At Central Synagogue

What is Melton?

Named for Florence Melton, its founder, Melton is an internationally renowned, formal program for adult Jewish study. It offers a well-rounded and sophisticated approach and provides a comprehensive exploration of Jewish thought, practice, ethics and history utilizing a cross-denominational curriculum. It is designed for all levels of Jewish knowledge and practice – there is no Hebrew knowledge required, nor are there tests, grades or homework. In its 30 plus years, the Melton program has graduated more than 30,000 students from its classes in “mini schools” all over the world. Hailed as “the best of the best adult Jewish education,” Central Synagogue created its Melton Mini School in 2012 and has graduated more than 125 of our own Central students. Detailed descriptions of the classes we offer can be found below.

Visit Melton’s website to learn more »

Who can attend Melton?

Melton is open to anyone in the Jewish community (members or non-members of Central) who wants to study on a regular basis and acquire a comprehensive foundation of Jewish literacy. It is appropriate for all levels of students (no Hebrew knowledge is required) and there are no prerequisites for Year 1. For members of Central Synagogue, the classes may also be applied toward becoming an Adult B’nei Mitzvah.

Who teaches Melton?

Our faculty consists of Central Synagogue clergy and other specially trained, New York-based clergy and educators.

How often does Melton meet?

The core curriculum is taught once a week for two hours, thirty weeks a year, for two years. New students entering the program will have a choice of studying on either Tuesday mornings or Tuesdays evenings. Year 2 students will be taking Crossroads of Jewish History and Ethics of Jewish Living. Class descriptions can be found below.

What happens at the end of the program?

Students will “graduate” Melton and be honored at a special Graduation Ceremony where they will receive certificates. For those Central members who were working toward becoming an Adult B’nei Mitzvah, they will be called to the Torah in unique ceremony and recognized in the community.

Can I keep studying after I graduate?

Of course! Central Synagogue offers Melton Scholar Courses. These 10-week courses are only open to those who have completed the first two years of Melton (either at Central or another Melton site). See below for more detailed information.

Are there any other perks?

Yes! Not only will Melton provide you with an outstanding Jewish education, participating in it is also a wonderful way to meet new people and become part of your own small community. We find that our Melton students develop long-lasting friendships amongst themselves and strong bonds with their instructors. We also host a large, festive Shabbat dinner for Melton students and their families and offer a Melton-only trip to Israel. Stay tuned for more details about the trip.

What am I going to learn?

Year 2

Required Prerequisite: completion of Year 1 of Melton at Central or another Melton site

  1. Crossroads of Jewish History: How do the turning points in Jewish history influence our lives today? This course seeks to reclaim the richness of Jewish history and explore the role that Jews played, not just as passive victims, but also as active shapers of our shared identity and destiny. This course merges the concepts of history and memory in order to better understand how each has shaped Judaism today, as well as delving into modern issues with Jewish ethics. It explores significant crossroads where Jews took major decisions that shaped our shared identity and destiny. It also examines the wisdom of ancient and modern rabbis, scholars and thinkers, offering multiple Jewish approaches to conducting our lives in the communal and private spheres.
  2. The Ethics of Jewish Living: How do Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, inter-personal relationships, end-of life decisions, and stem-cell research? This course explores the wisdom of ancient and modern rabbis, scholars and thinkers, offering multiple Jewish approaches to conducting our lives in the communal and private spheres.

Fall 2019 Scholar Courses

  1. Social Justice: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
    Dates: Mondays, October 28 - January 13 (Snow Day: January 27; no class 12/23, 12/30)
  2. Shemot II: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
    Dates: Tuesdays, September 10 – November 26 (Snow Day: December 3; no class 10/1, 10/8)
    This course follows the development of the emerging Jewish nation from their awe-inspiring encounter at Mount Sinai through the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. The high points of divine revelation in “Ten Commandments,“ “Encountering God,” and “Face to Face with God” are sharply contrasted with the low points of the “Golden Calf: Revolt or Reversion.” The text addresses some of the specific laws and regulations that were to become part of Jewish living as well as the meaning, purpose, and relevance to our lives today.
  3. Jews in America 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
    Dates: Tuesdays, September 10- December 17
    This course provides students with the opportunity to consider the challenges of Jewish acculturation to American life, and the sacrifices as well as the contributions that have been made over the past 200 years. Lessons will explore education, the Three Generation Hypothesis, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Zionism and the State of Israel, the Civil Rights Movement, and other issues that address American and Jewish culture and identity.

Melton Shabbat Dinner: January 24, 2020
Melton Graduation: May 28, 2020

When do the classes meet?

Year 2

Melton Year 2 (Morning)
9:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Dates: Tuesdays, September 10 - May 12 (No class 10/1, 10/8, 12/24, 12/31)

Melton Year 2 (Evening)
6:30 PM – 8:45 PM
Dates: Tuesdays, September 10 - May 12 (No class 10/1, 10/8, 12/24, 12/31)

What does it cost?


Year 2: $600

Scholar Courses: $300 (for each 10-week course)


Year 2: $750

Scholar Courses: $350 (for each 10-week course)

Withdrawal Policy

For all Melton courses, payment is due in full by credit card at the time of registration. Registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and members receive priority registration. Classes run contingent upon a minimum registration of 15 students per class. Our withdrawal policies are as follows…

  • Withdrawal two weeks prior to first class – Full refund
  • Withdrawal under two weeks before to first class – Full refund less $85 (book fee)
  • Withdrawal after the second class – No refund


Registration links coming shortly.