It’s recruitment season in our Northern Hemisphere schools and for Melton Online. For school Directors it’s a time of sleepless nights and wondering: Will I have full classes on Day 1? Did I reach everyone who is a potential student?
Many of us Meltonians who have experienced the meaning and power of a Melton learning experience ask ourselves, “Why is this so hard?” In some communities, there is strong competition in the adult learning market. In many communities, the cost of Melton learning is high, and the marketplace offers much that is free.
Despite the challenges, hard-working, passionate Melton directors are making the case for Melton’s distinctive quality and it’s transformative impact on the learner, the community, and the Jewish people.
One factor that has made a big difference in this year’s economy is the incentive grants from generous local funders in several communities. To cite a few examples of the dramatic recruitment results where financial incentives were available:
At Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Louisville, KY, more than 70 new first-year students are enrolled.
Denver, CO, a 14-year-old Melton school sponsored by CAJE, has 71 first-year students.
Chicago BJE, a community-wide Melton consortium, has several venues for first-year Melton, but the one congregation that offered a subsidy to all members has 40 first-year students.
And Eugene, OR, a new school in a community of 300 Jews, has 36 new first-year students.
Limited space is still available in our Melton Online classes as well, and we need YOUR help identifying students in communities that have few or no Jewish learning options. Send your nominees to Melton Online Director Jonathan Fass at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing success to all of our Directors and schools in finding more Wondering Jews to bring to Melton learning.
Judy Mars Kupchan, CEO
'A Different Look at Creation'
The first International Friends free webinar is to be held on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 11:30 am EDT. The topic for the webinar is: A Different Look at Creation: Genesis 1 vs. Psalm 104.
The first chapter of Genesis is perhaps the most well-known chapter in the Torah. It recounts the creation of the world, culmination with the first Shabbat. However, the Tanakh has other descriptions of creation, equally meaningful and descriptive.
In our first Melton Online seminar for International Friends we will explore an account of creation as presented in Psalm 104. This psalm provides a completely different perspective that will broaden your understanding and appreciation of God's relationship with humanity.
The lesson will be taught by Jonathan Fass, Program Director for Melton Online. Until August, Jonathan was the Assistant Executive Director of the Evelyn Rubenstein Community Center of Houston, TX, where he founded the Center for Jewish Living and Learning. He recently made aliyah with his family and currently lives in Modiin.
The lesson will last approximately one hour and is limited to 15 participants on a first come, first served basis. Hebrew is not required to participate in the session. Please contact Jody Hyman at email@example.com to register.
Save the Date for the International Friends Kallah
March 30, 31-April 1, 2014 in Atlanta
Join us for a Melton seminar experience in North America early next spring in beautiful Atlanta, GA, with study opportunities led by our Director of Israel Seminars Haim Aronovitz and local Melton faculty, as well as an exploration of Atlanta’s rich Jewish history and culture. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Announcing dates for 2014 Melton Israel Seminars
Israel: Wrestling with the Angels – The natural choice for your first seminar with Melton. The seminar takes participants along a 3,800-year timeline of the land and its narratives, from the world of Abraham to contemporary Israeli society. A variety of texts serves to bring the sites alive and provide an opportunity to explore pivotal moments in the history of the Jews in the land of Israel. In 2014, this seminar will be offered three times: July 14-24, 2014; and October 20-30, 2014.
Altneuland: Herzl's Dream Revisited – Scratch below the surface, to uncover the age-old challenges that have to be addressed by a modern Jewish state. Subjects examined include social, religious, ethnic and legal issues, all within the context of ancient and modern texts. The seminar is designed to neatly supplement our "Wrestling With the Angels" seminar, but also stands alone for those keen on encountering contemporary Israel. Nov. 3-13, 2014.
Biblical In-Sites – You think you know the story... until you study it at the very places mentioned, and the scene and scenery make you reread it and bring it alive! We encounter patriarchs and matriarchs, kings, prophets, soldiers and judges - and the land itself! – as we study Tanakh on site, discussing the text and its implications, with insights gained from being in the locations described in the Biblical text. This seminar visits sites not encountered in previous seminars, to further weave a rich tapestry in exploring the land and its narratives. Oct. 20-30, 2014.
Between Poland & Israel: Where Did God Dwell? – At the start of the twentieth century, Poland's Jewish community was the greatest in the world. This seminar visits a number of pivotal locations in Poland and Israel, tracing the outlines of a critical chapter in the history of the Jewish people through to the Shoah and considering its central role in the development of the Yishuv (Palestine) and the State of Israel. July 6-17, 2014.
