Friends of Melton Alumni Association kick-off

by | Sep 14, 2012 | Other News

The launching of the Friends of Melton/Alumni Association sets into place a plan for the future of the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School at the Simon Family JCC.

Graduates, who have completed the first two years of the Mini-School, recently met to share ideas, experiences, and plans for the school’s future. Approximately 30 former students representing the past 11 years of graduating classes met at the home of Linda Spindel on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Rabbi Efrat Zarren-Zohar, regional consultant for FMAMS and director of the Mini-School in Miami, Fla. was the guest speaker.

Zarren-Zohar taught a text about the value of Jewish study. This text focused on how education fits into the clash between the pressing needs of the present and the investment in the future. The group agreed that Melton classes bring back the ancient adult paradigm of learning, where adults perpetuate the learning cycle reinforced in the family. She also shared experiences of other communities who launched an alumni association, including one in her own community.

Zarren-Zohar congratulated the group for its enthusiasm and dedication. She asked the graduates to share their best memories of the two-year Melton classes. Responses ranged from the quality of the instruction to the camaraderie and friendships, from the wonderful director Miriam Brunn Ruberg, to the recent Melton graduating class with three physicians, which initiated lively moral discussions on the subject of medical ethics.

The rabbi summed up the comments saying that what really becomes evident is that Melton graduates are empowered to grasp and understand Jewish topics ranging from historical to current; that they have gained the background from which to better interpret and reflect upon the world through a Jewish lens.

Noting that Melton has added so much depth and knowledge to her life, Judi Snyder, one of the co-chairs of the Melton Advisory Committee, encouraged the new Friends/ Alumni group to support the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School with a personal gift to ensure its continued success.

For more information about the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, contact Miriam Brunn Ruberg at 321-2338 or

The Simon Family Jewish Community Center is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

by Leslie Shroyer