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.
Award winning filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe is one of Australia’s leading documentarians. His acclaimed films have screened on networks around the world, played at multiple film festivals and gained rave reviews in the press. Danny has produced &/or directed over 10 documentaries. His filmography includes MY MOTHER’S LOST CHILDREN (director), an epic family saga told across five continents and six decades, made in 2017 for BBC Storyville and the ABC which won the audience award for best documentary at The Jewish International Film Festival of Australia (JIFF). His feature length documentary SHALOM BOLLYWOOD: THE UNTOLD STORY OF INDIAN CINEMA (producer and director) had its world premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2017 where it was reviewed by the Hollywood Reporter as “lively, upbeat and entertaining”. It has played at scores of Jewish and Indian film festivals around the world and was awarded the best documentary award at the Houston Indian Film Festival. His documentary CARNABY STREET UNDRESSED (producer and director) (Yesterday Channel, UK TV, 2011), featured rock legends such as Roger Daltry from The Who, and was reviewed as pick of the week in Britain’s ‘Sunday Times’. Danny won Australia’s top documentary prize, the Walkley Award for his 2014 ABC film CODE OF SILENCE (director) which lifted the lid on sex abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. His most recent film, OUTBACK RABBIS (director), was part of SBS’s 2018 ‘Untold Australia’ series. He made the first and only film about the Adass Israel community in Australia STRICTLY JEWISH for SBS in 2016. Danny has an undergraduate degree in law and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and PhD in Jewish Studies from the University of Melbourne.
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’ 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.
Yvonne Fein (writer, editor, lecturer at the Jewish Museum of Australia), holds an MA from Monash University and a Diploma of Creative Writing from Prahran College. She has had two adult novels (April Fool, The Torn Messiah,) and one young adult novel published (Rachel Racing Time). April Fool was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award in 2001. The subject matter of those 3 novels encapsulates her passions and credos: hard-boiled crime, the evils inherent in power imbalances and teenage angst. Her short story collection (Choose Somebody Else, Wild Dingo Press, 2018), covers all these complications and more. She has had had two of her plays performed in live theatre, one of which was invited to the International Magdalena Festival.
She won an award in the Gotham Screenplay Competition (New York) for the screen adaptation of April Fool and was a semi-finalist in the Rhode Island Film Festival. She has edited Generation and The Melbourne Chronicle—both literary journals. Her short stories, essays and reviews have been published in the US, the UK, Israel and Australia. She has edited award-winning Holocaust memoirs by survivors most notably by Abraham Biderman (Random House Australia, 1995 and winner of National Biography award and Banjo Patterson award for nonfiction, 1996). Her commitment to social action saw her conducting creative-writing workshops for people suffering mental illness as well as advocating for those with disability by performing stand-up comedy to raise public awareness. This last seems to be developing into an ongoing endeavour.
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