Bereshit (Genesis) Part II - The Story of the First Jewish Family
This course follows the development of the first Jewish family from the birth of two nations through wrongdoings and reunions, to the renowned blessing of the grandchildren. Stories of sibling rivalry, wrestling with angels, palace seduction, rape, and reconciliation, provide some of the most dramatic and iconic images that reverberate across the millennia.

Meets: Tuesdays, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 5 - March 9, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Rabbi Janet Madden
Devarim (Deuteronomy) - The Long Goodbye
In our study of Devarim, the fifth book of Torah, we join Moses in his final address to the nation. Standing on the edge of Canaan, we are poignantly reminded it is a land he will never enter. It is here that Moses reflects on his journey through the wilderness, encouraging the people to live with foresight as they make their preparations to enter the Promised Land without him.

Meets: Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 5 - March 9, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Rabbi Shana Chandler Leon

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Meets: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 12 - March 16, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Rabbi Shana Chandler Leon

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Meets: Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 14 - March 18, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Mr. Neal Schnall
Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Lessons 11-15)
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 and culture, history and politics together with economics, identity and survival—all reflected through primary sources, including newspaper articles, poetry, songs, government documents, speeches, photographs and memoirs.

Meets: Thursdays, 9:00-10:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 7 - March 18, 2021 (no class March 11)
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Rabbi Adam Schaffer

Register for THIS CLASS ONLY here.
Shemot (Exodus) Part II - Revelation and Revolution
This course follows the development of the emerging Jewish nation from their awe-inspiring encounter at Sinai through the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. The high points of divine revelation are sharply contrasted with the low points of the Golden Calf incident and overarching sense of despair. The text addresses many of the laws and regulations that would later bring great meaning, purpose, and relevance to our lives.

Meets: Wednesdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 13 - March 17, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Mr. Benzy Kogen


Director: Rabbi Karen Strok

Rabbi Karen StrokKaren Strok has been the founding director of the award-winning Stephen Wise Temple Melton School since 2010. This role allows Karen to combine her gift for helping create and foster caring communities with her passion for adult Jewish education. Always seeking opportunities for personal learning and growth, Karen found spiritual fulfillment through Mussar study and practice. Many members of the Wise Melton School have joined Karen on this journey as she facilitates Mussar learning-communities in her home through the Wise Center for Jewish Life. For the past 20 years, Karen has shown gratitude for her education at the Hebrew Union College by staying connected to both the rabbinic and education programs – working with the alumni and professional associations, teaching, and mentoring the next generation of Jewish professionals. She is a proud banana slug, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Religious Studies from UCSC. But Karen’s greatest joy is sharing life with her partner Joshua for the past 25 years and helping prepare Micah (19) and Avi (17) to successfully launch (baruch hashem) into the next phase of their lives as young adults.

Assistant Director: Karen Goldenstein, Melton Project Manager

I was born in Mexico City where I lived until 1995. I received a BA in Business Administration from Universidad Anahuac and I received my MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA in 1997. For most of my life in Los Angeles, I have been a full time mom to my four kids. I have been an active participant and serious volunteer at our kids' schools (Milken Community Middle School and High School, WISE School and VBS elementary school). In addition, I have volunteered in a leadership position at Children’s Hospital L.A. for the Holidays from the Heart program. I graduated from the West Valley Melton School 8 years ago and I am honored to be working with Rabbi Karen Strok for our WISE Melton School.

Sponsoring Agency

Los Angeles Stephen Wise Temple logoStephen Wise Temple
15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90077

Advisory Board


Contact Details

Karen Strok (Melton Director)
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