May 25, 2015
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Frisco Lakes

Melton at Frisco Lakes
Thursday Mornings at Frisco Lakes Amenity Center 9:30 – 11:00 am


Dates/Time: Thursdays, September 11 – December 11
Faculty:Renée Karp
Age: Adults 

Price: $195
Text Book: $40

Throughout most of its history, Judaism could be described as an “ethnic church,” whose members emphasized their common ancestry and upheld the same basic beliefs and religious practices. This amalgamation of tribal identity and creed was sustained by the social and economic limitations enforced against the Jews by the host nations in which they settled, as well as local and cultural norms. The last three centuries, often referred to as the modern period, have witnessed dramatic political and societal transformations.

These changes have engendered far more diversified representations of Judaism and Jewish identity than in the past. This ten week Melton Scholars Curriculum course, traces the history of the emergence denominational Judaism in response to Modernity using original texts. During the ten 90 minute lessons, learners gain an understanding of the environment in 19th century Europe which gave rise to Reform Judaism and the traditionalist response. 

As the lessons progress the setting changes from Europe to North America and the development of Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism as well as the divisions and re-alignment in American Orthodoxy are explored.  By the end of the course the history of every aspect of Jewish Denominations and People hood has been addressed in a meaningful way.


Dates/Time: Thursdays, January 8 – March 12
Faculty: Gerri Patterson

Age: Adults 
Price: $195

Back by popular demand, this class will use Jewish short stories as a vehicle to study Jewish history, life and culture. Beginning with the oldest Jewish communities in Yemen, Kurdistan and Iraq, we will examine the folktales that reflect their travails and their wisdom. We will then follow up with contemporary writers from these same places to see how they reflect on their respective legacies and what it meant to have roots in these lands after they were forced to leave. We will look at Russia, once one of the largest Jewish communities in the world and examine the experience of the Jews, their history and way of life through the creativity of their greatest writers. 

Yiddish, American and Israeli authors will also be part of the curriculum and in each case, we will use the stories to elucidate the experiences of the writers in their various settings. In short, we will see how the stories from each time and place create a commentary on the social issues of the day, sometimes through the writer's critical lens. This class will include some of the great writers of the past 150 years such as I.B. Singer, I.J. Singer, Isaac Babel and SY Agnon. There are no pre-requisites for this class. Text book: To be purchased by students, Oxford Book of Jewish Stories (Edited by Ilan Stavans).


Dates/Time: Thursdays March 19–May 28
Faculty: Gerri Patterson
Age: Adults 
Price: $195
Text Book: $40

The remarkable texts of this course are the diaries and memoirs uncovered in the years since the Holocaust. The poignant images of both old and young writers reveal much about day-to-day life, coping and struggling in the ghettos, imprisoned in the camps, hiding on the run, and fighting for their lives. This literary journey into the world of Jewish individuals and communities provides us with new perspectives and profound insights about the Holocaust and its legacy for us today.

For more information contact Rachelle Weiss Crane, Director of Melton and Gesher Graduate Programs, at rweisscrane@jccdallas.org or 214-239-7128



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