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Noa Abrahams

Noa Abrahams is Netzer’s Federal Mazkira (chairperson). A 2018 graduate of The King David School, she currently studies to a Bachelor of Science and Music in Melbourne University. She went on Shnat Netzer (leadership program in Israel) in 2019 and have since served in various leadership positions in the youth movement. She also sat and sits on various boards within the Jewish Community, including ZFA, Zionism Victoria and UPJ (Union for Progressive Judaism). Recently she played an instrumental role in fighting and rescinding the BDS motion of the UMSU.

Terry Aizen

Terry Aizen – I am the Director of the Kornmehl Emanuel Pre-school for the past 17 years, and Alex Levy is the Educational Leader and educator of the 4-5-year-old group for the past 18 years. We are part of The Emanuel School and have a P-12 campus all on the same grounds. This connection affords us many wonderful opportunities with our Emanuel Community. We are both passionate, committed, and dedicated educators that are constantly learning, and looking for ways to deepen our Jewish knowledge and understanding of how children develop their Jewish identity.

Ayelet Ashkar
In 2003, I immigrated from Israel to Australia with my young family. While settling in NSW, I was working as an art therapist supporting children with a range of needs in building a sense of self and belonging in their community through theatre-movement and visual. In 2010, I moved to Melbourne seeking community engagement and connection to Jewish life and Israeli culture. In 2011, I completed a diploma in Early Childhood Education and was employed as a Hebrew/Jewish Studies kindergarten teacher at Mount Scopus Memorial College. Utilizing my creative background,  I planned invitations and provocations that enhance the love and curiosity of Jewish life and Hebrew. In 2021, I transitioned to teaching in primary. Since then I am inspired to implement a range of creative pedagogies and responsive approaches that support children in deepening their understanding of Jewish Studies and Hebrew.

Hagit Bar On
Hagit Bar-On is the Head of Hebrew K-6 and Jewish Studies K-2 at Emanuel School, Sydney Australia. Hagit has many years of experience teaching English Hebrew and Jewish Studies as a second language in Israel, New Zealand and Australia. Hagit is the liaison and representative of iTaLAM in Australia and New Zealand since 2019 . She enjoys presenting workshops to teachers and help teachers integrate their technology tools and improve their educational process. Hagit’s passion is to enhance learning of Jewish Heritage and make it fun and accessible to every Jewish child.

Adi Ben Yosef
(Presenting with Jenny Lipsitz) Adi Ben Yosef was my Jewish Studies teaching partner for 4 years. We had an instant connection and were both pationate Early Childhood Educators. We had the same views and values on how best young children learn and planned our lessons together using every opportunity to combine General Studies and Jewish studies in a way that children would benefit from this very important combination .  It worked so well and we saw how the students benefited in all areas of their learning.”]]],[1,”p”,[[0,[],0,”We are excited to present from practical experience how to integrate Jewish Studies and a General studies program to enhance meaningful learning.  This is most evident through the Chagim and the strong Partnership with the Australia/Arava Twinning Kindergarten program. We plan on demonstrating this by showing many various videos demonstrating how well this works.

Yoel Benn
Yoel has been involved in Jewish education for 15 years. His passion for Jewish education and youth empowerment began in Habonin Dror Perth where he took on many leadership roles. He engaged with the question of how best to engage young people with their own Jewish identities and their community. Yoel founded Limmud Oz in Perth and later joined The King David School in Melbourne in their Jewish Experiential team and as a Jewish Studies teacher. Over the last 6 years, Yoel has been working with the wonderful Jewish experiential team to re-think Jewish education in the school. Together they have developed engaging programs through student voice, leadership, and creative thinking. Yoel holds a Bachelor of Science majoring in Human Biology and Social Psychology.

Shana Boltin
Shana is a children’s occupational therapist, having worked for over 15 years in Melbourne and London. She is currently the lead occupational therapist for school-aged children Camden, London, which caters to over 50 schools and over 500 students. She is passionate about school-based occupational therapy and collaboration between therapists and teachers to provide the best outcomes for students and their families. She also co-founded a training company, www.otapplied.com, which runs courses for OTs on working with children using evidence-informed approaches.

Shanit Borsky
(Presenting with Amanda Castelan-Starr) Amanda is a master educator, with 20 years experience in Jewish Education at Mount Scopus Memorial College. Shanit is trying to follow in her footsteps. Both recently attended a course at Hebrew University designed to equip experienced classroom teachers with the know-how to lead their schools in the implementation of educational initiatives. They will be sharing some of their learnings here.

