The Story of the First Jewish Family (Genesis / Bereshit Part II)
The narrative of this course follows the development of the first Jewish family from the birth of two nations through great 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, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 12 - March 23, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Rabbi Dalia Samansky
Revelation and Revolution (Exodus / Shemot Part II)
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: Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 14 - March 25, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Rabbi Lisa Bock
From Sinai to Seinfeld: Jews and Their Jokes
This course reveals a treasure of irresistible jokes from the Israelite relationship with God 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 since part of the Jewish soul, humor, throughout history, has elevated our spirit and bonded us as a people.

Meets: Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 14 - March 25, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Lana Marcus
The Long Goodbye: Deuteronomy (Devarim)
The fifth of the five books of Moses is a book of prose and poetry, laws, and ethics. 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. Significantly, while Deuteronomy contains the words of one man reflecting on the journey of one people, students will quickly learn that the wisdom found in this final book of Torah has spoken to many people, through countless journeys, throughout time.

Meets: Thursdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 14 - March 25, 2021
Number of Lessons: 10
Faculty: Michael Raileanu
OMG, Can You Believe?!
In this six-week exploratory course, we’ll seek answers to the BIG questions around God and God’s relationship to Humankind. Take for yourself a Divine moment to uncover and consider many different understandings of God expressed by Jewish thinkers, past and present. This course will give you the tools to continue asking deep questions, probing your own beliefs and rethinking the “God- questions” that confront us throughout our lives.

Meets: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Pacific via Zoom
Runs: January 19 - February 23, 2021
Number of Lessons: 6
Faculty: Rabbi Dalia Samansky



Rooks PamelaPamela Rooks received her M.Ed. from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles in 1989. She has since held positions as Day School Principal, Religious School Principal, Family Educator and Teacher in Reform, Conservative and Orthodox schools and at Jewish camps. Over the years, always seeking to ignite Jewish sparks, Pamela has created curriculum and mentored teachers, implementing dynamic programs in multiple settings. Pamela enjoys the transformative impact the Melton School offers to “Wondering” Jews worldwide with its pluralistic, interactive approach to text study and commentary. Pamela welcomes you to come and Experience Melton!

Sponsoring Agency

Temple Etz Chaim Thousand Oaks logoTemple Etz Chaim
1080 E Janss Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Contact Details

  Pamela Rooks (Director)