Episodes

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Savoring the Poetic Artistry of Nadia Adina Rose

When Nadia Adina Rose describes her art, she might also be describing her poetry.

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It’s as Simple as That

The word פשוט (pashut) means “simple” in Hebrew. Knowing that, how would you attempt to say “simplify”, “simplicity,” or “simpleton”? Guy explains all the complexities behind the seemingly simple root פשט.

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Unlock the Mysteries of the Arab World

Shibley Telhami is the master of survey research in the Middle East. Through survey data, his research tracks and explains changes over time on the most sensitive public issues, from the Arab Spring, America, Israel, al Jazeera, and democracy.

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The “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” Edition

We discuss the upheavals on Israel’s Right, Center, and Left, as parties fall and rise, careers crash and burn and rise like a phoenix, some political leaders abandon the parties they head, and others are defenestrated. The drama!

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Remembering Amos Oz

We dedicate this episode to Amos Oz, who passed away on Friday, Dec. 28, after a short battle with cancer at the age of 79. We’ll feature his latest book, “Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land.”

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Modern-Ultra-Orthodox: Israel’s Haredi Community at a Crossroads

Dr Gilad Malach, head of the ultra-Orthodox research program at the Israel Democracy Institute, discusses the findings of the 2018 statistical report on the ultra-Orthodox society in Israel, which he directed.

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Stolen

This episode features stories on the theme “Stolen,” as told by Miriam Herschlag, David Chester, Milton Roller, Gwen Dreilinger, Art Lenk, Dorit Murciano, Daniel Estrin, and Iri Kassel.

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The “Elections!” Edition

We discuss 1) Bibi’s decision to dissolve the government and hold elections in April 2) a traditional “Ethiopian farm” in Israel, with mud storehouses and subsistence farming, challenge the way the rest of us live 3) a new law nudging us towards a “cashless society.”

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Your Israeli Soundtrack of 2018

2018 has been another huge year for Israeli music and, in case you missed it, here's our summary of the year's best bits. Turn up your speakers and enjoy the soundtrack of the best Israeli New Year’s Eve party in town!

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Learning from Israelis’ 2018 Music-Listening Habits

What can we learn from the music-listening habits of Israelis in 2018? Spotify published the most popular music listened to by Israelis this year. We revisit our archives to remind ourselves when and why we used these songs in previous episodes.

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Body Politics: Bioethics and Medical Sociology, Revisited

Dr Hagai Boas, head of the Science, Technology and Civilization Program at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, discusses his co-edited volume “Bioethics and Biopolitics in Israel: Socio-Legal, Political and Empirical Analysis.”

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“The Grinch and the Jewish Question” Edition

We discuss 1) the French-inspired “Yellow-Vest” protests against rising prices and what they auger for Israeli politics 2) the 2018 Democracy Index and its finding 3) the decision by shopping mall in a Jewish neighborhood to install a big honking Christmas tree.

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“A Very Cheerful Girl”

Hedva Harechavi is an early feminist voice in contemporary Hebrew poetry, and, as you will hear, her work often combines the language of prayer and biblical texts with contemporary daily realities.

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OMG – Israeli Film Finds Religion

Israeli film scholar Dan Chyutin observes that Israeli film once reflected secular Israeli society, and religion appeared mainly as stage dressing. But in recent decades, a steady stream of films have put religion, especially ultra-orthodox Judaism, in the foreground. Is this a mirror of Israeli society? Or just an excuse to discuss our favorite films?

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The “Us & the Others” Edition

We discuss 1) a documentary about a leftist from Tel Aviv who sets up cameras in Tekoa, interviewing settlers who wander into her frame 2) surveys showing that Israelis prefer not to have anything to do with folks with disabilities 3) a proposed law that would require ISP's to block porn sites unless explicitly asked not to

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This Week’s Israeli Soundtrack

We’re playing the latest releases this week from Moshe Peretz, Kobi Peretz, Stephane Legare, and many more!

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“My Feet in Boots and My Heart in My Feet”

This podcast is dedicated to anyone who has trouble finding shoes that fit—especially boots, during the Israeli rainy season! On this episode, Marcela reads an excerpt from Raquel Chalfi’s poem “German Boot,” translated by Tsipi Keller.

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The Fixture Needs Fixing

Dropped your phone? Did the screen crack? It needs fixing! The Hebrew word you'll need to know is Tikun, from the root תקנ. Tikunim (plural of tikun) also means corrections, amendments, alterations. Not familiar with the תקנ root and its related words? We can fix that!

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Democracy in Crisis? Israeli Survey Respondents Agree to Disagree

Israel's 2018 Democracy Index, an annual survey of the health of Israeli democracy, shows off the deepest contradictions in Israeli life. Tamar Hermann explains why half the country thinks democracy is endangered but half do not, why the left-right divide is now seen as the most threatening division in Israeli society, while the number of Israeli Jews who think things are going well has been rising for over a decade.

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Aliyah

This episode celebrates the astonishing, hilarious, heartbreaking experiences of moving to Israel, and features true stories on the theme of “Aliyah” as told by Muki Tsur, David Harold Chester, Noah Efron, Milton Roller, Malynnda Littky, Jodi Schachar Davidovich, Avi Tilonsky, and the legendary singer Josie Katz.

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The “What?!? Some Europeans Don’t Like Jews?!?” Edition

We discuss 1) the complicated Mid-East legacy of US President George H.W. Bush 2) a poll finding that just over half of Europeans think Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state 3) a cache of old photos purloined from Israel’s archives and select some of our favorites

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Mendele Mokher Seforim’s “What is Chanukah?”

Tonight is the fourth night of Hanukkah, and to celebrate, Marcela reads an abridgement from Mendele Mokher Serforim’s short story, “What is Chanukah?” It features two speakers, Shmuel, for whom a Hanukkah miracle occurred, and his friend Ignatz.

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The Streetwise Center for Hebrew Learners

Gather = lerakez. Center = merkaz. Concentrated = merukaz. Coordinator = merakez. All these words share a common Hebrew root: רכז. Put aside all possible distractions because today's episode is laser-focused on the root RKZ.

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Level-Headed Men Seldom Make History

Derek Penslar, Professor of Jewish History at Harvard University, discusses his forthcoming book, “Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader”. Sometimes, there's a very fine line between an eccentric and a visionary.

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The “AirBDS?” Edition

We discuss 1) Airbnb kicking Jewish settlers off their site 2) whether West Bank Palestinians working in Israel is a path to peace or a path to maintain the status quo 3) how a majority of Israelis will have no choice but to live in skyscrapers in 2050.

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