You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Florence Zacks Melton

Florence Zacks Melton helped create and support important adult education programs in the Jewish community as well as secular causes. Melton founded the R. G. Barry Corporation with her husband, Aaron Zacks, in 1946. At the company, the largest manufacturer of soled slippers in the world, Melton designed products and invented foam soles, a revolutionary innovation. Dedicated to the principle of Jewish education, Melton was a founding member of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education and created the Florence Melton Adult Mini School, a two-year certificate program, through Hebrew University’s Melton Centre. She founded the Discovery program, which uses field trips, classes, and trips to Israel to connect young people to their family history, their local community, and the larger Jewish community. She also initiated the local Meals on Wheels program in Columbus, Ohio, and established a foundation to provide prostheses for underprivileged children. She received a number of awards for her efforts, including honors from B’nai B’rith and the Janusz Korczak Humanitarian Award from Kent State University.

Florence Zacks Melton
Full image
Inventor and Jewish education entrepreneur Florence Zacks Melton (1911 – 2007).
Courtesy of Florence Melton Adult Mini-School.
Date of Birth
November 11, 1911
Place of Birth
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Death
January 8, 2007

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Florence Zacks Melton." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs