Jewish Learning

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The Melton School

The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is a global network of 60 community-based schools that offer adults an opportunity to gain Jewish literacy in a non-denominational, intellectually-stimulating learning environment.

The curriculum, created by scholars at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explores the texts of Jewish tradition, both ancient and contemporary. Join us for spirited dialogue, meaningful study, and the opportunity to gain a profound understanding of what it means to be Jewish.

Gesher Program

The Gesher Program is a dynamic, engaging, and life-changing Jewish learning opportunity at the J! Gesher courses that are developed by the Dallas area Rabbis and Educators for JCC Dallas.

Upcoming Classes

Information on summer classes coming soon.

Mutiny, Vigilante Justice and Anti-Semitism in the Torah

The summer parshiot that are taken from the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy are some of the richest and most dramatic in the entire Torah – tales of mutiny against Moses’s leadership, acts of vigilante justice, and anti-semitism are just some of the themes that we read about during these Shabbats. Come on a journey of fascinating immersion into the Torah’s timeless wisdom and enduring lessons for all of us.

Date: Tuesdays, June 15 – July 27 (No class July 5)
Time: 9:30 am  – 10:30 am
Location: Live on Zoom
School: Gesher
Instructor:  Rabbi Peretz Shapiro
Tuition: $100 members | $125 non members

Click Here to View Instructor Bio - Rabbi Shapiro

Rabbi Peretz Shapiro is a Chabad Rabbi and spiritual leader of The Jewish Life Network, a Chabad-Lubavitch organization committed to enhancing the spiritual lives of Jewish senior citizens by creating meaningful, educational, spiritual, and cultural programming. He is also a chaplain at Vitas Healthcare Hospice and has been an instructor in the Melton and Gesher Adult Educational Programs at the J since 2005. Rabbi Shapiro lives in Dallas with his wife Michal, Judaics teacher at Yavneh, and 4 daughters and 1 son.

We Are What We Remember

This 4-session course explores the impact of collective memory on our ongoing historical development and our understanding of Judaism today. Participants will encounter in a number of different ways one of the most powerful keys to Jewish survival: the enduring determination to never forget.

Date: Wednesdays, June 23, 30 July 14, and 21.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm CT
Location: Live on Zoom
School: Melton
Instructor:  Ben Crane
Tuition*: $100

Click Here to View Instructor Bio - Ben Crane

Ben Crane is new to Melton but not to Dallas: a proud product of Levine Academy and J camps. At present, Ben is wrapping up his MA in religion from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is looking ahead to continuing his graduate work at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio come Fall 2021. Ben earned his Bachelor’s at Rhodes College where he double majored in Philosophy and International Studies and minored in Religious Studies. His research interests include ethically oriented biblical interpretation, Jewish liturgy, and comparative theology. Central to the Melton courses Ben will be teaching this summer is the important notion of memory; the distinct, but complementary work done on the subject by Hannah Arendt z”l and Marjorie Hass.

Jewish Magic and Superstition

This course will explore  Jewish folk religion – ideas, practices, and superstitions that made their way into the Jewish collective.  Topics include angels, demons, amulets, astrology, Golems, and dreams.

Date: Tuesdays,  June 29 – July 27
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm CT
Location: Live on Zoom
School: Gesher
Instructor: Beri Schwitzer
Tuition: $125 members | $156 non members

Click Here to View Instructor Bio - Beri Schwitzer

A native Las Vegan who didn’t have the aspirations to be a showgirl, Beri Kaplan Schwitzer put her time, energy, and enthusiasm into education. Upon graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Journalism, she began a career that has provided her with extensive experience in Jewish education, non-profit management, and corporate human resources/training. Her true passion remains in Jewish education where she has served in a variety of capacities over the last twenty years. Beri is a nationally recognized Jewish educator honored by Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) and by the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE) for her work in creating a special needs learning lab and curriculum in supplementary Jewish education. She believes in creating a welcoming environment where students can grow in a Jewish playground allowing learners of all ages to romp and wrestle with their spirituality, history, and rich heritage. Beri and husband Joel are proud parents to twins, Miriam and Hannah. She is a marathoner, an amateur genealogist, and veracious reader of Jewish fiction.

