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2017 Session Information

The She'ela Festival is a unique fusion of education, self-development, awareness, music, wellness and more, all in the spirit of 'Letting Go'. 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.

REGISTRATION - from 8:15am

Let  us know you've arrived! Collect your wristbands 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


What: Yoga for Health and Wellbeing

With: Arlene Newstadt

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: 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. 

Format: Workshop or Interactive. BYO Yoga Mat and Blanket 

What: Meditation - Befriending stillness, peace and inner wisdom

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: Zoe Kannat

Nominated Charity: Gayle Factor (Sewing the Seeds)

Keynote Address: Fiona Grinwald (2lookup)


What: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Women: Communities Working in Harmony

With: Lisa Buchner

Where: Auditorium

About: Gain an insight into the long-term work that Lisa has undertaken at Stand Up with the Sudanese community. Learn about the friendship that has developed between the Jewish and Sudanese communities and be provided with tools and practical tips needed to develop and maintain an effective partnership with emerging communities. As the needs of the communities continually change, Lisa has successfully developed strategies to ensure the programs run by Stand Up continue to evolve accordingly.

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

What: The F word - “Feel the Fear”

With: Sabina Berman

Where: Theatrette

About: Fear is fabulous. Pushing past fear can be overwhelming empowering and an exciting experience. Start feeling your fear and realise how much you have pushed through in your life till today and beyond.

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

What: Moving for Insight: Authentic Movement

With: Joanne Terkel

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Interactive dance and movement class. Come and dance to the feelings and sensations in your body. By following this simple, fun and easy process, it is possible to gain insight into what is holding you back and to let it go. We dance in groups, being witnessed and supported by another. By connecting with your own body, it is possible to gain clarity, wisdom, love and understanding. By tapping into this amazing source, you can begin to live the life you want. 

Format: Workshop or Interactive. BYO Blanket and Cushion

What: Writing your own Story Picture Book

With: Esther Takac + Jane Korman

Where: Rippon Lea Room

About: Writing a picture book is a form of creativity many people find rewarding as it involves tapping into an inner richness and playfulness. Author Esther will discuss the process of writing a children’s story, showing how she drew inspiration from personal experience and cultural tradition in writing her books. Artist Jane will show you how to use a story map and demonstrate easy drawing and collage techniques. Bring along your favourite picture book to inspire and share!

Format: Workshop

Capped Session: Max 15 participants, sign up at registration desk

Note: this is a double session  - total running time approx 1.5hrs

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

What: Speak your mind. Mind how you speak

With: Susie Gartner

Where: Auditorium

About: In this session we examine the ways we communicate.  Why do some interactions work well and others fizzle or worse, create more issues and problems despite our best intentions. This is not a Communication 101 session. We will explore the Assertive and Non-Violent Communication mindset and method. Here is a chance to let go of old habits and create new more effective tried and tested ways to get your message across.  

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

What: Fasten your seat belts, Trip 60+ is all about the journey!

With: Irene Metter

Where: Theatrette

About: Irene Metter’s short documentary is about letting go of fear – on a personal level for the filmmaker, and for the older couples in the film, who have left the comfort of their homes to travel as ‘grey nomads’ in the great Australian outback, together 24/7 in mobile homes for many months of the year. It could be a recipe for disaster. In the inner sanctum of their vans, Irene seeks answers about love in later life, against the magnificence of the Australian bush. Take a sneak peek at the trailer (password: trip)

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

What: Raising the roof with song

With: Linda Kaufman

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Singing has been shown to improve our sense of happiness and wellbeing. Singing in a group situation brings forth creativity, release, giving and receiving in a very non threatening environment. We will be singing in harmonies, rounds and call and response. Tune into yourself and others at this workshop where together we will raise the roof in song.

Format: Workshop 

Capped Session: Max 25 participants, sign up at registration desk

What: Writing your own Story Picture Book Workshop

(continued from previous session)


What: The mysteries and management of menopause.

