Adult Education

There are many ways to learn at BWC – We offer Yiddish classes, adult education courses (listed below), as well as learning opportunities from our social justice committees.

Adult Education Courses

Our adult education courses are geared toward exploring the meaning of Jewish history, ritual, and thought from a secular perspective. Together, we grapple with questions of historical experience, values, and identity that challenge our thinking. Our courses usually run between 3-6 sessions and the cost of high-quality teachers is covered by class tuition, a sliding scale.

A foundation of Jewish and progressive literacy keeps our community strong. Come learn with us! (see the courses listed below)

Antisemitism Course 2023 (1)
$90-135 $100-145
All BWC events are sliding scale;
nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.
Email with questions.

For everyone attending this course in person:

  • All attendees are required to sign in when entering the building
  • All attendees are required to wear a mask
  • All attendees must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19

Antisemitism: Reclaiming the Conversation

6 sessions | April: 20, 27, May: 4, 11,18, 25
Thursdays 7:00-8:30 PM ET | HYBRID

As we navigate a world with rising white nationalism, antisemitism, and threats to democracy, it can be difficult to distinguish real threats from fear tactics. This course is to help discern our path for building Jewish safety and a vision for a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural world, as well as being able to identify what impedes and divides us, both currently and historically.

Over six sessions, a range of outstanding speakers and facilitators will teach the history of antisemitism and its connections to other forms of oppression, as well as how we can take action to fight antisemitism rooted in our progressive values.

Course sessions:

  • 4/20 - "From Anti-Judaism and Anti-Semitism: Is There a Difference?" with Dr. Shaul Magid
  • 4/27 - "Antisemitism and White Christian Nationalism" with Ben Lorber of Political Research Associates
  • 5/4 - "A Black Jewish Perspective on Fighting Racism and Antisemitism" with Rebecca Pierce
  • 5/11 - "How has Antisemitism divided our movements for Justice in the US?" led by Sophie Ellman-Golan
  • 5/18 - "Antisemitism and Israel/Palestine" led by Emma Saltzberg from Diaspora Alliance
  • 5/25 - Facilitated Reflection + integration

Each class will also include a 15 minute schmooze period at 6:45 before the class begins.

Our course instructors will present, with time for questions, for an hour. This will be followed by small group discussions for both in-person and virtual attendees respectively.


Course Instructors

Sophie Ellman-Golan

Sophie Ellman-Golan

Sophie Ellman-Golan is the Director of Strategic Communications at Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ). Prior to joining the JFREJ staff, Sophie worked as a political and messaging strategist with a focus on antisemitism, and white nationalism, helping to expose ties between far-right movements and elected officials in the Republican Party. She was one of the National Organizers of the 2017 Women's March on Washington, and later served as the Director of Digital Outreach at the Women’s March organization. The Forward named her one of the nation's 50 most influential Jews in 2017, The Jewish Week named her on their list of 36 Under 36 in 2018, and JTA named her one of 50 Jews to follow on Twitter in 2019.
Ben Lorber

Ben Lorber

Ben Lorber works as senior research analyst at the social justice think tank Political Research Associates, researching and publishing on antisemitism and white nationalism. He lives in Boston, where he records Jewish folk music and organizes with Kavod, and is the co-author of Safety in Solidarity: Fighting Antisemitism and Winning a Just World, forthcoming from Melville House. He tweets @BenLorber8 and blogs at
Shaul Magid

Shaul Magid

Shaul Magid is Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard, and Kogod Senior Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. In 2023-2024 he will be the Visiting Professor in Modern Jewish Studies at Harvard. Author of many books and essays, scholarly and popular, his three latest books are The Bible, the Talmud and the New Testament: Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik’s Commentary to the Gospel, Piety and Rebellion: Essay in Hasidism, both published in 2019, and Meir Kahane: The Public Life and Political Thought of an American Jewish Radical published in 2021. His new collection of essays, The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance will be published in 2023. He writes regularly for +972, Religion Dispatches and Ayin Journal, where he is a contributing editor. He comes from a Workers Circle family and attended a Workers Circle summer camp in upstate New York for nine years as a child and adolescent.
Rebecca Pierce

