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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. All times are Eastern Time and all groups are currently meeting by Zoom.

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



Group: Aging with Resilience and Enthusiasm

Description: What does it mean to be part of the “older” generation? This group explores some of the many issues we all face – maintaining friendships, considering living arrangements, continuing decluttering, facing ageism, re-envisioning our lives, and writing legacy letters. Join us as we share our ideas for shedding aging stereotypes and living meaningful and purposeful lives.

Meeting Schedule: The group meets monthly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Facilitators: Sandy Miller-Jacobs, Linda Wolfson, and Bonnie Seider


Group: BOLLI Banner

Description: We produce and edit the BOLLI Banner, a compendium of in-depth articles, interviews, and photographs. In addition to articles on BOLLI staff, SGLs, courses, leadership and committee activities, the Banner reports on Brandeis activities as well as places and events in the surrounding communities that are readily accessible and likely to be of interest to BOLLI members. Now in its twentieth year of distribution, the Banner takes pride in providing a visually appealing, well-written, and timely publication of broad scope. 

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

Leader: Jack Curley


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: The group meets monthly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

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 a variety of activities that could include improvisation and storytelling exercises, as well as development of individual, paired, and/or small group script-based performances.

Meeting schedule:  Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leaders: Richard Averbuch


Group: Conversations on Race in our Daily lives

Description: Taking on the challenge presented in Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, this new group explores topics that bear on the subtleties of racism in our daily lives.  Monthly conversations are based on selected contemporary media, highlighting inequality in housing, healthcare, education and other relevant areas. We anticipate that our discussions will expand our awareness, increase our knowledge, and afford more open dialogue about systemic racism. Each conversation will focus on an article, video clip, podcast, or other selected item. There will be additional material offered to provide context and to augment the primary source. Access to each meeting’s selected content is provided in the BOLLI Bulletin and on the group’s website.

Meeting schedule: Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin and are on the calendar.

Leaders: Ralph Freiden and Jan Hilley 


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.

Facilitator: Sue Wurster



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: The group meets weekly in the summer and winter. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leaders: Beth Davis, Sally Fleschner, and Marty Ross 



Group: Make a Difference

Description: Make A Difference is a group of BOLLI members who care about the direction of our country. Through thoughtful, strategic activities, we transform our political passions into meaningful action. Together, we investigate important issues, explore effective strategies, and engage in political activities, such as letter and postcard writing, to make a difference in local, state, and national politics.  For example, we have worked to improve the treatment of immigrant families both in Massachusetts and at the Mexican border and are working to influence policies at local, state, and national levels.  Our members are intelligent, caring, and ready to take action. We inspire and support each other and welcome new members at any time. Feel free to drop by during a meeting, or email Nicole Grant at nicolegrant@brandeis.edu to be put in touch with the leader. 

Meeting schedule: The group meets monthly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leader: Rosalie Fink


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: The group meets weekly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leaders: Sandy Traiger and Aaron Goldberg


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 and Green Rooms provides us with dedicated year round exhibit space.  

Meeting schedule: The group meets monthly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leaders: Joanne Fortunato and Helen Abrams


Group: Play Reading

Description: Join a group of theater enthusiasts as we gather informally to read some favorite plays aloud via Zoom. Scripts will be provided in PDF form in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Meeting schedule: The group meets in the Summer and Winter, when study groups are not going on. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leaders: Sue Wurster and Sandy Clifford


Group: Poetry Circle

Description: The Poetry Circle meets monthly to discuss the work of modern and contemporary poets.  Attendees come as often as they are able, not necessarily to every meeting. Experience with modern and contemporary poetry is variable among those attending.  Some have read and enjoyed poetry for years; others have little experience with the form. Selection of poets and facilitation of discussion are shared by members of the group -- new members are always welcome.

Meeting schedule: The group meets monthly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leader: Charlie Marz


Group: Poetry Writing Group

Description: Are you a writer of poetry?  Do you aspire to write poetry? If you fall into either category or somewhere in between, come meet with the Poetry Writing Group, a new Special Interest Group at BOLLI. Our monthly meetings are designed to give writers of poetry at all levels an opportunity to share their work with others, receive constructive feedback, and become further stimulated to write. 

Meeting schedule: The group meets monthly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leader: Peter Schmidt


Group: Topics in Healthcare

Description: The goal of the “Topics in Healthcare” SIG is to discuss issues of broad interest in contemporary medicine and healthcare policy through professional, scientific and social lenses. Our interests span surgery, internal medicine, radiology, oncology, psychology, epidemiology, biology, dental, obstetrics / gynecology, pediatrics, nephrology, and more. The group meeting format will largely consist of member presentations followed by group discussion. This group is open to all, but it is not a forum for personal medical consultation. We are looking forward to robust, interdisciplinary discussions of a variety of healthcare related topics. 

Meeting schedule: June 16, 11:00am-12:30pm.  Future dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leaders: Mark Friedman, Peter Gordon, David Rattner, and Franklin Segall


Group: Writers Guild

Description: The Writers Guild is a comfortable, supportive place for sharing written work and getting helpful responses from peers in several genres including poetry and memoir.  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, or the writer may write something independently.  

Meeting schedule: The group meets weekly. Dates will be announced in the BOLLI Bulletin.

Leader: Larry Schwirian 

Learn More

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

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