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2018 Session Information

The She'ela Festival is a unique fusion of education, self-development, awareness, dance, wellness and more, all in the spirit of going 'Back to Basics'. With over 20 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.

REGISTRATION - from 8:15am

Let  us know you've arrived! Collect your wristbands/lanyards and program at the registration desk and a She'ela volunteer will direct you where to go from there. If you are keen to do one of the 'capped' sessions where places are limited, be sure to write your name down on the list at Registration. 

Where: Main entrance


Yoga: Slow flow mindful practice

With: Miriam Danby

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: In this yoga session, we will dive into a slow flow yoga practice bringing us back to the basics of breath, connecting ourselves to the rhythm of our breath and into our physical body, with the aim of settling our bodies and minds. All levels are welcome. BYO Yoga mat and blanket and wear comfortable clothes.

Format: Workshop or Interactive.

Meditation - Finding Silence - Meditation and mindfulness for everyday life

With: Zoe Kanat

Where: Rippon Lea Room

About: We are all born with these qualities of inner goodness, peace and wisdom, but become so busy doing, we forget how to be aligned with our deepest knowing. This mindful meditation will guide you to let go of tension in the body and mind supporting you to rest back into the flow of creativity, clarity and joy. 

Format: Workshop or Interactive 


Where: Auditorium

Welcome: Naomi Rubinstein (Sheéla Founder)

Patron Address: Danielle McKeown

Nominated Charity: Orange Sky (Shaylee De Lange)

Keynote Address: Tania Wolff


Kabbalah: Lilith – the Story of Adam’s First Wife

With: Evelyne Joffe

Where: Auditorium

About: In Hebrew mythology, Lilith is described as Adam’s first wife and has come to symbolise the feminine as dark and evil. Only with the advent of the feminist movement in the 1960s did she acquire her present high status as the model for independent women. 

In this talk we will explore this process of transformation from rejection to autonomy and how it is relevant in our lives as modern Jewish women.

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

Panel Discussion - “Hidden Treasures - unearthing stories of bravery, generosity and  kindness.

With: Suzy Zail (Moderator) Zara Sarzin, Leanne Czerniecki

Where: Theatrette

About: Join us to unearth the touching stories of two brave women whose ordinary lives were forever changed by a single act of kindness. Zara Sarzin whose chance encounter with the Jewish Abayudaya community of Uganda would save lives, and Leanne Czerniecki who, in addition to adopting a foster child, donated eggs to allow two childless woman to conceive.

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

5Rhythms, dancing towards freedom

With: Rivka Worth

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Dance your Dance, Listen to your Body, Move and be Moved. Each dancer interprets the Rhythms in their unique way, being guided through the 5Rhythms of Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, Staccato. Dancing these together in a Wave, offers an experience of deep connectedness and freedom of expression. This dynamic, Moving Meditation will leave you feeling centred, refreshed and balanced. BYO water bottle.

Format: Workshop or Interactive.

MORNING SESSION OPTIONS 11:15am - 12:00 pm

Is your Roadmap pointing true?

With: Maureen Barten

Where: Auditorium

About: Sharing anecdotal stories, Maureen will take you on a journey chronicling the development of personal truths leading us to the paths we choose. The business of living comes with the cost of likely being derailed, often pushing us off track. Understanding what is fundamental for our own well-beings and mastering the skills of a personal stock take, builds confidence, promotes self-actualisation and is fully empowering. Become inspired and reroute your roadmap so it meets your principle and true requirements for fulfilment.  

Format: Talk, with interactive element  

Inspiration Bombs

Host: Nina Bassat

Speakers: Madeleine Buchner, Vered Harel, Sheree Rubinstein, Kate Weis

Where: Theatrette

About: Hosted by the very accomplished Nina Bassat.

Presented by accomplished women in our community who have made their mark on society and are keen to share their unique journeys with you. The beauty of this session is that we have a diverse range of ages in our presenters; it just goes to show that inspiration has little to do with age and more to do with the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative, which can be possible at any age.

Format: Series of short presentations and Q & A

Writing about your life: Using story to explore experiences

With: Roz Bellamy

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: In this workshop, you will hear an excerpt of Roz’s upcoming memoir, which explores how she reconciled the conflict between her sexuality and Jewish identity. She will discuss the process of writing personal essays and memoir, and will take you through techniques and strategies for writing about your own lives. Whether you would like to be published or just want to learn more about writing your own story, come along and prepare to be inspired to start writing.  

Format: Writing Workshop


Just Dance

With: Yakira Abraham

Where: Auditiorium

About: Come along to the “just Dance” workshop. A fun and engaging dance session for all levels. In the workshop we will connect to our own movements as well as to the rest of the group. Movement exploration with a twist at the end. For those dance lovers who want a lighthearted, fun boogie.  

