Adult Education Courses

Our adult education programming is geared toward exploring the meaning of Jewish history, ritual, and thought from a secular perspective. Courses are taught by highly qualified and stimulating guest instructors.

There are usually two courses each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The number of sessions ranges from four to six, and tuition varies. Pre-registration is required. At least once every two years we offer a basic Jewish literacy course for new members.

Whether you are Jewish or non-Jewish, and whatever your level of Jewish knowledge, we invite you to learn, question, and challenge your thinking.

Fall 2015 Courses

How Jews Became White Folks

Taught by Executive Director, Jen Kiok

Four sessions meeting on Sundays from 10:45am - 12:15pm: Nov 8 and 22, Dec 6 and 20, at the BWC Building, 1762 Beacon St, Brookline.

Drawing on Karen Brodkin’s book, “How Jews Became White Folks” we will trace our individual and collective family stories as Jews.  We will build common language and understanding of the system of racism in the US and explore how the identities of white Jews changed systematically throughout the 20th century.  Finally, we will end by looking at the effects of racism in the US today and discuss what role we can play as Jews in working for racial justice.  This class will use the model of popular education, asking participants to engage in building a community together, sharing personal stories and building shared knowledge. 

Tuition Rates

  • BWC Members: $80
  • Non-members: $100
  • Shule Parents: $55
  • Young Person (under 30): $25

3 WAYS TO REGISTER:

►ON-LINE: Click here.

►BY CREDIT CARD: Call the Workmen's Circle office at 617.566.6281.

►BY CHECK: Mail your check, made payable to "Boston Workmen’s Circle," to 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445. Please be sure to include your address, phone and email.

Don't let price be a barrier- please contact Liz to discuss options.

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Exploring the Israel-Palestine Conflict Through Film: A Series

Five evenings meeting on Wednesdays from 7pm - 10pm: Oct 7th and 28th, Nov 18th, Dec 16th and Jan 20th at the BWC Building, 1762 Beacon St, Brookline

Presented by the Middle East Working Group and Adult Education Committee, the series seeks to broaden an understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict for people just starting to learn about the issue as well as for seasoned activists.  We will have an opportunity to learn and question together through moderated discussion after each film.

$5 donation requested, free refreshments provided.  RSVP to Liz Krushnic.

Film Showings:

October 7th - 1913: Seeds of Conflict (Ben Loeterman, USA, 2015, 60 min.)

October 28th - The Time That Remains (Elia Suleiman, UK/Italy/Belgium/France, Palestine, 2009, 109 min.)

November 18th - On the Side of the Road (Lia Tarachansky, Palestine/Israel, 2013, 82 min.)

December 16th - The Other Son (Lorraine Lévy, France, 2012, 105 min.)

January 20th - The Law in These Parts (Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, Palestine/Israel, 2011, 100 min.)

Click here for film descriptions.

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Upcoming for 2016:

The Secular Talmud Part II

Taught by Mónica Gomery

Six sessions meeting on March 6th and 20th,  April 3rd and 17th, May 1st and 15th from 4:00 - 5:30pm at the BWC Building, 1762 Beacon St, Brookline.

**Registration deadline February 29th**.  **Sliding Scale Rates available!**

What is the Talmud and what is its purpose? What were the rabbis who constructed and composed the Talmud trying to communicate by writing it? How can we engage with the Talmud as secular Jews? 
 
Part I of this class explored these questions by reading some of the Talmud's most bizarre stories. Now, in Part II, we'll zoom in, focusing on a specific section of the Talmud. Come find out what the ancient rabbis were up to with their creative, subversive interpretations of Torah, and expand your own sense of Jewish ethics and values.
 
We will study excerpts from one chapter in the Talmud focused on assessing restitution for harm caused by another person. Our questions will include: How did the rabbis think about violence, crime, and community? How did they relate to authority - the authority of the Torah, the authority of their teachers and peers, the authority of regular working people?  How did the rabbis view human personhood and our legal responsibilities to one another?  We will also look at contemporary articles and commentaries on these Talmudic texts.

About Mónica:

Mónica Gomery brings with her many years of experience studying and teaching Judaism, and is now beginning her fifth year of rabbinical studies at Hebrew College. Mónica's interests include poetry, communal singing, Talmud study, pastoral care, and racial/economic/gender justice. Mónica has been blessed to work as a Jewish educator at numerous institutions, working with five year olds up to ninety-five year olds, as far away as Chile, and as nearby as her neighborhood shteibel in Jamaica Plain. Lately you can find her exploring the question of how studying the vibrant, nerdy, deeply radical tradition of Jewish text can enliven us to live bolder, more ethical, and more open-hearted lives. She is thrilled to teach for the first time at Boston Workmen's Circle and learn with all of you!

Beginner and intermediate experience with Talmud welcome! Texts will be learned in English translation with access to the original. No previous courses [or experience with Jewish text] required.

Tuition Rates

  • BWC Members: $80
  • Non-members: $100
  • Sliding scale rate BWC Members: $20
  • Sliding scale rate non-members: $30

3 WAYS TO REGISTER:

►ON-LINE: Click here.

►BY CREDIT CARD: Call the Workmen's Circle office at 617.566.6281.

►BY CHECK: Mail your check, made payable to "Boston Workmen’s Circle," to 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445. Please be sure to include your address, phone and email.

Don't let price be a barrier- please contact Liz to discuss options.

 

Past courses include:

  • Blacks and Jews: Affinities, Departures and the Interweaving of Identities
  • The Secular Talmud Part I
  • Ashkenazi Identity and White Jews Working Against Racism
  • Interpreting Jewish History
  • Exploring Jewish Identity: History and Traditions of Mizrachi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi Cultures
  • U.S. Labor Post-WWII: From Reds Under the Bed to the War on Public Sector Workers
  • History of the Jewish Left
  • Jewish Literacy 101
  • Zionism and the Roads not Taken
  • Islam 101
  • From Religion to Nation: The Evolution of Modern Jewish Identity