With: Dr. Tammy Herring

Where: Auditorium

About: Many women are perplexed by the menopause and are really unsure what it is all about. In this session you will learn what happens to our bodies at this stage of life and importantly how we can best address each of the changes that commonly occur. You will learn more about the mysteries of Menopausal Hormone Therapy as well as non-hormonal therapeutic options. You will come away from this session more confident about being able to navigate the many options available to make sure the menopause will not be a time to let yourself go.

Format: Presentation or Discussion 

What: Inspiration Bombs

With: Nina Bassat (Host), Ruth Picker, Aria Klein, Eva Migdal, Marilyn Simon, Vicky Caplan

Where: Theatrette

About: Hosted by the very accomplished Nina Bassat.

Presented by 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 very 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

What: Living a symbiotic existence with epilepsy

With: Lainie Chait

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: When I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at 19 there were three roads to go down - avoidance, rebellion or acceptance. I decided to travel down all 3 roads to see what she would discover. I embarked on a journey to do my own research in place of where the medical industry lacked the avenues to get a complete diagnoses that I was satisfied with. I researched the intangible symptoms behind why I was having seizures as I wasn’t going to accept that the physical symptoms being displayed was my fate to live with for the rest of my life. The story is, I wasn’t just rebelling against a diagnosis, I was rebelling against a system that has the capacity to make you feel better but at a price that also keeps you in a place of perpetual illness. I needed to know why I had Epilepsy and the only way I was going to find this out was to take myself off all the meds to the horror of my doctor and family and research it, live it, feel it and document it for myself. In order to do this, I went on a journey to get to know my brain and what makes it tick and glitch. The journey was about finding out just how much control I did and didn’t have over my seizures and not just accepting a diagnosis

Format: Presentation/Discussion

What: Befriending Endings - Bringing intention and creativity to the experience of dying

With: Raquel Zalmon

Where: Rippon Lea Room

About: How do we live knowing that all we hold dear to us will end? 

People I love will die before me, people I love will go on living after I die….  not an easy task being human.

To quote Dr Michael Barbato, “Death is not just the end of life; it’s the most profound and mysterious of all human experiences, deserving of our respect and reverence.” I warmly invite you to join me in befriending endings.

Format: Workshop/Interactive 

Capped Session: Max 16 participants, sign up at registration desk

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. Relax in the chill out zone, dabble in some art or sit back an be entertained by local musicians.

With: Musical Entertainment by Gaby Davis and Vocal Band

Where: Auditorium

KEY NOTE PANEL 2:00 - 2:45pm


What: Jewish celebrity or celebrated Jew?

With: Rachelle Unreich (Facilitator) + Deborah Conway + Tziporah Malka + Libbi Gorr

Where: Auditorium

About: Although there has been a long line of Jewish entertainers - Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, Natalie Portman among them - seeking out a role in the public eye is still not typical in the Jewish community. A look at how those who have found fame - and are Jewish - cope with the pressure, and whether it has an impact on their faith and whether ultimately they see themselves as a Jewish Celebrity or a celebrated Jew?

Format: Panel Discussion and Q&A 

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



What: MOUTH: Extraordinary stories from ordinary people​

With: Adina Bankier Karp (Facilitator), Deborah Stone, Ellie Braitberg, Lana Krain, Marlo Newton, Sandi Gabriel, Sharon Givoni, Sigal Levin

Where: Auditorium

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 seven dynamic and entertaining women sharing their stories in successive five minute blocks, all along the theme of "Letting Go".  Come and hear stories that will take you on a journey and nourish your soul. 

