Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning fosters and enriches Jewish cultural literacy through our Core Curriculum, Foundations of Jewish Family Living, and Scholars Curriculum for graduates and other interested adults. The Melton School Core Curriculum is a comprehensive, sequential series of text-based lessons, comprised of four courses. Each course focuses on at least one major area of Jewish learning, and forms a thread in a carefully woven fabric which integrates Jewish history, religion, ritual, language, ethics, philosophy, literature, theology and contemporary Jewish life.
“Melton is an amazing program. It allows the student to go from the Torah to Talmud to more modern texts while studying the same topic. Seeing our history in this way brings a new understanding of why we as Jews do what we do. I would recommend this program to all. Class is a highlight of my week!” Dana Weinstein, Melton Student
“I have loved being part of Melton. I greatly enjoy every session I attend.” Celia Baculi, Melton Student and Talmud Torah Parent
Check out this article on Eugene's first Melton Graduation Class of 2015
How We Learn
Many Jewish Topics, Many Jewish Perspectives
Students and teachers meet once a week for 2 and 1/4 hours to study topics in Jewish civilization (e.g. Shabbat, Marriage, What Happens When We Die, etc.). Scholars courses meet for 90 minutes and focus on a particular topic. The Melton textbooks provide key selections from Jewish texts ranging in chronological order from the Torah, through the Talmud, Kabbalah, medieval sages, to the present day opinions and interpretations of each denomination. In this way, students learn the depth and breadth of each topic, exploring each one from multiple points of view.
Melton is pluralistic and non-denominational. Students come from all backgrounds, religious or not, and each brings important perspectives to class discussion. Melton students leave classes every day with more questions than answers--and the skills and tools to learn more, well after their Melton days have passed.
Thoughtful and Informed Dialogue
Students discuss the texts in a facilitated discussion. We learn through dialogue with our expert teachers and each other.
No Tests, No Grades, No Homework
The Melton style of learning is centered on text study and dialogue within the classroom itself. The point of our Jewish study is not to earn grades, memorize answers for tests, or write essays, but to learn in community to come away with knowledge and understanding. Some students choose to read ahead of each class, but as adults, we may not have time to prepare. Whether you read ahead or not, you will always be on the same page as everyone else in class.
Attend Once a Week
Core courses meet for 2 and 1/4 hours consisting of two hour-long sessions, with a 15-minute snack break in between. Depending on the year, the two class sessions will be either Rhythms and Purposes or Crossroads and Ethics (descriptions below). Scholars courses meet once per week for 90 minutes.
Take Your Time
Melton Classic is a 2-year program. Students register for one year at a time. So, for instance, if you have time this year but are unsure about your availability next year, there is no reason not to sign up now. You can always take the second year later. Anyone may take Scholars Courses which run for 10 weeks each term.
25 Once-Weekly Sessions
Each year of Melton Core is comprised of 25 once-weekly sessions, taking place from September/October through May or June. Those who have completed both years are honored at our graduation ceremony, where they receive a certificate of completion and celebrate with their classmates, teachers, family, and friends.
“Melton has benefit me in that it has brought a group of adult peers together. This is the first time I have been able to meet socially and spiritually in a learning environment with other members. These are people that I otherwise would have never met.“ Nadine Batya, Melton Student
What We Study
The Eugene Melton School will offer Year 2 Core courses in Fall, 2017. Year 1 is a prerequisite.
Rhythms and Purposes:
The Purposes of Jewish Living
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 sources both ancient and modern in pursuit of answers to many major issues of Jewish thought and theology.
The Rhythms of Jewish Living
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 deeper meanings underlying holidays, life cycle observances and Jewish practice.
Crossroads and Ethics:
Note: Year 1 classes are a pre-requisite for Year 2 classes.
This course merges the concepts of history and memory in
order to better understand how each has shaped Judaism
today. With an emphasis on reclaiming the richness of
Jewish history, the chronological exploration investigates
significant crossroads where Jews took major decisions that
shaped our shared identity and destiny.
The Ethics of Jewish Living
How do Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, relationships, and end-of-life decisions? We will explore multiple Jewish approaches to conducting our lives at work, at home, in our communities and in the wider world. Topics include interpersonal relationships, sexuality, aging, death, family, and community using Torah, Talmud, and classical and modern commentaries.
Tuition is $500/year for Core Curriculum classes (25 weeks).
Tuition for Scholars Courses is $250.
Book Fee: Melton Core Readers are $60 for printed or $40 e-Reader for each year (required). Students will also need a Tanakh, or Hebrew Bible. Any edition or publisher will work, as comparing different translations add to the richness of our text study. Scholars Course Readers are $45 for printed and $30 for e-Reader.
Limited tuition assistance is available for Core Courses. Discounted tuition is available for TBI Talmud Torah parents, TBI & Federation Board members, Seniors, Young Adults. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a scholarship application or discount information.
Registration is directly through the National Melton Website:HERE
Tuition Refund Policy
The Eugene Melton School budgets for a full fiscal year, which entails faculty and administrative commitments based on the number of registered students. Those commitments remain even if some students drop out. In consequence, the following tuition refund policy applies to all students registered in the Eugene Melton School.
Purchase/refund policy: Full refund of registration fee paid if student withdraws prior to start of class, less $25 administrative fee. Up to 4 weeks into class, refund of 75% of registration fee paid less $25 administrative fee. No refund after 5th week of class although Melton may, in its discretion, offer a credit for future class. There is no refund on Melton Student Readers at any time for any reason.