Rebecca Pierce

Rebecca Pierce is a Black Jewish writer and filmmaker based in San Francisco. With works ranging from documentary films and political essays to sketch comedy, Rebecca's multimedia storytelling covers a diverse slate of topics related to politics, culture, and social justice.
Emma Saltzberg

Emma Saltzberg

Emma Saltzberg is an organizer, researcher, and strategist based in Brooklyn, NY. She has worked in the progressive movement and American Jewish politics for nearly a decade. Currently, Emma serves as US Strategic Campaigns Director for Diaspora Alliance, promoting understanding of how antisemitism works and how to fight it while protecting democratic values. Emma co-founded IfNotNow, a movement of young Jews working to end American Jewish support for the Occupation. She has conducted original survey research into public opinion on U.S. Israel/Palestine policy as a senior fellow with Data for Progress, and mixed-methods qualitative research into Jewish politics in Florida with Jews Against White Nationalism. She has also worked in social policy, the labor movement, and progressive electoral politics. Emma is an alumna of the 2021-22 cohort of Western States Center’s Defending Democracy Fellowship. She holds an M.A. in Politics from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College in Political Science. In her spare time, Emma enjoys potlucks, sitcoms, and embroidery.
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Circle Book Group

The Circle Book Group meets monthly (except during July & August) at BWC on Sunday mornings to discuss fiction and nonfiction books by Jewish authors and/or with Jewish themes. This is an open group that welcomes all readers interested in expanding their understanding of the wide variety of Jewish experiences throughout history and across the world. Previously discussed books are listed below. Book selections are chosen by participates at least one month in advance of meetings. Ideally there are 8 or more Minuteman Library Network copies available.

To be added to Book Group email list and for more information, contact


Date: Sunday, June 25, 10:15 am

Location: Online, over Zoom

Book: Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume

Sally J. Freedman was ten when she made herself a movie star. She would have been happy to reach stardom in New Jersey, but in 1947 her older brother Douglas became ill, so the Freedman family traveled south to spend eight months in the sunshine of Florida. That’s where Sally met her friends Andrea, Barbara, Shelby, Peter, and Georgia Blue Eyes—and her unsuspecting enemy, Adolf Hitler.

Dear Chief of Police:
You don’t know me but I am a detective from New Jersey. I have uncovered a very interesting case down here. I have discovered that Adolf Hitler is alive and has come to Miami Beach to retire. He is pretending to be an old Jewish man...

While she watches and waits, and keeps a growing file of letters under her bed, Sally’s Hitler will play an important—though not quite starring—role in one of her grandest movie spectaculars.


Circle Book Group Calendar

Circle Book group meetings are currently happening virtually using Zoom.

Past Circle Book Group reading selections have included:

Smahtguy: The Life and Times of Barney Frank by Eric Orner

The Convert by Stefan Hertmans

I Was Better Last Night by Harvey Fierstein

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Becoming Eve: My journey from ultra-orthodox rabbi to transgender woman by Abby Stein

More than I Love My Life by David Grossman

People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

Can We Talk About Israel? by Daniel Sokatch

Journey to the End of the Millennium by A.B. Yehoshua

Concealed by Esther Amini

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker by Julian Volaj & Claudia Ahlering

Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua

The Last Kings of Shanghai by Jonathan Kaufman

Apeirogon by Colum McCann

1947: Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Asbrink

The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots  by Deborah Feldman

The Tunnel by A.B. Yehoshua

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver Sacks, and Me by Bill Hayes

Tell Me A Riddle by Tillie Olsen

Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes by Adam Hochschild

Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander

Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil by Susan Neiman


Adolofo Kaminsky: A Forger's Life by Sarah Kaminsky

The Jew Store by Stella Suberman

The Yid by Paul Goldberg

The Art of Leaving by Ayelet Tsabari

The Best Place on Earth: Stories by Ayelet Tsabari

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish by Nathan Englander

Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land by Amos Oz, translated by Jessica Cohen

The Book of Daniel, a novel by E. L. Doctorow

The Death of an American Jewish Community, by Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom--and Revenge by Edward Kritzler

Green by Sam Graham-Felesn

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

(((Semitism))) Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, by Jonathan Weisman

Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund De Wall

Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods by Michael Wex

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser

Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran Foer

How About Never—Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons by Bob Mankoff

Buried by the Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper by Laurel Leff

Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum

Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number by Jacobo Timerman

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Great House by Nicole Krauss

The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman

The Spinoza Problem by Irvin D. Yalom

The Nazis Next Door: How America Became A Safe Haven for Hitler's Men by Eric Lichtblau.