Format: Workshop

Mouth: Extraordinary stories from ordinary people.

Host: Helen Mizrachi

Speakers: Anne Abelman, Lani Brayer, Sarah Hyman, Leah Kaminsky, Hallely Kimchi, Nina Etzion 

Where: Theatrette

About: Adapted from the 'Moth', this session celebrates the potential 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 five dynamic and entertaining women sharing their stories in successive five minute blocks, all along the theme of "Back to Basics".  Come and hear stories that will take you on a journey and nourish your soul. 

Format: Series of Short Stories

From Sinai to Simon - A lyrical shiur

With: Havi Rubinstein

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: In this session we’ll explore some classical Judaic scriptures alongside the lyrics of legendary artists Paul Simon, Don McLean and Leonard Cohen. We will apply traditional interpretative processes to these ‘texts’, both ancient and contemporary, to glean their timeless messages. Through the creative lens of music we can appreciate how humanity has been pondering the same existential concepts from antiquity until today.

Format: Presentation – with text-based discussion

Intuitive Painting Workshop: Expression Through Colour, Shape and Form

With: Ella Rubinstein

Where: Rippon Lea Room

About: There is a world of expression waiting within you. This workshop invites you to unlock your creative potential by playing with paint and drawing materials. Return to the basic elements of art with childlike curiosity. It is time for the inner explorer to take charge. Be surprised by all that you can create, as you express yourself through colour, line and form. Leave this workshop feeling energized and inspired by your inner maker..

Format: Workshop

* There is a limit to 25 people for this session. 

LUNCH 1:00 - 2:00pm

Take this time to socialise and connect with other like minded Sheelas. Food and coffee can be purchased all day with heaps of healthy kosher options available. Dabble in some art or sit back and relax in the chill out zone, either way, be sure to stick around for a surprise in the second half of lunch.

KEYNOTE PANEL 2:00 - 2:45pm


Success stories, but not without their challenges.

Moderator: Julie Szego

Panel: Jodie Auster, Ruth Barson, Kerri Sackville

Where: Auditorium

About: Three highly successful women discuss how they overcame various challenges and reached the peak of their careers using motivation and a drive to succeed, whilst making the world a better place.


Jodie Auster started her professional career as an Emergency doctor, moved on to start up life at Scoopon, immersed herself in the heart of tech innovation in Silicon Valley and is now General Manager of Uber Eats Australia & New Zealand.


Ruth Barson is the director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre. She has spearheaded the work of the Centre addressing youth justice, deaths in custody, inhuman conditions in detention and racial inequality in the criminal justice system.


Kerri Sackville is a columnist and social commentator who writes for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and

Her most recent publication is Out There: A Survival Guide for Dating in Midlife .


Moderator Julie Szego is a freelance writer and Fairfax columnist.

Format: Panel Discussion and Q&A 

Note: This session is for all festival attendees; no other sessions run at this time


Kosher Tantra

With: Azra Sabljo

Where: Auditorium

About: In this session Azra will reveal the ancient tools of tantra and the ways to reignite the flames of intimacy which occasionally fade away after the Chuppah and Kidushin. Azra will show similarities between the ancient wisdom of both tantra and Judaism and their approach to intimacy between married couples. We will explore ways of bringing the Shechinah into our love life and deepening the holy brit (Covenant) - Ani Ledodi Ve Dodi Li

The session will involve a practical side too and you will have an opportunity to experience basic tantric practices.

Format: Workshop 

Keeping it Simple - How to eat like our grandparents

With: Dr Debbie Herbst

Where: Theatrette

About:  We may be living longer but are we living better?

Chronic disease, diabetes and obesity are all at epidemic proportions.

All that is modern and developed is not necessarily good for our health and wellbeing.

Explore how going back to basics with our food and lifestyle choices can add life to years not just years to our lives.

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

Understanding and Managing Stress

With: Tanya Levy

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About:  Stress is one of the top concerns today. In this workshop, we will look at how stress is challenging the mind, body, and spirit. We will discuss how mindfulness and meditation are great tools to address your stress. I will share with you 3 easy to use techniques to calm and tame the busy mind, feel positive and transform stress. 

Format:  Workshop



Becoming the best version of yourself

With: Dalia Gross

Where: Auditorium

About:  What would it feel like to be centred, balanced, pain free and present in our lives? Let Kinesiologist and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner, Dalia Gross teach you some simple techniques to achieve this. You will also explore the notion of keeping things simple to achieve the best version of yourself.

Format: Talk, some presentation, interactive and discussion

* There is a limit to 30 people for this session. 

