Mirna Cicioni was born in Rome and has qualifications from Bologna, Leeds and La Trobe Universities. She taught Italian language, literature and linguistics for thirty-five years in British and Australian universities and is presently an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics of Monash University.
Mirna has published a book in English on Primo Levi (Primo Levi – Bridges of Knowledge, 1995) and is working on a study of autobiography and humour in the works of Levi, Natalia Ginzburg, Aldo Zargani and Clara Sereni.
When not reading Italian Jewish writers, she works as a Level 3 Italian/ English interpreter, travels one month every year, watches Westerns in Italian, English and German, and studies intermediate German and beginners’ Greek.
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. Paul lectured in Jewish history at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, and taught Jewish education in the university’s Faculty of Education.
Paul has moreover maintained an active involvement in Jewish adult education. For a number of years, he was the head of faculty at the Florence Melton Adult Mini School in Melbourne; he has also developed and taught a vast number of the Jewish Museum of Australia’s short course programs. Paul has contributed regularly to Limmud OZ since its inception, and has served as the community scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Education Institute in Pittsburgh, Shalom Institute in Sydney, The Abraham Institute in Adelaide, and 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 life in Spain and Germany. In 2014 and 2018, he conducted inaugural Jewish heritage tours of Eastern Europe and Italy respectively, and will next year journey with a group to uncover Jewish Greece.
Ralph Genende was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), but 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, and served as 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 10 years and was appointed the first full time Rabbi in five years to the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation in 2007.
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.
Sue Hampel was an English and History teacher for over 30 years at Mount Scopus Memorial College, Melbourne. She currently works as the International Programs Coordinator and Senior Tutor in Holocaust, Genocide and Post Conflict Studies at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC), Monash University, and is the Co-President of the Jewish Holocaust Centre.
Sue has been recognised for her community service by receiving numerous awards including a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in January 2014 for Service to the community through the promotion of understanding and tolerance through education.
Sue holds a Masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and has led numerous groups of students and adults to Poland and Rwanda.
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