What are Melton courses and why you should take one

What are Melton courses and why you should take one


Have you ever thought to yourself, “what does it mean to be Jewish?” For some of us, just seeking the answers to our questions about our own Judaism, often raises more questions.

Searching to provide a bit clarity is what the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning courses were designed to do.

What Are Melton Courses?

Melton is the largest pluralistic adult Jewish education network in the world and is named for inventor and activist Florence Zacks Melton (1911-2007). Melton envisioned and endowed The Florence Melton Institute in 1986 as a project of the Melton Centre at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She sought to bring to life a comprehensive and sophisticated program of Jewish learning for adults.

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning’s mission is to engage adults learners in the study of Jewish texts and ideas through accessible and approachable classes, offered both in-person and online. The courses have become part of a worldwide movement to enrich Jewish life.

Four Courses

At its core, the Melton Courses are a series of text-based lessons, comprised of four courses. Each course focuses on at least one major area of Jewish learning and integrates Jewish history, religion, ritual, language, ethics, philosophy, literature, theology and contemporary Jewish life.

Melton Courses in St. Louis

When a person visits the Melton School website, they can find classes listed by partners in dozens of cities. In St. Louis, that partner is Temple Emanual.

“Temple Emanuel is thrilled to host the St. Louis Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning,” writes the temple on its website. “Melton offers adults deep learning in a pluralistic, intellectually stimulating environment.  The world-class curriculum sets the standard for high-quality, interactive, text-based Jewish study that informs and inspires learners from all knowledge-levels and backgrounds.  As listening to a variety of voices is a core part of the Melton philosophy, courses are open to all.” 

Two new Melton courses offered in January

Coming up in January, the St. Louis Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is inviting the community to take part in two new Melton courses. Both are available in-person at Temple Emanuel or online via Zoom.

“OMG, Can You Believe?!”

Taught by Cyndee Levy, the course takes place Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m., Jan. 19 to Feb. 23.

This six-week exploratory course will dive into the big questions around God and God’s relationship to humankind. Participants will examine the many different understandings of God, free will and mitzvot expressed by Jewish philosophers, rabbis, leaders past and present—as well as by class members themselves.

Tuition for this six-week course is $179. Scholarships are available. There is a special tuition rate of $50 for any full- or part-time professionals working at Jewish organizations, including teachers and staff in St. Louis Jewish preschools, religious schools, day schools and youth groups.

Email [email protected] for the coupon code.

“Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict Post 1967 into the 21st Century”

Taught by Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh, the course takes place Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m., Jan. 6 to March 10.

Delve into the complexities of the past half-century of the Arab-Israeli conflict, from the War of Attrition, that began post-1967, to present tensions. Analyzing newspaper articles, speeches, poems, photographs, and maps, the class will trace the more recent history of this entrenched struggle. How did we get from 1973’s Yom Kippur War to the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty? What was the value of the Oslo Accords? What has been the impact of more contemporary peace attempts?

The class will leap into these complex topics, probing why a lasting peace between Israel and the Arab world has been so elusive and what developments might be next. Tuition for this 10-week course is $295. Scholarships available, contact [email protected] to apply.