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Israel Story

Israel Story

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,...Show More
42: The Wall Part III - The Invisibles

58:24 | Aug 12th

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 you...Show More
41: The Wall Part II - The Other Side

1:13:50 | Jul 23rd

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, a...Show More
40: The Wall Part I - Operation Hulda

55:00 | Jul 2nd

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,...Show More
Exciting News

28:57 | Apr 25th

Here’s a little bonus - a wonderful recent story from our friends at Unorthodox.
39: Mixtape Part IV – War, Peace and Bumper Stickers

43:42 | Jun 15th, 2018

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 m...Show More
38: Mixtape Part III – Eastward Bound

47:50 | Jun 8th, 2018

In Israel today, Mizrahi - or "Eastern" - music is ubiquitous. In fact, to many, it is practically synonymous with Israeli music. But that wasn't always the case. For decades, Israeli radio stations ignored Mizrahi tunes and exclusively played music ...Show More
37: Mixtape Part II – Iron and Gold

44:26 | Jun 1st, 2018

In 1968, an up-and-coming left-wing politician by the name of Uri Avnery brazenly suggested replacing Israel’s national anthem, HaTikvah. His proposal was surprising, given the fact that the would-be replacement was the unequivocal anthem of the Six ...Show More
36: Mixtape Part I – Our Hope?

36:36 | May 25th, 2018

Let's face it - when it comes to Israel, everything is complicated. Politics are complicated, religion is complicated, democracy is complicated, the conflict is complicated. Even our complications are complicated. These are the things that take us ou...Show More
35: Whither Thou Goest

1:08:56 | May 18th, 2018

Somewhere between post-Passover fatigue and summer-is-around-the-corner excitement, Shavout tends to be overlooked. But in reality, it is the secret gem of the Jewish calendar: A festival that’s all about strong women, wheat harvests, creamy cheeseca...Show More
34: Coming Out, Getting In

1:05:22 | Mar 30th, 2018

Tonight, Jews around the world will gather together at their seder tables. They will drink wine, ask questions, search for the Afikoman and recite the obligation to see themselves as if they personally had come out of Egypt. And that is, really, what...Show More
Bonus: Meet Our Unorthodox Friends

1:12:18 | Feb 19th, 2018

Today, we bring you an episode from our friends over at Unorthodox - another show produced by Tablet Magazine: “The Kids Are Alright.”
33: Milk, Honey and Sweet Mary Jane

52:30 | Feb 2nd, 2018

According to a recent study conducted by the Israeli Anti-Drug Authority, the Holy Land might as well be rebranded as a 'Weedtopia.' More than a quarter of adults aged 18 to 40 reported having used marijuana within the last month. This stat, says the...Show More
32: King of the Hill

1:09:26 | Dec 23rd, 2017

Imagine an abandoned White House, covered with graffiti, open to the winds, full of trash, broken bottles and condom wrappers. Now go a step further and picture it against the background of the most beautiful Middle Eastern panorama you can conjure u...Show More
Short: Fed-Ex Over Your Snow

16:04 | Nov 28th, 2017

People in one-hundred-and-eighty-seven countries around the world - including Iran, Iraq and Papua New Guinea - tune in to Israel Story. And today, we went out to talk to a few, very special, fans: our youngest and oldest listeners.
31: Dear Lord Rothschild

1:05:08 | Nov 2nd, 2017

One hundred years after a single-page letter boosted the Zionist cause and changed the course of Jewish history, we go out in search of Balfour, and his declaration, in modern-day Israel.
30: Food Fight

49:32 | Oct 4th, 2017

Food, it turns out, is a serious business. And as we recently came to appreciate, it can lead folks to embark on all kinds of unlikely crusades. In today's episode we tell two stories, from almost diametrically opposed perspectives, about the ways in...Show More
29: A Better Place?

