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2016 Session Information

The She'ela Festival is a unique fusion of  education, self-development, awareness, music, wellness and more.  With over 25 different workshops and presentations on offer, and a wide variety of topics to choose from, there is something for everyone.  Whether you stay all day or just attend a few sessions the She'ela Program will excite, challenge and inspire you.

Please refer to the Festival Schedule for session times and room allocation.


MC: Jordana Borensztayn

Featuring: Sandra Jacobs 

How can creativity help you step outside your comfort zone?

Through exploring the ingredients that make up our inner creativity, Jordana will help attendees build and enhance their creative skills. Be inspired by Sandra Jacobs who will share her journey of stepping out of her comfort zone and how this propelled her to achieve great things and reach out to the community.

Yoga for Health and Wellbeing

Presenter: Arlene Newstadt

Arlene’s passion is working with women of all ages, and at all stages of life, from adolescence to menopause, to help them in developing health and wellbeing. She has been a pre-natal Yoga teacher for many years and loves how Yoga can help women through the intense transformations of pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

Session Type: workshop/Interactive

BYO mat and blanket

An Introduction to Kabbalah Spiritual Practice

Presenter: Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff

How can Judaism be my spiritual path? Can my identity as a woman be fostered by Kabbalah teachings? How can the calendar of festivals nourish my soul? Is there such a thing as Jewish meditation and mindfulness? We will explore ancient and modern mystical perspectives on Judaism and how they relate to spirituality.

Session Type: Presentation

Domestic Terrorism

Presenter: Kathy Kaplan OAM (Impact for Women)

Domestic Terrorism is a reality: even in our own community. It takes courage to admit to it, to survive it or to support someone experiencing it. It takes courage to boldly proclaim, ‘This does not align with my values as a Jew’ and to do something about it.

Session Type: Presentation

From the City to the Slums: Working Outside Your Comfort Zone

Presenter: Suzy Zail

Facilitator: Naomi Rubinstein

Suzy Zail had always done what was expected of her. It was only when she did the unexpected - quitting her city law firm to start again, as a writer, that she found true career and personal fulfilment. Join Suzy for an intimate conversation about finding hope, and meaning in the saddest of places.

Session Type: Presentation followed by Q & A

Achieving Your Everest

Presenter: Andy Gild

This presentation is centred on gaining practical tools that help us step outside our comfort zone in order to achieve our goals, with particular emphasis on the newly discovered wisdom of the head, heart and gut.

Session Type: Presentation

Israeli Dancing for Fun

Presenter: Judi Banky

Have you wanted to do something physical that doesn’t feel like hard exercise? An activity that combines movement with music that is connected to Israel? Then Israeli Dance is waiting for you! A few easy dances will be taught in a fun and friendly way.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Comfortable shoes and clothing preferrable

Beyond the Call of Duty

Presenter: Lani Brayer

We are all women who go beyond the call of duty, but what makes some stand out more than others? This session intends to explore why and how some women have gone beyond the call of duty. From our biblical heroines to modern day women who we hold in high esteem, I intend to explore what is myth and what is real about women’s achievements and question if their achievements are really beyond anybody’s reach.

Session Type: Presentation

Music for Your Meals - Lunch

Presenter: Emily Schnall

Emily, with her big hair and her big unforgettable voice, provides a relaxed soulful sound to your ears. Let her smooth jazz, hip RnB and chill blues tunes fill you with the perfect sounds for your day or night. You will be taken on a musical journey through your favourite cover songs as well as original music.

Presenter: Lauren Glezer

Lauren will be singing her original tunes of the heart and will also be accompanied by some powerful women whose harmonies will give you shivers.

Session Type: Musical Entertainment

Laughter Yoga: A whole New Way of Being

Presenter: Ros Ben-Moshe

Laughter yoga is a fun aerobic activity that helps decrease stress and anxiety levels, increase energy and improve your overall wellbeing. Through simulated laughter exercises, deep breathing and clapping you will be guided through different laughter exercises until the laughter becomes very real. The session concludes with laughter meditation.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Getting Triggered as a Parent

Presenter: Georgie Bancroft

Raising children often arouses many feelings that we didn’t even know we had! We can find ourselves becoming triggered over various issues, resulting in reactive behaviour. Commonly, we are battling with feelings that stem from our own childhood. Issues from our past can impact our present reality even when we are not aware of their origins. Attachment research demonstrates that when adults are able to offload leftover issues from their own childhoods, they are more able to be present in the moment with their children. This talk will help parents become aware of how their children’s behaviour may be triggering feelings from the past. We will take a look into some of the research and why our leftover issues can result in us feeling triggered and out of control. In  addition we will discuss tools to help us during   these heated moments, as well as longer term strategies for managing these feelings - Helping us to step out of our comfort zone.

