –  2:30 PM | Jan 10 – Mar 28 | $125 | Donelle Estey

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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 | Jan 10 – Mar 28 | $100 | Donna Levinstone

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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 | Jan 11 – Mar 29  | $125 | Gene Wisniewski
Wednesdays, 2 PM – 5 PM | Jan 11 – Mar 29 | $125 | 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| Jan 12 – Mar 30 | $75 | 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.

Fridays, 10 AM – 12 PM| Jan 13 – Mar 31 | $150| Jose Picayo

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Learn traditional weaving techniques—and invent your own—this Winter! 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 | Jan 10 – Mar 28 | $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, 3 PM – 4 PM | Jan 10 – Mar 28 | $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.

Thursdays, 3 PM – 4 PM | Jan 12 – Mar 30 | $85| Mike Lesser

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DANCEALATES®: Barre Class is a flowing, energizing interval workout that combines the core principles of Pilates with the strengthening, lengthening and toning techniques found in traditional Jazz and Ballet barre workouts. Show tunes will be played.

There is a $20 equipment fee for new students.


Mondays, 2:45 PM- 4:45 PM | Jan 9 – Mar 27| $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, by appointment only | Engage Volunteers from the JCC

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A help desk for questions regarding phones, tablets and laptops. Please bring your own devices when possible. By appointment only! Schedule in advance by calling (212) 687-5030 x 0.

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! Email Denise for Zoom log in information.
*Space is limited

Mondays, Jan 30 – Mar 13; 1 PM – 2:30 PM|  Susan Matthias and David Arnold

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Now, the ultimate end of man, and of every intellectual substance, is called felicity or happiness, because this is what every intellectual substance desires as an ultimate end, and for its sake alone. – Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica

In this course we will read excerpts from prominent writers and thinkers who address this timeless question. Our quest will take us from exploring a Greek Tragedy (Antigone) and a Platonic Dialogue to thoughts from Aquinas, Dante, Voltaire, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir, Camus, Iris Murdoch, and Salinger.

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, 11 AM – 12:15 PM | Richard Goldberg

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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.  

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.  Email Denise for Zoom log in information.
*Space is limited

Thursdays, 10 AM | Member-led 

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Knitwits will be meeting at Council House on: December 15,  December 29, January 12, January 26, February 9, February 23, March 9, March 23

Thursdays, 11 AM – 12 PM | Member-Led

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We will be cordially discussing current events that take place in the community, nation and world. Bring your vast knowledge and experience and let us all share our individuality in tasteful, meaningful and spirited discussions. This class meets virtually via Zoom. Planning to join? Email Denise for Zoom log in information.

Thursdays, 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM | Howard Fischer

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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 – noon | 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.

Fridays, 10AM – 11 AM | Richard Goldberg

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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. Email Denise for Zoom log in information.

All virtual Book Discussions will take place on Zoom from 1 PM to 2:30 PM

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12/23: A Jury of Her Peers by Jean Hanff Korelitz
1/27:  The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai

The Book Club continues to meet virtually. For Zoom login information, contact Naomi at