Year Two Core: Crossroads of Jewish History & Ethics of Jewish Living
Crossroads of Jewish History - With an emphasis on reclaiming the richness of Jewish history, the chronological exploration investigates significant crossroads where Jews took major decisions that shaped 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.

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.

Day and Time: Wednesday evenings
Runs: February - November 2021
Number of Lessons: 30
Location: Online/in-person in Cape Town
Faculty: Ronnie Gotkin (Crossroads) & Greg Alexander (Ethics)
Living Wisdom series
Love, Loss and Wisdom - There is no escaping it - at one time or another, death enters our lives. What wisdom or traditions can help us cope with this most challenging part of life? Join us as we study and discuss how Judaism helps us make sense of and deal with illness and death. In this six-session course, we’ll plant seeds of wisdom to unearth some of life’s biggest questions.

Members of the Tribe
- We’ll dive deep into a fundamental, challenging question for Members of the Tribe: “What is the overarching purpose of Judaism?” Together, we’ll examine aspects of what might be considered the Jewish mission, a blend of practices that distinguish us as Jews, and what to do with this idea of being called the "Chosen People." Prepare to explore how Big Jewish Ideas and lessons from our history serve to enrich our collective actions as individuals and as a people.

OMG, Can You Believe?!
- 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.

Soul's Cycles: A Ride Through the Chapters of Life - Let’s learn about life’s celebrations in tandem with Jewish meaning. Six weeks of putting the pedal to the metal will be sure to fuel your sense of adventure. In this course, we’ll say “L’Chaim!” to Jewish markers of time, rites of passage, and celebratory rituals. En route to the finish line, this course will navigate the winding roads of childhood and adulthood rituals, all while living as Jews in a modern world. Our time together is certain to bring soul to life’s big moments.

Day and Time:
To be confirmed
Runs: mid-February - November 2021
Number of Lessons: 24
Location: Online/in-person in Cape Town
Faculty: Bryan Opert & Esther Maizels
Social Justice: The Heart and Soul of Judaism in Theory and Practice
Social Justice work goes beyond addressing short-term needs taking a close look at the underlying causes of injustice with an eye toward bringing about change. This 10-lesson course explores historical and contemporary examples of Jewish commitment to social justice through the lens of Jewish wisdom manifest in our texts. Inspiring participants to take a stand and make a difference. Drawing from texts and history, topics of study include poverty, immigration, environmental degradation and more.

Day and Time:
To be confirmed
Runs: Dates to be confirmed
Number of Lessons: 10
Location: Online/in-person in Cape Town
Faculty: Greg Alexander
Beyond Borders: The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
This course provides a strong, text-based historical overview from the late nineteenth century through today. The course material is designed to encourage discussion and debate, challenging students to appreciate the basis of the conflicting historical claims made by all sides. The complexity of the controversy forces students to grapple with issues of religion and culture, history and politics, combined with economics, identity and survival—all reflected through primary sources, including newspaper articles, poetry, songs, government documents, speeches, photographs and memoirs. The course will provide new tools for understanding and critiquing texts and events as the conflict continues to unfold.

Day and Time:
Thursdays, 7:15-9:15 pm
Runs: mid-April to October 2021
Number of Lessons: 20
Location: Online/in-person in Cape Town
Faculty: Ronnie Gotkin & Wayne Sussman



Viv AnsteyViv Anstey has a Hons in Social Work from UCT, a MA in Social Work (Unisa) & MA in Jewish Community Service from Brandeis University. Viv has been involved in various start-ups in the community, holding numerous lay and professional leadership positions. She is a community activist and serial social  entrepreneur and change agent. She is married to Gary and has 2 children.

Director: Midrasha Adult Education Institute, incorporating Melton.
Director: Eliot Osrin Leadership Institute
Co-founder: Limmud SA, Jewish Literary Festival, PJ Library SA, SA Jewish Museum. Serves on Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies & Cape Town 2040 Vision Team. She is a trustee of Habonim SA.

Marketing & Recruitment

Lauren SnitcherLauren Snitcher graduated as a BA.LLB(UCT) and worked as an attorney in Cape Town. After having two daughters, she practised Massage, Reflexology and Body Alignment and was as a registered practitioner. Later she pursued her life long passion in Jewish education; after completing the Melton Course in 2008, she jumped at the opportunity to assist Viv in recruitment and admin. With an interest in Jewish Heritage and as a descendant of an Ochberg orphan, she undertook extensive research and travel, resulting in the creation of an Oscar short-listed documentary movie, “Ochberg’s Orphans”.

Contact Details

Viv Anstey (Director) -This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lauren Snitcher -This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sponsoring Agency

Midrasha Adult Education Institute
incorporating The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning
Cape Town, South Africa

Advisory Board

Natalie Barnett; Debbie Weinstein; Sally Frankental; Owen Futeran; Myra Osrin; Moonyene Castle; Hilton Greenbaum; Dennis Davis


Moonyeen Castle, Hilton Greenbaum