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Brown to be featured speaker at Florence Melton commencement

SPRINGFIELD — More than 60 members of the Springfield Jewish community have completed the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School and will celebrate a successful year of Jewish learning on June 1 at 7:30 p.m.
The community is invited to join in the graduation celebration at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), 1160 Dickinson St.
Dr. Erica Brown is the guest speaker.
Brown is a writer and educator who works as the scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and consults for the Jewish Agency and other Jewish non-profits.
Brown is the author of the books Inspired Jewish Leadership, a National Jewish Book Award finalist, and Spiritual Boredom. She also co-authored The Case for Jewish Peoplehood (all through Jewish Lights). Her forthcoming book is Confronting Scandal.
Previously a Jerusalem Fellow, Brown is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow, winner of the Ted Farber Professional Excellence Award, and the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education.
Brown has degrees from Yeshiva University, University of London, Harvard University, and Baltimore Hebrew University.
She has served as an adjunct professor at American University and George Washington University and lectures widely on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership.
She writes a weekly Internet essay called "Weekly Jewish Wisdom" that appears on the Newsweek/Washington Post's "On Faith" Web site.
Temple Beth El, the Springfield JCC and the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts are proud to support this program.
"I am thrilled with the community's participation in the Melton program," Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz of Temple Beth El, said.
Rabbi Katz both teaches and administers the Melton program.
"Melton students have very different backgrounds. Some are longtime stakeholders in the community, others are just considering conversion. Some students have been studying Judaism for years, and others are just discovering Judaism," Katz said.
A dessert reception will follow the graduation. There is no charge, but if you have questions, please contact Temple Beth El at 733-4149.
Rabbi Katz is beginning to recruit for next year's Melton class. Anyone interested should call Lisa Burnett at Temple Beth El.
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