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A platform for theme-based live storytelling, for ages 20’s & 30’s.

Inspired by the hugely successful MOTH podcast and talks that started in New York 20 years ago. ‘Shalom | Moth. Live Stories’ presents true stories, performed live by 6-7 brave men and women, either professional or amateur performers, storytellers or musicians. Each are involved in some way with the Jewish community and are prepared to be vulnerable!

Speakers are given 5-7 minutes to tell a story, without notes, around the theme of Soul Food.


We’re thrilled to have Benji Rothman MC the night – an acclaimed Comedian direct from Canada, coming to Australia for MOTH & the Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival.


Join us for what promises to be an edgy, entertaining, uplifting and insightful night out.


– $35 ($25 limited early bird rate available until 24 November!)

Meet the storytellers

Lainie Cadry

Born in Sydney, Lainie has acquired the renowned status of a true Balaboosta. Lainie attended Moriah College and is currently studying nursing at the University of Technology Sydney. With her mother’s family originating from Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi) and her father’s from Persia (Sefardi), her cooking is rich with tradition and, most importantly, love.

Lainie channels her passion for food through many mediums; her Instagram page ‘lainieskitchen’ is testament to her ability to transform kosher food from the traditional to on trend and wholesome. Lainie’s raison d’être is to feed the mind, body and soul. Lainie is the youngest chef to be published in the Monday Morning Cooking Club’s trilogy of cookbooks, with three recipes in the latest book, It’s always about the food. Additionally, Lainie works as a private chef for several families in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Emily Koltrai

Emily is 21 years old and is currently studying communications at UTS. She was born with a Jewish Genetic disorder called Familia Dysautonomia (FD), which affects her sympathetic nervous system. When she was little, the doctors were concerned because she was not gaining weight, but her parents were determined to teach her how to eat to avoid a feeding tube being inserted directly into her stomach. Emily struggled to eat for a few years and finally started to eat properly when she was about 8 years old. Most of the food she could eat was pureed to make it easier for her to swallow.

Emily’s mother believed she would never be able to eat out at a restaurant until Emily proved them wrong. One of Emily’s favourite pastimes is to try new restaurants and she has recently started her own food blog called Emily’s Eats n’ Treats, where she posts food both home cooked and from restaurants and cafes.

Josef McDonald

Josef is a Koori man from Newcastle where he continues to work and play.  A recipient of the Shalom Gamarada scholarship, Joseph was empowered to complete his medical studies at UNSW. At present he is undertaking training in psychiatry with an interest in developmental disorders. In his spare time, he can be found in Barrington Tops (the Koori local mountains), fishing or wandering around town. For someone who is a self-described terrible cook (and does it rarely), Josef feels as though he has reached a milestone in sharing his food story with you.


Oded Prior

Oded started playing the drums when he was 13 years old. Experimenting with objects lying around his home, he discovered that anything can be a drum, including the human body. Oded is highly skilled in body percussion and junk percussion. In addition to his drumming studies, Oded has trained in hip-hop dance, acting, cajon, djembe and hang drum.

In Israel, he was a part of three different rhythm groups and also created his own show. He has performed all over Israel, Europe and South America. Oded is the ​founder and creative director of ‘Junkyard Beats’ and, as well as performing, enjoys teaching people how to play rhythms on recycled instruments.


Michael Rantissi

Chef and restaurateur Michael owns the award winning Kepos Street Kitchen and Kepos & Co restaurants in Inner Sydney.  Michael’s food is Mediterranean influenced with a Middle Eastern twist drawing on food from his childhood growing up in Tel Aviv.  Michael has written two cookbooks, the most recent, Hummus & Co, released a few weeks ago showcasing food Michael likes to cook at home.


Benji Rothman

Benji comes all the way from Canada, and embarks on an Australian-Jewish comedy tour that includes the Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival. He has performed in a variety of Canadian Comedy Festivals and was a finalist for SiriusXM Canada’s Top Comic. Despite his lean stature, rest assured he eats food, and in fact makes his own signature matzo ball soup that combines the recipes of all four of his bubbies.


Ashleigh Rumpler

Ashleigh has been vegan for over 3 years and has been fighting for animal rights since she discovered the truth about the animal agriculture industry. She is actively involved in animal rights advocacy and volunteers with the Animal Justice Party, the only political party which represents animals in Parliament. She is currently at Macquarie University studying Social Science which will enable her to work in government and bring law reform on current policies and better protection for animals in Australia.


Shua Solomon

Shua is the Rabbi of Bondi Mizrachi Synagogue. Raised in Western Australia, where he was an active member of B’nei Akiva, Rabbi Shua studied at Yeshivat Har EtZion and completed its hesder program, serving in the Nachal infantry brigade as a combat soldier and medic in Chevron and on the Gaza border.

Rabbi Shua has a BEd from Herzog College and smicha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Solomon’s past experience includes teaching and leading many year programs in Israel and also teaching in Israeli high schools and Yeshivat Har EtZion. Together with Rabbi Ryan Levine, he founded the Shalhevet leadership program that aims to send Jewish educators all over the world.