52:48 | Sep 8th, 2017

In 2007, long before Tesla and Elon Musk became household names, a thirty-nine-year-old Israeli tech entrepreneur by the name of Shai Agassi came out with an announcement that rattled the world: He was going to revolutionize transportation, make coun...Show More
28: On the Outs

58:19 | Aug 25th, 2017

Eli Amir, Eliyahu Rips and Eliezer Sonnenschein couldn't be more different: the first is a celebrated Baghdad-born author, the second is a brilliant mathematician from Latvia, and the third is the enfant terrible of modern Israeli art. But they are a...Show More
27: Jarab

36:24 | Jul 28th, 2017

More often than not, we think of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel as being adversarial. We frequently hear tales of hatred, violence, animosity and discrimination. But reality is, of course, much more complicated: Not only are some Jews actually Arabs...Show More
26: Oath of Blood

46:44 | Jul 6th, 2017

In the early summer of 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. The First Lebanon War — as it would later be called — would ultimately lead to thousands of casualties, an eighteen-year-long Israeli presence in Southern Lebanon, and growing political disillusion...Show More
25: Peace Now. Almost.

31:48 | Jun 5th, 2017

Though few people grasped it at the time, the Six-Day War put the young state of Israel on an entirely new trajectory. Some see the war’s outcome as a historic triumph and almost messianic return of the Jews to their ancestral lands. Others, of cours...Show More
24: Losing My Religion

49:15 | May 15th, 2017

From secret bathroom texting all the way to negotiating a divorce in Venice (of all places...), we bring you heart-wrenching tales of lost faith.
23: A Severe Case of Second Generation

27:30 | Apr 21st, 2017

Early next week we will mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. There are just about 160,000 Holocaust survivors still living in Israel, but they are rapidly vanishing. More than forty survivors die each day. And that means that the memory of th...Show More
22: And in the End…

49:18 | Apr 19th, 2017

It's springtime in Israel and renewal is in the air: Wildflowers are blooming, short pants make their first appearances of the year, and - most importantly - we are back with the start of our third season. But of course, it wouldn't be Israel Story i...Show More
21: 68 and Counting- Part II

49:33 | May 31st, 2016

In the second installment of this two-part series (and our season two finale), we pick up where we left off last week: Presenting small stories – one per decade – that took place on Israel’s Independence Day, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and that, in some way, re...Show More
20: 68 and Counting- Part I

52:09 | May 25th, 2016

This is the first in a two-part series that takes us through Israel’s short but dramatic history. Over the last few months, we’ve spent many hours, in all kinds of archives, learning all we could about Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The r...Show More
19: Of Numbers and Names

48:42 | May 5th, 2016

This Thursday, May 5th, Israelis observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.  At 10 a.m., according to custom, an air raid will sound and the country will fall quiet for two long minutes.  Silence won’t do for a podcast, so instead we bring yo...Show More
18: Thicker Than Water

1:00:23 | Apr 18th, 2016

On Today’s show, we delve into the messy territory of family bonds—how they’re formed, challenged, and change over time. We’ll meet three families who are all, at the end of the day, happy, but are not (contrary to Tolstoy’s claim) in any way alike. ...Show More
17: Stop That Bus!

54:12 | Mar 25th, 2016

Israeli buses regularly make international headlines, be it for suicide bombings, fights over gender segregation or clashes concerning Shabbat schedules. On today’s episode of Israel Story, we delve into the world of lesser known bus-related conflict...Show More
16: Over and Out

1:11:18 | Mar 10th, 2016

In the last episode of Israel Story, we met couples in love. But for every story of love found, there are, of course, piles and piles of broken hearts. And today, we’ve got the tales of three of the crazy things people do when they no longer see eye ...Show More
15: Love, Revisited

45:47 | Feb 17th, 2016

The stories in today’s episode come from our most recent live show, “Israel in Love.” We'll meet three couples looking back at their love affairs from very different vantage points. Zvi and Regina Steinitz’s romance has been going on the longest—in...Show More
14: Besties

44:06 | Jan 27th, 2016

When Raymonda Tawil met Ruth Dayan in 1970, they seemed well-primed to be enemies. Ruth, the then wife of Israeli war hero and Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, was visiting a hospital in the Palestinian city of Nablus to deliver dolls to children. Ta...Show More
13: Sacred Plants

