Local Jewish authorities on conversion and Israeli religious policy will discuss the topic at a panel to be held February 27 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Shaarie Torah in Northwest Portland. Sheri Cordova, facilitator of the Introduction to Judaism course offered by the Oregon Board of Rabbis, Natalie Nahome, official shlichah or representative of Israel in Portland, and Rabbi Ariel Stone, of the liberal Congregation Shir Tikvah, are set to answer questions on the matter.
People who have converted, are converting, or are considering moving to Israel will be especially interested in this informative session, but it will be of value to anyone looking for a better understanding of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. What are the implications of Israeli policy on people worldwide who undertake non-Orthodox conversions? How will what’s decided in Israel impact Jewish identity?
Date: Feb. 27 Time: 7 p.m. Location: Congregation Shaarie Torah, 920 NW 25th St., Portland, OR 97210 Admission: $18 adult reservations, $20 adults at the door, $10 teens and young adults, $36 patrons Tickets: online, (503) 384-2476, or email.
A person has three names: that which his parents give him; that which others call him; and that which he has earned for himself. The best of them is the one he has earned for himself.
The name for our school that was chosen by Florence Melton, z"l, is being renewed in time for the new Jewish year, 5773. The school that proudly carries her name is losing its "Mini" status and adding the name of the field that Florence helped to pioneer. The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School is becoming The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning.
The new name recognizes the woman behind the extraordinary vision she articulated 32 years ago, to create high-quality, meaningful Jewish learning for adults. Florence understood that unless adults were engaged in a powerful and substantive learning experience, the community would suffer a dearth of leaders, families would be missing the Jewish values to help them make the right choices, and the Jewish people would be threatened by an identity crisis. In her original proposal, she described the need to "address ourselves to a massive effort to match the special needs of Jewish adults in bold and creative ways never attempted before."
For this determined entrepreneur, the inventor of comfy slippers and shoulder pads, the "Mini-School" was Florence's marketing genius at work. In her new book, Reinventing Adult Jewish Learning, Dr. Betsy Katz, former North American Director of the Melton Mini-School, describes Florence's reasoning: "Participating in a two-year program could be very intimidating. By calling it a 'mini-school' it's less frightening."
In the environment of the '80s when the Mini-School was launched, Florence's instinct was right. In the intervening 30-plus years, much has changed in the Jewish community, and in adult Jewish learning. With 30,000 graduates and hundreds of faculty providing feedback over the years, the curriculum which is the lynchpin of Melton, has also changed.
• Starting with the two-year core curriculum, the curriculum now includes nine additional courses for graduates, and the Foundations of Jewish Family Living course, designed especially for parents. Several new courses are in development.
• The curriculum is text-based, with many more texts than originally utilized. The texts include a greater variety of sources, reflecting and contributing to the riches of Jewish texts now available in translation.
• Pluralism is the hallmark of Melton's curriculum, its faculty, and the broad community of participants and alumni, and the diversity of contemporary Jewish thought is reflected well in Melton's revisions and updates of the curriculum. The field of adult Jewish learning has also burgeoned since the creation of the Mini-School. The options are many, and the range is broad. Melton is distinguished by its exceptional curriculum, developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as its focus on interactive study that translates learning for literacy into learning that leads to a meaningful life. This significant process is animated by exceptional faculty in each Melton community, and it is called "transformative" by our grateful alumni.
Melton is no longer "mini." We've grown and matured in 26 years. Florence, z"l, would welcome our graduation to this moment of renewal. We are grateful to her for leading us on this groundbreaking path to the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. Her dream of strengthening the Jewish community continues.
May the renewal of our name be a symbol of the gift of renewal thatRosh Hashanah brings to each of us. On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Florence Melton School, I wish all the members of our Melton family a sweet, successful, and healthy new year in 5773.
Judy Mars Kupchan
Incoming Chief Executive Officer
Mailing AddressWe are working the bugs out of our e-mail and phone service and expect communications to be a little rocky through Tuesday, Aug. 9. If you have tried to contact us since last week and have not received a reply, please re-send your e-mail. For especially urgent matters or questions, please e-mail Operations Manager Rachel Pollak at email@example.com. Thanks for your patience and understanding!
Florence Melton Adult Mini-School
7410 SW Oleson Rd. #404
Portland, OR 97223
Our website remains:
Nov. 14, 2011
6125 SW Boundary St, Portland, 97221
Following the prisoner exchange that has resulted in the safe return of Gilad Shalit, many of us are thinking about the wrenching ethical dilemma it has posed. Jewish communities have faced kidnappings and ransom demands going back all the way to the Talmudic period. Our sages tried to balance the infinite value of a human life against concerns about endangering others.
Join us as we explore writings from the Talmud to medieval literature to contemporary Israeli literature on prisoner exchanges using curriculum from Hebrew University in Jerusalem with world class educator Sylvia Frankel.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (503) 384-2476.
If you could let your friends know of this opportunity, we would be grateful. There's a Facebook "like" button on the course page, here: Judaism Today
We are offering a free sneak preview to those interested in a taste of what they might expect. Join us on Tuesday, December 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Congregation Shaarie Torah (920 NW 25th Avenue in Portland).
The full course will take place Tuesdays from 11:00- 12:15 at Shaarie Torah for 20 weeks beginning January 31. Those interested may find out more via our website at www.meltonportland.org, by emailing email@example.com, or calling us at 503-384-2476.
Rachel is leaving to focus on her studies, to eventually become a teacher. You’ll still see her around in classes and at events, though. We warmly welcome our new Operations Manager, Callie O’Sullivan, already an impressive addition to the Melton office! She’ll be happy to help you with anything you may need. (Our e- mail address will stay the same for now.)