Lifelong Learning

NWSS has a long tradition of active learning. We believe that ‘study’ is one of the core values of Judaism, and that it is important that every generation have the opportunity to learn with each other.

In 2018, Adult Education was transformed into Lifelong Learning focusing on intergenerational study. Each generation can act as a role model for the others.

We view our programme as an ‘appetite for learning’ and our core principles are:

  • learning should be interactive, rather than listening to a talk; everyone benefits when there is plenty of discussion and challenge;
  • learning works best when there is a social element (especially around food).

Our lifelong learning events are rich and diverse in nature, although always with an element of Jewish learning. Here is a selection of recent events:

  • Rabbis and Revolutionaries – a discussion about reactions to the destruction of the 2nd Temple;
  • COP 27 – a presentation led by our Green Team, about what has happened since COP 26;
  • Artificial Intelligence – is it possible to program a machine to be ethical?
  • What should our schools teach about Judaism?
  • Romance on the Nile – the missing story of Joseph’s wife, Aseneth;
  • The City – an evening of poetry and music, reflections on Jerusalem, past, present and future.


Preparation for High Holy Days (2023)

We held a series of four study and discussion sessions before the High Holy Days:

  • Elul – A Time of Preparation
  • The Akedah – the Binding of Isaac
  • The Ten Days of Repentance
  • Yom Kippur and Afterwards

Talks and discussion

We have begun a new discussion series ‘Big Conversation’. The first discussion was on ‘Emet – Truth: How do we know when something is true?”

Foundation Lecture

Every year a distinguished guest speaker is invited to lecture on a topic of Jewish interest at our annual Foundation Lecture.

  • In 2023, Mike Levy led a presentation and discussion entitled “The Forgotten Rescuers: Origins of the Kindertransport
  • In 2019, Rabbi Kath Vardi was the lecturer and the title was “Whose Hymen Is It Anyway?” A close reading of the Story of the Unnamed Daughter in Deuteronomy 22: 13-21, ‘Stoned in her father’s doorway.’
  • In 2017, the 100th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, we were delighted to feature distinguished Jewish scholar Professor Colin Shindler on the topic: “Israel: Balfour and Beyond”.
  • In 2016, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Magonet spoke on “Leo Baeck: The Man and the College”. Please click here for Interview with Rabbi Dr Jonathan Magonet