Alissa Breiman
For over 20 years Alissa has been working in the field of identity transformation through relevant and strategic educational initiatives. While her impact in the field began with her leadership roles in Habonim Dror, most recently, Alissa has been working as a Jewish Studies teacher and in shaping experiential Jewish life and programs for student leadership and voice, at the King David School. Prior to moving back from Israel and joining King David, Alissa managed Pathways for Negotiation Education, developing content and facilitating workshops and training for high school students and teachers from across the Jewish and Arab sectors. Alissa has also worked as a managing strategic consultant with not-for-profit organisations and government offices in Israel and abroad focusing on the changing relationship between Israel and Jewish communities abroad. Alissa holds an MA in History with a thesis on the institutionalisation of ethnic segregation in post-war Bosnia Herzegovina.

Bren Carlill
Dr Bren Carlill is the director of public affairs at the Zionist Federation of Australia. His PhD examined why the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is so resistant to resolution.

Amanda Castelan-Starr
Currently Jewish Studies Curriculum Director at Mount Scopus College, I have a passion for integrating the arts in the formal curriculum to increase engagement and connection.

Ramona Chrapot
Ramona is the Israel programs coordinator at the Zionist Federation of Australia and a full-time University of Melbourne student. She graduated as school captain from Mt Scopus in 2020, and was a Diller Teen Fellow.

Bryan Conyer
Dr Bryan Conyer is currently the Head of Jewish Studies (Secondary) at Bialik College. He has a PhD in Jewish education. He has a passion for understanding contemporary Jewish identity, so that Jewish education can respectfully recognise and nurture the diverse ways our students will choose to be Jewish.

Chaim Cowen
Chaya and Chaim Cowen serve as Head of Learning and Teaching at Beth Rivka Ladies College and Head of Jewish Studies at Leibler Yavneh College, respectively. They share a passion for text-based Jewish learning that is accessible, engaging and stimulating.

Benjamin Ezzes
Benjamin Ezzes (BA/BEd) recently earned First Class Honours from the University of Sydney in Jewish education. He has been teaching Jewish Studies, Jewish History and Studies of Religion for six years at Moriah War Memorial College. He serves as the Deputy Chair of the Education Committee at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies – a role which has brought him into collaboration with colleagues of many backgrounds, and taught him the power of diversity.

Paul Forgasz
For more than a decade, Paul Forgasz was head of the secondary school at Mt Scopus College. He has lectured in Bible and Jewish history at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, and also taught about Jewish education, as well as school leadership in the university’s Faculty of Education. Since 2010, Paul has curated and led intensive Jewish study tours to various European destinations under the auspices of the Jewish Museum of Australia.

Loren Gaddie
As someone who did not grow up in Israel, I learnt Hebrew as a second language at school in South Africa. I have a BA in Hebrew, a Dip. Ed. and a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics. I have taught Hebrew in South Africa, England and Australia at both primary and secondary school levels. I lecture at Melbourne University, teaching Hebrew to students who want to learn for a variety of reasons. I am passionate about Israel as a country and Hebrew as a language.

Rebecca Gaida
Rebecca Gaida has a Masters of Teaching (Hons) from Sydney University and has been a  Jewish Studies and Hebrew teacher for the past 11 years at Emanuel School in Sydney. She has been learning Israeli sign language for the past two years with her teacher Karin from סימניה Simania and finds it makes Hebrew fun and gives her and her students motivation to learn Hebrew with their sign. There is nothing more enjoyable than knowing the words and their sign. Rebecca has lived in England and Israel and enjoys travelling and meeting all sorts of people. She enjoys many other activities including dance, yoga, meditation, singing and ukelele playing which she has taught to her students.

Yona Gilead
Dr Yona Gilead is the Malka Einhorn Modern Hebrew Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator at the department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at the University of Sydney. She teaches Modern Hebrew as an additional language (L2), including at beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Her recent research centres on two main areas:  Acquisition of L2 Modern from a learner perspective,  faith-based schools’ impact on and contribution to students’ identity formation, inculturation and socialisation into their local and wider Australian communities;

Zachary Gomo
Rabbi Zachary Gomo is Assistant Principal and Director of Jewish Life at Bialik College. He began his own education at Bialik before studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion and serving in a combat unit in the Israeli Air Force. With two Masters degrees in Education, Zachary has completed research with institutions including Yad Vashem and Harvard University. A recipient of the Australian National Excellence in Teaching Award, an Australian Education Awards Excellence Awardee and a Member of the Australian College of Educators, Zachary is married to Claire and has five children.

Natalie Gunn
Natalie Gunn A Mount Scopus graduate, Natalie is currently studying a double degree in Law (Honours) and Global Studies. She is the president of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS).

Dalia Gurfinkel
Dalia Gurfinkel has been a creative and accomplished Jewish Studies teacher with over 30 years experience teaching in Jewish Day Schools. She is a passionate Zionist who struggles daily with the best way to engage students in Israel education, while acknowledging the complexities involved.

