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Special Interest Groups


BOLLI Special Interest Groups are member-led initiatives that revolve around a common interest. Groups are open to all members on a drop-in basis, unless otherwise noted. All Special Interest Group meetings are on the BOLLI events calendar.

Any member can create a Special Interest Group. Please contact a BOLLI staff member for details.


Group: Adventures in Creative Senior Housing 

Description: Home is our sanctuary at any age. This interest group will explore the landscape of senior housing options, including aging in place, continuing care communities, university based communities, village based communities, and senior co-housing communities. What are the differences in these communities and what is right for me? These are the questions we wish to explore together. Through imagination and shared vision, we might even envision some new possibilities for healthy senior living.

Meeting Schedule: To be determined 

Facilitators: Isabel and Dick Hanelin 


Group: BOLLI's Arts Working Group

Description: We promote the BOLLI community's participation in the Greater Boston arts scene. Periodically we sponsor group trips. Occasionally we sponsor talks at BOLLI. Our current group members have a special interest in dance, music, theater, and the visual arts. We invite you to help us expand our interest and expertise. All BOLLI members are welcome to join.

Meeting Schedule: We meet approximately four times a year.

Facilitators: Sandy Bornstein and Sandy Clifford 


Group: BOLLI's Book Group

Description: We love to read and talk about the books that entertain, inspire, and inform us!  We meet once a month to discuss a work of contemporary literary fiction. We invite all members to check the BOLLI Bulletin for the monthly selection, read the book, bring lunch, and join us for a lively discussion. Participants are invited to recommend books for selection.  

Meeting Schedule: One Friday a month. Dates and times vary.

Leaders: Charlie Marz and Abby Pinard


Group: BOLLI’S CAST: Creative Acting, Storytelling and Theater   

Description: This group is open to BOLLI members who are interested in dramatic performance.  During each session, the group engages in improvisation and storytelling exercises and also works to develop individual, paired, and/or small group script-based performances.

Meeting schedule:  Summer: Mondays. Exact dates and times vary.

Leaders: Sandy Clifford and Sue Wurster


Group: BOLLI Matters (The BOLLI Blog)

Description: We write for and edit BOLLI Matters, a blog devoted to the interests of BOLLI members and potential members. We are always looking for suggestions for stories and special features that highlight our extraordinary community and its members.  If you are a writer, editor, or photographer and would like to be involved in a fun and spirited BOLLI undertaking, please contact BOLLI's Program Coordinator at 781-736-2992 or bolli@brandeis.edu or ask any BOLLI staff member to introduce you to Sue Wurster.

Meeting Schedule: Meetings will be scheduled on an as-needed basis and publicized in the Bulletin)

Facilitators: Lydia Bogar and Sue Wurster


Group: BOLLI Waltham Matters

Description: Open to all members who have an interest in Waltham - its culture, history, arts, and civic organizations and concerns. Waltham is a city with a vibrant history, the site of early manufacturing businesses and home to successive groups of immigrants from around the world. This group will provide a forum to discuss and explore the Waltham of past and present, and to hear from historians and current civic leaders and activists.

Meeting Schedule: Fourth Friday of each month, 10:30am-noon.

Leader:  Sue Adams 


Group: Current Events Discussion Group 

Description: For news junkies or anyone who just wants a chance to discuss what's happening in our world:  please come join our Current Events Group. Come on a regular basis, or just drop by once in a while. Suggest topics to consider, and offer to lead discussions if you wish. All viewpoints and political leanings are welcome.  Our respectful and lively discussions cover international, national, and local events of interest.

Meeting schedule: Summer: Wednesdays. Times vary. All topics and meeting dates are announced in the Bulletin

Leaders: Beth Davis, Sally Fleschner, Patty Goldman and Marty Ross 


Group: Make a Difference

Description: We can make a difference! No more wringing our hands and feeling hopeless about the current administration! Join us to turn our political passions into action plans. We propose to use Jen Hoffman’s “Americans of Conscience” action checklist for weekly suggestions on what next action to take. Jen's recommendations regularly include phone calls and letters with the goal of influencing policy makers. Jen writes: "No matter your political stripe, Americans are good, generous people who pull together in a pinch. Katrina. New York. Sandy Hook. When the chips are down, we look out for each other."  We’re ready to take actions. Are you?

Meeting schedule: To Be Determined. 

Leaders: Eleanor Jaffe and Elaine Dohan


Group: The New Yorker Fiction Salon

Description: The New Yorker Fiction Salon reflects the joy of reading great short stories, and the pleasure of doing it together. We meet weekly throughout the year to enjoy iconic fiction, delightful discussions, and lots of laughs. Discussion leadership is shared by members of the group -- new members are always welcome. Access to the fiction pieces is provided in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Meeting schedule: Weekly. Day and time vary throughout the year.

Leaders: Sandy Traiger and John Hose


Group: Photo Group

Description: We are a Special Interest Group with a passion for photography and a desire to become better practitioners of this art.  Members' skills range from novice to advanced, but all enjoy helping and learning from each other.  Activities include a monthly meeting and a photo shoot at various local area sites, each time led by a different member.  Getting to know your fellow photographers and developing friendships is one of the highlights of this group.  Our monthly meetings usually consist of discussions regarding plans and ideas on moving forward, showing and critiquing our photos from the latest field trip, and occasionally, a guest speaker. BOLLI’s Purple Room provides us with dedicated year round exhibit space.  

Meeting schedule: Monthly meetings are held on the third Friday of each month from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. in the Green Room.

Leaders: Joanne Fortunato 


Group: Poetry Circle

Description: The Poetry Circle reflects the pleasure and intrigue of encountering important contemporary poets and their work. Some members have spent years cultivating their interest in poetry; others have read very few. Discussion leadership is shared by members of the group -- new members are always welcome.

Meeting schedule: Monthly. Day and time vary throughout the year.

Leaders: Arlene Bernstein and Charlie Marz


Group: Proust Reading Group

Description: The BOLLI Proust Reading Group originated in a BOLLI study group led by Brandeis scholar, Hollie Harder in the Spring of 2018.  In the context of Hollie’s group, we read Swan’s Way, volume one of the Proust’s magnum opus, In Search of Lost Time.  Many of us have become smitten and are ready to tackle volume two, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower.  Our plan is to read this novel at a relaxed pace and with an accent on unpacking what can sometimes be a richly allusive text.  Proust should be read in community.  We will wrestle with this delightful text together. All are welcome.

Meeting schedule: Bi-weekly meetings starting Monday, June 4, from 12:30 to 2 PM in the green room.

Leaders: Gayle Ehrlich and Bruce Parks


Group: Social Change Working Group

Description: This working group is spearheading discussion series at BOLLI drawing on extraordinary books, articles, and documentary film that diagnose the social ills of our time, and identify possibilities for meaningful, constructive response.

Meeting schedule: Advertised in the BULLETIN and via the Social Change Working Group mailing list.  To add your name to the list, please email Lily Gardner at lgardner@brandeis.edu.

Leaders: Marie Danziger and Mike Burns 


Group: Writers' Guild

Description: The Writers' Guild is a comfortable, supportive place for sharing written work and getting helpful responses from peers.  Participants in the Writers' Guild share the goal of writing, revising, and rewriting to improve their work.  A writing prompt is provided in The Bulletin for each week's session.  

Meeting schedule: Summer: Mondays. Exact times vary.

Leaders: Larry Schwirian and Sue Wurster

Learn More

View our events calendar for the latest list of upcoming learning opportunities.

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