Adult Discussion Group

The adult discussion group meeting in the BSS library

The adult discussion group meeting in the BSS library

Twenty years and still going strong, the Adult Discussion Group meets on Sunday mornings during the cheder term.

The group was originally started by parents of children attending cheder who lived too far to drop their children, go home and then return in under three hours.

The format of the morning has evolved over the years to the current two sessions, with a short coffee break in between. The Rabbi leads the first session and a member of the group, the shul or a guest speaker leads the second session.


The group is continuing to meet virtually online during restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic – see the weekly News from the Square email for Zoom meeting IDs and passwords:

2 May
10.00-11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Ask the Rabbi
11.30-12.45 – Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL: Build Back Fairer: the Covid-19 Marmot Report

9 May
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Ask the Rabbi
11.30 – 12.45 Pam Manix, Medieval historian, author, educator: Oxford’s Jewish Heritage – to be confirmed

16 May: No session, Tikkun Leil Shavuot

23 May
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Ask the Rabbi
11.30 – 12.45 Tony McAleer, former skinhead and violent extremist, co-founder of Life After Hate, author and international speaker

30 May
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Ask the Rabbi
11.30 – 12.45 Speaker and topic to be announced

6 June
10.00 -11.15 Rabbi Botnick: topic to be confirmed
11.30 -12.45 Fida Tabony-Nara, Co-Director of MahapachTagir – Israel grassroots feminist educational and communal organisation that operates as a Jewish-Arab partnership

The Rabbi’s sessions have covered a wide range of subjects from Pirkei Avot, Tractate Brachot of the Talmud to the history of Russian Jewry and Islam for Jews. No former knowledge is required; only an interest in finding out more about Judaism, stimulating your mind and/or a willingness to discuss issues. ‘Two Jews, three opinions’, a very old Jewish truism, reflects the group and how we welcome and value everyone’s opinion.

The second session can range from current topics, Israel, the arts, people’s lives and experiences, medical ethical issues, the economy or, on occasion, a film followed by discussion.

The group is very fluid, with some people attending every week to others coming once in a while. Some come along just for the occasional outing, for instance to the British Museum or a walk around the ‘Radical East End’.

There is no membership commitment and no fee; just a warm welcome whenever you come. Our programme for each month is published in Our Congregation, and for the coming weekend in the weekly emailed News from the Square. It is also announced in Shabbat services but if you would like to be on the Adult Discussion Group mailing list, please contact Claire Walford on