Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County

Melton Graduates Three More Congregants!

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 2:02pm -- Lifelong Learning

In a lovely graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 6th, Deb Bacol, Gail Farr and Cynthia Mark-Hummel received Certificates in Adult Jewish Learning from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.  Wishing them a hearty yasher koach included their current classmates (who have the opportunity to graduate next spring) and some of the 14 members of Congregation Etz Chaim who graduated last year.

After brief remarks by Rolly Cohen, Director of the BJE Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, one of our Melton teachers Rabbi Yehoshua ben Avraham (YABA) gave a d’var Torah about first gaining the knowledge and then doing something with it. The graduates shared reflections on their two-year study comprised of four classes totaling 100 hours of instruction, discussion and camaraderie. To paraphrase, “genuinely thought-provoking opinions,” “well-facilitated discussions by knowledgeable, open-minded teachers,” “interpretations of Torah meaningfully applicable to everyday life,” “variety of historical and contemporary sources.” The ceremony concluded with remarks and a blessing led by David Barany, who also taught one of the Melton courses this year. A reception followed.

Congregation Etz Chaim is part of the consortium of 11 synagogues in the Chicago area, which is the largest (341 students) in the international school named for Florence Melton, the renowned and philanthropic woman whose vision of a worldwide, pluralistic, text-based school for adult Jewish education was launched in North America, in 1986, in partnership with Hebrew University.

Intrigued? Interested in continuing your own Jewish journey? Melton CORE TWO classes – The Crossroads of Jewish History and The Ethics of Jewish Living (2018, updated curriculum) will be offered on Sunday afternoons this fall. It is not necessary to have taken CORE ONE in order to enroll in CORE TWO.


Submitted by Barbara Turner
Photos courtesy of Leslie Turner


Melton Graduates 2017 and 2018

Back Row:  Rolly Cohen, Melton Director; David Barany, teacher;  Ron Hason, Mary Hason, Jen Gesinski, Barbara Turner, Mark Turner, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Avraham, teacher; Patricia Rosenmann, Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky

Front Row: Harve Bogolub, Joyce Bogolub, Harve Segal, Linda Segal, Deb Bacol, Carol Forbes, Peggy McGrath, Gail Farr, Cynthia Mark-Hummel  Not Pictured:  Flo Appel, Sue Schoenberg

The beautiful artwork was created by Jen Gesinski to represent her reflections on Melton.

Graduates With This Year’s Core One Class

Back Row: Renee Kaplan, Melton Administrator; David Barany, Ron Hason, Jen Gesinski, Mary Hason, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Avraham, Barbara Turner, David Diaz, Mark Turner, Ed Levy, Patricia Rosenmann, Rabbi Andrea Cosnowsky, Robert Honig, Paul Heinz, Mary Welter

Middle Row: Gerry Kirschbaum, Melton Director Rolly Cohen, Harvey Segal, Linda Segal, Deb Bacol, Cynthia Mark-Hummel, Carol Forbes, Peggy McGrath, Gail Farr, Marsha Swetin, Steve Iovinelli, Kathy Leis

 Front Row: Joyce Bogolub, Harve Bogolub, Lisa Honig, Alice Heinz