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2017 She'ela Presenters

Featuring a vibrant array of local presenters, the She'ela Festival provides an inclusive forum for Jewish women to share their talents and experiences with you. Be inspired and empowered by these remarkable women who offer an exciting range of sessions in various formats.

Adina Bankier-Karp

Adina Bankier-Karp is a Jewish studies and English teacher at Mount Scopus College and is currently conducting doctoral research into the critical experiences influencing identity and engagement of young adults in the Melbourne Jewish community. Her teaching and research interests span the disciplines of Bible, Jewish philosophy, Education and Jewish identity formation. Adina has spent two decades teaching Jewish studies in high school and adult education contexts across the Melbourne Jewish community. Adina holds a BA (hons), Dip. Ed. and MA from Monash University, and is a former fellow of the Senior Educators Program at the Melton Institute at Hebrew University in Israel. Adina is married to Danny and the proud mother of Yoni and Yehuda.

Aria Klein

Aria is a 19 year old student of Nursing/Midwifery with an aim of working in women's health promotion in Asia. She volunteers in reforestation, health and education projects, having setup one of her own during school. She is also part of the current Hineni mad body.

Arlene Newstat

Arlene is passionate about facilitating Yoga for women's health and has been teaching for 17 years. Arlene loves guiding students to establish a deep body-breath connection, and uses that as the solid base for developing strength, fitness and all other aspects of holistic wellbeing. She is an experienced school teacher of children, and has facilitated Yoga in schools in Melbourne for more than 10 years. Arlene is also a qualified and experienced Transpersonal Art Therapist, and combines those skills with her Yoga learning to facilitate deep and meaningful change in her students.

Ayelet Ashkar

Ayelet has been facilitating self empowering workshops since 1997 in Israel and performed on stage as part of the Authentic Theatre dance company. Since arriving in Australia in 2003, Ayelet has facilitated a range of workshops including supporting people with disabilities and mental health as well as empowering children’s creativity through dance.

Carmella Rose

Carmella Rose is a passionate educator who loves being involved in many aspects of the Melbourne Jewish community. She is enthusiastic about people being kind to one another, playing guitar and eating wholesome food that someone else has cooked. 

Daniella Eiben

Daniella is a theatre director who has been working professionally as an actor, director, dancer, choreographer, and arts educator in Australia and abroad for over 18 years. Devoted to her craft, Daniella's work cultivates and interest in how the actor becomes a primary vehicle for presenting and representing human experience. Voices Unheard, attempts to tap into that humanity through the experience a couple's struggles with infertility. Daniella is currently acting Movement-Director at Sydney Theatre School and a regular tutor for NIDA. Her most recent credits include A Flea in Her Ear (STC), A Midsummer Night's Dream (STC), and The Fairy Queen Opera (The Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

Deborah Conway

Deborah Conway has been a significant and eloquent contributor to Australian music for over 30 years. Her first band Do Re Mi topped the charts; her first solo album achieved platinum sales. Conway continues to release albums that attract critical acclaim from reviewers and appreciative audiences, most recently receiving a 5 star review for her 2016 release “Everybody’s Begging”.

Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone is a journalist, content producer and communications adviser. She is a former Editor of the Australian Jewish News, former feature writer on The Age and current External Relations Manager at Museums Victoria. She also runs Child at Play Photography.

Delia Baron

Delia is an inspirationist and the founder of She is passionate about connecting, inspiring and nourishing people in a way that will expand their heart space and desire to create positive change in the world. Delia has been involved in facilitating many workshops, gatherings and retreats around health, wellbeing, wholefood and more recently yoga. When she is not on her mat she can be found in her kitchen cooking with and for her beautiful family. 

Ellie Braitberg

Ellie is a Gen Y, closer to 30 than mid 20s. Social Worker in the Western Suburbs. Jewish Education and Youth Movement were not only part of her life but also in her blood.

Esther Takac

Esther is a child and adult psychologist and author. Having worked in the public sector for many years (Senior psychologist on a Children’s Assessment and Therapy team, Lighthouse Institute delivering workshops on trauma, Monash University providing clinical supervision) she now works mostly in private practice which gives her time to focus on her other love – writing. She's published three books – a multi age non-fiction, a young adult novella, and a picture book  (National Jewish Book Award, Australian Intercultural Curriculum, Premier’s Reading List) and is currently having fun working on a film script, a novel and a therapeutic story for hospitalized children.

