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New Year of Melton Begins This October at Shaarey Zedek

Oct 1, 2014


Can a 4,000 year-old text speak to a 21st century world?

Why do I have more questions than answers? If people are working so hard to repair the world, why is it still so broken? And what about keeping tradition? Does it make me a better parent? And how can a 4,000-year-old text speak to a 21st century world? And where is God in a world of war? And do Jews believe in hell? In heaven? Chosen people? Chosen for what?

There has to be more to it than kugel and kosher (although I do make an amazing kugel!). BUT REALLY. I have a lot of questions.

Explore your answers with other Wondering Jews

If any of the above are your questions, please join us for another year of studying Judaism with the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. Explore the links between tradition and the modern experience. The classes integrate Jewish ideas, practices, law, language and history through a well-rounded selection of insights and texts and group discussion. The courses are written by scholars of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The course materials are pluralistic. They come from Jewish tradition and the various modern Jewish movements. Each student can explore his/her answers in a safe environment. The texts and group discussion are set up to ensure that everyone can participate. The material is engaging for people with various backgrounds and different levels of Jewish knowledge.

Melton learning is for pleasure. Not pressure. There is no homework, extra reading or exams. Melton learning is for busy adults. Classes are recorded for easy on-line listening. Melton is very engaging.

The Melton School took me to places I never had the opportunity to explore before. I began to understand the experiences of Jews in Israel and the Diaspora throughout the ages. Ruth Stewart – Washington D.C.

I have gained many personal insights as to what Judaism is and will continue to evolve into for me. The class not only discussed basic facts, including historical outlines of the Jewish People, dilemmas throughout the ages, life cycle events and holidays, but also cause me to think, to consider and reconsider the meaning of Judaism from a variety of perspectives. My learning has only started... Nancy C. Dougherty – St. Louis, Missouri

The Melton School is for everyone:

  • People with questions about Judaism who are looking for diverse perspectives presented in a sophisticated, coherent way.
  • Parents and grand-parents who want to keep up with their children and grand-children as they learn about Judaism as school.
  • Teachers who want to deepen their Jewish knowledge.
  • Board members from community organizations who would like to be more Jewishly literate.

You can learn more about this series and experience a sample class at A Taste of Melton to be held on Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 PM at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 561 Wellington Crescent.


The Two-Year Core Curriculum features four parts:

  1. Rhythms of Jewish Learning facilitated by Chazzan Aníbal Mass in year one - What’s the point of living Jewishly? What ideas, beliefs, and practices are involved? This course examines a wide variety of Jewish sources to discover the deeper meanings underlying Jewish holidays, lifecycle observances, and Jewish practice.
  2. The Purposes of Jewish Learning facilitated by Dr. Ruth Ashrafi in year one - Why do Jews believe as they do? What are the big questions of life and how do Jewish thinkers answer these questions? This course explores both ancient and modern responses to many of the major issues of Jewish thought and theology.
  3. Dramas of Jewish Living Throughout the Ages facilitated by Dr. Ruth Ashrafi in year two - What are the lessons of Jewish history — from the earliest wanderings of Abraham to today’s turmoil in Israel? How do the turning points in Jewish history influence our lives today? This course investigates how the Jewish past gives meaning to the Jewish present.
  4. Ethics of Jewish Living facilitated by Rabbi Alan Green in year two - How do Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, inter-personal relationships, end-of-life decisions, and stem-cell research? This course explores the wisdom of ancient and modern rabbis, scholars and thinkers, offering multiple Jewish approaches to conducting our lives in the communal and private spheres. 

Information about dates, times and prices can be found on the Shaarey Zedek website by clicking here.

Our Graduate Scholar Course this fall will feature Denominations facilitated by Dr. Ruth Ashrafi - Examination of Jewish identity and religious expression against the backdrop of dramatic political and social change of the past 300 years. Gain extensive insights into the historical and ideological developments of the major movements, and explore the impact of gender, assimilation, Israel, and post-denominationalism on the movements and the Jewish people.

For information about Melton:
First and Second Year Core Courses, please click here.
Scholars Courses for graduates of the 2-Year Melton Program, please click here.



To register or if you have questions, please contact Melton Director, Dr. Ruth Ashrafi, at 204-452-3711 or [email protected].

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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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