by Niki King
Public Relations Specialist
Louisville’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School is gearing up for a new slate of classes that explore the many aspects of Jewish life through texts. The classes, which will begin in October, offer students an opportunity to explore Judaism through adult-style learning focusing on text-based discussions.
Melton Director Deborah Slosberg said there are several important aspects about the class would-be participant should know. First, they would be studying actual texts and learning from primary sources, like Biblical texts, rabbinical commentary or modern commentary. “It’s the whole history,” she said.
Also, it’s an interactive classroom, not a lecture, so each week is a discussion, she said. And, everyone is encouraged to participate, no matter their religious affiliation or existing knowledge base.
“They don’t even have to be Jewish or believe in God,” she said. “It’s people coming from all different places. It’s a highly respectful environment.”
Sandy Harrison, a 2005 participant and former board member, said she liked the diversity of thought best about the class. In her group, there were people from Reform, Orthodox and other backgrounds.
“You really got different perspectives on the same topic,” she said.
She said it was also refreshing to have a much deeper understanding of some of the rituals she’s habitually performed as an adult. The connections she made were invaluable, too, she said.
“We were a very tight knit group; we made long-lasting friendships,” she said.
The Taste of Melton event, which offers participants a snapshot of the course, was held August 18. Slosberg said there were more than 50 attendees, suggesting a particularly strong group this year.
Students choose either classes that meet on Tuesday evenings 6:30-9 p.m. or Thursday mornings 9:30 a.m.-noon, for 30 sessions from October 1-May 29. The full curriculum spans two years. The cost for each year is $200. Scholarships are available.
Louisville Melton is also offering “Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” a Rachel Wasserman Scholars Curriculum. It costs $150 and lasts 20 weeks. Classes will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. from October 1-March 11.
For additional information or to register for class call Slosberg at 459-0660. Online registration is also available.
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is sponsored by Congregation Adath Jeshurun in collaboration with the Jewish Community Center and with support from Congregation Anshei Sfard, Keneseth Israel Congregation, The Temple, and Temple Shalom. This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.