A bridge table is set up for play.

Classes, clubs and continuing education

At this stage in your life, learning no longer has to be qualification bound; instead, it can be about the honest truth of discovery. Not so sure? Think about these three reasons why you should start learning again.

Three reasons to start learning again:

  1. You have the time! Challenge yourself and discover your untapped potential.
  2. Don’t lose your edge. Learning will keep you sharp, thinking clear and will improve your memory.
  3. Open up new channels to keep your mind active. Learning also keeps you socially engaged and will help you to meet people with similar interests.

Classes and continuing education

Repeat after us: It’s never too late to learn. Let’s get back to school.

Here is a list of resources that we highly recommend…but don’t forget to get in touch with your local library too. They will have details of courses local to you.

General education

BBC's online language courses are free classes covering French, Italian, Spanish, German and more.

Floodlight is a comprehensive and easy-to-use resource focused on helping Londoners find the right courses.

Future Learn is owned by the Open University and offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions around the world.

Hotcourses is a search engine that offers more than 200,000 courses.  

Open College of the Arts (OCA) is a non-profit charity that is affiliated with the Open University. OCA offers over 40 courses with an emphasis on the arts.

Open University is a great place to go if you are keen to learn a subject in more depth. Open University blends distance learning and innovative study materials, and for most courses, you don't need any previous qualifications.

University of the Third Age is an organisation for retired or semi-retired people to come together and learn. With students aged from 50 to 90, U3A provides regular lessons or study groups with a shared interest in a particular subject. A wide variety of subjects are on offer—from history, maths and chemistry to Scrabble, botanical illustration, how to dress, unsolved murder cases and bus restoration.

WEA provides high quality, student-centred and tutor-led part-time education for adults. The goal of WEA is to help people learn whatever they want—from maths, English and skills for employment, to cultural studies that help students broaden their horizons and community engagement programmes that encourage active citizenship.

Vocational courses and qualifications

Learn Direct is an organisation dedicated to helping individuals gain the skills for work. Qualifications include subjects like maths, English and IT.

National Extension College (NEC) includes vocational, GCSE and A level courses along with distance learning for over 150 home-study courses.

Jewish learning facilities

Florence Melton School is a project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that focuses on text-based, interactive Jewish study for adults and offers options to learn online.

Jewish Community Centre London (JW3) offers adult education in London and has more than 1,500 students who engage in courses and classes every week.

Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) is based in the Golders Green section of London and offers a variety of educational and social opportunities.

London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) is a London based organisation providing adult educational courses, degrees and teacher training programmes for more than 700 students.

Clubs

Suzanne Degges White said, "While wisdom may come with age, wellbeing will flourish if friends are in the picture too." With this in mind, whether it is bridge clubs, sporting activities, book clubs or trips away, it is important to build and maintain strong social connections with people as you get older. It is never too late to make new friends, grow your social circles and meet new people.

Social clubs

With over 20 clubs across the UK, the Jewish Association of Cultural Societies (JACs) meets once a week. Activities include guest speakers, entertainers and day clubs. JACs also organises days out, theatres groups, holidays and excursions at low prices for the community across the UK. If JACs isn’t for you, contact your local synagogue or community centre for its social and wellbeing programme.

In Glasgow, you can contact the following synagogues in Glasgow to find out about their social programmes:

If you live in a more remote part of the UK but are keen to connect with the Jewish community local to you, head over to the Jewish Small Communities Network, a non-profit project designed to share information about smaller communities throughout the UK. You can also visit Jewish Care Interact's Directory of community and cultural centres for more social options throughout the country.

And if you would rather explore social opportunities outside of the Jewish community, it  might be a good idea to connect with Age UK and check out Further education and training to find out about activities, services and information in community centres local to you and your community.

Bridge clubs

A game of memory, communication and strategy, bridge is also a great place to meet new people and make friends—and sometimes enemies! We've included a list of Jewish bridge clubs throughout the UK:

London clubs

Alyth Synagogue has a bridge club where you can play weekly or monthly.

Chicago Bridge Club holds monthly sessions at Edgware and District Reform Synagogue.

Finchley Progressive Synagogue has a bridge club that is open not only to members of the Synagogue but also to visitors.

Finchley Reform Synagogue has a regular group of beginners and intermediate bridge players. For more information, call the synagogue office at 0208 446 3244.

Hatch End Jewish Community Centre bridge club meets regularly and welcomes new members to its intermediate group.

Hendon Reform Synagogue has a bridge club that meets every week.

LJS is based in St Johns Wood, where you can play bridge with a very friendly group that meets each week at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue.

North West Surrey Synagogue, Weybridge has a bridge group that meets weekly.

Radlett Reform Synagogue invites all bridge enthusiasts, whether you are a beginner or experienced social player.

Southgate Progressive Synagogue meets regularly (and you don’t need to come with a partner).

Stanmore and Cannons Park Synagogue bridge club meets every week for bridge and board games.

Manchester clubs

Whitefield Shaarei Shalom Synagogue invites you to join the Besses o’th Barn Bridge club for regular sessions.

Contact the following synagogues to access their social programmes:

Leeds clubs

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board holds bridge sessions regularly in the MAZCC community venue.

Contact the following synagogues to access their social programmes:

Liverpool clubs

Bridge at Mersey Side Jewish Community Centre, where you can also play Rummikub or Kalooki regularly.

Contact the following synagogues in Liverpool to access their social programmes:

Bournemouth club

Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation runs its bridge club on Monday afternoons, and new players are always welcome.

Non-Jewish clubs

Acol Bridge is London's most famous teaching club and provides a complete bridge education, including classes and supervised sessions for all levels—from beginners through to advanced players.

Andrew Robson Bridge Club invites all to join this group, whether you are a complete beginner or a skilled player.  

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