Enemies: A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Tevye's Daughters by Sholem Aleichem

Frank by Barney Frank

An Officer and A Spy by Robert Harris

On the Move by Oliver Sacks

Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue: A Novel of Pastry, Guilt, and Music by Mark Kurlansky

The Family: three journeys into the heart of the twentieth century

The Jew in the lotus : a poet’s rediscovery of Jewish identity in Buddhist India by Rodger Kamenetz

Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

Scenes From Village Life by Amos Oz

The Bookie’s Son by Andrew Goldstein

Bech, a Book by John Updike

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar and JT Waldman; epilogue written by Joyce Brabner; lettering by Charles Pritchett

Amerika : The Missing Person : a new translation, based on the restored text by Franz Kafka; translated and with a preface by Mark Hofmann, 2002

Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

The Difficult Saint by Sharan Newman

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Eric Larson

The Cross and the Pear Tree: A Sephardic Journey by Victor Perera

The Sacrifice of Isaac by Noah Gordon

The Adventures of Mottel: The Cantor’s Son by Sholem Aleichem

My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar

The End of the Jews: A Novel by Adam Mansbach

The Story of Yiddish: How a Mish-Mosh of Languages Saved the Jews by Neal Karlen

Beyond the Pale: A novel by Elana Dykewomon (also known as Nachman/Dykewomon)

The Merchant of Venice: modern version side-by-side with full original text, edited and rendered into modern English by Alan Durband

Escape to Shanghai: a Jewish Community in China by James R. Ross

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud

Scoundrel Time by Lillian Hellman

Heading South, Looking North by Ariel Dorfman

The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein

He, She and It by Marge Piercy

Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir by Carl Bernstein

Seize the Day by Saul Bellow

Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander

The Harlot by the Side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch

Rashi’s Daughters, Book I: Joheved by Maggie Anton

The life of Glückel of Hameln, 1646-1724, written by herself / Translated from the original Yiddish

A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer

Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of The Cairo Geniza by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole

Peony by Pearl Buck

World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Florence Gordon by Brian Morton

The Girl from Human Street by Roger Cohen

Farthing (Small Change) by Jo Walton

The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert

At Home in Exile: Why Diaspora is Good for the Jews by Alan Wolfe

Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart

I Married a Communist by Philip Roth

A Bisl

We also offer a series member-to-member learning series we call A Bisl.

What is A Bisl? - In Yiddish, it means “a little bit.” For Boston Workers Circle members, it means a chance to learn and share a little bit about a topic that excites you. 

In this time of isolated virtual reality, we're hearing from members that folks want places to connect. So, in collaboration with the Adult Education Committee, BWC is opening up this virtual member to member learning exchange series, A Bisl.

Past topics for A Bisl include:

Bringing Music to Our Shabes Rituals: Exploring Melodies for Our Yiddish Blessings, led by Adah Hetko and Meira Soloff

Haiku Now, led by Jeanne Martin

Like Leafless Branches Coming Back to Life: A Sukkes Willow Workshop, led by Ayelet Yonah Adelman and Liz Krushnic

Making Meaning at Home during COVID 19, led by Rosa Blumenfeld

Zing Mit Mir, Sing with Me, led by Pauli Katz

Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voice from the Great War, led by Susan Werbe

Parenting Through Covid: Support for Families with Young Children, led by Sandy Sachs

Drawing 101!, led by Megan Smith

Self-Organized Learning: A Community Experience, led by Daniel Nahum

Basic Spanish Conversation, led by Susan Langus

Resisting Anti-Muslim Racism in a Pandemic, a Discussion with Fatema Ahmad, ED of Muslim Justice League

Klezmer Spiel: Learn a Tune!, led by Uri Schreter

Simon Dzigan: a Yiddish Comedian in WWII Soviet Union, led by Miriam Isaacs

Pronouns 101 and Practice, led by Sam Slate

Reparations 101, led by Nakhie Faynshteyn and Lynne Layton

Queer Futures Workshop, led by Jacey Eve

Feeling inspired? Click here to lead your own session.

Questions about A Bisl? Email

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