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

Tuesday evening 7.45pm-9.30pm


Women of the Talmud

Keren Harel Gordon

(8 week course) May 5,12,19,26 June 2, 9, 16, 23

Feminists, teachers, magnates and mentors. The women of the Talmud. Who are they? What have they achieved?

Not many women are mentioned by name in the Talmud. But these are women who each have a story, who teach, learn and respond to the reality of the time. These are the women who stood out and made a difference in the world of Chazal (the rabbinic sages). Although they are not many, they are very significant and empowered women, and if they lived in the 21st century they would probably be called feminists.

In this text based course, using the method of learning together (chavrutah), we will explore the Talmudic stories of these women and celebrate and learn from their lives. No previous knowledge of Talmud is needed, just an open mind and a love of literature.

Presented in memory of Lionel & Naomi Gross.

Course deferred

Monday 1-3pm


Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered Biblical figures

weekly guest lecturers

(8 week course) - April 27 May 4, 11, 18 June 1,15, 22, 29 OR (4 week course) - April 27 May 4, 11, 18 OR (4 week course) June 1,15, 22, 29

Moses saved the Israelites but who saved Moses? Why is David so flawed and celebrated?

Join an illustrious group of lecturers including Rebecca Forgasz, Marlo Newton, Paul Forgasz, Ittay Flescher, Rabbi Ralph Genende, Rabbi Avrohom Jacks , Rabbi Fred Morgan and David Solomon. Each week a different guest lecture will explore the biblical character that has most fascinated, challenged or bemused them. Be prepared to be surprised as a fascinating array of biblical characters are examined and revealed.

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

Tuesday evening 7.30-9.30pm


Jerusalem – Eternal conflict, Eternal hope

Avi Cohen

(8 week course) May 12,19,26 June 2, 9,16, 23, 30

This course will commence with an exploration of the connection between Jerusalem and the 3 monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.Following this we will use Jerusalem as a prism to examine some of the key areas of conflict in the State of Israel; Jew and Arab; Secular and religious; Zionist and Haredi; the place of women in Jerusalem; the impact of modernity.
Interspersed throughout the 8 sessions will be the reading of some of the poems of Yehuda Amichai, one of Israel’s most prominent contemporary poets.
"An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion and on the opposite mountain I am searching for my little boy. An Arab shepherd and a Jewish father both in their temporary failure. Our voices meet above the Sultan's Pool in the valley between us. Neither of us wants the child or the goat to get caught in the wheels of the terrible Had Gadya* machine. Afterward we found them among the bushes and our voices came back inside us, laughing and crying. Searching for a goat or a son has always been the beginning of a new religion in these mountains." Yehuda Amichai, An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion

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

Click here to book online!

Monday1-3pm OR 7.30-9.30pm


Jerusalem: The early years

Shelley Cohney

(3 week course) - June 15,22,29

Jerusalem has been the centre of the three monotheistic faiths for centuries and continues to generate an aura that affects everyone from writers and artists to the tourist and residents that live in this wonderfully complex and most ancient of cities. By looking at its early history and changing face we will seek to understand why Jerusalem remains so pivotal on the world stage.

Week One: The beginnings of Jerusalem - from God’s plan, underneath the city and the Canaanites

Week Two: So what did King David and King Solomon really do and why we cried in Babylon?

Week Three: Renew our days of old-picturing Jerusalem as the centre of the world - what we lost.

Cost: $125 (non member) $100 (member)

Click here to book online!


Rabbi Jacks Rabbi Jacks studied in South Africa, Israel and Canada and served as a pulpit Rabbi for 15 years. During that time he gained a wealth of experience teaching people from differing backgrounds about the profound theological questions of our time. Thousands of people on 4 continents have enjoyed Rabbi Jacks’ unique ability to explain complex ideas in simple, relevant and meaningful terms.

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.

David Solomon David Solomon is a globally roaming scholar, teacher, writer and translator, currently completing the first-ever English translation of the fundamental kabbalisitc text, Tiqunei HaZohar. David teaches Jewish History, Tanach, Jewish Philosophy, Hebrew, and Kabbalah; he is, however, perhaps best known for his dynamic presentation, The Whole of Jewish History in One Hour. For more information please visit

Avi Cohen Avi Cohen is head of Jewish Studies at Mt. Scopus College. He has lectured on the topic of Israel for the last decade at a range of institutions including Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Deakin University in Melbourne. Avi’s courses are multimedia offerings filled with insight and knowledge, enhanced by his truly balanced perspective of the world. He is also trying to balance life on the home front with the busy schedules of his four children and time out for himself at the gym.

Rabbi Ralph Genende Ralph Genende was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Rabbi Genende grew up in South Africa where he served both a congregation and worked for the Beth Din (Jewish Religious Court) in Johannesburg. In the late 1980s Rabbi Genende relocated to Auckland with his family. For ten years Rabbi Genende was Senior Rabbi to the Auckland Jewish Community before moving to Melbourne in 1997. Ralph has a Master’s Degree in Counselling, and is Senior Rabbi to the Australian Defence Forces. He served as a Congregational Rabbi and College Rabbi at Mount Scopus for ten years and was appointed in 2007 as the first full time Rabbi in five years to the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation which is now undergoing an energetic renewal.Rabbi Ralph is an Executive Member of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV), the Council for Christians and Jews and a member of the Premier’s Multi-faith Advisory Group. He directs the Yad B’Yad pre-marriage education program on behalf of the RCV. He is married to Caron, has three great children, one neurotic dog and a psychotic cat.

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.

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.

Rabbi Avrohom Jacks artfully blends a dynamic, humorous and inspirational style with deep, insightful substance. Rabbi Jacks is the Chief Minister of the Melbourne Hebrew Congregation (Toorak Shule). Prior to this position, he was the Rabbi and spiritual leader of Congregation Zichron Kedoshim, a modern Orthodox community in Montreal, Canada. He held that position for 12 years. Rabbi Jacks studied in South Africa, Israel and Canada. Rabbi Jacks is a wonderful storyteller who sprinkles his lectures with humour, interesting facts and highly relevant information. Rabbi Jacks lives in Melbourne with his wife Racheli and their 6 children (KA”H).

Rabbi Fred Morgan Rabbi Fred Morgan retired last year after serving for 16 years as Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel. Prior to entering the rabbinate 30 years ago he taught the religions of India at Bristol University in the UK. He is currently Emeritus Rabbi at TBI as well as Professorial Fellow in theology and dialogue at the Australian Catholic University, and he is involved in promoting a major project in "Grass Roots Dialogue" for the Council of Christians and Jews.Rabbi Morgan has offered courses in the Melton program and at the Jewish Museum of Australia for a number of years. He is a very popular lecturer at Church and interfaith gatherings, loves text study (Torah, Midrash, Shoah studies, Jewish theology) and his shiurim are very interactive. He was recently made an Honorary. Fellow at the Australian Catholic University. Fred has three children, one of whom has made aliyah.

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.