Judy Loebl, Director of the Florence Melton School at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, and Gail Greenberg, Assistant Director, were presented with the prestigious Florence Melton Award at the 18th annual International Director's Conference held in Israel this month. The annual Conference brought together 36 directors and staff from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Israel for its annual summit.

The Florence Melton Award is given annually to one Melton School that exemplifies the highest standards of excellence and leadership in the field.


(L-R): CEO Judy Mars Kupchan presents the Florence Melton Award to the Florence Melton School at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit. Receiving the award on behalf of the Melton School are Director Judy Loebl and Assistant Director Gail Greenberg.

CEO Judy Kupchan praised Loebl and Greenberg, as well as Alliance for Jewish Education Executive Jeff Lasday for the model and inspiration that the Detroit Melton School provides to the entire Melton network worldwide.

Other awards given during the conference included: 

  • Outstanding Alumni Development: Sue Parker Gerson, Director, Colorado electronic cigarette demo Melton School
  • Excellence in Marketing: Jordanna Flores, Director of the Conejo/West Valley West Hills Consortium Melton School
  • Excellence in Recruitment: Dr. Shelley Buxbaum, Director of the Lisa F. Brill Institute and Melton in Atlanta, GA

Three directors received the Melton's Director Certification:

  • Talli Dippold, Melton Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte
  • Jillian Fine, Director of the Melton School under the auspices of the University of Sydney
  • Michelle Hyer, director of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning in London

The central theme of "The Changing Jewish Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities" was fundamental to all the conference activities and deliberations, from Spotlight on Excellence Sessions to exploring significant historical sites near and around the Dead Sea.

Other conference highlights included a tribute to former Melton International Director Dr. Yonatan Mirvis, sessions by Prof. Howard DietcherDr. Stephen DonshikRabbi Dr. Seth Farber of Itim, and learning and travel sessions with Haim Aronovitz, Director of Israel Seminars. Rabbi Morey Schwartz, Director of Education, chaired the event.