Going within to get Back to Basics

Moderator: Kerryn Velleman

Speakers: Elise Bialyiew & Timmy Rubin


About:  While there are advantages to being connected 24/7, the growing demands on our hectic lives are dangerous to our wellbeing. Join Elise Bialyiew and Timmy Rubin to explore the benefits of mindfulness and how pausing and going within to connect with the present moment can cultivate the resilience and calm needed to sustain a balanced life.

Format: Talk & Discussion (Panel)

Reignite Sacred Feminine Blessing Circle

With: Brigitte Benary

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Our Reignite Sacred Feminine Blessing Circle is the gathering together of women, utilising ancient traditions created over thousands of years, to honour and reconnect with the ancient feminine knowing within each of us.
It will be an opportunity for us to sit in circle, express our feminine voice, to release into the earth anything that no longer serves us and reclaim our intuitive piece of gold that lies deep within.
Gather your sisters, mothers, grandmothers, friends or any one that you would like to share this heart full sacred feminine experience with or GIFT yourself.

Format: Blessing Circle

Note: BYO Cushion (there will be somewhere to store it for the day)


Keep searching for Mr. Right or embark on motherhood alone.

Host: Esther Justin & Jasmine Richwol

Where: Theatrette

About:  Short film IVF Vs THE ONE will be screened, which follows Jasmine, a single woman in her mid 30s, deciding whether to keep searching for Mr. Right or embark on the journey towards single motherhood. A Q&A will follow the screening with Producer, Jasmine Richwol and Director, Esther Justin who will share their thoughts on the pressures and options for single women wanting a family of their own.

Format: Screening and Q&A discussion

Giving Girls Wings.

Host: Davida Forshaw

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About:  When Davida began her flying training in the late 1970’s there were no female airline pilots in Australia. Today, women number only 8% in the field and still there are no tangible role models of female airline pilots represented in popular culture. In this presentation, Davida will take you on a journey into an industry strongly associated with the male stereotype and discuss the challenges and initiatives in moving the needle on gender diversity.

Format: Presentation and discussion

Ve'ahavta pop up choir

With: Sarah Mandie

Where: Rippon Lea Room

About:  Bringing Jewish singing back to basics, Sarah will teach a simple and fun song in harmony and prepare the group to lead the closing ceremony song with text from the most basic of Jewish laws and foundation of Jewish spirituality.

Format: Choir Singing Session

CLOSING CEREMONY 6:00 - 6:30pm (Please arrive at 5:50 for a 6:00pm start)

With: Brigitte Benary, Zoe Kanat, Sarah Mandie, Naomi Rubinstein

Where: Auditorium

About: Please join us for the finale of the festival. This promises to be a meaningful and moving experience and a beautiful way for all She'elas to close a day filled with connection and togetherness by connecting and being together one more time till She'ela Festival 2019.


Note: This session is for all festival attendees; no other sessions run at this time

We encourage all attendees to have a listen and practice the closing ceremony song before the day.


Running  All Day

Sewing the Seeds Stand

With: Gayle Factor

Where: Corridor near the food area

About: Sewing the Seeds utilises creativity and enterprise to break the cycle of poverty for Indian women. We are creating an environment of self determinism and economic independence for marginalised gypsy women by harnessing their local craft traditions of recycling to create ethically-produced artisan products to be sold on the international market. Beautiful products will be sold at She'ela all day.


With: Nifla Kosher Catering

Where: Crush area

About: Kosher vegetarian food will be available to purchase throughout the day with gluten free options available.

Body Art

With: Lainie Cann

Where: Crush Area

About:  Elevate your presence and enjoyment of your She’ela experience by having a design painted onto you by face and body paint artist, Lainie Cann. Lainie will adorn you with flourishes of joy ... which, as you make your way around the festival throughout the day will be shared with everyone you encounter, and enhanced by your smiles and twinkling eyes!!

Macrame Bracelet Making

With: Taya Solomon

Where: Crush Area

About:  A circular nest for attendees to weave some macrame bracelets that they can take with them. Weaving in a circle with women is something that we should experience and do regularly; it is in our roots to be together and create as women. 

Coffee/chai/hot chocolate

With: Brad Brivick

Where: Foyer

About: Coffee, Tea, Chai and Hot Chocolates will be available to help you maintain your energy levels on the day. Please note that She'ela supports environmentally sound initiatives so we strongly encourage attendees to bring their own reusable coffee cups and drink bottles.

Ve' ahavta - Melody
00:00 / 00:00
Ve'ahavta - All Parts
00:00 / 00:00

The views and opinions expressed by the presenters during this event are those of the presenters only and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views or opinions of the Event organisers, and should not be attributed to She’ela Incorporated.