Short Courses


Click here to download the short course brochure

Click here to download the enrolment form

OR book online below.

Because of the Pesach and Easter breaks, it is important that bookings are made before April 23.

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

Tuesday evening7.30pm – 9.30pm


One Year One Tanach

Weekly Guest Lecturers

8 week course - April 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27 June 3, 17, 24

The challenge: to read the Tanach (Bible) sequentially. One book in one night. This unique project invites a different facilitator each week to conduct the study session. You will be offered perspectives and readings in this text -based course that are as varied as the facilitators who will aim to offer you their unique understanding and reading of their chosen book. Lecturers in this first series include Avi Cohen, Paul Forgasz, Rabbi Ralph Genende, Rabbi Yaacov Glasman and Rabbi Fred Morgan and this first series covers the Books of Genesis to Samuel. Offered as a three-part series on Tuesdays from 7.30pm-930pm. Do one series, do two or do all three – the choice of how far you go is yours.

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

Click here to book online!

Monday evening7.30pm – 9.30pm


Reading the Zohar

Nathan Wolski

8 week course - April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2, 16, 23

Part novel, part commentary on the Torah, the Zohar is the jewel in the crown of Jewish mystical tradition. In this course we won’t talk about the Zohar; we will read it closely and explore its radical teachings. Infinity, nothingness, being, male and female within God and your view of Judaism will never be the same! Join leading Zohar scholar Nathan Wolski as he guides you through some of his favourite zoharic passages. Nathan is currently completing volumes 10 and 12 of the Zohar: Pritzker Edition, a critical translation and commentary for Stanford University Press.

Course deferred

Monday evening7.30pm – 9.30pm


Judaism in the Universe of Faiths

Rabbi Fred Morgan

3 week course - April 28, May 12, 19

We live in a multifaith as well as a multicultural world, and this course will explore what this means in terms of Judaism’s understanding of religious diversity and the status of other religions. We will look at traditional and modern perspectives on interfaith relations and the position of other religions in relation to Jewish thought and life. The course will include an overview of halachic, theological and historical issues regarding other faiths, as well as consideration of modern thinkers such as Joseph Soloveitchik, Jonathan Sacks, Yitz Greenberg and others. Finally, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of interfaith work in our present era.

Course deferred

Monday afternoon1pm-3pm


The Goddess of Judaism: Exploring the Shekhinah

Merav Carmeli

8 week course - April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2, 16, 23

The Zohar, the Book of Radiance, is the most important work of the classical Kabbalah. Among its many radical ideas, the Zohar understands divinity to be comprised of male and female, and suggests that entry to the divine world can only be accomplished by being attuned to the feminine. Join Zohar scholar Merav Carmeli as she guides you through these stunning and surprising ideas, drawing on the psychoanalytic tradition to illuminate them. Merav has taught Zohar at Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University. She has edited a two volume work on the Zohar which brought together leading scholars from around the world.

Course deferred

Timeline of Jewish History

Depicting 4000 years of rich and remarkable history

Monday afternoon1.00pm – 3.00pm


Jewish Music: Past present and future

Henry Wenig

8 week course - April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2, 16, 23

Presented in memory of Lionel & Naomi Gross

This course will embrace Jewish music from biblical times to Bernstein. It aims not only to explore biblical music and the state of Jewish liturgical music but also try to unravel what is so Jewish about Jewish music. You will learn much about some seminal European composers – like Mahler and the inherent complexities of the classical composer in the galut. The lecture series also questions whether Felix Mendelssohn was an underrated genius and hopes to find the connection between Ernest Bloch and Jewish nationalism. The joys and energy of klezmer music will be enjoyed and the contributions of Itzhak Perlman and god’s violinist Jascha Heifetz celebrated. Finally the course will reveal much about the Russian music of Moussorgsky and the enigmatic Shoshtakovitch and the contrasting trends of anti and philo Semitism in Russian culture. Leonard Bernstein’s music and the very meaning of music brings this rich journey to its conclusion. Supported by music and images this course will offer a rich understanding of Jewish music delivered by a trained classical musician.

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

Click here to book online!

Monday morning 10am – 12 noon

Monday evening7.30pm - 9.30pm


How Jesus the faithful Jew became a Christian

Paul Forgasz

4 week course - May 5, 12, 19 and 26

Jesus was born a Jew. He taught the religion of his ancestors and lived in accordance with Jewish law. So how did this mortal man, executed by the Romans as “King of the Jesus”, become Jesus Christ – Son of God, the second person of the triune Godhead, the Holy Trinity? In this four week course we will explore how the Jesus of history became the Christ of faith.

Cost: $135 (non member) $110 (member)

Click here to book online!

Temporary Exhibition

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Nathan Wolski Nathan Wolski‘s is a well known and respected teacher of Jewish studies. His primary research area is the Zohar the classic work of Jewish mysticism.He is currently completing volumes 10 and 12 of the Zohar: Pritzker edition, a critical translation and commentary for Stanford University Press and he is recognised as a leading Zohar scholar. Nathan is also a faculty member in the Faculty of Monash University’s Australian Centre for the study of Jewish Civilsation (ACJC) where he offers courses on Bible and Kabbalah. His favourite book is Don Quixote

Dr Geoffrey Jenkins Dr Geoffrey Jenkins was once an academic at Melbourne University, where he taught Semitic and Classical languages and literatures, along with Early Rabbinic Judaism and the emergence of Christianity. He is a specialist in the textual criticism of the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and has taught Hebrew Bible in Hebrew and English over many years. Dr Geoffrey Jenkins has taught twelve ancient languages, most of them Semitic and early Jewish history for twenty years at the University of Melbourne He has also undertaken extensive archaeological fieldwork in Egypt. He continues to research and publish in these fields, while working these days as a enterprise application developer for a global telco.You should not ask him which he prefers/He maintains his sanity by teaching Biblical Studies at any available opportunity.

Merav Carmeli Merav Carmeli is currently completing her PhD on the Zohar with Bar-Ilan University. For the last ten years she has been the manuscript editor for the Zohar: Priztker Edition, combing through the dozens of hand-written zohar manuscripts prior to its printing in the 16th century. She has co-edited two volumes on the Zohar, and has taught Zohar in Israel and Australia.

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.

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.

Rabbi Yaakov Glasman Rabbi Yaakov Glasman
was born in Melbourne in 1979 and graduated from Yeshivah College in 1997. He earned a Diploma of Talmudical Studies and received his Rabbinical Ordination (Smicha) from the Rabbinical College of America. Rabbi Glasman demonstrates a keen
interest in education and conflict management. He earned a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
in 2007, completed a Mediation Course at Monash University and an Arbitration Course at the Institute
of Arbitrators and Mediators, as well as a Counselling Course at Monash University. In 2009, he
completed a Rabbinical course on responding to disclosure of Family Violence and in 2011 completed
a course on responding to disclosure of sexual
abuse. Rabbi Glasman served as the spiritual leader of the North Eastern Jewish Centre for six years and
in 2011 was appointed Chief Minister at the St Kilda Hebrew Congregation. He has served as President of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria since November 2009 and together with his wife, Sara, has been blessed with four children. He and his children are avid Collingwood supporters.

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.