Board & Team

Our People

MJBW Board

Esther Kister
Esther was the founder and inaugural Festival Director of Melbourne Jewish Writers Festival (2013-2015) and became the Emeritus Director of Melbourne Jewish Book Week which replaced MJWF in 2016. After a stint in social work where she couldn’t improve the world, she lists her career highlights as her work on significant government and NGO projects including a leading role in the introduction of the Victorian Seniors Card in 1991. She has been involved in a range of Jewish cultural and educational organisations and in the broader community, in welfare related areas. Esther was appointed Chair of the Board in 2019.

Tammi Faraday
Tammi’s career traverses Broadcasting, Podcasting, Content Direction, Investigative Journalism, Human Rights Advocacy, Documentary Film Making, Digital Storytelling and Law. She commenced her media career as an investigative, on-air journalist with Channel Nine. Previously, she was a solicitor with Marks Freeman Lawyers. In 2005, Tammi moved to London and produced critically acclaimed documentaries for global release. Since returning to Australia, she hosted a weekly radio show and worked as Head of Strategic Communications in the For-Purpose space. In 2020, her podcast, THE MESSINESS OF LIFE: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories, will be launched in collaboration with Jam Street Media. Tammi joined the MJBW Board in 2020.

Joe Reich AM
Joe is an ophthalmologist whose professional roles have included Chairmanship of The Senior Medical Staff at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and is a current board member of Vision Eye Institute.  He has also been past president of the Australian Jewish Medical Federation and Australian Friends of the Israel Medical Association.  Joe has published three works of fiction and a biography and has two novels accepted for future publication. He has enjoyed being a supporter of past programs of MJBW and its predecessor and has been involved in comedy debates for various Jewish community groups over many years. In 2019 he was awarded an AM for services to ophthalmology. Joe became a MJBW Board member in 2019.

Sharon Cohen
Sharon is a special counsel at law firm Clayton Utz. She specialises in intellectual property and technology law, with a particular focus on advertising and marketing matters. She is also a privacy law specialist. When Sharon is not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys settling down with a good book. She previously served on the Board of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Sharon joined the MJBW Board in 2019 and has the role of Company Secretary.

Bram Presser
Bram is a multiple award-winning writer whose stories first appeared in Best Australia Stories, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Sleepers Almanac and Higher Arc. His debut novel, The Book of Dirt, won the 2018 Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction in the US National Jewish Book Awards, and in Australia the same year, the Voss Literary prize and three awards in the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and The People’s Choice Award. He has appeared in major literary events and acts as the liason between the board and the programming committee. Bram joined the MJBW Board in 2019.

Our People

MJBW Board
Esther Kister (Chair)
Tammi Faraday
Bram Presser
Joseph Reich
Sharon Segal

Festival Director
Nicolas Brasch

General Manager
Lisa Klepfisz

Programming Manager
Janine Schloss

Programming Committee
Margaret Brener
Morry Frenkel
Elissa Goldstein
Julie Grossbard
Dina Kluska
Emma Kranz
Tali Lavi
Bram Presser
Renata Singer

Morry Frenkel

Esther Kister

Event Co-Ordinator
Andrew Gaynor

Facilities & Events
Julie Grossbard

Shani Millman

Marketing & IT
Margaret Brener

Dina Kluska

Schools Program
Helen Raik

Volunteer Co-Ordinator
Ellen Frajman

General Volunteers
Andrea Bliss
Hannah Fagenblat
Randi Grose
Yvonne Kay
Rita Kornhauser

Melbourne Jewish Book Week takes place on the land of the Kulin nation. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and future.

Partners and Supporters

Foundation Partners
The Krystal Scholarship Fund
The Sunraysia Foundation
Anonymous (1)

Major Partner
Gandel Philanthropy for Schools and Children’s Programs
Media Partner
The Australian Jewish News
Accommodation & Venue Partners
The Art Series Hotels ‘The Blackman Hotel’
45 Downstairs

International Guests’ Partners
Adelaide Writers Festival
Auckland Writers Festival
Melbourne Writers Festival
Sydney Jewish Writers Festival
Sydney Writers Festival

Cultural Partners and Supporters
In One Vote Community Festival
Jewish Comedy Festival
Jewish Holocaust Centre and Museum
Jewish International Film Festival
Jewish Museum of Australia

Education Supporters
Beth Rivkah Ladies College
Bialik College
Yeshivah College
King David School
Mt Scopus Memorial College
Sholem Aleichem College
Swinburne University
Yavneh College

Sandy and Philip Benjamin
Andrea and Philip Bliss
The Dodge Family Foundation
Lisa Farber
Kay and Barry Fink
The Finkel Foundation
Leonie and Luis Fleiszig
Future Leaders
Rachel Goldberg
Julie and Garry Grossbard
Susan and Gary Hearst
Esther and Michael Kister
Marianne and Arthur Klepfisz
Emma and Henry Kranz
Helen Liberman
MARD Foundation
National Council of Jewish Women
Real Film and Publishing
Sue Selwyn
Irene and John Sutton

Official Booksellers
The Avenue Bookstore

Marketing Design
Print Strategy Management
Website and Mailchimp Design

Special Thank You
Joey Borensztayn & Jenny Leongue,
ABL Honorary Solicitors
Stephanie Boymal,
Greenberg & Co, Honorary Accountants
Helen Friedmann Consultancy Pty Ltd
Gary Peer
Little Black Sheep Design for MJBW logo

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