Spotlight on Lifelong Learners

Posted on 03/05/2021 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Adult Jewish Learning & Growth, Melton & More

It has been a rewarding year for the Department of Adult Learning & Growth/ Melton & More even in the midst of uncertainty, and our classes have been a powerful constant for our community of learners who are inspired by the richness of the learning experience. 
Rather than share facts and figures, we wanted you to meet some of the people who make up our diverse and meaningful community. See their faces, read their words, hear their excitement and join us on this powerful journey of Jewish exploration. Give yourself this special gift of learning, engagement and community!

“Let the Lesson You Study Be Like a Song!”
--Abaye, B. Talmud Shabbat 106b

Lily Blank is an active member of the Adult Learning Advisory Board and has been taking Melton & More classes for the past 11 years.
Question: What has been a lesson from one of your courses that has made an impact on your life?
11 years ago I arrived in Miami from Venezuela and I heard about Melton but I wouldn’t dare take any courses because my English was not so good. However, there was a Jewish Literature course being offered in Spanish by Prof. Henie Hajdenberg. That first class with Melton & More gave me the opportunity to connect to a new life, new city and meet people who were here before me. And of course learn about Jewish literature. After this course, I felt “at home” and Melton became a place of meeting new people and experience other aspects of our tradition. Since then, there hasn’t been a semester where I am not signed up for multiple Melton courses.
Question: As a Jewish educator from Venezuela, tell us what inspired you to continue your pursuit of Jewish learning with Melton & More?
I graduated from Gratz College in 1986. When I came back to Venezuela, I was the director of an Adult Jewish Center. I am passionate about Jewish learning and know that there is always more to learn! Melton & More is just perfect for me. The courses are as good as any university but without the stress of tests and finals! 
Question: What classes have you taken this year?
Swimming in the Sea of TalmudIntermediate Hebrew, From the Shtetl to the Art Galleries and MOT: Members of the Tribe. 

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

David Jackowitz & Hillary Tescher (father/daughter) have been taking classes together for 9 years. They are active Melton & More learners and are big Dr. Sandra Lilienthal fans!
Question: You and your father have been participating in Melton & More courses together for several years. Share with us the significance of this special time together? 
My father and I have been studying together for 9 years. When he retired and attended his 1st class with Dr. Sandra Lilienthal, he said,” You have to come!” Dr. Lilienthal is both enlightening and non-judgmental and brings the topics to life! It is such a special opportunity to study and learn and grow together with my father. After class we have lunch…all sacred time together that I cherish. 
Question: What Classes have you taken this year?
This year David took Superstitions in Jewish Life & Ritual, Jewish Identity in American Film, and Hillary joins him for OMG: Can You Believe?! And MOT: Members of The Tribe.

“We Are Born for Community.” 
- Josephus

John McGuire heard about Melton & More “through the grape vine.” He joined the community this year and has already taken 7 classes!   
Question: You have shared with us that although you are not Jewish, Melton & More courses have played a meaningful and significant role in your everyday life. Tell us what inspires you to continue your journey of Jewish learning with Melton & More? 
A good friend of mine, Shep Faber, told me about the Melton & More classes … so I decided to sign up for the very same courses he signed up for. That motivated me to sign up for a few more cultural courses in art and music. I took 5 courses in the Fall and currently am taking 2 more classes this spring. Melton & More courses are not only of interest for Jews; I find the topical material to be of general interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the vast topics covered.
Question: What classes have you taken this year?
Rhythm and Jews, Chagall is Not the Only Jewish Artist, The Jewish Character on American Television, Superstitions in Jewish Life & Ritual, Jewish Identity in American Film, From the Shtetl to the Art Galleries, and The Impact of Jews on Classical Music.

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