Format: Series of short stories 

What: Live performance 'Voices Unheard'

With: Shterny Dadon (Founder and director of AJFN) + Yael Super (Producer) + Daniella Eiben (Director)

Where: Theatrette

About: Following a sell-out performance in Sydney last year, AJFN (The Australian Jewish Fertility Network) invite you to a theatre performance of ‘Voices Unheard’, an intimate glimpse into the life of a couple who confront infertility. Experience the highs and lows of what is often referred to as a 'roller coaster ride’. Through this powerful untold story, Voices Unheard explores the struggle faced by many couples in our community today.  Take a sneak peak here 

Format: Drama Performance

This session is followed by a panel discussion 'Pathways to Motherhood' (see next session time)

What: Sound Shower

With: Tonia Barolsky + Shira Patkin

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: A session for relaxation, healing and connecting mind, body and spirit. Through the sounds of wooden flute, interwoven with harp and vocals, Tonia and Shira will nourish and support you. This experience will enhance your awareness of using music as a source of energy and sustenance in your daily lifestyle. Bring something to lie on or cover yourself, or just enjoy the carpet.

Format: Workshop or Interactive

Capped Session: Max 30 participants, sign up at registration desk

BYO blanket, mat or cusion


What: Letting Go of Fear and Stereotyping: Self-Defence for Women, by Women.

With: Melinda Slonim

Where: Auditorium

About: Realise your strength and the strength of women. Share Melinda’s passion about empowerment for women.

Learn straightforward self-defence techniques. Learn the psychology of an attacker and how to avoid dangerous situations. Learn how to break holds, grips and chokes, where to strike an attacker and how to use some of your most undervalued weapons.

Format: Workshop/Interactive

What: Panel Discussion: Pathways to Motherhood

With: Vicki Windholz (Facilitator) + Liza Zimmet + Dr Raelia Lew + Susana Lobez

Where: Theatrette

About: Empowering women (and men) with knowledge about their fertility can help many women and couples move forward and ultimately become parents. This session will be a panel discussion where you will have the opportunity to ask questions about fertility, IVF, egg donation and egg freezing. There will also be the opportunity to discuss using donor sperm as a single parent and the option of becoming a parent by adoption. This session aims to reach out to women who may be concerned or struggling, hopefully breaking the barrier of silence around fertility and helping to let go of negative preconceptions and stigma. 

Format: Panel Discussion 

This session follows immediately after the live performance 'Voices Unheard' (see session above)

What: Off the mat Yoga

With: Delia Baron

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Yoga is a powerful practice that can be taken off our mats and into the world. This workshop will explore how the essence and teachings of yoga can be understood and used to enrich our daily lives - which is where it really counts!  We will explore basic poses, the breath and discuss how we can integrate many of the teachings like flexibility, strength, kindness, compassion, being present and letting go into our daily lives. What works on the mat also works off the mat and can be a very helpful tool when dealing with our modern and sometimes stressful lives. This workshop will be fun, relaxed and no previous knowledge or experience of yoga is required. Can’t wait to see you at the festival! Namaste. 

Format: Workshop or Interactive. BYO Yoga mat and blanket

What: It’s natural and free: Enhancing well-being through connection with nature

With: Tamara Taylor

Where: Rippon Lea Room

About: Walk barefoot outside, climb a tree, forage for edible weeds, smell the rain. Strengthening our connection with nature enhances physical and emotional wellbeing but requires us to let go of our inhibitions and recall the sense of wonder from our childhood. This workshop/talk/practical session will also explore the question “Do we need nature more than nature needs us?”

Format: Presentation or Discussion 


What: Secular Humanistic Judaism and gender

With: Megan Rapeport + Nina Etzion

Where: Auditorium

About: The question of what it means to be a man or a woman is not so easily answered. As Secular Humanistic Jews, regardless of gender, we need to decide what it means to be human beings existing in the world we do, and focus on how our Jewish practice can be empowering for people of all identities.

Format: Presentation/Discussion

What: Is who you are really your choice? Or are others impacting you?

With: Hadassa Naparstek

Where: Theatrette

About: 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.

