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 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)

Click here to book online!

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)

Click here to book online!

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)

Click here to book online!

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.

Course deferred to a later term.

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

Learn about Freud the atheist and scientist ,whose wife lit Shabbat candles each week, but who believed science must replace religion. Discover why Golda was a failed feminist who mothered and perhaps smothered Israel. Learn about the conversation Martin Buber had with Gandhi about Palestine. Examine Kafka’s fraught relationship with his father and why The Trial can be read as a mystical text. Have a go at writing concrete poetry inspired by the art patron Gertrude Stein. Experience the genius of the Marx brothers and Gershwin and much more. This is the course that invites you into the minds of Warhol’s Jewish geniuses. Guided each week by a range of lecturers including Paul Forgasz and Ittay Flescher you will learn much about these fascinating giants of the twentieth century whose portraits by Andy Warhol are currently being exhibited at the Jewish Museum of Australia. Free entry to the Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses exhibition each evening of this 8 week course is available to all who enrol.

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

Click here to book online!



Professor David Norman Jamieson David is a Professor of Physics at the University of Melbourne. He completed his PhD in physics at the University of Melbourne in 1985 and then spent 4 years working at Caltech (USA) and the University of Oxford (UK) as a postdoctoral research fellow. He served as the Head of the School of Physics from 2008 to 2013.
He served as President of the Australian Institute of Physics from 2005 to 2006 and is a Fellow of the AIP and the Institute of Physics UK. From 2010 to 2012 he convened a national working group to develop the Decadal Plan for Physics in Australia which was submitted to the Academy of Science in December 2012. In 2013 he received an outstanding service to physics award from the AIP.
Occasionally he gives public lectures on fundamental issues in physics.

Glenn Ferguson Glenn studied Musical Theatre at VCA for a year then WAAPA for 3 years in Perth. Graduating from WAAPA in 2010 his roles include: Male Swing in Comedy of Errors with The Australian Shakespeare Company and Ensemble in Macbeth, Don Giovanni and Salome for Opera Australia. He also played Will in Oklahoma for Harvest Rain, followed by Pippin for Magnormous and has just finished a 3 month tour of the wildly popular children's show Peppa Pig Live. Glenn was honoured to be one of the Top 30 finalists in the 2013 Rob Guest Endowment.

Carmela Levy-Stokes Carmela Levy-Stokes is a psychoanalyst in private practice. She has a doctorate in psychological medicine from Monash Uni and teaches psychoanalytic theory and practice with the Institute for Training of the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis. She has a passion for all aspects of Jewish culture and how to maintain being Jewish in a thriving non-Jewish society. She has presented on "Jewish Identity and the Unconscious" and for the Jewish Museum exhibition Freud and Friends on "Freud's Jewish Identity".–
Along with being a savta,the Jewish Museum’s adult education classes have prime of place in her busy life , both as a student and a teacher.

Dr Peter Wyllie Johnston Peter Wyllie Johnston is a composer, pianist, writer and academic. He is the Director of the independent Australian Music Theatre Research Institute and holds the position of Associate Professor in the Faculty of the VCA and MCM with honorary status at the University of Melbourne. He has performed in London, New York, Washington DC and around Australia including at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. His publications include numerous articles on music including in Soundscapes, the Sunday Age, The Australian, The Times (UK) and three books: From The Melburnian, (Ellikon Publishing) launched by Jeanne Pratt AC in 2011, The Nick Enright Songbook (Currency Press, 2014) and Morag Beaton: Her Life and Her Art (publication 2015). Recently Peter collaborated on the additional book of Joanna White’s new musical Girl in Pink and earlier wrote the music, book and lyrics of Moses-The Spirit of Freedom a concert production of which is in planning for 2015.

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.