Eva Migdal

Eva is lecturer in Wellness Coaching at RMIT School of Health and Biomedical Sciences and founder of the social enterprise ‘Wellschool’ where they develop innovative wellness frameworks, tools and training for health care, schools and workplaces. She is a qualified physiotherapist, health and media teacher, and environmental scientist, with a passion for radio and podcasting.

Fiona Grinwald

A former government policy hack, Fiona Grinwald turned from a cynic to an optimist after the sudden loss of her husband. Fiona is now a writer, speaker and the founder of 2lookup, a platform of positive shared connection seeking to help people proactively build resilience to lead a positive life, and cope after adversity. 

Gaby Davis

Gaby Davis graduated from Mount Scopus in 2014 and is studying music in an Arts/Education degree at Monash University. Gaby spends her time engaging tertiary students with Judaism through AUJS and Zooz and is the Merakezet of the Zooz Friday Night Youth Minyan, which combines her loves of Judaism and music.

Gayle Factor

Gayle has developed a long and loving relationship with India and its culture since she first back-packed around the country almost 40 years ago. She has been volunteering for 7 years with disadvantaged communities in India. Her experiences there led her to the understanding that working with women's empowerment was where she could make the greatest impact. When Gayle first met Bruno Savio from Samugam Trust in 2011 she found a shared goal and passion in their desire to make a difference to the lives of women. This was where and when the ‘Sewing the Seeds’ project was born.

Hadassa Naparstek

We all feel fear and have baggage! Are your fears and baggage stopping you from joys, growth, love, …Discovering you have choice, and how to let ‘stuff’ go means that you can be free to be who you want to be. And you can!

Hadassa has overcome some tough challenges where she was confronted with her own, custom made, internal chatter which consistently tried holding her back. Through a fun belief busting exercise you can break through your own limitations.

Helen Mizrachi

Helen Mizrachi has been involved in performing, acting and writing her own comedy routines since 1980. She has appeared in comedy revues for Bialik and Mt Scopus college and for a myriad of Jewish community organisations. She is a former member of the Melbourne Yiddish Theatre Company and played the lead in the Saltpillar production of Crossing Delancey. She has also appeared on Channel 31’s Community TV programme “The Shtick” in her own segment “Boobeh-Meises” – Old Wives Tales. Her favourite character is Booba, a typical Jewish grandmother, wherein she showcases all our Boobas’ endearing and very special qualities.

Irene Metter

Irene has been a graphic designer for 30 years. A few years ago she found herself taking over her daughter’s VCE media film homework, and so before completely destroying her daughters self esteem, she decided to butt out and do her own film study. Other factors were surviving cancer, and fear of death. Having practiced martial arts for 30 years (father: what does a nice Jewish girl want with karate?) she turned to Aikido and learnt to let go a very tight grip, with love, and to be self-full - a profound and ongoing journey. 

Trip 60+ screened at the St Kilda Film Festival. 

Jane Korman

Jane Korman is a performance and video artist. Her work mostly confronts prejudice and racial stereotypes. Her videos are currently showing at the Felix Nussbaum museum in Germany. Her video piece, Dancing Auschwitz, won the People’s Choice Award for best European short film documentary at the DokumentART Film Festival in Germany and Poland.

Joanne Terkel

Joanne is a Psychologist, a trained dancer, and a Dance Movement Therapist. She has combined her love of dance and psychology and now works with Authentic Movement. Joanne has extensive experience in psychology and has worked with elite athletes, in private practice, primary schools, the underprivileged, and the elderly. 

Jordana Borensztajn

Jordana is a social media strategist, creative content consultant, author, speaker and humourist. Jordana’s experience includes being a News Corp Australia journalist, working as online music editor, content producer and social media manager at Nova Entertainment, writing a business-marketing book called Capture My Attention: How to Stand Out Online with Creative Content, performing two sold-out shows in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, speaking at corporate conferences around the world and running a schools program that explores online safety for students. When Jordana’s not busy helping clients enhance their social media, content marketing and creativity skills, you’ll either find her taking selfies with miniature dogs or dressed as a giant Facebook Like button on the streets of New York.

