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.

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.
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


►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 Simcha 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