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Due to the incredible generosity of our sponsors, Israel Matters is now even cheaper!!!



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What is Israel Matters?


Israel Matters, is a Habonim Dror Perth initiative aimed at providing the Perth Jewish community with an educational platform for everyone in the community to be engaged in the Israel Matters of today. The full day event will exhibit many well educated presenters from within our community, and the broader community, who will delve into to many complexities and wonders of Israeli culture, history, politics and Zionism.


The event is aimed at bringing everyone in the community together regardless of pre-existing knowledge, to discuss and learn about Israel. There will be various options in each session that will include talks by our presenters, as well as cultural activities, such as Israeli dancing, Israeli TV series and much more.


Where and When will Israel Matters be held?


The event will be held on Sunday the 22nd of March 2015 from 9:00am-4:30pm, at Carmel High School in Dianella. Click the 'location' tab for more details.


Will there be something for children?


Yes, ofcourse! Israel Matters is a family friendly event. There will be a full day program for children ages 8-12. The program will include:

  • Youth movement madrichim running peulot (programmes) and chuggim (activities) for children in years 3-8.

  • Creative activities.

  • and much more!


High school students are encouraged and welcome to attend the main sessions.






*All costs are for a full day pass. This enables all particpants to come and go as they wish for the day.


Adult (18+) - $10 (extra donations welcome)


High School Students - $5


Primary school students - FREE




Between each session there will be Kosher snacks, coffee, tea and juices served. A Kosher Israeli Lunch will be available for purchase by Cafe 61 during the lunch break.




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To register to be a participant of Israel Matters, please complete the form below.

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Arrival & Welcome


Session 1


Break - Refreshments


Session 2


Break - Refreshments


Session 3



Lunch Break



Session 4



Session 5 - Panel

Topic: The Israel - Diaspora relationship: what are the boundaries & opportunities?



Break - Refreshments



Closing Remarks



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Leon Schneider

Mushka Kantor (Kaltmann)

Leon Schneider was born and grew up in Perth. Upon finishing school, Leon went on a Habonim Dror Shnat program to Israel, which kindled his yearning for Zionist education and Jewish culture. Leon was a madrich in Habonim Australia for 5 years, holding positions on both the Perth and Federal executives.


After graduating with a degree in Mass Communications from Curtin University in 2003, Leon made Aliya in early 2004, and has worked as a youth program co-ordinator and a teacher of English and History in his 10 years in Israel.. Leon is currently the Jewish Agency Shaliach for Habonim Dror, State Zionist Council and Aliya in Perth, as well as the Federal Shaliach for Habonim Dror.

The eldest of 8 children in the only religious family in Bangkok, Thailand. Mushka Kantor was always looked up to for guidance and leadership in Jewish laws and customs. At the young age of 9 she started her own Hebrew club, teaching her friends Hebrew and Holiday customs.


Mushka has studied in Los Angeles, California and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in education from Bet Chana Tzfat, Israel. Her unique upbringing and being an avid scholar of Hassidic thought has brought her to conduct Seminars and Youth programs to both Observant and Non-affiliated Jews all around the globe.

Rinat Kedem Bart

Rinat Kedem Bart, has been CEO of the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center for the past three years. She has a Masters Degree (LLM) in International and Civil Law from TAU and Northwestern University in Chicago and LLB in Law from Hebrew University. RInat worked for 5 Years at the Israeli Attorney Office, as a criminal prosecuter following an internship with The Israeli State Prosecuter. She has years of experience with Social Activism in Israel,  and with the Jewish Agency as a Shlicha and Rosh Tzevet for over 7 short term Shlichuyot in North America, South Africa and Australia.  Rinat was born and raised in Jerusalem, and experienced life in Australia as a child due to her parent's shlichut - Shula and Ike Kedem in Adelaide. Married to Efri Bart with two adorable boys, Lior and Eyal.

Rabbi Alex Israel

Simon Lawrence

Simon Lawrence grew up in London, studied in Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat for a year and then completed university at Jew’s College in London. He then worked for Bnei Akiva in the UK and then made Aliya and studied Special Education at David Yellin Teachers’ College.


Simon married Judith in 2000 and worked in Israel as a teacher of special needs children. Hannah and Sasha were born in 2003 and 2006 respectively. Simon moved to Australia in 2007 to be Assistant to Rabbi Freilich and Youth Director of Perth Hebrew Congragation. He moved to Carmel on a full time basis as Director of Jewish studies in 2012.

 Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann

Rabbi Kaltmann is committed to actively spread Judaism wherever he may be. He has travelled the world extensively, helping all types of Jews and community’s from the Hills of India to the slums of Nigeria. For many Gabi is known as the “Kottel Rabbi” bringing the Shabbat spirit alive to countless birthright participants. Rabbi Gabi’s infectious passion for his heritage has a lasting impact on every Jew he meets. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Gabi has gone on to study in Brunoy, France, Brooklyn, New York, Tzfat and Jerusalem and Israel, where he received Rabbinical ordination. Rabbi Gabi worked for The Shul of Bal Harbour - The biggest Synagogue in Florida, running their youth programs. Having since gotten married and moved to the Holy Land, Gabi hopes to continue to influence Jewish leadership. 

Rabbi Alex Israel is a lecturer, author, Bible scholar and thinker in the world of Jewish and Israel education. Rabbi Israel has lectured widely in Israel, the UK, and the US. 


Rabbi Israel holds degrees from LSE, the Institute of Education, London, Bar Ilan University, and rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate after years of study at the prestigious Har Etzion Yeshiva. Rabbi Israel teaches at the Pardes institute of Jewish Studies where he is Director of Community Education and the Summer Program and at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi in Jerusalem.


His recent book on the Book of Kings (I Kings: Torn in Two (Maggid, 2013)) has been received with high acclaim. Rabbi Israel lectures in areas of Bible, Jewish Thought, and contemporary Israel. He is a member of Tzohar, a rabbinic movement to bridge gaps between secular and religious communities in Israel.  Rabbi Israel lives in Alon Shevut, Gush Etzion, with his wife Aliza and their four wonderful children. He enjoys running, music and everything to do with contemporary Israel.

Adam Levine is originally from Scotland though spent a number of years living in Israel where he worked as a lawyer for the JAG corps of the IDF.  He was the head of Bnei Akiva in the United Kingdom and continues to take an active interest in Jewish education.  As a day job, Adam is a corporate lawyer with a global law firm.  While focusing on corporate issues, Adam also plays an active role in ensuring access to justice for those less fortunate in the community and proudly heads the firm's pro bono practice in Perth.








 Adam Levine

 Rabbi Marcus Solomon

Rabbi Marcus Solomon completed high school in Melbourne and continued with Yeshivah studies in Melbourne, Israel and New York receiving his s’micha (rabbinic ordination) in New York in 1985. Following that, he was a teacher and Director of Jewish Studies at Carmel School in Perth while completing his law degree at the University of Western Australia, graduating in 1991 with First Class Honours. He then commenced legal practice and became chairman and managing partner of Gadens Lawyers Perth in 2001, served on the board of a number of public companies, moved to the Bar in 2006 to practice as a barrister and was appointed senior counsel in 2013.


Rabbi Solomon is heavily involved in the Jewish community of Perth serving as honorary senior Rabbi of Dianella Shule which hosts the Perth Yeshivah amongst other facilities. He has been on the Board of Carmel School since 1993 and presently serves as a Governor of the School.  He is married to Linda and together they have a long association with Bnei Akiva.  They have 6 children (and more recently 2 children-in-law).

 Steve Lieblich

Steve, son of two Holocaust survivors was born in Jaffa in 1950 and immigrated with his parents to Perth in 1955. After graduating from UWA Engineering, Steve travelled to Israel on a World Union of Jewish Students Graduate programme, graduating with an MSc in Electrical Engineering at the Technion in 1976. He then served in the Israel defence Forces from 1976-8. 

He continued his service to the Jewish Community via Magen David Adom and then at the Perth Hebrew Congregation where he served on the Board of Management and as Vice President for about 10 years, until 2003.

Since then Steve has focused his Jewish-community involvement on advocacy within the wider community for Israel and Jewish issues. He is Director of Public Affairs on the Jewish Community Council of WA and has been instrumental in establishing an informal group known as the Western Australian State Parliamentary Friends of Israel. Steve also serves on the National Editorial Board of The Australia/Israel Review

 Rabbi Adi Cohen

 Ori Demb

Rabbi Adi Cohen is the cuurent rabbi of Temple David Jewish Progressive congregation in Perth. He was born and raised in Israel and is currently married with three boys. He worked for many years in formal and informal Jewish education in Israel and in the United States.


Before venturing to Perth, he was teaching law and Jewish ethics at a high-school in Israel and worked as a story teller with special ed kindergartens. Currently he is the chair of the Moetza (the assembly of Progressive rabbis from Australia, New Zealand and Asia) and serves on the board of the executive of the U.P.J (Union for Progressive Judaism in Australia, New Zealand and Asia). 

Ori Demb is the Executive Director of United Israel Appeal in WA. Born in Ashqelon in 1969, he served as sergeant in a special Paratroopers reconnaissance unit of the Israeli army.


Following military service, Ori joined the Prime Minister’s Office for another decade of public service. During which period he also gained Bachelor and Master Law degrees at Tel Aviv University followed by another Master degree at Duke University in the US.


