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Israel Story

Author: Israel Story

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Israel Story is an award-winning podcast that tells true stories you won't hear on the news. Hosted by Mishy Harman, the bi-weekly show brings you extraordinary tales about ordinary Israelis. The show is distributed by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, and produced in partnership with Tablet Magazine. For Hebrew episodes, see סיפור ישראלי.
51 Episodes
Repentance, prayer and charity, we are told, are our saving graces when Yom Kippur comes around. And, of course, confession is a big part of that trifecta. But do we still get the coveted brownie points if that confession took thirty years?In 1989, Robby Berman - a recent Yeshiva University grad and enthusiastic Zionist - made aliyah and was drafted into the IDF. But nothing in his basic training prepared him for the blood-chilling discovery he made in his friend Tom Cole's Old City dorm-room. There, dangling from the ceiling, Robby saw what looked like a round Hershey bar. But it wasn't. Instead, he immediately realized, it was a forgotten WWII hand grenade. Old and rusty, perhaps, but still fully operational. And how does one get rid of a hand grenade? Thirty years after the dramatic events of that evening, and just in time for Kol Nidre, Robby finally comes clean. In one version of his life, he spends years in jail, as a homegrown terrorist. In the other, he walks away scot-free. What set his life on one path and not the other? In his first-person narrative, Robby answers that question and revisits his encounter with a real-world Detective Columbo.This is the second of our listener drive specials. The Israel we try to explore is all about its people, about its diversity and complexity. About a place that's both genuinely wondrous and utterly messed up. That cracks you up one moment, and brings you to tears the next. That's heartfelt, bizarre, and interesting. So, on the eve of the Day of Atonement, as we open up our hearts and think back to our own story in the past year, please consider donating. Listener support is what makes our show possible.Joel Shupack edited and produced this piece, with help from Yochai Maital, James Feder and Zev Levi. Joel also arranged the scoring with music from Blue Dot Sessions. It was mixed by Sela Waisblum. The end song is Shoshana Damari's version of "Etz HaRimon" ('The Pomegranate Tree'), which was written by Yaakov Orland and put to a traditional Buchari tune.For more, head to our site or Tablet Magazine.
Rosh HaShanah is cleanup time, even at the Kotel. But what happens to the millions of notes tucked away in its cool crevices? And what on earth does that have to do with Leonard Cohen, impromptu sword-fights and carp fish in the bathtub? For many folks, visiting the Kotel is emotional, meaningful and - more than anything - private. In fact, the single most common experience people have at the Western Wall is inherently personal - putting a kvittel, or note in between its ancient ashlar stones. Whether you're a believer or not, the simple act of writing a small note, folding it up, and shoving it deep into the cracks is the closest we get to talking to God. But what happens to all those requests, prayers and hopes? Where do they go? Is the Kotel just an ever-expanding archive of notes? And, if so, how doesn't it run out of space?The short answer is the Rosh HaShanah cleanup. But while reporting on this peculiar semi-annual ritual, producer Yoshi Fields discovered that a cleanup can be much more than just a cleanup. It offered him an opportunity to rethink the story he was told about Israel, and evaluate how reality measured up to myth.This ''short" is also our first listener drive of the season. If you feel that the show adds something to your life, if you feel that it captures unique aspects of the crazy human tapestry called 'Israel,' please consider opening your hearts and making a donation today.For more, head to our site or Tablet Magazine.
Walls can make us feel safe, warm and protected. But that's also their greatest danger. After all, walls can cut us off from what is going on outside, and hiding behind them can give us a false sense of security and stability. Throughout this series, we've tried to open up windows in the walls that make up Israeli society. And that's a tricky thing to do, really. You need to make sure you don't damage the foundations that keep us bonded together. But you also need to be ready to see your neighbor, and let your neighbor see you.Joel Shupack and Yochai Maital scored this piece, with additional music from Blue Dot Sessions, Broke For Free and Peter Gresser. The end song, "A Wall That Has a Door" is an original song commissioned by Israel Story. It was written, arranged and performed by Ari Wenig, together with Dotan Moshonov, Ruth Danon, Eden Djamchid and Ronnie Wagner-Schmidt.This episode was edited by Julie Subrin and Mishy Harman, recorded by Ben Wallick and mixed by Sela Waisblum.It was conceived as part of Israel Story's latest live show tour, "The Wall." For more, head to our site.
If you are new to the show, there are so many episodes for you to check out. Why not start with Operation Hulda, Love Syndrome, and Milk, Honey and Sweet Mary Jane?You can also sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.And lastly, whether you are new to Israel Story, or have been following us from day one, do us a favor - go to Apple Podcasts, rate us and leave a review.Thanks!
Walls are something you can see. Something you can touch. Something you can run into and get a nasty bump on your head. Or... are they?! In our episode today - part three of our miniseries - we tell the stories of three walls that won't appear on your typical map. Three walls you'd probably miss unless you heard about them, well... here. But don't think that makes them less significant or present in daily Israeli society. Not at all. In fact, they help us trace our history all the way from its earliest beginnings to its menacing future.For more, head to our site.
For the last seventeen years, when people say "the wall' and "Israel" in the same sentence, they're usually referring to something very specific: A four-hundred-and-forty-mile-long barrier - some 95% of which is a sophisticated multi-layered fence, and some of which, especially in urban areas, is an imposing concrete wall. Seen from the Israeli side, this fence/barrier/wall represents security, stability and safety. It allows us to calmly ride the bus, peacefully go out dancing, and - mainly - quietly sleep at night. Because it was, after all, born out of violence and carnage. People were getting killed often and daily. It was scary. And, as experts around the world agree, the wall has succeeded, dramatically reducing terror. But when Israelis go to bed at night, there are other people - really close by - going to bed too. And from their perspective, looking out of their window, the same wall represents something different altogether. Not safety or security, but rather, a lack of freedom.Without getting into political polemics, in our episode today we meet some of those neighbors. Regular people, living in the shadow of a wall.For more, head to our site.
Everywhere we turn these days, it seems as if walls are staring back at us. Their powers are magical: They protect and alienate; keep people both in and out; and can even - as we have all seen - bring mighty governments to a total standstill. Israel, too, has its share of walls, and no, not just the West Bank separation wall. In this four-part miniseries, we visit some of the country's most famous walls journeying from the Bronze Age to the modern-day Start-Up Nation, from the soccer pitch to the Six Day War, from the holy to the political.For more, head to our site.
Exciting News

Exciting News


Here’s a little bonus - a wonderful recent story from our friends at Unorthodox.For more, head to our site.
Now That’s a Buzzword!

Now That’s a Buzzword!


A quick note from a big celebration.For more, head to our site.
Over the last four episodes, we’ve told the stories behind some of Israel’s most iconic songs. When we set off on this musical journey, we hoped to find a unicorn, a unifying island of Israeliness that escapes the usual polarization which dominates most conversations about Israel. Instead, however, we discovered that music not only reflects, but often amplifies, our contrasts. We all sing in different keys, with different words and in different voices. And that, at the end of the day, is what Israel is all about. It is not that the inherent complications go away or stop existing. It’s just that somehow, miraculously perhaps, the cacophony can almost sound harmonious.In today’s episode, the final installment of the Mixtape miniseries, we turn to Yitzhak Rabin’s 1995 assassination, and to two songs – one taking us decades back, the other catapulting us forward into the 21st century – that symbolize the messy multifariousness of Israeli society.For more, head to our site.
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Cornelis Coen


Apr 10th

רדיו הנשמה 24 שי רוזנפלד שדרן

רדיו הנשמה 24 שי רוזנפלד שדרן

Apr 17th
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