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MeltonKC Course Offerings

If you are seeking a profound understanding of what it means to be Jewish, and an opportunity to connect with other adults on inspiring and intriguing topics, we invite you to join MeltonKC. Explore the texts of our tradition, discover their ideas and stories, and find new meaning in how they apply to your life today. With new offerings and the return of popular topics, MeltonKC’s 2020-21 curriculum has something for all learners – new and returning.

MeltonKC classes are currently held via Zoom. Zoom information will be provided for your class after registration. We intend to return to in-person classes when it is safe to do so. We will keep students informed if/when the time comes to return to an in-
person class format. 

Most Melton courses are $250/student, plus materials. Thanks to the support of generous donors, MeltonKC provides subsidies as needed. Click here to register, or contact Megan Pener, MeltonKC Director, (913) 327-8161.

MeltonKC's 2020-21 Spring Course Lineup

Social Justice: The Heart of Judaism in Theory and Practice
This new Melton course will draw from text and history to explore how social justice work goes beyond addressing short-term needs and looks at structural causes of injustice today. Topics include issues related to poverty, immigration and environmental degradation. Participants will be encouraged to identify issues that are particular to their own communities and which they would like to explore in greater depth.

Mondays | 6:45-8:15 pm Central Time | 10 weeks beginning February 8
Faculty: Rabbi Amy Wallk-Katz
Location: Zoom

Thursdays | 10 weeks (specific dates and times TBA); For KU Hillel students only
Faculty: Suzy Sostrin and Ira Kirschner
Location: Zoom

Coming 2021 | Wednesdays | 6:30 pm (spring start date TBA) | 10 weeks: Dates TBA
Faculty: Rabbi Alpert
Location: Zoom


The Aish Kodesh, The Holy Fire
Locally designed. Before the Shoah there was a Hasidic community under siege – their adversary wasn’t an evil empire, but the enlightened ideas of modernity. Enter a Chasidic master from exurban Warsaw, Klonymus Kalman Shapira, who was fated to
be the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto. He was posthumously known by the name given to his essays during his time in the Ghetto. Now he is known as The Aish Kodesh, The Holy Fire. We will study his essays before the war, and those he wrote while the world burned around him.

Wednesdays | 12:30-1:30pm | 8 classes: January 20, February 3, 17, March 10, 24, April 7, 21 (final class date coming soon)
Faculty: Rabbi Avi Weinstein
Location: Zoom


From Sinai to Seinfeld: Jews and Their Jokes
This course reveals a treasure of irresistible jokes from the Israelite relationship with G-d to the growing divide between cultural and religious Judaism in the early 21st Century. Treating Jewish jokes as text, this course invites learners to analyze and interpret the evolving concerns, styles, rhythms, preoccupations, and values of the Jewish people buried deep in words. Long part of the Jewish soul, humor throughout history has elevated our spirit and bonded us as a people.

Fridays | 9:30-11:00 am | 10 weeks: January 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, March 5, 19, April 9, 16
Faculty: Marla Brockman
Location: Zoom


Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
This course provides students with a strong, text-based historical overview from the late nineteenth century through today. The complexity of the conflict forces students to grapple with issues of religion, culture, history, politics, economics, identity and survival—all reflected through primary sources, including newspaper articles, poetry, songs, government documents, speeches, photographs and memoirs.

Thursdays | 7:00-8:30 pm | 10 weeks: Feb. 4, 11, 18, March 4, 11, 18, April 22, 29, 6, 13
Faculty: Bill Greenberg
Location: Zoom


Jewish Answers to Life’s Most Challenging Questions
Taste of Melton course. When dealing with life’s hardships and disappointments, when the suffering is overwhelming or the loss is devastating, many people ask themselves some very difficult questions: Why do good people suffer? Why is there so much evil in the world? Is everything that happens pre-ordained? Don’t I deserve a miracle? A four-part course of study titled Jewish Answers to Life’s Most Challenging Questions explores answers to these timeless questions through the eyes of the rabbinic sages as well as those modern thinkers and presents multiple Jewish approaches to the quest for understanding.

Coming 2021 | Thursdays | 12:15-1:15 pm | 4 weeks (specific dates TBA)
Faculty: Alan Edelman
Location: Village Shalom; This in-person class will take place once it is safe to meet.
Cost: $36, includes course and materials; Free for Village Shalom residents


Crisis and Creativity in Exile
Locally designed. Rabbi Scott White charts a course through peaks and valleys between Judaea’s fall in 135 to the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the long night of powerlessness when all but a tiny fraction of the Jewish people lived outside the Land of Israel. Explorations include The Crusaders’ Bloodletting, the Fall from Glory in Spain, Codification and Kabbalah in Safed, the messianic pretender Shabtai Zvi, the birth of Hassidism, the German Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment), the Dreyfus Affair, the Rise and Fall of Russian Jewry, the Great Migration to America, and the Birth of Modern Zionism.

Coming 2021 | Dates & times TBA
Faculty: Rabbi Scott White
Location: Jewish Community Campus; This in-person class will take place once it is safe to meet.