"Not since college have I been so excited about learning"

Posted on 02/12/2021 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Adult Jewish Learning & Growth, Melton & More

This year the Department of Adult Learning & Growth/ Melton & More has welcomed students from around the world to our ZOOM classrooms, expanded our course topics to address mind, body and soul, and invited new faculty to join our team.
We reached out to some of our adult learners and asked them to share a little about themselves and the impact of Melton & More. 

“Let your home be a meeting place for sages.
– Pirkei Avot 1:4

Ann Zartler lives in Rhode Island, and this is her first year learning with Melton & More. Ann has been hearing about the Melton & More courses from her sister Sue Klau, a Melton CORE graduate and an active student for the past 20 years.
Question: You are taking three courses with your sister, Sue Klau, this semester, and you are participating in the year-long CORE program! How has this experience impacted you?  
Not since college have I been so excited about learning. To be involved with such brilliant scholars and wonderful fellow students is the great gift of the Covid tragedy. I could not have anticipated that CAJE would be so central to my life during the past 11 months.  
Question: Share with us the best post-class conversation you had with your sister, Sue. 
I have learned so much about my sister Sue that I didn't know I was missing. Her incisive responses and pertinent questions during classes have revealed to me the depth and breadth of her knowledge of her Jewish studies and of her wisdom.
The most memorable post-class discussion with Sue occurred when I was saying that I don't know what I would do without CAJE in my future. Sue said, "Once you've let the genie out of the bottle, you can't put it back in." To contemplate going forward without continuing this exhilarating and life-enhancing education is unimaginable.  I'm not leaving my beloved Rhode Island, so I need CAJE to keep coming to me!
Question: What courses have you taken this year?
One Man’s Search For Truth; OMG, Can You Believe?; MOT: Members Of The Tribe and the year-long Melton CORE program: Crossroads of Jewish History and Ethics of Jewish Living.

“Learning Must Be Sought—It Will Not Come of Itself!”
--Reish Lakish, Midrash Mishlei 2:4

Debbie and Michael Troner are committed life-long Jewish learners and take multiple Melton & More courses together every semester. Michael is a member of the board of the International Florence Melton School.
Question: We love that you take courses together! Tell us more about the power of Melton & More Jewish learning and how it's impacted your life as a couple?
We find studying as a couple an immensely enriching and rewarding experience because we have our own hevruta (study partner) to discuss how we each interpret the texts. We are able to learn from the wonderful teachers we have and from each other. It is so much fun to be able to expand our interpretations of what we have learned with each other. 
Question: One of the courses you are currently taking together is “To Have & To Hold: The History of the Ketubah” with Rabbi Manny Vinas. What is one takeaway from this class that totally surprised you?
Well, we were totally blown away to find out that Sephardic and Ashkenazic customs and ceremonies differed so greatly! This was an incredible revelation. Rabbi Viñas always blows us away with his revelations of Torah and Text. 
Question: What Classes have you taken this year?
Rise of A Kingdom: The Book of I Samuel; Talmudic Kama Sutra: Romantic Love and Sexuality in the Rabbinic Tradition; A Dwelling Place of the Soul: Mishkan HaNefesh; Swimming in the Sea of Talmud; Rise Of A Kingdom: The Book of I Samuel Part 2; Biography of the Bible; One Man’s Search for Truth; To Have & To Hold: The History of the Ketubah; We Are What We Remember: The Ever Evolving Transmission of Jewish History; OMG: Can You Believe?!; A Nation Sings: The Evolution of Israeli Pop Music

“Blessed is the child who studies with his father,
and blessed is the father who teaches his child."
- Talmud

Shep Faber & Aly Faber: Shep serves on the Adult Learning Advisory Board. He has been an active Melton & More student for many years. Since classes went online, his daughter Aly was able to join him in the Melton & More classroom from her home in North Carolina.
Question: In reflecting upon your experience of learning with your daughter this past semester, what are some highlights you would like to share?
Shep: Mostly, just sharing the experience with my daughter was a highlight for me. We zoom all the time during the pandemic but learning together with my daughter was special. I love that I could introduce her to Melton & More and for her to see how I spend much of my time and the appreciation I have for Melton and More. I am definitely a “kvelling parent!”
AlyI really enjoyed taking this class with my dad as we are in two different states and I haven't seen him since quarantine. This is a great way to have a shared experience remotely. I sincerely enjoyed the class Rhythm & Jews. Who knew Jews were so influential in the music industry? A real eye-opener!
Question: What courses have you taken this year?
Swimming in the Sea of Talmud, The Hidden Traditions of Purim and Passover, Jewish American Voters in 20th Century Presidential Elections and Aly joined me for Rhythm and Jews.

To learn more about CAJE Adult Learning/Melton and More classes or join this remarkable community of learners, Click Here.