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 will meet on March 6, March 20, April 3, April 17, May 1, and May 15 from 4-5:30 PM at the BWC Building at 1762 Beacon Street in Brookline.

**Please note that our registration deadline is February 29 and that sliding scale rates are 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


Register online now.

►BY CREDIT CARD over the phone: 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