With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Gordon Zacks, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning for the past 13 years. Gordon’s mother, Florence Zacks Melton was the remarkable pioneer who established our school, and Gordon Zacks was the devoted son who created his own enduring legacy as a champion of Jewish education for adults.
Gordon served three US Presidents and five Israeli Prime Ministers as advisor, consultant, and friend. He eschewed cabinet positions and ambassadorships in order to remain behind the scenes, effectively offering his influence and leadership in support of Israel and the Jewish people. He played an active role in such critical issues as the Middle East peace process, and the release of Soviet Jewry and Ethiopian Jewry. During Gordon’s long tenure as Chair of the Florence Melton School, he established the infrastructure that makes the Florence Melton School a strong and sustainable contributor to world Jewry.
Gordon is survived by his two daughters Cathy Gildenhorn and Kim Zacks, and three grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to P.O. Box 687, Pickerington, OH, 43147. The family requested that donations may be made to the Florence Melton School, 95 Revere Drive, Suite F, Northbrook, IL, 60062.
A Word from the CEO
The wide-open spaces of Camp Young Judea in Wimberley, TX was the setting for expansive thinking, creative problem-solving, and pure inspiration at the recent International Directors Conference. Twenty-three directors gathered from all points on the Melton map, from Atlanta to Auckland and Sydney to San Diego.
Valuable learning was shared among directors on recruitment, faculty development and customer service. Dr. Steve Cohen came to the conference via the web and offered his interpretation of the recent PEW study viewed through a Melton lens. An afternoon and evening in Austin sharing learning with local Meltonians and Melton faculty were also a highlight.
New models of learning that were demonstrated with great success included the Four Frames, Synectics, and Melton Online, and three Judges Judy, Texas line dancing, and a camp fire brought some moments to reflect and enjoy the very good company of our peers.
Thanks to our wonderful contributors for sharing their impressive wisdom: Talli Dippold of Charlotte, Rabbi Karen Strok of Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles, Lynn Wexler of Las Vegas, Rachelle Weiss Crane of Dallas, Rolly Cohen of Chicago, Yael Weinstein of Denver, Fae Silverman of Portland, ME via skype, Judy Loebl of Detroit, and Melton staff Rabbi Morey Schwartz, Rabbi Efrat Zarren Zohar, Annie Glickman and Jonathan Fass. Special thanks to Aliza Orent of Austin for supporting the conference in so many ways. We all appreciated the participation of Sherrie Weiss, Chair-elect of International Friends, and our gratitude goes to Melton staff Jody Hyman and Betty Sobelman for their tireless efforts at making the IDC a memorable one.
Judy Mars Kupchan CEO
Atlanta School Receives Florence Melton Award
The prestigious Florence Melton Award was presented this year to the Melton School of Atlanta at the Lisa Brill Institute of the Marcus JCC. Accepting the award were Melton Director Dr. Shelley Buxbaum (center) and Janice Wolfe (left), CFO of the Marcus JCC.
International Melton CEO Judy Mars Kupchan extoled the impressive accomplishments of Shelley Buxbaum in building the Melton school, creating collaborations with rabbis, congregations, and day schools in Atlanta, and restoring the crown of Melton’s good name in the community.
As a capstone of achievement, Shelley is playing a major leadership role in bringing the upcoming Kallah 2014 to Atlanta.
Torah from Our Teachers Chodesh Adar Alef 5774
Paula Baruch offers this month's D'var Torah on the subject of "Engaging in Torah." She is the Cantorial Soloist / Program Director / Youth Director at Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. As a Melton teacher, Paula says, "I love the rich discussions that the units of study bring out in our participant. I value pluralism and the many ways our people express their Judaism." Read her D'var Torah online or download the file.
Kallah Sneak Peek on Feb. 5
Please join us on Wednesday, February 5 at either 9:30 am CST or 2:30 pm CST for a sneak peek with Melton Director of Travel Seminars and Kallah Faculty member Haim Aronovitz. During the 45-minute sessions, Haim will lead us in study titled With Martin Luther King on the Jericho Road, giving you a glimpse of what’s to come in Atlanta at the end of March. If you are interested in joining us for one of these sessions and have not yet registered for the Kallah, please email Jody Hyman. She will confirm your registration and send you the call access information.
Put a Place to the Name with our 'Biblical In-Sites' Seminar
You think you know the story, until you study it at the very places mentioned, and the scene and scenery make you reread it and bring it alive! With our "Biblical In-Sites" seminar (March 3-13, 2014), encounter patriarchs and matriarchs, kings, prophets, soldiers and judges—and the land itself—as we study Tanakh on site, discussing the text and its implications, with insights gained from being in the locations described in the Biblical text.
The International Friends of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning invite you to experience Melton learning and Southern hospitality!
The MLK Memorial at the King Center (photo: George Paul Puvvada)
The 2014 Kallah will explore the theme of DIVERGENT VISIONS: NORTH & SOUTH; ISRAEL & AMERICA.
Jews have lived in Atlanta since the early 1800s and have played an important role in Atlanta's rise and development, gaining remarkable acceptance. Atlanta has also witnessed two of the most infamous incidents of Anti-Semitism in Jewish American history: The Leo Frank lynching (1915) and The Temple bombing (1958). As part of our exploration of the Jewish South, we will visit The Temple and The King Center and study the significance of Southern Jewry.
Join us for this extraordinary Melton learning experience with our outstanding faculty:
WHEN: Sunday, March 30, 2014 beginning at 3:00 pm through 12:00 pm on Tuesday, April 1, 2014
WHERE: The Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, GA and local points of interest
HIGHLIGHTS: On this extraordinary Melton learning experience we will:
Discuss the divergent visions inside Israel today
Explore the significance of Southern Jewry
Study biblical precedents between North and South
Embark on learning sessions at The King Center and The Temple
Engage in breakout sessions with local “eyewitnesses”
View a schedule of events and read faculty bios here.
For more information, please email Jody Hyman or call 1-877-263-5866
Early-bird registration for the 2014 Kallah closes on February 15, 2014!
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning is the largest pluralistic adult Jewish education network in the world. With 45 locations in North America, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong, the Melton School sets the standard for high-quality, text-based, interactive Jewish study. Founded by Florence Zacks Melton with the vision of impacting the destiny of the Jewish people through transformative learning, the Melton School has more than 30,000 graduates worldwide today. The hallmark of the Melton School is its world-class curriculum, which continues to inform and inspire adult learners from all knowledge-levels and backgrounds.
The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning — Adult Learning for the Wondering Jew.