Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning and PAS Graduate Offerings

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning builds Jewish literacy through a sophisticated, intellectually stimulating, text-based curriculum for students of all levels and Jewish backgrounds.

Melton classes will run contingent on registration. Each class has a minimum registration of 17 and a maximum registration of 25 students. A wait list will be maintained once a class reaches maximum registration.

Mechon Hadar’s Project Zug – Havruta Learning Online

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish learning is excited to launch a new project – Havruta Learning Online – and we want you to be part of it.
Pick a Course | Meet Your Partner | Learn Together

What will I learn?
You will be able to choose from five different courses with content created by our partners at Project Zug.
• Tzedakah: The Jewish Approach to Giving, Instructor: Rabbi Elie Kaunfer (5 sessions)
• A Food Tour of the Talmud, Instructor: Rabbi Aviva Richman (10 sessions)
• Theology of Psalms: Praying Jewish Poetry, Instructor: Rabbi Shai Held (10 sessions)
• Purpose, Conflict, and Resolution: Leonard Cohen's Vision, Instructor: Dr. Stephen Hazan Arnoff (10 sessions)
• Intro to the Jewish Bookshelf, Instructor: Rabbi Avi Strausberg (10 sessions)
Read more information about the classes.

How Do I Sign Up?
• Register here by Monday, May 22.
• Select from the courses above and begin to learn on Monday, June 5.
• Pay between $36-$180 for the course

To learn more about the program and to register please visit Melton website or contact Leah Volynsky at lvolynsky@pasyn.org or call 212-369-2600 x. 159

Foundations: Parenting Class

Cost: $295/members; $420/general

Foundations of Jewish Family Living:

Jewish Values for Parents to Share with Their Children

Wednesdays | beginning September 28 | 7:00 – 8:00 am | 15 sessions
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
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

Thursdays | beginning September 15 | 9:15 – 11:30 am
Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove and Debbie Cosgrove
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. Please contact Leah Volynsky at lvolynsky@pasyn.org or 212-369-2600, x159 to be added to the wait list.


The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning:
Year 2

Wednesdays | beginning September 14 | 7:00 – 9:15 pm
Rabbi Ethan Witkovsky and Rabbi Shmuel Afek
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: Early bird (Until August 25): $285/member; $345/general
Standard (August 25 onward): $310/member; $370/general
(These prices do not apply to The Biblical Book of Job. See below for pricing.)


Fall Classes 




The Biblical Book of Job: How an Individual Found Solace and a New Understanding of God’s World

Wednesdays | beginning September 21 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 20 sessions (Full year)
Rabbi Shmuel Afek
The book of Job (Iyov) tells the story of a righteous person who undergoes extreme suffering for no apparent reason. His faith is tested, both by circumstances and by his friends’ attempts to provide explanations. God-fearing as he is, Iyov is unwilling – and perhaps unable – to accept the well-articulated, time-tested reasoning of his former colleagues because it contradicted his own truth. Only when he arrived at an impasse was he able to begin to perceive a new understanding of God’s world and to rejoin society. This book may not be a true story, but the people in the book are real. Join Rabbi Afek in a chapter-by-chapter study of the book in both Hebrew and English. Knowledge of Hebrew is not required.
Cost: Early bird (Until August 25): $570/member; $685/general
Standard (August 25 onward): $595/member; $710/general
Click here to register.

Saul and The Failure of Power

Wednesdays | beginning September 14 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 10 sessions
Dr. Diane Sharon (see bio below)
Shifting alliances, divided loyalties, devastating falls from grace: the stories of power politics are as fresh as today’s headlines and as ancient as the story of kingship in ancient Israel. Meet King Saul. As Israel's first king, his career was on track for triumph. Instead, he is every chief executive who is kicked out of office, every politician who loses his mandate. Learn the sometimes disturbing, surprisingly contemporary life-lessons of this tragic figure.
Click here to register.



From Sinai to Seinfeld: The History of Jewish Humor

Thursdays | beginning September 15 | 9:15–10:30 am | 10 sessions
Rabbi Charlie Savenor
Whether commenting on the relationship of the Israelites to God or on the contemporary divide between cultural and religious Judaism, Jews respond with humor. Using Jewish jokes as text, this course invites students to analyze and interpret the evolving concerns, styles, rhythms, preoccupations, and values of the Jewish people that lie buried in quips that both make us laugh and bond us as a people.
Click here to register.



Spring Classes

Registration will open in late fall.



The Holocaust as Reflected in Diaries and Memoirs

Wednesdays | beginning February 1 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 10 sessions
Journey into the world of Jewish individuals and communities as the events of the Holocaust unfold around them. Explore the profound record of first-person accounts in diaries and memoirs uncovered in the years since the Holocaust and gain remarkable insights into the struggle for life as both young and old writers describe day-to-day life coping in the ghettoes, imprisoned in the death camps, hiding on the run and fighting for their lives.


The Biblical Book of Job (Iyov): How an Individual Found Solace and a New Understanding of God’s World

Wednesdays | continuing February 1 | 6:30–7:45 pm | 20 sessions (Full year)
Rabbi Shmuel Afek




What Makes You Think You’re So Special? Who Is Chosen, by Whom and for What, in the Hebrew Bible

Thursdays | beginning February 2 | 9:15–10:30 am
Dr. Diane Sharon
Throughout the Bible, God is always choosing someone. How do people know they are chosen? And what are they chosen for? Is it different for men and women? And exactly who is doing the choosing? A son may be the darling of either his mother or his father, but not both. God seems to prefer younger children over firstborns, but not always. Wives are favored either by God or by their husbands, but not both. Discover insights into well-known as well as obscure biblical figures--you may find yourself asking, along with Tevye the dairyman, whether God could please choose someone else for a change.
This course is now open to the community.


The Ethical Life: Jewish Values in an Age of Choice (A Complete Course in Jewish Ethics from JTS)

Thursdays | beginning February 2 | 9:15–10:30 am
Rabbi Neil Zuckerman
From political and financial scandals to rapid progress in biomedical science and technology, the complex issues of modern society are, at their core, issues of ethical and moral concern. Judaism has always wrestled with moral questions, considering all sides of every issue. Now more than ever, we require a solid understanding of how Jewish ethics can inform our discussions and decisions about critical questions.

Bio for Diane Sharon:
Dr. Diane M. Sharon is a scholar and teacher in Hebrew Bible, Comparative Religion, and Ancient Near Eastern Literature. She is on the faculty at the Skirball Center at Temple Emanuel, and has also taught at the Academy for Jewish Religion, and at the Episcopal General Theological Seminary, Fordham University, Manhattan College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Sharon has published and edited books and articles on the Hebrew Bible in its ancient Near Eastern context, comparative religion, literary analysis, and women’s studies. She has served as a scholar-in-residence in more than 50 congregations nationwide, and has lectured and taught extensively.