Student/Faculty Voices

F r o m   t h e   A d m i n   T e a m

What Melton as an international model means to me: Viv Anstey, Director

I value the strength of the Melton international family as a collective.
The Melton organisation delivers relevant content, academic curricula, competency and cameraderie. As directors we are only as good as the courses on offer and the faculty who teach, which sets us/Melton apart from other offerings of Jewish Learning in our respective communities.

The international driver invests in us as directors and in turn we sustain the organisation. The expertise and experience of each director stimulates growth in each other and takes Melton to new heights. Melton is thus measured by excellent faculty and quality curricula.  It is rewarding to see our students evolve and emerge confident about their Jewish identity and practice, setting a path for themselves and their families, and in turn the community.

What Melton means to me:  Lauren Snitcher, Marketing & Recruitment

There are many choices we have as to how we spend our time. Nothing is more rewarding nor gives me greater pleasure than seeing a full table surrounded by Melton students all eagerly  choosing to engage with their age old heritage. For many of our students, Melton is the spring board for their Jewish journey, giving them the confidence, competence and inspiration toward a culture of Jewish learning. Many Melton students continue onwards to take on communal roles within the community. Melton learning has increased the “Jewish conversation” in our city. Our students take what they have learnt in class back into their families, schools, organisations and circles of friendships. The spark and passion I see being lit in so many of our students as they begin to wake up “Jewishly” is reassuring when looking towards the future of Jewish literacy and Jewish continuity.


F r o m   t h e   F a c u l t y:

RonnieRonnie Gotkin: “Our story unites countless generations; present, past and future merge into one great experience.” (Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik). Studying the Melton curriculum enables students to delve deeply and to connect with the incredible and unique 4000 year old story that has shaped who we are as Jews today, as a collective and as individuals. It is my privilege to help guide students through this remarkable tale of discovery and self-discovery, as it unfolds through the Melton curriculum.

Aviva Laskov: I have enjoyed teaching the Melton course on Israeli Literature As A Window To Israeli Society for many reasons:  To use Amos Oz’s words in an interview: ” …When you read a novel from another country, you are invited into other peoples’ lounges, their nurseries, studios and even their bedrooms.  You are invited into other peoples’ most intimate suffering, into their family celebrations and into their dreams…” The Melton Israeli literature course helps do just that. I have been privileged to guide interested, engaging Melton students into the literature and culture of modern Israel, domesticate the foreignness of novels and poems written by so many excellent authors and poets.

Richard Mendelsohn: Teaching at Melton through challenging texts to an engaged class is a constant reminder of the joys of teaching. Contextualising the readings and mining their meaning through extensive group discussion is the very best form of learning, beating top-down lecturing any day, deeply rewarding and enjoyable for both teacher and class. 


F r o m   t h e   s t u d e n t s

Nicole Martin Sorrell Pic 2020 FF“One of the gifts of the pandemic has been the ability to partake in Melton courses again, across the seas from London. My sister, Michelle and I, feel privileged to participate in “Jewish Mysticism & Kabbalah” under the superb tuition of Nachi Mendelow. It has been deeply stimulating and thought provoking. I admittedly have the highest standards being involved in the world of learning and development and my expectations have been significantly exceeded. 

Nachi spent much time in Safed being steeped in Kabbalah and has great wisdom. Yet he remarkably also has the ability to lead a large group of eager students through the joys and complexity of kabbalah with both grace, humility and discipline.” Nicole Martin Sorrell

Andrew Levin Pic 2020 FF“As in all Melton courses, this is text-based. The lesson structures are carefully thought out, with source texts representing multiple viewpoints within Judaism and are not prescriptive. 

I like that the texts are unaltered, some disturb, some resonate. The feeling I get is “ Wow”, I am interacting with centuries of Jewish texts and thought. As a medical professional, it enhances and informs my understanding. I have been surprised as the topics don’t shy away from very awkward, embarrassing realities of modern-day living, enabling even non medical participants to understand. 

This thought-provoking course sparkles because it is apparent that Judaism has been grappling with clarifying contemporary medical technological issues – significant relevance in our troubled times.” Andrew Levin

Barbara Flax Pic 2020 FF“I’ve become a Melton Junkie over the past two years and the lure of catching a glimpse into the everyday life and social history of Jews in medieval society was irresistible.

The Cairo Genizah archive is a collection of fragmentary Jewish texts, sacred and secular, stored in the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo/Fustat.

Under the enthusiastic “stewardship” of Bryan Opert, with the added insights of Ann Harris, we examine the “sacred trash” looking back into the private and public lives of the writers and observe interactions with people of other faiths, communities and countries.

