Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and PAS Graduate Offerings

Foundations: Parenting Class

Cost: $315/members; $425/general

Foundations of Jewish Family Living:

Jewish Values for Parents to Share with Their Children

Thursdays | beginning October 19 | 9:20–10:20 am | 15 sessions
Debbi Cosgrove
This course provides parents with a thought-provoking encounter with the core values of Judaism. The curriculum brings to life the master stories from our tradition and the profound messages they convey. This rich learning experience gives you the language and the confidence to bring the Jewish conversation home to share with your young child. Space is limited; class will be closed if capacity is reached.
Click here to register.


Core Program

The Melton School core curriculum is a comprehensive, sequential series of text-based lessons, studied over two years. More than 30,000 adult learners have participated in this international program designed by expert educators at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The two-year course meets most weeks from October – June each year.


The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning:
Year 1

Wednesdays | beginning October 18 | 7:00–9:15 pm
Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky and Rabbi Shmuel Afek
Learn what we as Jews believe and why in Purposes of Jewish Living. Examine the ideas, beliefs and lifecycle and holiday practices involved in living Jewishly in Rhythms of Jewish Living.
This class has reached capacity. To be put on the wait list, please contact Leah Volynsky at 212-369-2600 x159 or lvolynsky@pasyn.org.


The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning:
Year 2

Thursdays | beginning October 19 | 9:15–11:30 am
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
 and Rabbi Bill Plevin
In Ethics of Jewish Living, students learn how Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, inter-personal relationships, end-of-life decisions and stem-cell research. Crossroads explores the lessons of Jewish history and investigates how the Jewish past gives meaning to the Jewish present. 
Prerequisite: completion of Melton Year 1. 


Classes for Melton & Context Graduates

Prerequisite: Completion of Melton or Context core program. 
Cost: $315/member; $375/general

Fall Classes 

BeMidbar: Leadership Defied and Defended
Wednesdays | beginning October 18 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 10 sessions
Rabbi Charlie Savenor

Israel's fateful journey through the wilderness of Sinai presented numerous challenges to the leadership of Moses and Aaron; at times the nation challenged their competence as leaders, and at times individuals arose to challenge their very right to lead. As students explore the biblical narratives describing forty years of wandering in the wilderness, they will be surprised to note the timeless nature of those stories. How can the lessons learned from the past be applied to solving the communal challenges of the present and the future?
Register here

Rambam - An Introduction to One of the Most Intriguing Thinkers in Jewish History
Wednesdays | beginning October 18 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 10 sessions
Rabbi Shmuel Afek
R’ Moshe ben Maimon (otherwise known as Maimonides or Rambam) is one of the foremost – if not the foremost – Jewish thinkers since the canonization of the Talmud. His literary work covers both Halachah and philosophy; his ideas and innovations changed the Jewish world almost a thousand years ago and continue to exert significant influence on Jewish thinkers today. In this course we will study a few of his texts to learn how Rambam thinks about fundamental concepts in Jewish life; how to read sacred texts that contradict our rational thinking; how to think about the relationship between this world and the world to come; and the thirteen principles of faith.
The text studied during the class will be in English. Texts will be taken from Twersky’s Maimonides Reader and Epistles of Maimonides (Halkin and Hartman).
This class has reached capacity. To be put on the wait list, please contact Leah Volynsky at 212-369-2600 x159 or lvolynsky@pasyn.org.

Bereshit I – From Adam to Abraham: The First 20 Generations (Previously offered)
Thursdays | beginning October 19 | 9:15-10:30 am | 10 sessions
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

The stories in this course take us from the universal tales of the creation of the world, the flood, and the Tower of Babel to the foundational tales of Abraham and Sarah, and the beginnings of the Jewish people. The themes of family and faith, honor and dishonor, passion and power provide a rich exploration of our people and ourselves.
This class has reached capacity. To be put on the wait list, please contact Leah Volynsky at 212-369-2600, x159 or lvolynsky@pasyn.org.

New York Jewish History, Culture & Community
Thursdays | beginning October 19 | 9:15–10:30 am
Dr. David Kaufman

More information and registration coming soon. 
Join historian Dr. David E. Kaufman in an exploration of the past and present of ‘the world’s greatest Jewish city,’ New York. Major themes include the extraordinary contributions of Jews to the popular culture of the city and beyond; and the equally impressive record of communal structure and religious institutions that Jews have built in their ‘golden city,’ rightly called ‘the Jerusalem of America.’ Throughout, we will examine the remarkable convergence between the age-old traditions of Jewish life and the modern urbanism of NYC in forming the ‘New York Jew.’ Classroom discussion will be supplemented by tours of New York Jewish historical sites—details tba.
Tour costs are not included in the cost of the class.
Register here.


Spring Classes

Registration will be posted in late fall.

Israeli Literature as a Window to Israeli Society
Wednesdays | beginning February 14 | 6:30 – 7:45 pm
Rabbi Shmuel Afek

This course offers a fresh and fascinating examination of Israeli society since the birth of the State in 1948. Participants encounter an Israeli society that is original, contemporary, honest and proud. Reflections of the mythic Israel are matched by poetry and prose that is challenging and self-critical, and both offer profound insight into the Israeli national psyche.

Bereshit II – The Story of the First Jewish Family
Thursdays | Resuming February 15 | 9:15 – 10:30 am
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

This course follows the development of the first Jewish family, from “The Birth of Two Nations” and “Stolen Blessings” to “Reunion in Egypt” and “Blessing the Grandchildren.” These stories of sibling rivalry, wrestling with an angel, palace seduction, rape, and reconciliation provide some of the most dramatic and iconic images that reverberate across the millennia.
Bereshit I is not prerequisite to this course.

American Jewish History through the Lens of PAS
Thursdays | beginning February 15 | 9:15 – 10:30 am
Rabbi Charlie Savenor

The 135th anniversary of Park Avenue Synagogue is as much a moment of celebration as an opportunity for reflection on the history of our community and American Jewry. Using materials from our Rita and George M. Shapiro and writings of our rabbis from Steinberg to Cosgrove, we will explore the context, content and commitments of the PAS community during our storied past in regards to key topics, including anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Israel, social justice and the struggle for civil rights home and abroad. This course also will invite us to examine whether our values have changed over time and what the future holds for us and future generations.