Style: Presentation/Discussion 

What: The power of letting go through dance

With: Ayelet Ashkar

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Focusing on letting go, the session will emphasise  improvisation and self-expression through dance. The session will begin with group and individual exercises that offer reconnection with creativity, memories and stories. Throughout the session we will explore the meaning of letting go through our body, mind and soul. Empowering diversity by creating a space for gratitude of our life story through dance.

Format: Workshop/Interactive

What: Women’s Circle: What does the Healed Feminine look like?

With: Melissa Abrahams

Where: Green Room 

About: There are many factors in society that separate and divide women. In essence, we all seek love, security and meaningful connections. Let go of expectations of Self and Other. Come and sit in Circle.

The Circle is an ancient path to deep healing, authentic bonding and the discovery of common bonds as women, sisters, friends. Here we can find a way to bring forth the sense of the Healed Feminine, within ourselves and within our community.

Format: Interactive

BYO cushions

Capped Session: Max 20 participants, sign up at registration desk

This is a double session  - total running time approx. 1.5hrs



What: Let go of stress and anxiety, and open up to healing, joy and wellness

With: Ros Ben Moshe

Where: Auditorium

About: Drawing on Ros’s professional background as laughter wellness facilitator, mindfulness and health promotion practitioner, and her personal experience healing from bowel cancer, this session will share a range of healing techniques and strategies to enhance healing, joy and wellness. She will convey simple strategies to rewire your brain to a state of joy, calm and awareness, outline processes to elicit endorphins and connect to your inner smile. Shed the stress and open up to an enriched, fulfilled and happier life.

Format: Presentation or Discussion

What: MODERN DILEMMA: The Lighter Side of our Jewish Quandaries

With: Lesley Braun (Facilitator) + Dr. Miriam Grossbaum + Ronit Joel + Timna Jacks

Where: Theatrette

About: The Modern Dilemma—a curly, tricky sometimes-delicate situation that catches you off guard. The inescapable ethical quandary that has us questioning how we feel, what we think…and what to do?

For example: The sharing of food has always been a part of celebration, and connecting with others. But what if your beliefs or diet are in contradiction to the meal?

Come listen to this panel of experts on their modern dilemmas and let them help you with yours. Or just come along and share one you have experienced.

Format: Panel Discussion 

What: How to be m.a.d. (making a difference)

With: Melina Schamroth

Where: Caulfield Cup Room

About: Too busy to make a difference? Want to help others but don’t know where or how to get started? Maybe if you had more money, or more time, you could contribute to your community. Learn how to let go of limiting beliefs around the positive impact that one person – YOU – can make. Learn how to change lives, help the environment and the benefits your actions can bring to your own life. 

Format: Workshop or Interactive

What: Women’s Circle: What does the Healed Feminine look like?

(Continued from previous session)C

DINNER 6:45 - 7:15pm

Join in the She'ela communal dinner where you will be nourished by food and the shared conversation of the past day's events . Food is complimentary (included in ticket price) and will be kosher vegetarian. The Closing Ceremony and Finale will follow immediately after dinner.

With: Musical Entertainment by Shira Lasarow

Where: Auditorium

CLOSING and FINALE 7:15 - 8:15pm

What: Have you been Schloofing?

With: Jordana Borensztajn (Host), Carmela Rose (Media Operator) +  Helen Mizrachi + Justine Sless + Rachel Berger + Tash Rubinstein

Where: Auditorium

About: Based on the TV show “Have you been paying attention”, we thought we’d get Australia’s best female comedians and really show you She’ela’s a good time. Together with Carm’s media operations, we hope you sit back and enjoy the finale of She’ela 2017 as this session promises to be stimulating for your “cops” and your “kishkes”.

Style: Comedy Entertainment

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

ART STATION - Running  All Day

With: Emma Light from 'The Art Factory'

Where: Foyer

About: Be part of an expressive and creative collaborative art installation throughout the duration of the festival that only comes together as more questions are asked.The collaboration will be ongoing throughout the day, so when you feel like a creative break come along, let go and get involved.


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.