Sue Hampel
Sue Hampel OAM is a well-known public speaker and lecturer. She holds a Masters degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (2010) and serves as Co-President of the JHC. Sue is currently an academic mentor to indigenous students and a teaching associate at Monash University. She has been recognised for her teaching and community service by receiving numerous awards including a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community through the promotion of understanding and tolerance.  In 2020, Sue joined the State Government’s Holocaust Education Working Group, to assist with development and implementation of mandatory Holocaust Studies for Years 9 and 10. Last year, Sue served as the International Chair of the Education Working Group for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and she is a member of the National Archives of Australia advisory board.

Simon Holloway
Dr Simon Holloway is the Head of Education at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum. Prior to moving to Melbourne, he spent six years as an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where he delivered seminars on Nazi racial science, Jewish resistance and the history of the Holocaust. While there, he had the great privilege of working very closely with a number of Holocaust survivors, whom he interviewed for students, for the public and for film.

James Kennard
Rabbi James Kennard has been the Principal of Mount Scopus Memorial College since 2007, having previously served as the Head of two schools in the UK. He has a degree in Maths from Oxford University, and Rabbinic ordination from Yeshivot in Israel. Rabbi Kennard is a popular speaker and columnist in the Melbourne Jewish community.   He and Vicky have five children, three of whom live in Israel, and a clutch of grandchildren.

Simon Lawrence
Simon Lawrence grew up in the U.K. and attended Hasmonean High School. Following school, he learnt at Yeshivat Hamivtar, returning to London to study Jewish Studies at Jews’ College in London. Simon worked as Technical Director of Bnei Akiva UK before making Aliya in 1997. Simon studied Special Education at David Yellin College and taught at Keren Or and Chavat Hanoar Hatziyoni. Simon married Judith (nee Kerbel) in 2000 and has two children, Hannah and Sasha. Hannah is currently on Bnei MTA and Sasha is in Year 11 at Carmel. The family moved to Perth in 2007. Simon became Youth Director and Assistant to the Rabbi at the PHC and has been the Director of Jewish Studies at Carmel School since 2012.

Alex Levy
Terry Aizen – I am the Director of the Kornmehl Emanuel Pre-school for the past 17 years, and Alex Levy is the Educational Leader and educator of the 4-5-year-old group for the past 18 years. We are part of The Emanuel School and have a P-12 campus all on the same grounds. This connection affords us many wonderful opportunities with our Emanuel Community. We are both passionate, committed, and dedicated educators that are constantly learning, and looking for ways to deepen our Jewish knowledge and understanding of how children develop their Jewish identity.

Jenny Lipsitz
Adi Ben Yosef was my Jewish Studies teaching partner for 4 years. We had an instant connection and were both pationate Early Childhood Educators. We had the same views and values on how best young children learn and planned our lessons together using every opportunity to combine General Studies and Jewish studies in a way that children would benefit from this very important combination .  It worked so well and we saw how the students benefited in all areas of their learning.”]]],[1,”p”,[[0,[],0,”We are excited to present from practical experience how to integrate Jewish Studies and a General studies program to enhance meaningful learning.  This is most evident through the Chagim and the strong Partnership with the Australia/Arava Twinning Kindergarten program. We plan on demonstrating this by showing many various videos demonstrating how well this works.

Ari Lobel
Rabbi Dr. Ari Lobel is currently the Head of Hebrew Language at Kesser Torah College in Sydney, where he teaches both Classical Hebrew and Jewish studies. For the past 12 years, Rabbi Dr. Lobel has served as a lecturer at the University of Sydney, both in the School of Education and in the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish studies. He formerly served as a writer/editor for the Artscroll Talmud, Mishnah and Midrash series, as well as serving as editorial director for the Encyclopedia of Taryag Mitzvot, and director of education for the website Torah.org.

Michael Manhaim
Michael Manhaim is currently serving as Shaliach of The Israeli Scouts as Ha’Tzofim Australia Executive Director and Garin Tzabar Regional Director. Before arriving in Australia, Michael worked for more than ten years in the informal world and the Tzofim movement. He has vast experience in leadership training, methodology, building communities, and the Diaspora’s Israelis.   Michael grew up in Alfe-Menashe, a small settlement near Kfar Saba. He holds a BA in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy from Herzliya IDC, specialising in Public Diplomacy. He started his shlichut in November 2018. He is passionate about working with the Tzofim chapters and communities and Garin Tzabar participants. Michael is in Sydney with his partner Shai, a long way from their home in the centre of Tel-Aviv.