Justine Sless

Justine Sless is an award winning writer, comedian and creative director of Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival and is doing an MA by research at La Trobe University on gender and comedy.

Justine’s comedy is described as:

Biting Sarcasm razor sharp wit – The Herald Sun

Sparkling Comedy – Jewish News  

Lana Krain

Lana Krain runs a bookkeeping company, is a mother of 2 and a wife. It is her extraordinary 17 year journey as an Agunah and her struggles to ultimately receiving a Get that makes her story so compelling. Lana feels that this subject is often brushed under the carpet and as such this is a story that needs to be told.

Lainie Chait

Lainie has recently published a book called ELECTRO GIRL in which she invites you to share her portrayal of a life lived with Epilepsy, from denial to acceptance, in which she hopes to create more awareness and inspire others to start thinking for themselves in relation to managing their health. 

Through her raw, humorous and honest story Lainie endeavours to empower people to manage their conditions holistically and not to accept that there is only one road to health. 

Dr. Lesley Braun Ph.D Adjunct Associate Professor

Lesley Braun is Director of Blackmores Institute, Adjunct Associate Professor of Integrative Medicine within the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (University of Western Sydney), past Senior Research Fellow within the Monash/Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre and a research pharmacist at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. She is a member of numerous committees/boards including the Australian Therapeutic Goods Advisory Council (ATGAC) and Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, and past Advisory Committee member of Complementary Medicines (ACCM). She is also the main author of the best-selling textbook ‘Herbs and Natural Supplements – an evidence based guide’, co-Editor-in-Chief of a new international journal by Elsevier entitled ‘Advances in Integrative Medicine’, founding columnist for the Australian Journal of Pharmacy (AJP), and regularly presents at national and international conferences. One of her chief areas of expertise is investigating and working at the interface between complementary and conventional medicine (medicine, surgery and pharmacy) from multiple perspectives such as efficacy, safety, patient and physician perspectives, regulation and practice. 

Libbi Gorr

Libbi Gorr is an award winning broadcaster, writer and performer, who examines the human condition using heart and humour. She was educated at Korowa  Anglican Girls School, Methodist Ladies College, the University of Melbourne and St Kilda & Caulfield Synagogue Sunday Schools. She lives in Melbourne with her partner and 2 children.

Linda Kaufman

Linda has been singing with a choir for the last 15 years. She sees it as her place to escape, as you can't sing and think of something else at the same time!

Lisa Buchner

Lisa runs the Refugee programs at Stand Up, working closely with the Sudanese community for over 12 years. She is also a special education teacher and has worked with people experiencing homelessness. Having devoted her life to empowering others to reach their potential, Lisa is well supported by her husband and 2 children. 

Lisa Zimmet

Lisa Zimmet is a mother to 4 year old Harry who was conceived using donor sperm through IVF. Through her journey, Lisa has had many highlights but also challenges and she looks forward to sharing them at the festival.

Marilyn Simon

Marilyn Simon began her Scopus involvement in 1980 when her eldest child, Emma, began kinder. 26 years ago, after a decade of volunteerism, she was invited to join the Development Office and so began a most rewarding career blending her passion and commitment. During this time more than $50 million has been raised for the College. Marilyn is 'letting go' at the end of this year.  However, her involvement will continue with four grandchildren now on their Scopus journey. She strongly believes that 'relationships' are at the heart of all fundraising and friend-raising and has loved her job most of the time!

Marlo L Newton

Marlo is a career fundraiser, educator, writer and presenter. She has “let go” of memorable, if brief, careers in showbusiness, academia, bartending and backup singing. She still raises money for things she values, writes for publication, presents on education and history and sings until her children ask her to stop.

Megan Rapeport

Nina and Meg currently sit on the board of Kehilat Kolenu, Melbourne’s only Humanistic Jewish congregation. They are young, femme and Jewish. They do a lot of different stuff accordingly. They’re young, yet each playing their part as authentically Secular Jewish women.

Melina Schamroth

Melina Schamroth is an author, multi award-winning social entrepreneur and the Founder of the m.a.d.woman foundation. Through her work with m.a.d.woman, Melina has touched the lives of more than 300,000 Australians facing disadvantage. Her business was national winner in the 2011 National Telstra Business Awards and she was co-named 2009 RMIT Communicator of the Year with acclaimed human rights activist The Hon. Michael Kirby. Melina was also named one of the 40 Most Inspiring Women over 40 in Australia in Prevention Magazine.