Our romantic and nostalgic exploration of the forgotten world (not much different to ours) has made us aware of culture and traditions of the Jews of the period and region hold fast to their values and identity.” Barbara Flax

“I am loving the Melton course.  To be honest, the two presenters were my MAIN reason for signing up. I hardly looked at the course content in the beginning as I reckoned anything that Ronnie and Rabbi Greg had to say/teach would be worthwhile and how right I was.  It has been excellent and highly stimulating thus far.  I am VERY glad I am part of this year’s intake” Hilary Waters

“I am a Jewish convert who always wanted to learn more about Judaism, the Jewish beliefs, religious practices, different religious festivals, celebrations, and history. The Melton Adult Jewish Learning course is excellent for people like myself who would like to learn more about Judaism and the Jewish way of life. All the modules are well set out and all the lecturers are very knowledgeable & experienced.” Eugene Kruss van der Heever

“I knew in advance that I would enjoy the Melton Israeli Literature course – but I had no idea I would learn as much as I have – or that I would enjoy it even more than anticipated. Many of the selected texts were poems – works whose depth and richness I could never have understood and appreciated without our teacher, Aviva Laskov’s, acute, insightful and sensitive analyses – qualities she brought to all the texts. In this course, as with all Melton courses, I also learnt a great deal from the other class members’ experiences and interpretations. And I am delighted to note, that despite having myself taught courses on ‘Israeli Society’, my knowledge was greatly enriched through this literary lens. The course indeed lives up to its name as ‚a window to Israeli society‛!” Sally Frankental

“Studying the course ” Shivim Panim Bereishit” was like chewing an everlasting “Charlie and the Chocolate factory gobstopper. While it may not have 70 actual flavours, it enriched my understanding of difficult and complex Torah themes like the first murder and the Akeidah. Since this course I read weekly Torah portions with a new insight and consciousness. This has strengthened my belief that the wisdom of the Torah continues to reveal itself in a relevant and meaningful way.” Hayley Rubin

“Foundations of Jewish Family Living – Jewish values for parents to share with their children. We would all like to raise our children to be ‘menchses‛, and this course explores how we can use traditional stories and the lessons within them, to do just that. Discussing the texts (both traditional and contemporary) with fellow participants in a facilitated yet, comfortable and informal environment, adds to the richness of the experience. The course empowers us to not only take the conversations home, but to incorporate the messages into our own behaviour, improving us as role models for our children. It was exciting to witness how relevant the different themes and ideas were each week, and how accessible the messages were through the stories and books. This course helps both adults and children to distinguish those values they would like to cultivate and improve within themselves, and with respect to others in a most interesting and engaging approach – a great way to introduce Emotional Intelligence (EQ) learning in an informal yet traditional manner.” Natalie Barnett

“I have enjoyed Melton’s Shivim Panim: Bemidbar course immensely. Rabbi Opert engages with the deep anxieties in the Biblical text over Israel’s relationship with God and how traditional and modern commentary has addressed questions on leadership, service of Hashem, unity and sin. I would recommend a Shivim Panim course to anyone ready for a serious entanglement with the text and the tradition.” Louis Blond

“The social aspects of the classes are great;  the class discussions are dynamic;  the disagreements are passionate (of course we disagreed sometimes….that’s the Jewish way of learning). You will learn surprising things every class and you will leave each class with a feeling of accomplishment. This would be a great way to start the New Year…please consider enriching your Jewish self by taking these classes.” Alan, overseas visitor

“Thank you for the wisdom and sensitivity that you brought to the recent Melton course. I learnt a lot and gained a greater insight into this heart-breaking human tragedy.  I feel inspired to carry on exploring this vital subject.” Roy (Holocaust Course)

“The Melton course has been an inspiring and an enjoyable experience for me.” Sheila (Core)

“I am going to miss my Tuesday mornings with Melton which have become one of the highlights of my week!” Maeva (Core)

“This is my hour in the week for open dialogue and storytelling. I leave inspired and connected. Thank you for introducing me to such a wide spectrum of Jewish expression!” Daniella (Core)


“Absolutely loving, mesmerised and fascinated by Melton. Given me a spring in my life and sprouting wonderful roots filled with questions, interpretations and debates. Cannot believe I can concentrate for 2.5 hours, after long hard day’s work and can think of nothing except what is being presented” Jonny (Core

“I was sold when I heard that there were day lectures. What an amazing 2 years this has been. I have been to many shiurim and so the first-year course dealing with the life cycle and rhythms was not foreign to me. I found the Ethics course amazing – where modern day scenarios such as organ donation and IVF all have sources in the Tanach. Our Jewish History includes so much drama – from our interesting origins and difficult journeys through the millennia – all seen through the eyes of people who witnessed the highs and lows of each generation” Beryl (Core)