Session Type: Presentation

Finding Your Sweet Spot

Presenter: Suzi Finkelstein

This interactive and engaging session will provide an opportunity to reflect and discover your “sweet spot”, where your gifts, passion and purpose intersect. You will leave the session with a framework to support your decision making, energy flow and pathway ahead.

Session Type: Presentation and Interactive Workshop

The 7 Habits of Helathy People

Presenter: Dr Anne Abelman

This session will give you sensible advice to enable you to make significant, long-term changes towards a healthier lifestyle. Once you’ve integrated the 7 healthy habits, you’ll not only feel better, you’ll look better too! Take the first step out of your comfort zone and learn how to nourish yourself back to health.

Session Type: Presentation

PANEL: Overcoming Adversity

Three women share their journey through pain and hardship and how they managed to turn their lives around.

Facilitator: Michelle Kornberg

Panellists: Esther Althaus, Minna Lederberger, Beverley Michael

THE 'MOUTH': Stories of Human Experience

Adapted from the 'Moth', this session celebrates the ability of stories to honour both the diversity and commonality of human experience and to satisfy a vital human need for connection. The 'Mouth' is sure to be a highlight of the She'ela Festival incorporating six dynamic and entertaining women sharing their stories in successive five minute blocks. Two audience members are also invited to participate. Come and hear and share stories that will take you outside of your comfort zone. 

Facilitator: Ellyse Borghi

Storytellers: Shelley Cohney, Nomi Kaltmann, Naomi Orelowitz, Shiri Mirvis, Helen Mizrachi, Sheree Rubinstein and Natasha Rubinstein


A taste of The 'Mouth' at She'ela Festival

Sheree Rubinstein: From corporate lawyer to social entrepreneur

What it took to leap from a stable, rigid, comfortable and well paid career to dive into the crazy world of entrepreneurship and literally go and pursue my passions.

Nomi Kaltmann: Spontaneous Adventure

How to be spontaneous and achieve result with minimum chutzpah and maximum results.

Being Grounded in Love and Compassion

Presenter: Zoe Kanat

This mindfulness meditation will support participants to land, feel grounded and supported, connect to their own inner stillness, clarity, wisdom, love and vitality. All these qualities can be found within ourselves, it is our true nature.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Awareness Through Movement - The Feldenkrais Method

Presenter: Penina Gunzburg

Play, explore and discover and easier way to be though this Awareness Through Movement class. The Feldenkrais Method uses movement to improve posture, flexibility, coordination, breathing and a sense of well-being. During an Awareness Through Movement ® class, you are gently guided to harness your curiosity, sense of play and explore novel ways of moving. Step outside your comfort zone and challenge your beliefs about your ability.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

BYO excercise mat

This session is capped - Maximum 20 participants

Song and Sound - Music and Singing Workshop

Presenter:  Sarah Kisilevich

Come explore the paradoxical relationship between lyrics and tune and how we can manipulate the two to our advantage. Learn the vocal techniques that will widen your range and strengthen the musculature so that you can reach your own vocal potential. With an eclectic mix of Chassidic philosophy, modern singing tools and in-house song composition this workshop will free your voice and bring out the creative within you. 

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Unleash Your Rhythm

Presenter: Gabbi Sar-Shalom

Assisted by: Rachel Pinczower and Jasmine Lance

An engaging and joyful drum circle to get us out of our heads into our bodies and find our unique contribution within a group setting.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Drums will be provided

This session is capped - Maximum 25 participants

Setting the Bar Higher: Vision Boards

Presenter: Heidi Gaspar

As Michelangelo quoted ‘the greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but it is too low and we reach it’. Be brave and be bold. Step outside your comfort zone and stretch yourself to achieve greater things. Share your dreams with other like-minded women in a safe, nurturing environment. This session will guide you in making a vision board (collage or drawing/writing) where you create your own Mount Everest to climb. No creative skills necessary.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Materials will be provided

This session is capped - Maximum 20 participants

The Naked Truth: Finding Oneself in the Holy Waters

Presenter: Timmy Rubin

This session will explore intimacy from a Jewish perspective incorporating everything to do with the mikveh. Timmy will share her experiences and entertaining anecdotes from working with women in this setting.  

