Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning

Melton School of Adult Learning

Louisville’s Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning promotes Jewish literacy in an open, pluralistic, egalitarian and stimulating environment. Students come from all backgrounds and faiths.

Comprehensive Courses Year One

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living (28 lessons)
By studying key moments and issues in Jewish literature, from the Hebrew Bible through contemporary writing, Purposes of Jewish Living explores ultimate questions: Why am I here? Why do we suffer? What happens when we die? The course does not provide single answers to questions, but offers familiarity reading biblical and more recent texts in English translation and comfort participating in conversation on profound Jewish themes and subjects.

Rhythms of Jewish Living presents ideas, beliefs, and practices which define and shape a Jewish life, focusing on sources that shape the “why” and not the “how to.” As in Purposes, biblical through contemporary sources are used to develop key ideas.

Tuesdays, October 9-May 28, 6:30-9 p.m.
Thursdays, October 11-May 30, 9:30 a.m.-noon

Comprehensive Courses Year Two

Crossroads of Jewish History and Ethics of Jewish Living (28 lessons)

Using Jewish history as a tool to strengthen Jewish memory, the goal of Crossroads of Jewish History is to make sense of our past and deepen our individual and collective identities in the present. Historical sources are used to illustrate the conditions and issues which faced Jewish communities of the past and the way in which Jewish life has evolved.

Ethics of Jewish Living offers additional experience reading classical Jewish texts and an understanding of the workings of Jewish law. The course explores the ways in which Jewish tradition speaks to all aspects of life, beyond ritual.

Tuesdays, October 9-May 28, 6:30-9 p.m.

The Rachel Wasserman Scholars Curriculum

The Star and the Crescent 2: The Long Relationship of Judaism and Islam (10 lessons)
The historical evolution of the relationship between Judaism and Islam, between Jews and Muslims, broadening our understanding and challenging our assumptions.

Tuesdays, August 28-December 4, 6:30-7:40 p.m.
Thursdays, August 30-December 6, 10:50 a.m.-noon
$100 or $50 if you have the book

Jews in America I: Insiders and Outsiders (10 lessons)

Covering an expanse of 200 years, this course considers the American Jewish experience from many angles, including challenges of anti-Semitism and acculturation, as well as successes in civil society and the flourishing of Jewish life.

Tuesdays, August 28-December 4, 7:50-9 p.m.
Thursdays, August 30-December 6, 9:30-10:40 a.m. (class full)
$100 or $50 if you have the book

The Thursday morning class is full, but there is still room in the Tuesday evening Jews in America. If you wouldl ike to be on a waiting list for Thursday, please have them email me or call Deborah Slosberg at or 502-458-5359. 

Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab Israeli Conflict (20 lessons)
The complexity of the conflict forces students to wrestle with issues of religion, politics, history, culture, economics, identity, and survival – all reflected through primary sources.

Tuesdays, December 11-May 28, 6:30-9 p.m.
$175 or $125 if you have the book

Vayikra (Leviticus): A Call to Holiness (10 lessons)
Contemporary readers often perceive the Book of Vayikra as inaccessible, yet embedded in the laws that focus on the pursuit of holiness are messages and values that have relevance to the universal condition. Some of the themes examined are responses to tragedy, birth and parenthood, seeking forgiveness, and bringing sanctity into one’s daily life.

Tuesdays, March 12-May 28, 7:50-9 p.m.
Thursdays, March 14-May 30, 9:30-10:40 a.m.

Louisville Melton Only

Jewish Music in America (10 lessons)
The United States has provided a unique environment for Jewish survival and thrival. In few other places is this as evident as in the Jewish people’s experience of music in this country as well as its contributions to the general culture, both popular and classical. From the early Sephardic pioneers of the colonial era, through the German ‘invasion’ of the 19th century, and the massive immigration of the Eastern Europeans in the late 19th—early 20th centuries, we will survey and delve into the musical expression of the Jewish people in the land of the free and the home of the brave, from synagogue to cinema, from pious to popular.

Tuesdays, December 11-March 5, 7:50-9 p.m.
Thursdays, December 13-March 7, 9:30-10:40 a.m.

Daniel (10 lessons)
The Biblical Book of Daniel – history, prophecy, magical thinking, apocalyptic vision, messianic dreams –it’s all there and more, in an exotic locale with vivid characters and dramatic narrative. In this course, we’ll read the book of Daniel and some commentaries on it, peeling away layers of historical interpretations to find our own understandings of the setting, the story and the personage of Daniel. It’s a weird, wonderful book.

Thursdays, December 13-March 7, 10:40 a.m.-noon

Modern Midrash (10 lessons)
No matter how many times we read Torah, we never cease finding new meaning there, yet we never stop asking questions about what it means and what else and what more. The classical Jewish literary form called Midrash is collections of stories and teachings that seek to answer some of the questions we are always asking, questions like: Why did Lot’s wife turn around? Did Jacob learn anything from wrestling with the angel? What was King Saul’s fatal weakness that caused him to fail as king? Midrash began in the most ancient times. It continues as long as there are questions and stories in response. In this course, we’ll learn how Midrash works by reading some Modern Midrash. We’ll look at a range of contemporary interpretations by poets, novelists, scholars, rabbis, and ordinary inspired people. We might even weave some of our own interpretations into stories.

Thursdays, March 14-May 30, 10:40 a.m.-noon

New Courses

Foundations of Jewish Living
This thought-provoking encounter with Jewish core values is designed for young adults, with or without young children. Through study of master stories and centuries of wisdom that have been gleaned from these narratives, we discover our own understandings and, for parents, consider the relevant ideas and method for bringing the conversation home. Facilitated by Lisa Rothstein Goldberg. For more information contact

6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Classes Aug. 28, Sept. 4, Sept. 17, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, Mar. 12, and Apr 9.

What Makes the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning Unique?

Quality Teaching and Learning
Louisville Melton teachers are in a class of their own and their excellence has been recognized by the national Melton headquarters.

For more information, contact Melton Director, Deborah Slosberg at 502-458-5359 or

Scholarships will be available. Contact Deborah Slosberg for more information.

For questions and registering over the phone, please call 502-458-5359. Online registration is also available above.

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, Temple Shalom and The Temple. This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Jewish Foundation of Louisville and the Dorothy Levy Memorial Fund. Scholarships provided by the Jewish Federation of Louisville.