Elie Wiesel’s Hasidic Legacy

In this four-part course based on his recent book Portraits: Elie Wiesel’s Hasidic Legacy, Dr. David Patterson Elie Wiesel’s teachings on the sages of the Jewish tradition.  Elie Wiesel is well known as a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  His portraits of biblical figures, Talmudic sages, and Hasidic masters, however, are not so well known.  Dr. Patterson explores this important part of Wiesel’s legacy to open a profound appreciation for the depth, the beauty, and the wisdom of the Jewish tradition.

Meeting in four virtual class sessions, the course will focus on the following themes and questions:

  • Job’s Question and Outcry.  In this class, we begin with the question that every human being who has confronted suffering has wanted to put to God: Why?
  • The Martyr Rabbi Akiba.  Here the students are introduced to the man who at the age of forty went from illiteracy to become the most influential of all the sage of the Talmud.
  • The Baal Shem Tov: A Soul on Fire.  East European Jews were drowning in despair when a soul on fire came to ignite in them joy and thanksgiving.  This class examines this miracle wrought by the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism.
  • The Messiah, though He May Tarry.  The course ends with Wiesel’s portrait of the Redeemer who is forever yet to come and who is forever in our midst.

Date: Wednesdays, June 30, July 7, 14, and 21
Time: 9:30 am  – 11:00 am
Location: Live on Zoom
School: Gesher
Instructor: David Patterson
Tuition: $100 members | $125 non members

Click Here to View Instructor Bio - David Patterson

David Patterson holds the Hillel A. Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies at the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at Dallas and is a Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitsm and Policy (ISGAP).  He is a commissioner on the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission and a member of the Executive Board of the Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches.  He has lectured at universities on six continents and throughout the United States.  A winner of the National Jewish Book Award, the Koret Jewish Book Award, and the Holocaust Scholars’ Conference Eternal Flame Award, he has published more than 35 books and more than 240 articles, essays, and book chapters on topics in literature, philosophy, the Holocaust, and Jewish studies.  His most recent books are Portraits: Elie Wiesel’s Hasidic Legacy (SUNY, 2021), The Holocaust and the Non-Representable (SUNY, 2018), Anti-Semitism and Its Metaphysical Origins (Cambridge, 2015), and Genocide in Jewish Thought (Cambridge, 2012).

A Letter for the Ages

According to tradition, after his exile from Spain for his defense of Judaism against the Catholic Church, the great Ramban (Nachmanides) sent “Iggeres ha Ramban” translated as “A letter for the Ages” to his son.  The letter which many recite weekly is essentially an ethical providing a blueprint for an ethical life as timely today as it was then.  Join Rabbi Shapiro in an exploration of this meaningful text which includes stories and insights of the great Ramban.

Date: Tuesdays,  August 3 – September 14
Time: 9:30 – 10:30 am CT
Location: Live on Zoom
School: Gesher
Instructor: Rabbi Shapiro
Tuition: $100 members | $125 non members

Click Here to View Instructor Bio - Rabbi Shapiro

Rabbi Peretz Shapiro is a Chabad Rabbi and spiritual leader of The Jewish Life Network, a Chabad-Lubavitch organization committed to enhancing the spiritual lives of Jewish senior citizens by creating meaningful, educational, spiritual, and cultural programming. He is also a chaplain at Vitas Healthcare Hospice and has been an instructor in the Melton and Gesher Adult Educational Programs at the J since 2005. Rabbi Shapiro lives in Dallas with his wife Michal, Judaics teacher at Yavneh, and 4 daughters and 1 son.

For questions or more information, contact Rachelle Weiss Crane at rweisscrane@jccdallas.org.