Melton changes for Sydney

July 19, 2017 by Community newsdesk
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The world renowned adult Jewish education Melton program has exciting changes ahead in Sydney.

Beginning in July, Hinda Young will take on the role of Director, succeeding Jillian Fine. Hinda comes to the position well-qualified. She received her degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she studied Jewish thought, Jewish History and Ancient Languages.

Hinda Young

On graduation, she was awarded a Tikvah Fellowship, when she was a participant in a cohort of individuals engaged in Jewish ideas and their implementation. She has taught Judaism and Hebrew to children of various ages at Jewish schools in New York and Chicago. Since moving to Sydney two years ago with her husband, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton of The Great Synagogue, she has taught in the NSW BJE program and most recently, chaired the Limmud-Oz conference.

Hinda is very excited about her new appointment as Sydney’s Melton Director. She said ‘I am thrilled to be joining such an esteemed program. Melton stands for the highest calibre of pluralistic adult Jewish education around the world and it is an honour to be involved.’ She hopes to build on Melton’s past success and involve a diverse cross-section of the community in high quality Jewish learning.

Melton operates from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is found in 48 countries globally. In an important innovation, it moved to the Department of Hebrew, Biblical & Jewish Studies in February 2010. This was the first time that the program was offered through a secular university.

As a pluralistic, non-denominational program of study, the University of Sydney is proud of the many students (including some non-Jewish students) who have graduated from Melton, representing congregations and different groups throughout the community.

Since its move to the University of Sydney, the Melton director has been Jillian Fine, who has done an outstanding job. Jillian revitalised the program in Sydney and established it in a number of new locations, including Lindfield, Cremorne and Southern Sydney. She also introduced some of the new Melton graduate courses, which are offered to both graduates and new students. In 2016, 121 students participated in the Melton program and there have been over 800 participants in the Melton program since the move to the University.

The importance of Jillian’s work has been recognised overseas. In January 2013, at the 18th Annual International Directors Conference of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, held in Israel, Jillian Fine was honored with Melton’s Director Certification award in recognition of her leadership and best practices as a Melton director.

At the time, Melton CEO Judy Mars Kupchan commented: “Jillian brings such an extraordinary commitment and great talents to Melton in Sydney, and we all are inspired by her example.” Rabbi Morey Schwartz, Director of Education added: “Through Jillian’s professional ongoing commitment, Melton in Sydney is thriving.”

Last year, Jillian was appointed as a part-time education officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum. As much as she loved the Melton position, she felt that after seven and a half years at the helm, it was time to hand over the baton.

There is an exciting future ahead. Melton is constantly refreshing its offerings and creating new courses for the worldwide community, and Sydney takes full advantage. Now is a great time to find what will inspire you in Melton. This term there will be four courses taking place covering Jewish History, Kabbalah, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, and Israeli Literature. There will be new teachers, Lisa Inberg and Ilan Buchman and old favorites Anat Schechter-Vidor, Orna Triguboff, and Aviva Winton. Look for more information at https://cce.sydney.edu.au/courses/language-culture/jewish-culture.

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