Melinda Slonim

Melinda began her career as a martial artist at the age of 8 and has 20 years of experience in a wide variety of martial arts. Melinda is the highest qualified female Krav Maga Instructor in Australia and is an Exercise Sport Scientist. Melinda specialises in practical self defence for women.

Melissa Abrahams

Melissa has been meditating for over twenty years. She facilitates Women’s Circles, Rites of Passage and other seasonal events. She has been actively on the shamanic path for over 15 years and is currently training with The School of Shamanic Womancraft.

Melissa is a qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner. Before this, she was a solicitor working in Public Interest law and with the Stolen Generation. Melissa has come to understand that the path to transformation must first begin within oneself.


Dr Miriam Grossbaum

Dr Miriam Grossbaum is an accomplished Jewish Studies teacher and communal educator who has facilitated workshops and seminars to a variety of audiences on a variety of topics. She has a particular interest in how people negotiate life challenges. Currently Miriam is working as a Psychologist in private practice. She facilitates a weekly interactive Shabbos Shiur during the summer months.

Nina Bassat AM

Born in Poland and a now a retired lawyer, Nina is an accomplished woman and has held numerous prestigious positions within the community. She is the Former President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, former President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and a Trustee of the Jewish Holocaust Centre Foundation.

Nina Etzion

Nina and Meg currently sit on the board of Kehilat Kolenu, Melbourne’s only Humanistic Jewish congregation. They are young, femme and Jewish. They do a lot of different stuff accordingly. They’re young, yet each playing their part as authentically Secular Jewish women.

Rachel Berger

Rachel Berger is one of Australia’s favourite stand-up comedians working variously as a comedian, broadcaster, novelist, columnist, agitator and television entertainer. Rachel's high public profile has done much to establish the position of women in comedy, providing a distinctive voice for women's opinions and viewpoints.

Rachelle Unreich

Rachelle Unreich is a freelance journalist (The Age, Harper’s Bazaar) who began her career writing celebrity profiles for Rolling Stone magazine. She then spent seven years in Los Angeles and New York, writing celebrity magazine profiles for magazines and newspapers all across the world. She has been a journalist for more than 30 years.  

Dr Raelia Lew

Dr Raelia Lew 


Raelia is a highly skilled Jewish Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Holistic Fertility Specialist. Raelia

holds an advanced subspecialist qualification in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI). She completed her PhD in Cambridge UK in the area of preconception genetic screening and fertility health promotion. She is a consultant gynaecologist and fertility specialist in private practice at Women’s Health Melbourne (Malvern and Fitzroy), The Royal Women’s Hospital Reproductive Services Unit and Melbourne IVF. Raelia also enjoys teaching in her role as a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne Medical School.  


Raelia has several special interest area including preconception genetic diagnosis, IVF and egg freezing and the supporting the management of fertility treatments including IVF under Rabbinical supervison.

Raquel Zalmon

Raquel is devoted to learning about the mystery of dying, death and grief. Raquel is a teacher of the Alexander technique, a passionate dancer and a death doula. She currently works in community palliative care. Raquel was 14 when her mum died.

Ronit Joel

Ronit is a Psychologist and a Director of Sage Psychology Group where she assists adults facing a wide range of challenges such as depression, anxiety and life adjustment issues. Ronit has always been an active community volunteer and is currently a facilitator for the Twelve Batmitzvah program and a participant of Jewish Care’s Yesod program.

Ros Ben-Moshe

Ros Ben-Moshe is one of Australia’s leading laughter wellness experts and Director of LaughLife Wellbeing Programs, She is Adjunct lecturer at the School of Public Health at La Trobe University and author of “Laughing at cancer – How to Heal with Love, Laughter and Mindfulness”. 

Ruth Picker

Experienced Lead Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry. Skilled in Executive Leadership, Risk Management, Strategy, External Audit, Music Composition, Team-building and Code of Conduct. Published author, songwriter and public speaker. Causes include diversity & inclusiveness, education and medical research. Thrilled to be a member of EY's Asia-Pacific Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee. It’s something about which she’s long been passionate. She’s also passionate about music. She’s a song writer, often writing on planes.