Cathy Milwidsky
Cathy Milwidsky – Head of Early Learning and Development – Moriah College Early Learning Centres

Mike
Moskowitz
Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity. Rabbi Moskowitz received three Ultra-Orthodox ordinations while learning in the Mir in Jerusalem and BMG in Lakewood, NJ. He is a David Hartman Center Fellow and the author of “Textual Activism ” and “Graceful Masculinity”. His newest book, “Seasonal Resistance” will be available in the Spring. Rabbi Moskowitz’s writings can be found at www.rabbimikemoskowitz.com.

Alon Nissan
Alon, 33, is the International Relations Coordinator at the department for Pioneering Youth and Future Generations in the World Zionist Organization.  Alon holds a BA in Social Work and a Master’s from the Mandel Institute for Social Leadership from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev.  After finishing his army service as an Artillery commander (currently serving in Reserve duty as a Mental Health officer, in the Paratroopers) Alon spent most he’s professional life focusing on Zionism and Leadership through informal education across the world. Before joining the WZO, Alon worked for \”Knafeem Shel Krembo\” as the northwest region Director in charge of 6 branches and hundreds of teenagers with and without special needs. He also served as the Jewish agency’s Community Shaliach in Houston Texas, Director of the International Affairs office at Ben Gurion Student Union, Youth program Director at Young Judaea and a Counselor at Alexander Muss High School in Israel.

Einat Orbach
Einat Orbach is an experienced Yiddish and Jewish Studies teacher and Gifted Coordinator at Sholem Aleichem College. She has studied LOTE Methodology and has a passion and interest in Brain-based education, regularly drawing on research in the fields of neuroscience and education to inform her teaching methods. She continues to seek out effective and evidence-based approaches to increase student learning, engagement and motivation.

Feygi Phillips
Feygi Phillips is a 3rd generation Jewish educator, who has spent her career trying to help students find their own path to a rich Jewish identity. Graduating from Monash with a Bachelor of Arts/Education in 2009, she then completed her Master of Arts in Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2011. Since then she has been working at the King David School teaching Jewish Studies.

Michael Sassoon
Michael Sassoon (MTeach/BComm) has educated across Sydney for the past 10 years. He has crafted Jewish Studies curricula (7-12), as well as taught for the Great Synagogue in Sydney. He currently teaches Jewish Studies, Jewish History and Studies of Religion at Moriah College. His interest in Sepharadic education was inspired by taking a Sepharadic Ḥazzanut class at New York’s Yeshiva University as far back as 2005. He contributes his voice to Sydney’s Sepharadi Synagogue.

Sefi Shalam
Sefi Shalam has spent his career on two paths: 1. Youth engagement and international relations (including in the US Embassy to Israel); 2. Media, through TV and website production and content roles. He admits he is a geek about Israeli politics and history, with a special passion for sports and cooking. Since April 2019, he has been working as the Melbourne Netzer and Progressive community Shaliach, on behalf of the Jewish Agency and has enjoyed speaking on dozens of stages in Israel, Australia and other countries.

Nikki Steinfeld
Early Childhood Educator Nikki Steinfeld is a singer, song-writer, musician and story-teller. Nikki has created a compilation of songs for young children that connects them to their earth, their role in creating a sustainable planet through thoughtful practices and an appreciation of the wonder and magic in nature.

Jeremy  Stowe-Lindner
Jeremy is Bialik College’s Principal, having previously led the UK’s Jewish Community Secondary School, both pluralistic Jewish schools. Jeremy attended a Church of England School and is a graduate of Yeshiva Ohr Sameach. A fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders for services to education, the 2021 recipient of the NEiTA Leadership Award, an MBA graduate, a history by training and a philosophy teacher by temperament, Jeremy has a tolerant, inspirational wife and two wonderful children.

Beruria Tenenbaum
A product of Melbourne and educated both here and in Israel, Beruria Tenenbaum is head of Beth Rivkah Ladies’ College secondary school. Her goal there is for the students to be able to grapple with the issues in their lives and the world around them with a familiarity and mastery of Jewish sources, so that they can make decisions as knowledgeable and empowered Jewish young women Her twin passions are her family and being with her students in the classroom. In recent years she has been teaching VCE Australian Politics, Chumash and Jewish history, and is happiest when she can connect them all.

Ron Weiser
Dr Ron Weiser AM is a past president of the ZFA and the initiator and original organiser of this Educators’ Conference. Ron is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Sochnut (the Jewish Agency). Ron is a Life member of the ZFA Executive and Hon Life President of the Zionist Council of NSW.

Joey Zeleznikow
Joey is a 2019 Yavneh graduate. He is currently studying Law and Politics at ACU, and is Chairperson for the AZYC of Victoria. He is also a staffer for Josh Burns, Member for Macnamara, and Vice President of the St Patrick Jewish Students Society.

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