54:33 | Jan 13th, 2016

There have already been a few sightings of anemones in Israel, and that means it's the start of wildflower season. Many Israelis track wildflowers with a passion. There are traffic jams near popular flower-carpeted hills and even websites that tell y...Show More
12: Now Boarding

50:29 | Dec 30th, 2015

The first place travelers to Israel encounter is usually Ben Gurion Airport. What they’ll remember of that experience depends in part on their relationship to the country. Are they coming home? Arriving to a place they’ve always dreamed of visiting? ...Show More
11: Herzl 48 Live

37:16 | Dec 16th, 2015

There is nothing inherently special about the people who live at 48 Herzl Street, an address that shows up in big cities, small outposts, and everything in between throughout Israel. But symbolically, it’s about as freighted an address as they come. ...Show More
10: Birthstory

1:05:55 | Dec 2nd, 2015

How many people does it take to start a family? Well, if you are a gay Israeli couple, both men, and you’d like your children to be biologically related to you, it may take the two of you, plus a Ukrainian egg donor, an Indian woman to serve as the s...Show More
9: Man, I Feel Like a Woman

40:51 | Nov 18th, 2015

Yiscah Smith lives in Nahlaot, in Jerusalem. But her journey to this Orthodox-meets-hipster neighborhood took her through what seems like four lifetimes. She was born in Long Island, as Jeff Smith, to a Conservative Jewish family. Jeff married a wom...Show More
8: Rabin Is…

1:05:55 | Nov 4th, 2015

Who is Yitzhak Rabin today, twenty years after his murder? In this episode, we discover that for many Israelis, he represents completely different - and often conflicting - things: Rachel Rabin remembers her older brother as a shy kid, who forced her...Show More
7: Out of Africa… And Back Again

44:14 | Oct 20th, 2015

Israel is embroiled in Middle Eastern geopolitics. That, at least, everyone knows. We also aspire to be part of Europe, and never miss a chance to reiterate our "special relationship" with the US. But what about Africa, our next door neighbors? Our h...Show More

01:53 | Oct 9th, 2015

A look back and peek ahead-- starting October 21st, we'll release a new episode of Israel Story every two weeks. A new reason to love Wednesdays!
6: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

57:05 | Feb 11th, 2015

Valentine’s Day is not native to Israel, but the country does not lack for tales of love, romance, and the pursuit thereof. In this, our sixth episode, we bring you stories of love and all the ways it’s got to do, got to do with it.
5: Holy Cow!

1:02:19 | Jan 12th, 2015

The stories of four featured moo-ers: a red heifer that some think will bring the messiah, a cow that’s become the symbol of radical Israeli veganism, buffalos that hold the future for a self-described “Israeli redneck,” and the golden calf that was ...Show More
4: A Man on a Mission

55:48 | Dec 12th, 2014

In this, our fourth episode, we introduce three Israelis who are not religious but have pursued unusual hobbies with missionary zeal. One is a hitman-for-hire, another collects a highly specific classification of autographs, and the third is a profes...Show More
3: People of the Book

1:01:12 | Oct 27th, 2014

Are Jews still “the people of the book”? Are Israelis? What does that even mean today? In the third episode of Israel Story, we’ve got three stories that all revolve around people who rescue books, chase after books, or otherwise allow books to deter...Show More
2: Love Syndrome

57:19 | Sep 22nd, 2014

Chaya Ben Baruch grew up as Enid, in a Conservadox family in Far Rockaway, N.Y. Midway through college, she left that world behind to study sea otters in Fairbanks, Alaska. Fast-forward a decade: Enid is now married to a nice Catholic salmon fisher ...Show More
1: Faking It

58:55 | Aug 18th, 2014

From our relationship with Ira Glass to priceless antiquities all the way to coveted sick passes – Israeli stories that are anything but real. In our very first episode, the Israel Story team delves into the realm of fakes, forgeries, and mimicry. Th...Show More