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Meet Mehrnaz Halimi of Melton Sacramento


What's your favorite part of being a Melton Director?

With my love of Jewish education, I can recruit Learners and our second-to-none faculty that keeps them engaged. Learners enjoy Melton so much that they bring in others they know as new Learners!

That makes me happy because I want to help ignite a passion for Jewish learning in newcomers and seasoned students alike. I want to make Jewish learning available to all who seek it, and to nurture individual spiritual growth, and to strengthen the unified Sacramento Jewish community.

Why do people love learning with Melton Sacramento?

We're a family.

We make all our Learners feel like part of our family, no matter their background. We learn together, laugh together, celebrate together, and mourn together. As part of that, Melton Sacramento allows Learners to dedicate classes in honor of observing a Yahrzeit, or celebrating a birthday or anniversary, and everyone commiserates or celebrates together. And we all pray for each other's ill loved ones, adding the names to our respective synagogue prayer lists.

Can you tell us a special story about your learners?

Oh, there are so many!

One of the recent ones is about two Learners—mother and daughter—who had been studying with Melton to supplement their conversion process but had been holding off going to the mikvah because of the pandemic. Finally, this past April, they took that final step and announced to the class that they were Jews. It was an emotional moment for everyone. They said they learned so much more being in Melton because they were so involved. Melton also helped keep them connected: the mom lives in Panama but keeps up with Melton Sacramento while she's there, and then learns in person with us when she comes to visit her daughter.

In addition to Melton courses, do you offer other programming?

We did a special program for Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'Atzmaut this year. The Jewish Federation announced it to the whole community, resulting in the largest audience ever for the event. A Rabbi serving a congregation 100 miles away thanked us for including their community in the programs as well. One participant said: "My sincerest thanks to you for putting together such a terrific program in honor and support of Eretz Yisrael and the men and women who protect and defend her. Kudos to all of our wonderful Rabbis, instructors, and educators - your gracious participation and diverse leadership create a beautiful tapestry that binds our wonderful community together in such blessings."

We hope to continue offering additional programming and bringing more people around the Jewish community together!

What are you most excited about in the coming year?

Besides for seeing more people in person and our new semester of classes? Well, Melton Sacramento was the recipient of a generous grant this year, from the Jewish Federation of Sacramento Region, for being a community builder. We bring people of all denominations and views together under one roof, connecting the Jewish future and adult learning. We are using this grant to create a course to engage younger learners and using portions for scholarships. 

Learner ages: 26-96!

Currently developing more programming to meet younger age group demand

Most family members who took a course together: 6

Michael W. "It has been so nice to do this as a group and be able to connect with each other and bond. I really appreciate all of you helping me learn."

Jewish Denominations: 5

Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, unaffiliated

Engagements: 1

David and Danielle had met prior to Melton and decided to start taking Melton courses together in September 2020. This Learning helped bring them closer, and better understand the mutual values and goals they held. They got engaged in April and announced it to the class!

Learners' locations: 8

Learners attend in-person in Sacramento, and or Zoom from Panama, Israel, New York, Chicago, Oregon, Las Vegas, and all over California (Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland, and Los Angeles)

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