Sefarad, Then and Now – Iberia served as the setting for one of the most remarkable chapters in Jewish history: that of Sefarad, embracing tragedy and great creative powers alike. The great poets, thinkers and statesmen of Sefarad help raise critical questions for us: when do Jews flourish? What ties do we have as a minority with the surrounding cultures? What happens when Jews are themselves a majority culture? The seminar explores these issues, both in southern Spain and in Israel. May 11-22, 2014.
IN THE MELTON COMMUNITY
Mazal Tov to Miriam Brunn-Ruberg, Director in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA, who became a grandma for the first time when her children Adina and Ben Kozberg celebrated the birth of their son Eli.
Mazal Tov to Melton CEO Judy Kupchan and her husband Marshall, who became first-time grandparents when Eloise was born to Noey and Shuli Kupchan.
Torah from Our Teachers
The lynchpin of the Florence Melton School is our extraordinary faculty, in more than fifty communities around the globe. It is the faculty who interpret and represent our signature curriculum in ways that make the learning meaningful and memorable. It is the faculty who create an interactive learning experience, respecting the varied backgrounds of our students, and developing a learning community. It is the faculty who make Melton transformative.
Given the commitment and character of so many of our faculty, it came as no surprise—when we asked for volunteers to help generate a monthly Dvar Torah for Meltonians—that so many signed on. We are proud to launch Torah from Our Teachers, and we gratefully feature the faculty who have offered their words of wisdom.
We are aiming to align the publication of Melton Matters with Rosh Hodesh, the new Hebrew month. This month, Cheshvan, features Marianne Novick, a longtime, beloved Melton teacher, now in the BJE Chicago school.
Melton Offers Special Lesson for Global Day of Learning
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is thrilled to be taking an official part in this year's Global Day of Jewish Learning on Sunday, November 17, 2013.T
The Global Day of Jewish learning is an initiative to unite Jews around the world through the study of our shared texts; this year the GBL will engage 400 communities. It is under the aegis of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.
This year's theme is "Creating Together: Jewish approaches to creativity and collaboration." Participating is a great way for us to offer a dynamic learning event that will strengthen the Melton commitment to Jewish learning within your community and simultaneously connect your community with the world.
Melton will be providing our schools with a specially designed lesson to study that day. The title of the lesson will be Creating Community around the Study of Texts. The lesson will focus on the dynamics of a learning community and how it is that the very best learning leads to action.
Registered communities can access curricular and other materials free of charge, so please register here and put your community on the map.
Any questions, reach out to the Project Director of the Global Day, Karen Sponder at email@example.com or 212-840-1166.
Free Sample Melton Online Class next week!
Don't miss the second round of FREE Live Sample Class on Sunday, October 13 at Noon EST or Monday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m. EST with Jonathan Fass, Melton Online Program Director.
Melton Online, a new initiative to offer Melton courses throughout North America over the internet, offers you the Melton learning experience in a new format that provides:
an opportunity for YOU to continue your learning Melton-style with many new courses and options.
the rich and expanded curriculum brought to you on your computer and telephone line with outstanding Melton faculty. Faculty and students see and hear each other in a virtual classroom.
A chance to join friends and learners across the time zones in the US.
We will be continuing to register learners for Melton Online through October. Classes will now start in November.
The courses will include:
Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (20 weeks)
Genesis 1: From Adam to Abraham (10 weeks)
The Ethics of Jewish Living (20 weeks)
The Rhythms and Purposes of Jewish Living (20 weeks)
Complete information about the Melton Online program can be found by clicking here.
A recording of a class from last year can be seen by clicking here.
With the recent news of the floods and devastating damage in Boulder, we asked Yael Weinstein, Melton Director and faculty member in Denver, to let us know how Meltonians might reach out to offer support to the Boulder community.
Har Hashem Synagogue, where Melton classes are up and running despite serious damage to the building, suggests the following:
Help HHS Replace School Supplies
The religious school lost books, curriculum materials, school supplies, decorations for classrooms, and more due to flooding. We encourage you to help replenish needed school supplies by either purchasing them or committing to bringing them to the synagogue. Click here to see an Amazon Wish List we've created in order to buy online or to commit to bringing to the synagogue.
NOTE: This email was sent through our Melton Updates portal. For information on using this at your Melton School, email Alison Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the date for IDC 2014 in Austin, Texas: January 12-15, 2014!
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is the largest pluralistic adult Jewish education network in the world. With 50 locations in North America, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong, the Melton School sets the standard for high-quality, text-based, interactive Jewish study. Founded by Florence Zacks Melton in 1980 with the vision of impacting the destiny of the Jewish people through transformative learning, the Melton School has more than 30,000 graduates worldwide today. The hallmark of the Melton School is its world-class curriculum, which continues to inform and inspire adult learners from all knowledge-levels and backgrounds.
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning — Adult Learning for the Wondering Jew.