2 minutes reading time (466 words)

Q&A with coordinator of Melton's new Trans-Tasman online hub

Noam Hayman

Melton is excited to welcome Rabbi Noam Hayman to our team as International Online Learning Hub Coordinator for the Trans-Tasman region: Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. But he's South African, Australian, and Israeli. Only Melton could pull together that much Jewish geography! To learn more about Rabbi Noam, read on ...

1. Why do you love working at Melton?
I have only just begun at Melton, and I can already feel the amazing cohesion between faculty and staff. The staff works across so many cities and countries and having meetings over Zoom does not prevent them from being themselves and showing some personality!

2. What is one of your favorite Melton courses and why?
Firstly, all Melton courses are wonderful, and I recommend learners check them out and find classes available in their time zones. That being said, I find the course on Jewish jokes ("From Sinai to Seinfeld") extremely hilarious and bittersweet. Jewish jokes are more than they look on the surface; they tell stories, tales and express so much of our history and experiences. The Trans-Tasman offerings for March, "Jewish Medical Ethics" and "The Holocaust as Reflected in Diaries and Memoirs" are fascinating and deeply complex topics that will open learners' minds.

3. How did your background and previous experience prepare you for this position?
My family is South African, but I was raised in Sydney. I have two amazing parents and three pretty good brothers. My brothers and I were raised in a traditional Modern-Orthodox upbringing, going to shul very often and attending Jewish schools. After high school I learned in yeshiva in Israel for two years before returning to Sydney and studying education. I was heavily involved in our local branch of Bnei Akiva and taught at Mt. Sinai College elementary/primary school where I was head of the informal Jewish Studies. During that time, I received my Rabbinical Ordination and a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew University (both via correspondence). I'm experienced in public speaking, pedagogy, and online learning. Most importantly, I love the amazing people I encounter across each step of my journey and that is certainly the case so far with Melton.

4. Fun Fact: What's something unique about you?
Coming from Australia, I am very much cricket obsessed. Since it's currently summer Down Under, there's lots of play. Cricket games go on for days and I'm lucky now because I can wake up in Israel and find out the results without having to watch the full 8 hours...

5. What's your favorite book or piece of Jewish literature?
I love reading Jewish philosophy. I find it fascinating being exposed to a spectrum of contrasting ideas, especially when we live in such a polarizing world. The world of Jewish learning invites us into open discussions where there is freedom to share insights and ideas.

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