We are always pleased to see articles on the importance of adult Jewish learning, and the recent piece focusing on the newly packaged Context was no exception (“ A New ‘Context’ For Adult Ed,” Oct. 1).
While the article included mention of learning programs that make up “the competition,” all of us engaged with the sacred work of Jewish education in any framework know that our only real competition is whatever people do when they are not learning Jewishly.
Nonetheless I offer two important corrections to the text of the article regarding the learning context I know best: The Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. In comparing Melton with Context, you say we are “more religious and less academic in approach…” For the record, Melton is a study experience that is nondenominational, text-based and has no agenda other than providing dynamic, inspiring Jewish learning. “Religious” is not a word that describes us.
I described our number of schools as 50-plus internationally and reported the remarkable fact that — despite the economic downturn and a changing Jewish community — the number of communities that provide access to the high-quality, pluralistic, interactive Jewish learning that the Melton school offers has remained stable over many years. To call that phenomenon “stagnant” is to be misleading. We applaud those many communities and congregations and agencies that have made adult Jewish learning with the Melton Adult Mini-School a high priority for all the right reasons, especially those mentioned in your article at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan, in Long Island through the Long Island Board of Rabbis and in Rockland County at the Jewish Federation.
North American Director
The Florence Melton