Returning to Israel in 2001, he took up his first commercial position with Comverse Technologies that led his career through various industry ventures, from Telecom to CleanTech to Life Sciences holding several managerial and executive positions.

In December 2013 Ori relocated his family to Perth to assume the KH-UIA position. He is married to Hadas and together they have two boys Liam and Adam. 

 Yael Jacobson

 Ruth Saddick

Ruth was born to parents from Iraq and grew up in Singapore. Food and cooking has always been her passion. Ruth's passion for cooking has been evident in the community through her Recipescribbler columns in the Maccabean for 4 years, as well as the various cooking classes and demonstrations. Anyone who has had the opportunity to experience and witness Ruth in action can testify the immense passion, talent and skill in which Ruth exhibits. Ruth is particularly passionate about her Middle Eastern roots, and will consequently be providing a Middle Eastern cooking class at Israel Matters.

 Odeya White

Yael Jacobson is the Public Relations Officer for the Australian Friends of the Hebrew University, WA Division. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from the University of Western Australia in 1995, Yael spent time living in Israel and working with underpriviledged kids. Upon her return to Perth, Yael had two children of her own and has been actively involved in the Jewish community for over two decades. She currently sits on the board of the Jewish Community Centre.

 Nadav Shachmon

Ittay Flescher

Israeli born Ittay Flescher has been exploring and observing Jewish life for as long as he can remember. He currently teaches Religion & Society at Mount Scopus Memorial College and also teaches short courses on Israeli Society through film and music at The Jewish Museum of Australia’s Adult Education program. 


Having taught at almost every Jewish day school in Melbourne, and visited over 50 synagogues in Israel, Ittay’s unique observations of Jewish life and Israel have made him a popular presenter at several venues around the world including Limmud UK, Limmud NZ and the ZFA Educators conference.


In 2007, he spent a year at the Hebrew University on the Senior Educators Program where he completed a major project on teaching Tanach in a pluralist setting. Now based in Melbourne, he is the current vice-president of Shira Hadasha and is the proud father of two children.

 Ruth Marrion

Ruth Marrion has been the first Bridges for Peace WA Area Co-ordinator since 2004, when she undertook their 2-week International Training Institute in Israel.  Since then she has also served as a volunteer in the BFP Food Bank in Talpiot,  the base for our projects to feed Jewish people, both individuals and those in our adopted towns who are struggling as they try to survive living below the poverty line.


She first went to Israel with her husband as volunteers for 3 months on Kibbutz Sha'ar HaMakim in 1969, and has been in Israel frequently since 1995.  She is firmly a Christian Zionist, and often speaks up for Israel among Christians and in churches as a representative of Bridges for Peace in Perth and country towns.   She serves on the Committee of Friends of Israel WA.

 Hora Shalom

Hora Shalom began as a small group of Israeli dance devotees in Fremantle in 1995. It has evolved and grown since then into a large group of keen dancers and friends who attend a range of classes, performances and other events. It is run as a not for profit community group by a dedicated committee.

Hora Shalom runs regular weekly Israeli dance classes in Nedlands, Hilton and Dalkeith. The group also runs workshops with visiting choreographers and teachers every second year as well as beginners classes, dance marathons, parties and other events throughout the year. Hora Shalom also performs at various festivals and community events.

 Ginette Searle

Ginette Searle has been the Executive Director of the ZFA since 2011, prior to which she served as the Executive Director of the Zionist Council of Victoria for 10 years. Her previous professional background was as a senior project manager with the Victorian government, primarily in the education sector. She has a strong Jewish community background, having been a youth movement leader in her teens and early 20s, an AUJS leader at the University of Melbourne and one of the founders of the Blake Street Hebrew Congregation (which began in her home). 


Ginette is delighted to be able to operate in her professional life for an organisation which reflects her personal passion -Israel and the Jewish people. She juggles her full time professional role with the important role as mother of 4 (gorgeous) kids and is proud that they have inherited her and husband John's love for Israel too.


 Asael Greenfeld

Asael Greenfeld (35) , married to Lea and father of 4. In Israel, Asael was involved in Ecological research and taught environmental studies in Mitzpe Ramon. He is currently working as a Shalich at Carmel School and Bnei Akivah whilst pursuing a PhD on the interactions between agricultural development and desert ecosystems in the Negev.

 Leanne Benn-Majzner

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Carmel High School is Located on Cresswell Road in Dianella. Please see the map for further directions. 


Entrance for the event will be through the gate from the oval.


Parking can be found at 60 Woodrow Avenue Dianella in the parking lot of Carmel Primary School.

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Contact Us

For more information or any inquiries please contact us using the information below, or via the email box to the right.


Yoel Benn - Mekasher (Coordinator)

(m): 0415 559 610



Leon Schneider - Shaliach (Israel Emissary)

(m): 0429 610 209




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