Short Courses


Click here to download the short course brochure

Click here to download the enrolment form

OR book online below.

The Jewish Museum is committed to developing and delivering an annual series of short courses, focussed around the Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibition program, to complement and extend the exhibition themes.

For more details please contact or 61 3 8534 3600

Belief and Ritual

Highlighting and explaining the foundations of Judaism’s religious and ethical beliefs

Monday morning10am – 12 noon


The Torah through time

Paul Forgasz

7 week course - February 9, 16, 23 March 2, 16, 23, 30

For centuries readers of the Bible have struggled both to understand the text and make it relevant to their lives. In the process, Jewish scholars created an unbroken chain of conversation that continues to the present. This legacy of Bible commentary not only illuminates contemporary understandings of the Bible, but also offers us an insight into how Jewish thought has evolved over the ages. By examining the biblical commentaries of some of the leading Jewish scholars of the last two millennia, we will discover how their world views influenced their reading of some of the foundational stories and texts of the Torah. In doing so, we will come to appreciate how different minds approached the same texts and produced startlingly different interpretations.

Cost: $215 (non member) $190 (member)

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Timeline of Jewish History

Depicting 4000 years of rich and remarkable history

Monday afternoon1.00pm – 3.00pm


Jewish Berlin: learned and creative

Helen Webberley

7 week course - February 9, 16, 23, March 2, 16, 23, 30

In 1812, when Berlin’s Jewish population was still small, the Emancipation Decree in the Prussian state meant the Jews had become citizens. As Berlin’s Jews continued to make their way into the social and economic elite, there were more Jewish families, more intermarriage and more conversions to Christianity. Still, by the end of the century the Jewish population of Berlin was at least 110,000 (5%). Synagogue architecture became monumental and proud; religious reform was underway; theatres and cabarets were the main Jewish cultural outlet; and Jewish painters were well patronised. Jewish newspapers thrived, as did organisations like B’nei B’rith and Poalei Zion. But the truly exciting years came with the Weimer Republic (1919-1933). By 1933, 160,000 Jews lived in Berlin. This illustrated lecture series will examine the richness of Berlin’s Jewish heritage.

Cost: $215 (non member) $190 (member)

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Monday afternoon1.00pm–3.00pm

Monday evening7.30pm–9.30pm


The Past 1,000 Years of Jewish Thought

David Solomon

5 week course - Monday February 16, 23 March 2, 16, 23

The past millennium has been packed with a range of extraordinary thinkers and ideas in the fascinating realm of Jewish thought. In this five-part series David will outline, explain and explore the major developments of ideas emerging from the great Jewish thinkers, philosophers and mystics of the past millennium. The series will journey from Saadya Gaon to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, including the works and ideas of the Rambam, Hasdai Crescas, the Ari, the Ramchal, Moses Mendelsohn, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber and many others. David will bring these major thinkers to life by placing them in their historical context and assessing their impact on today’s Jewish world.

Enrolments for this course must be received by Friday 30 January. Cost: $185 (non member) $160 (member)

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Tuesday evening7.30pm – 9.30pm


The Golden Age of Jewish Vienna 1890-1933

Helen Webberley

8 week course - February 10,17,24, March 3,10,17,24, 31

Explore Vienna’s rich history with the Jews who as early as 1867, were granted full civil rights. Scientists, doctors and researchers won fame and Nobel Prizes and Jews were active in progressive politics. Musicians and writers achieved world status and Jews were also prominent in theatre as actors and producers. This illustrated lecture series will examine the Golden Age of Vienna, particularly the intellectual life of Jews up to the Anschluss in 1938. Immerse yourself in the art, architecture, music, science, literature, politics and kaffee haus society that Jews contributed to so fulsomely and that made Vienna one of the major cultural hubs of pre-war Europe.

Cost: $245 (non member) $220 (member)

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Temporary Exhibitions

Tuesday evening7.30pm – 9.30pm


Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses

Weekly Guest Lecturers

8 week course - February 10, 17, 24 March 3,10,17,24, 31

The Jewish Museum of Australia is proud to present Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses, arriving directly from the Jewish Museum Vienna featuring ten screen print portraits of famous Jewish personalities of the 20th century who Warhol chose from an original list of almost one hundred. The selected personalities Warhol chose to portray - Franz Kafka, Gertrude Stein, Martin Buber, Golda Meir, Sigmund Freud, Louis Brandeis, George Gershwin, the Marx Brothers and Albert Einstein – reveal the depth and breadth of Jewish contribution to 20th century cultural life. Join an illustrious group of lecturers including Paul Forgasz, Ittay Flescher, Amanda Castelan-Starr, Carmela Levy Stokes, Glenn Fergusson, Peter Wyllie Johnson and Professor David Jamieson as they offer an insight into the life and works of these outstanding individuals.

Cost: $245 (non member) $220 (member)

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Amanda Castelan-Starr Amanda Castelan-Starr is Jewish Studies Curriculum Co-ordinator at Mount Scopus College. She has been teaching there since 2000 and taught in London at Immanuel College (2004/5). She completed the Senior Educator’s Programme at Hebrew University (2009/10) and has lectured regularly for the Melton Education programme and Jewish Museum. She has a passion for exploring the nexus between art and Jewish life.

Helen Webberley Helen Webberley has been a lecturer in history and art history at Melbourne’s Centre for Adult Education for 24 years. Helen’s many areas of interest include the Arts and Crafts movement, France’s Belle Époque, the Vienna Secession, Bauhaus, Bezalel and art defined in Germany as degenerate. Her blog, Art and Architecture, mainly, covers Jewish and non-Jewish historical themes.

Paul Forgasz Paul Forgasz’ career has spanned
both the secondary and tertiary sectors of education. For more than a decade he was the Headmaster of the secondary school campus of Mount Scopus College. Currently Paul lectures in Jewish history at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Education and he also teaches about Jewish education in the university’s Faculty of Education. Paul has maintained an active involvement for many years in Jewish adult education. For a number of years Paul was the head of faculty at the Florence Melton Adult Mini School in Melbourne. He has also developed and taught a great many of the Jewish Museum of Australia's short course programs with which he is still involved. Paul has contributed regularly to Limmud OZ since its inception. He has been the community scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Education Institute in Pittsburgh,
the Shalom Institute in Sydney, The Abraham
Institute in Adelaide and the Wellington Jewish Community Centre. Since 2010, under
the auspices of the Jewish Museum of Australia,
Paul has led a number of sell-out study tours
focusing on Jewish medieval Spain and on the Jews of Germany. In 2014, he also plans to conduct a Jewish heritage tour of Eastern Europe.

Ittay Flescher has been exploring and observing Jewish life for as long as he can remember. He is dynamic and creative educator who currently teaches Jewish Studies, Religion and Society and Jewish Music at Mount Scopus Memorial College. In 2007, Ittay lived in Jerusalem for a year as a fellow on the Hebrew University’s Senior Educators Program. His other love is music and his guitar playing has enriched many of his teaching sessions.His short courses are distinguished by his impeccably researched choice of audio visual and written materials and his balanced approach.