What is Melton? Melton is a comprehensive adult Jewish education program. Classes are interactive and pluralistic, designed for adults at all levels of knowledge and practice. We offer a comprehensive course of study that generates spirited dialogue and an appreciation for Judaism – past, present and future.
Why is it called Melton? Florence Melton was the founder of the program and a truly extraordinary woman. (She was the inventor of the Dearfoam slipper!) She had a vision of comprehensive and pluralistic Jewish education for adults. In her 70s, she founded Melton and remained actively involved in it until her death in her 90s. The Florence Melton Adult Mini-Schools are named in honor of her.
Why take Melton? People take Melton for many reasons. But in the end, they all agree on what they gain from Melton. 100% of our students report that Melton broadened their Jewish knowledge. 97% of our students report that they feel more connected to our community, while 78% of our students say Melton strengthened their Jewish identity. Fundamentally, Melton will help you feel more connected to your heritage and your community. As a 2011 graduate put it, "I came for the knowledge and left with understanding."
How much time does it take? Classes are two-and-a-half hours, once a week. Because all texts are read and discussed aloud in class, no preparation is necessary—nor is there any homework.
What are the classes about?
The first-year students take two classes, Purposes and Rhythms.
Purposes explores the big questions from a variety of perspectives, questions such as: Why are we here? Why do people suffer? What happens after we die?
Rhythms covers the Jewish life cycle and calendar. This is a course for adults – it will not be a repeat of Sunday school. And no matter whether you attended Sunday school or even day school, you will learn quite a bit.
Second year students take Dramas and Ethics.
Ethics explores the ethical issues of interpersonal relationships, sexuality, aging, death, family, and community using Torah, Talmud, and classical and modern commentaries.
Dramas probes themes relevant to Jewish life today across time and throughout the Jewish world. Themes include assimilation, community, anti-semitism, and memory.
What does it cost? Tuition is $60/mo. for 10 months, $600/year. This is a subsidized rate made possible by donations from the Jewish Federation of Portland and generous community donors.
The true cost of a Melton education is $1,000 annually per student. Students at registration are asked (but not required) to consider making a tax-deductible donation of an amount of their choosing.
Limited tuition assistance is available for those truly in need. Also, a generous donor has provided a scholarship fund for interfaith couples in need of assistance.
Book Fee: $50 for both books and a notebook (required). We sell books to students at cost. You will also need a Tanakh or Hebrew Bible.
What Is the Melton Tuition Refund Policy? The Portland Melton program budgets for a full fiscal year, which entails faculty and administrative commitments based on the number of registered students. Those commitments remain even if some students drop out. In consequence, the following tuition refund policy applies to all students registered in the Portland Melton program.
Melton Classic Classes: If circumstances necessitate withdrawal after August 31, through the first class meeting, refunds will be issued less a service fee of $50 per course. Up until the third class, one-half of tuition is refundable. No refund will be issued after completion of the third class session.
Spotlight Classes: Spotlight classes only run with a minimum enrollment of six students. If a class is cancelled, Melton will reimburse the full tuition. No refund will be issued after the class begins.
Each prospective student must read and accept the Tuition Refund Policy in order to successfully complete registration.
I have read the Tuition Refund Policy above and agree to pay the Portland Florence Melton Adult Mini School the full amount of my yearly tuition due, regardless of whether I do or do not remain a Melton student for the entire year. I have had the opportunity to discuss the policy with the Melton staff and fully understand the refund policy of the program.
What if I have to miss some classes?
There are many options for you to make up a missed class:
1) If you are travelling, you may be able to take the class in the city you are visiting.
2) You can take the missed lesson the following year.
3) You can arrange with a classmate to tape the class
4) You can, on occasion, switch from morning to evening.
It is not unusual for most students to miss a class here and there. We are adults with busy lives and obligations that from time to time conflict. Melton lessons are self-contained, so that missing one class will not set you behind in the next one.
Circumstance rarely provides a perfect time to do anything. Rabbi Hillel told us: If not now, when?
Portland Site Melton Classic Classes run Oct. 16, 2012 - June 11, 2013. Tuesdays at The Mittleman Jewish Community Center; 6651 Southwest Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219.
We offer Rhythms and Purposes in the mornings at 9:30-11:45.
We offer Drama and Ethics in the evenings at 7:15-9:30.
It does not matter if you take the sequence out of order.
How do I sign up? There are 3 ways to register: