Tami Sussman

“If someone wanted to ask, “What religion are you?” I’d say, “Well, I’m a cultural culinary Jew.”

I was born in Sydney, Australia in 1987.
My paternal grandmother and grandfather were born in Poland and arrived in Australia in 1948.

My family name

I felt that it was important to keep my maiden name because I have a very strong connection to the Sussman family. I could elaborate more. I just have a lot of respect for my family and what my family went through, and I feel that Sussman just encapsulates strength and ballsiness and craziness, and that's just me in a nutshell.

A culinary Jew

I learned a term recently. It's a translation from a German word and it means ‘culinary Jew’ which refers to Jews who feel Jewish in terms of the food that they prepare.

If someone wanted to ask, "What religion are you?" I'd say, "Well, I'm a cultural culinary Jew, religiously undecided. I just don't know. I'm not an non-believer. I think there's something up there or some people.

Key Migration Wave - Holocaust Survivors

Australia has been the refuge for more Holocaust survivors per capita than any other country, apart from Israel. The Close Relatives Reunion Scheme after World War II allowed Holocaust survivors to enter on the basis of having family that already resided within Australia. There were a total of 27,000 Holocaust survivors in Australia who arrived between 1945-1961. With the passage of time, only a few are still with us, but their children and grandchildren are carrying on their legacy.

Listen to Tami's Eat, Pray, Naches stories

Full transcript available here

Tami talks about her Polish grandmother Adela and late grandfather and how they survived a Siberian Labour camp and started a kosher butcher in Sydney.


Tami talks about food and its connection to the past, how the thought of becoming a vegetarian is frowned upon and what to serve at Shabbat dinners for her future family.


An interesting discussion about how her practices have greatly changed since her childhood and she is yet undecided about her religion.


Tami's naches is about having ‘luck’ and thinking you have the best thing ever!