Hilton bows out

February 2, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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After almost 30 years as Chief Executive of Sydney’s The Shalom Institute and Shalom College, Dr Hilton Immerman has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2016.

Hilton Immerman

Hilton Immerman

“Working at Shalom has been much more than an occupation and a passion, it’s been a vocation – a ‘calling’,” he said. “But while I remain as passionate about, and committed to Shalom as I was when I took on the role, the time is approaching for me to move on to another phase of my life and for a new CEO to take the reins of this amazing organisation.”

Shalom is a very different organisation from what it was when Dr Immerman came on board as College Master in 1989. “At the beginning I had a staff of 3 part-timers – an administrator, a secretary and a bookkeeper. The journey I have undertaken with a succession of dedicated and supportive board members and staff to transform The Shalom Institute into a dynamic organisation with an outstanding team of professionals running world-leading and cutting-edge programs has been a rewarding experience”.

Dr Immerman intends to remain both active and proactive as CEO for the 2016 year to enable
a smooth transition and the finalisation of an organisational restructure which commenced last year. His final day in office will be the 16th of December 2016 – which, coincidentally, will also be his 43rd wedding anniversary.

Shalom Board President, Jonathan Leib said, “While it will no doubt be difficult to find a successor for such a dedicated and accomplished professional, the state in which Dr Immerman leaves The Shalom Institute, and the substantial notice period he has given to the Board, will no doubt make the task more manageable.”

A few from the many highlights for Shalom during Dr Immerman’s tenure include the introduction, implementation and operation of major community programs like:

  • The Hebrew University’s Melton Adult Education Program. Shalom was an early pioneer of this program which is now run in 47 cities around the world and continues to be offered at the University of Sydney.
  • Limmud-Oz – Shalom established and ran the first ever Limmud outside the UK in 1999. It is now the biggest event on the Australian Jewish community’s cultural calendar. Limmud now runs in 89 cities in 35 countries on 6 continents. Shalom’s Yom Limmud and Limmud Fest are also thriving.
  • The Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival which Shalom introduced in 2006. Following our example, Melbourne has now introduced a Jewish writers’ festival. The Melbourne community also implemented Melton and Limmud following Shalom’s example and with our help.
  • Shalom’s innovative and world’s best practice work with young adults through Network and Hillel.
  • Moishe House – creating not only a vibrant, home-based hub for the young adult Jewish community, but also developing young Jewish leaders.
  • Shalom’s wonderful core program, PJ Library – a first in the Southern Hemisphere – and Shalom Baby, which signalled our move into the young families demographic.
  • Our ground breaking and multi-award winning social justice / tikkun olam initiative – the Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Scholarship Program which is respected around Australia.

“The breadth of positive communal feedback we have received about these programs is testament to the impact they have made and the high esteem in which they are held within the community,” said Mr Leib.

Dr Immerman has been widely recognised over his tenure. This recognition has taken many forms and notably includes a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to adult education and leadership development, an Honorary Fellowship by the University of NSW for service to the community and the university (particularly for work on the Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Scholarship Program), and the Ron Castan Humanitarian Award for promoting Indigenous higher education.

“It is purely as a result of my work with the staff and board of Shalom, that I have been privileged to receive some recognition over the years. The credit for this must be shared with all members of the great Shalom family because it is our joint achievements which have been recognised,” said Dr Immerman.

The Shalom Institute Board has appointed a subcommittee which will shortly begin work on the process of recruiting a new CEO.

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