Session Type: Presentation

Intuitive Painting and Drawing Workshop

Presenter: Ella Rubinstein

Push your boundaries by stepping into a guided and supportive process of engaging with the instinctual and creative parts of the self. Using fun drawing and painting exercises, explore artistic possibilities through the beauty and surrender of intuition. Allow yourself to create, and be surprised by all that you are capable of.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Materials will be provided

No artistic experience necessary

This session is capped - Maximum 25 participants


with Justine Sless

Join me for a session of complaining, comedy and conversation. This session is just for fun. All complaints welcome, this session will be recorded then played live to air on 'Kvetch with Sless' – in partnership with J-Air radio (anonymous kvetching acceptable).

From lunchtime onwards in the Kvetch booth

Tackling Infectious Diseases in the 21st Century

Presenter: Professor Sharon Lewin - KEY NOTE SPEAKER

In the last 30 years HIV has gone from a universal death sentence to a chronic manageable disease with many scientists now talking about a cure. Why did progress in HIV advance so quickly and can we use the same model to tackle other diseases and emerging infections? Sharon will share her experience in Science and leadership and insights into how communities can be mobilised for change.

Session Type: Presentation

Homelessness - Why it is Everybody's Problem

Presenter: Romy Katz

We are going to explore the issue of homelessness and why we need to turn our attention to helping our friends on the street. Who is affected, why is this a growing issue and what can we do to help.

Session Type: Presentation

Ukulele for Beginners

Presenter: Karen Feldman

So, you are telling me that after 1 session, I will be able to confidently master a whole song on the Ukulele?? The answer is “YES”; Come and let Karen guide you into the world of the happiest little instrument - the Ukulele! No former music experience needed - No age limitations! Just come along to experience the joy!

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Ukuleles will be provided

No experience necessary

This session is capped - Maximum 15 participants

Finding Your Inner Child - Drama Workshop

Presenter: Sandie Klein

This fun-filled workshop will involve lots of activities in which participants will express ideas, create characters and stories through movement, words, images, and sounds in a non-threatening environment. All you need to do is come with an open mind, and let your imagination run free. A good time is guaranteed.

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Women's Circle: The Motherhood Transition

Presenter: Gail Bousi

Join me in a circle with other women, where we will discuss, share and explore the many changes that a woman experiences during her transition into motherhood. We will talk about the stuff that nobody tells you and wish you would've known or been more prepared for! Yes, there are a lot of articles on Facebook & wonderful books out there but who is really talking and sharing the real life day to day struggles that new mums & pregnant women have in our modern society. Here's your chance! In this session you will have the opportunity to share your own experiences, listen to others as well as learn new skills, strategies and options for specific issues. We will discuss how valuable it is to receive the right kind of support for YOU!  We will chat about the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial and relational changes that women experience, and discover that we are all "normal"! Whether you have recently had a baby or not so recently, thinking about getting pregnant, are pregnant or about to give birth........come and join our circle!

Session Type: Workshop/Interactive

Music for Your Meals - Dinner

Join in the She'ela communal dinner (included in ticket price) and enjoy live music with Sarah Kisilevich and Laiya Rotherberg.

Session Type: Musical Entertainment

PANEL: Gender Identity and Sexual Diversity

This session will explore experiences and issues surrounding sexual diversity from various perspectives.

Facilitator: Suzi Finkelstein

Panellists: Rebecca Forgasz, Sally Goldner and Sharon Swiatlo


MC: Justine Sless

Featuring: Keren Harel-Gordon

Justine Sless creative director of Melbourne Jewish comedy festival, comedian and presenter of #kvetchwithsless on Jair, closes the inaugural She'ela festival with a hilarious summary of the day's happenings, and a few inspired words about moving out of your comfort zone . Keren Harel-Gordon will offer some insight into Rosh Hashana, a festival that inspires change and self-improvement.