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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: 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: Exact dates and times vary.

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


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:  Exact dates and times vary.

Leaders: 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 and Winter: Wednesdays, 12:30-2:00. All topics and meeting dates are announced in the Bulletin

Leaders: Beth Davis, Sally Fleschner, 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 respond to political emergencies and outrages. We’re ready to take actions. Are you?

Meeting schedule: Day and time vary throughout the year.

Leader: Leslie Fishman


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 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: Last Friday of every month in fall and spring.  Days and time vary in the summer and winter.

Leaders: Arlene Bernstein and 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: During the summer on Thursdays, 12:30pm – 2:00pm, June 20, July 18, and August 15.  During the Fall, monthly on Fridays, 10:00am – 11:30am, exact dates TBD.

Leader: Peter Schmidt


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 


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: Winter: Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30am.

Leaders: Larry Schwirian and Lydia Bogar

Learn More

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

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

You're invited to visit us and learn what BOLLI is all about.