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Meet Our Team

Uri Windt OAM

Publisher

Uri Windt is the founder and publisher of Plus61J Media, which he launched in 2015 to promote broader discussion about Israel and the Jewish world. Uri has a long history of involvement in programs dedicated to promoting social equity across Australian society, and within the Jewish community. After starting his working life in the labour movement, he took on a role as corporate regulator of mutual organisations. He later co-founded Filling the Gap, which recruited dentists to volunteer in regional Aboriginal Medical Centres, and chaired support programs for the long-term unemployed. In the Jewish community he has served as Honorary Secretary of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, and as Director of Shalom Institute and Limmud Oz. He is also currently a member of the International Advisory Committee of EcoPeace (Middle East).

Dr. Shahar Burla

Contributing Editor

Dr Shahar Burla is a researcher, lecturer, philanthropy expert, and Contributing Editor to Plus61J Media. He holds a Masters degree in political science from the Hebrew University and a PhD in political science from Bar-Ilan University. Dr Burla is the author of Political Imagination in the Diaspora: The Construction of a Pro-Israeli Narrative and was a co-editor of Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr Burla is passionate about films and teaches courses on films and the Middle East. He also serves as a board member of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival.

Sharon Berger

Events & Partnerships Manager

Sharon is the Events and Partnerships Manager at Plus61J Media. For many years she has been building Jewish community through her work at the New Israel Fund Australia, the Jewish Agency and Shalom, running events including Limmud Oz, the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival and the Jewish Food Festival. She enjoys bringing new ideas and thought provoking speakers, panels and films to Australian audiences. Sharon has been a columnist for Plus61J Media since its early days. She has previously worked as a journalist at The Jerusalem Post, The Economist Intelligence Unit and Reuters, and was Marketing Manager at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce NSW.  

Steve Fosberry

Copy - Editor

Steven Fosbery, who joined Plus61 Media in 2018, has had a long career as a writer, editor and copy editor at mastheads including The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Australian and the New York Post. He also works as an editor of Holocaust memoirs for the Sydney Jewish Museum.

Dr. Dashiel Lawrence

Executive Director

Appointed in 2021, Dr Dashiel Lawrence is Plus61J Media’s inaugural Executive Director, overseeing organisational strategy and operations. Dash began his working life with ABC Local Radio in regional Australia, before making a switch to academia and eventually the private sector, where he worked for many years as a consultant and facilitator. He has been researching and writing about Australian Jewish communal life for 15 years, and is the co-editor of two books, People of the Boot: The Triumphs and Tragedy of Australian Jews in Sport and Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Political and Cultural Relationship.

Ilona Lee AM

General Manager

Ilona is General Manager of Plus61J Media. She has extensive experience working in the NSW health sector, where she established a state-wide Multicultural Health Communication Service. Within the Jewish community, Ilona has been president of a WIZO group, served on the board of Moriah College, the Executive of Jewish Care, on the founding board of NIF Australia, Honorary Secretary of NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and President of The Shalom Institute, where she co-founded the Shalom Gamarada Indigenous Scholarship Program for Indigenous students at UNSW. She is currently President of Sydney COA and a governor of JCA. Ilona is a former Chair of OzHarvest.

Alexandra Senter

Director and Adviser

Alexandra Senter is a founding director and adviser at Plus61J Media. She is the CEO of The Big Smoke Media Group, having founded the publication and digital agency arm of the business, which has now expanded into the US market. Alexandra is also on the board of Trustees for scholarship foundation, Shalom Gamarada, which provides residential scholarships to Indigenous students who have been accepted into a degree at the University of New South Wales. Alexandra regularly appears as a commentator on ABC News Breakfast.

Deborah Stone

Editor-in-Chief

Deborah Stone is Editor-in-Chief of Plus61J Media. She has spent her working life as a journalist, including as a reporter and feature writer on The Age and The Australian. She is a former Editor of the Australian Jewish News and of ArtsHub. Deborah also has experience in communications, speechwriting and as a media trainer. She has been involved in lay leadership in a progressive Jewish community, taught Jewish literature and run interfaith engagement programs.

Michael Visontay

Commissioning Editor

Michael Visontay is Commissioning Editor of Plus61J Media and was Editor-in-Chief from 2017-22. He has worked for 40 years as a journalist, editor, author and lecturer across a broad range of Australian media. Michael is a former Assistant Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Deputy Editor of the Sun-Herald and columnist with The Australian Jewish News. He has created courses and lectured in journalism programs at several universities. Michael has co-authored four memoirs, including Who Gave You Permission? The memoir of child sex abuse survivor, Manny Waks. He also wrote Welcome To Wanderland: Western Sydney Wanderers and the Pride of the West.  

Our Writers

Our network of writers includes some of Australia’s most prominent journalists, leading voices within the Jewish community and internationally recognised writers on Israel.

Australia

Michael Gawenda

Michael Gawenda is one of Australia’s best-known journalists and authors. Michael has been a political reporter, foreign correspondent in London and Washington, and was editor and editor in chief of The Age from 1997 to 2004. He has won three Walkley awards.

Julie Szego

Julie Szego is a freelance writer, lecturer and former columnist for the Age/SMH. Her non-fiction book, The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama, was shortlisted for the Victorian and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for 2015.

Rabbi Ralph Genende

Rabbi Ralph Genende OAM is Senior Rabbi of Jewish Care Victoria and of Kesher, The Connecting Community, and the author of Living in an Upside-Down World.

Nomi Kaltmann

Nomi Kaltmann is a Melbourne lawyer who writes regularly on Jewish life and culture. Nomi is also the founder and inaugural president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Australia (JOFA).

Steve Meacham

Steve Meacham is a former writer and editor at the Sydney Morning Herald, whose work has appeared in many Australian and British publications. He has also written several authorised biographies.

Anne Susskind

Anne Susskind is a former Sydney Morning Herald journalist who emigrated from South Africa in the 1980s

Overseas

Ittay Flescher

Jerusalem correspondent for Plus61JMedia

Ittay moved to Israel in 2018 after 15 years as a high school teacher in Melbourne. In addition to working for Plus61J, Ittay is also the Education Director at a youth movement that brings together Israeli and Palestinian teenagers.

Ben Lynfield

Israel correspondent

Ben Lynfield, who lives in Jerusalem, has covered Israeli and Palestinian politics for The Independent and served as Middle Eastern affairs correspondent at the Jerusalem Post. He contributes to the Guardian, regional publications and has contributed to the Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy and the New Statesman.

Eetta Prince-Gibson

Israel correspondent

Eetta Prince-Gibson, who lives in Jerusalem, is a former Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Report, is currently Israel Editor for Moment Magazine and a regular contributor to Haaretz, The Forward, PRI, and other Israeli and international publications.

Professor Colin Shindler

London

Colin Shindler is an emeritus professor of Israel Studies at SOAS, University of London, a contributor to the Jewish Chronicle, Haaretz and other publications and the author of numerous books about Israel.

Our Board

Uri Windt OAM

Chair

Ilona Lee AM

Director

Alexandra Senter

Director