Short Courses


Click here to download the short course brochure

Click here to download the enrolment form


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 (03) 8534 3600

Belief and Ritual

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

Monday morning10.30am-12.30pm


Tripping through the Torah (repeat)

Paul Forgasz

6 weeks course Nov 9, 16, 23, 30 Dec 7, 14

For centuries, readers of the Bible have struggled to understand the text and make it relevant to their lives. In the process Jewish scholars have created an unbroken chain of conversation that continues to the present.

This legacy of Bible commentary not only offers contemporary understandings of the Bible, but also 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, you will learn how their world views influenced their reading of the Torah and how and why different minds approached the same texts yet produced startlingly different interpretations.

Cost: $185 (non member) $160 (member)

Click here to book online!

Tuesday evening7.30pm – 9.30pm


Women in the Bible

weekly guest lecturers

8 week course (Oct 20, 27 Nov 10, 17, 24 Dec 1,8,15) OR 4 week course OCT-NOV (Oct 20, 27 Nov 10, 17) OR 4 week course NOV-DEC (Nov 24 Dec 1,8,15)

How ironic it is that one’s Jewishness is determined through the matrilineal line and yet women in the Bible feature so little. Although the women matriarchs are revered and acknowledged, many others are depicted as concubines, temptresses or victims; others remain nameless or voiceless. What does their presence in the Biblical narrative teach us?
Join an outstanding group of women scholars (although we do include an honorary male) as they reveal what these fascinating and often enigmatic women in the bible and beyond, can teach us.

Marlo Newton - Zipporah (Oct 20)
Amanda Castelan Starr - Sara & Hagar (Oct 27)
Deborah Stone - Dina (Nov 10)
Keren Harel Gordon - Ruth (Nov 17)
To be advised - To be advised (Nov 24)
Rebecca Forgasz - Eve (Dec 1)
Adina Bankier Karp - Tamar (Dec 8)
Paul Forgasz - Post biblical (Dec 15)

Cost 8 week course: $245 (non member) $220 (member) OR 4 week course: $155 (non member) $130 (member)

Click here to book online!

Timeline of Jewish History

Depicting 4000 years of rich and remarkable history

Monday afternoon1pm-3pm

Monday evening 7.30pm–9.30pm


The Holocaust: Issues and Representations

Sue Hampel

8 week course October 19, 26 November 9, 16, 23, 30 December 7, 14

The well respected Holocaust educator Sue Hampel explores and grapples with the Holocaust and all its complexity, using primary sources, texts, films and photographs.
Topics to be covered in this 8 week course are:
1. Historians addressing the Holocaust
2. Life and Death in the Ghettos
3. The Concentration Camp Universe
4. The Question of Jewish Resistance
5. Poles and Jews confronting the Holocaust 6. iterary Representations of Auschwitz
7. The Holocaust through Film
8. Holocaust Memorials and Meaning

Cost 8 week course: $245 (non member) $220 (member)

Click here to book online!

Monday afternoon1pm-3pm


Belle Époque Paris… ooh la la or oy vey?

Helen Webberley

8 week course October 19, 26 November 9, 16, 23, 30 December 7, 14

Today Paris is a most challenging place to be a Jew, but was it ever so?
Join Helen Webberley as she takes you on a rollercoaster ride through Jewish Parisian history, post emancipation. You will learn how the French Jewish community doubled by 1870 and Paris became the most important Jewish centre – a time when Belle Époque Paris was more than just a pleasure-seeking consumer society. Jews from all over France and abroad flocked to participate in art, music and literature, and to build department stores, galleries, salons, newspapers and cabarets. This course will also reveal how reactionaries in the 1890s, having failed to overthrow the Republic, persisted with their hatred and anti-semitism resulting in the infamous and tragic Dreyfus trials and the Panama Canal scandals. In the new century, Belle Époque Paris once again flourished where Jewish luminaries like Amedeo Modigliani and Marc Chagall (art), Émile Durkheim (sociology), Marc Bloch (history) and Léon Bakst (designer) were stars.
This course is an illustrated lecture series with its lessons of history, writ large.

Cost 8 week course: $245 (non member) $220 (member)

Click here to book online!


Keren Harel-Gordon Keren Harel-Gordon, a native of Jerusalem, is a graduate of Hebrew University (BA), Tel Aviv University (MA) and the ' Melamdim' program for educators at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. She has been a student of Judaism and social activism in various 'Beit Midrash' : Elul, Seder Nashim of the Hartman institute , the chavrutah program at Hebrew University and Beit Morasha. Keren has also worked for the Jewish agency for Israel running informal Jewish education programs. She has taught at the Hartman girls school in Jerusalem and is currently teaching at Mount Scopus Memorial College.

Deborah Stone Deborah Stone is a writer, editor, speaker and trainer whose professional goal is to make words work effectively. An award winning journalist, she is Editor of ArtsHub, – the leading online media resource for the arts industry. She was previously Editor of The Australian Jewish News and a feature writer and reporter on The Age, The Sunday Age, The Australian and the New Zealand Herald. She is engaged in progressive & cultural Judaism, has taught Melton courses in Jewish literature and is interested in Tanach as literature.

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.

Shelley Cohney has a BA from the University of Melbourne and a Masters degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has lectured in England USA and Australia. Shelley has led groups in Israel and Australia and has been a kosher cooking demonstrator at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival .Shelley works as a very in demand Melbourne tour guide particularly for the exclusive cruise liners .She also conducts Jewish food tours and is recognised as a kosher Jewish culinary expert .She currently feeds a large and largely appreciative family.

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.

Rebecca Forgasz was appointed Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia at the beginning of 2010. She has been associated with the Jewish Museum for fifteen years, and has held exhibition-related roles at Public Record Office Victoria and the State Library of Victoria. Prior to taking on the role of Director of the Jewish Museum, Rebecca worked as Manager, Donor Stewardship and Recognition in the Advancement Division at Monash University, where she gained experience in the area of fundraising and donor relations. Rebecca holds Masters degree in Jewish Studies (Oxford) and Women’s Studies (Monash), as well as a Diploma of Education.

Marlo Newton has been an integral part of Melbourne community life. She is a writer, community activist and educator. As the Coordinator of Jewish Life at the King David School, Marlo was responsible for the supervision of Jewish studies staff, writing curricula and preparation for the festivals. Marlo has also written delivered courses on Judaism and Jewish history for adults. Currently she is the Executive of UJEB (United Jewish Education Board) in its important work in bringing Jewish learning and values to Jewish students at non-Jewish day schools. She is also a regular contributor to the Australian Jewish News and an occasional contributor to The Age, The Herald Sun and the Brisbane Courier Mail.