Sample Melton Lesson Whets the Appetite to Learn

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

When Jon and Laura Klein opened their home and invited community members to come experience a Taste of Melton on Sunday, August 15, Louisville’s Florence Melton Adult Mini-School co-chairs looked forward to a stimulating afternoon of discussion during which they hoped to share their passion for adult Jewish learning.

They were not disappointed. Melton teacher Rabbi Laura Metzger engaged the 13 people in attendance in a lively 25-minute discussion on sexual desire and the institution of marriage, drawing on a series of texts from the Babylonian Talmud.

For many adults, the last time they engaged in Jewish study was when they attended Hebrew school or Sunday school. The Melton experience is very different. “Students learn as adults in a group,” explained the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Melton Director Matt Goldberg. “It’s very collaborative with lots of student participation. That’s the Jewish way of learning.”

The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School uses a world-class curriculum, created by scholars and educators at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. No previous knowledge of Judaism or Hebrew is required. There are no tests. There is no homework. There are no grades. Classes are small. The teachers are rabbis and scholars. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

“It’s wonderful opportunity for learning and discussion,” said Laura Klein, “and it’s easily accessible to anyone, regardless of level of prior knowledge. The classes are open to people from all streams of Judaism, and that is what really enhances the discussion. It’s us learning from the teacher and from each other as well. The fact we all have different backgrounds really enhances the experience.”

Now, Melton is gearing up for the 2010-11 year, and in addition to first and second year classes in the basic Melton Curriculum, Louisville’s Adult Mini-School is introducing a new Melton program, Foundations of Jewish Family Living, that was developed to provide parents with a thought-provoking encounter with many of the core values of Judaism that will enable them to bring the conversation home to share with their young children. This program can be completed in under a year, as it involves only 20 classes.

Special programming for Melton graduates is in the works, too.

For more information, contact JCL Melton Director Matt Goldberg, or 618-5321.

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