“One of the things I love about Judaism is the constant searching and studying and debating about our purpose and understanding the Torah. Also respecting that there might be a difference in opinion. I have learned much this year and it is amazing to think how long tradition and rituals have been practiced and preserved” Liesel (Core)

“I have very much enjoyed Esther’s lectures and have found them most interesting and informative. I also enjoyed her leading the group with such enthusiasm. It was very infectious”
Dorothy (Heroes and Villains)

“Very instructive and absorbing series of lectures” David (Core)

“Bursting with excitement!!” Sofia (Core)


“It has indeed been an honour and a privilege to have completed the Melton course. Rabbi Greg, your approach to Jewish Ethics was amazing, especially being able to discuss on various levels. Ronnie, your knowledge of Jewish history is just incredible – as I never went to a Jewish day school, the topics discussed for me were so interesting. Viv and Lauren many thanks to you for all the hard work you do in organizing the schedules and putting Melton together! The experience of a Melton Course Is a very special one, thanks for the opportunity. I feel truly enriched by the learning.  I can honestly recommend Melton to anyone who would like a deeper understanding and Knowledge of Jewish ethics and dramas!” Hazel (Core)

“I loved the weekly opportunity to learn with wonderful people. I left each week with lots of questions but also much insight and enrichment. I look forward to more next year” Sue (Core)

“Thought provoking, inspiring and stimulating! A privileged opportunity to study Torah, Jewish history and core values of Judaism in such a relaxed, informal manner ” Debbie (Core)

“May you and all at Melton continue your excellent work in bringing Jewish learning and understanding to many in our community” Sybil (Holocaust)

“I continue to use all the valuable knowledge I learnt (and hope still to learn at more courses) in my everyday life as a Jew” Colin (Core: Beyond Borders)


“I would like to thank you for your friendliness and the wonderful way you handled the Melton course. It has enriched my life and journey into Judaism no end” Louise (Core; Israeli Literature)

“The Melton seminar was one of the highlights of my life I would go as far as to say. I was fortunate to be part of a wonderful group of participants. Chaim was a superb educator, human being and challenged us right to the last moment” Batya (Core, Israeli Literature, Israel Travel Seminar)

“I was utterly amazed at the breadth of the course, the depth, the areas covered, the diversity of well informed and thoughtful opinions. Phew!” Rheina (Core, Israeli Literature)

“My 2-year Melton course, based on a topical and non-judgemental curriculum, provided me with a well-rounded perspective of Judaism that filled many gaps in my knowledge of Judaism and Yiddishkeit.  It gave me a better understanding of Judaism –from ancient texts to contemporary ethical issues. What a privilege to have the opportunity to indulge myself in academic study once a week and be exposed to thinking about and questioning pertinent Jewish issues. Melton fills a unique role in being able to educate those people interested in in-depth sophisticated text-based learning and discussion. It has been a most enriching and thought-provoking journey of discovery” Simone (Core)

“Melton – just do it
Melton – you can stay as you are for the rest of your life or you can change …
Melton – to make sense of Yesterday Today and Tomorrow. This course is really fantastic, and I am incredibly glad to be partaking in it. All aspects of the course bring me deep fulfillment and a sense of growth and understanding of the crucial aspects of life” Lynda (Core, Beyond Borders, Star & Crescent, Women in Judaism & many more)

“Week after week, reading and listening to the thoughts of those who were able to put theirs down on paper, my sense of anguish and helplessness pervades my being as I identify with the writings.  It reconfirms  our deepest desire to honour those who fell before us by living the best lives we are able to muster; to see obstacles in our lives as challenges, to overcome by choosing to find meaning and keep rewriting the script of our lives into one of gratitude….. It is the only way we can honour their lives — by being fully alive until we too are no more.” Michelle Boiskin’s (Holocaust):

“Melton gave me an understanding of Jewish life, Jewish thought, past and present and how it relates to our lives today; to rethink issues we had opinions on, with ongoing discussions, engagement and reflection we learned to appreciate the Jewish way of life… “that they become a link in the chain across time and across faith.” Melton’s aim is to transmit cultural knowledge from one generation to the next. And It has truly lived up to it expectations and leaves you wanting more. Course topics stimulated much debate and discussions in class, with my fellow peers, in the staffroom and in the car on the way home with our spouses.” Graduate Roxanne Mayhew, Herzlia Primary School Educator: Year One & Two

“Melton’s great strength is that students are given the forum that is comfortable to engage and the freedom to explore topics that seem to be confusing, even in conflict with one’s own personal view, while becoming more equipped to understand the ‘why’.  Thank you Melton for providing the framework for building knowledge.” Barbara Flax: Year One & Beyond Borders Graduate: