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. Rabbi Altshuler 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:

7 March
10.00-11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Reward and punishment
11.30-12.45 Joshua Rozenberg QC, barrister, legal commentator and author: Enemies of the People: How Judges Shape Society

14 March
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Ask the Rabbi Q&A
11.30 – 12.45 James Marlow, broadcast journalist and public relations media consultant: Intriguing Insights into Israel’s Fourth Election in Two years

21 March
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: Open forum
11.30 – 12.45 Jonathan Charles, Director of Communications, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: Economic Update: COVID-19 One Year On

28 March and 4 April
Pesach: no adult discussion sessions

11 April
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: topic to be confirmed
11.30 – 12.45 Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL: Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Report (to be confirmed)

18 April
10.00 – 11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: topic to be confirmed
11.30 – 12.45 David Collier, undercover researcher into anti-Zionism and anti-semitism: Academia: The Epicentre of Global Anti-semitism

25 April
10.00 -11.15 Rabbi Altshuler: topic to be confirmed
11.30 -12.45 Speaker TBC: Road To Recovery – Breaking down barriers of mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians

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