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Israel Story

75 EpisodesProduced by Israel StoryWebsite

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 produced in partnership with Tablet Magazine. For Hebrew episodes, see סיפור ישראלי, or go to ou… read more

75 Episodes | 2014 - 2020

58: The Dreamer

October 13th, 2020


David Ben Shabat hates being called a prophet. As he sees it, he’s just a guy who stumbled upon a deep truth and wants to share it with the people. But, come to think of it, isn’t that precisely the definition of a …

Bonus: Love Syndrome, Revisited

October 6th, 2020


Now that "Alone, Together" is over, and before we turn to stories that - gasp - have little to do with the virus, we revisit and update our most …

Bonus: Unpacking Israeli History

September 29th, 2020


Today, we bring you an episode from a new podcast that launched earlier this month: Unpacking Israeli History. The episode delves into the topic of how the Hebrew language was revived and why on earth that matters.

57: “Alone, Together” Part VII - Something Like A Brother

September 22nd, 2020


Stories matter. They have the power of connecting us over time and space. And in the finale of our “Alone, Together” miniseries, we see how a podcast episode turned two strangers - a man from Migdal HaEmek, Israel, and …

56: "Alone, Together" Part VI - Six Feet (Under)

September 8th, 2020


Israel's one thousandth COVID-19 casualty passed away this weekend. And for all of us, death has sadly been an ever-present part of life over the …

55: “Alone, Together” Part V - Enjoy Your Stay

August 25th, 2020


Around the world, the tourism industry essentially dried up during the pandemic. But in Israel there was one category of hotels - the so-called “Corona Hotels” - that actually thrived. And depending on whom you ask, …

54: “Alone, Together” Part IV - The Lifesavers

August 11th, 2020


The global pandemic has introduced us to many “lifesavers”—doctors, nurses, and medical staff who are on the frontlines day in and day out. But what happens when those ‘superheroes’ need to be saved themselves? And can …

53: “Alone, Together” Part III - Gevalt

July 28th, 2020


Israel’s ultra-orthodox community was hit twice during COVID-19: First, and in disproportionate numbers, by the virus itself, and then by a wave of …

52: “Alone, Together” Part II - In the Beginning

July 14th, 2020


Six months ago, very few people knew what ‘sheltering in place’ or ‘flattening the curve’ meant. Today, we live in a new world, and it’s often hard to remember what it was like at the beginning. 

On January 14, 2020 - …

51: “Alone, Together” Part I - Mazal Tov!

June 30th, 2020


The wait, ladies and gentlemen, is finally over: Israel Story is back, and is kicking off Season Five with "Alone, Together" - a brand new miniseries about Israel in the time of corona.

The global pandemic has—to state …

Introducing Our New Miniseries - "Alone, Together"

June 23rd, 2020


We're extremely excited to announce that Israel Story’s fifth season will begin next week, on June 30, 2020. We’ll kick off with our newest miniseries - "Alone, Together" - which is all about Israel (and Israelis) in …

From the Vault: Tying a Knot

May 8th, 2020


For Mother's Day, we replay one of the most touching and brave stories of motherhood we've ever aired.

In 2015, on the very last day of a month-long assignment in Nepal, Israeli journalist Danna Harman ran into three …

From the Vault: A Biblical Bond

April 28th, 2020


Today is Yom HaZikaron - the day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. With everyone instructed to stay home, the …


April 26th, 2020


Join us for a day filled with back-to-back interviews, concerts, workshops and classes in celebration of Israel's Independence Day!

Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and by signing up for our …

From the Vault: A Severe Case of Second Generation

April 21st, 2020


It's Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Over the years we’ve aired many stories and episodes that relate to the Holocaust in different ways. But …

We Want To Hear From You!

March 5th, 2020


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50: Keep Calm and Carry On

December 31st, 2019


What does it mean to be 'in it for the long haul'? In our fiftieth episode, which is also our season finale, we explore this question in the context …

From the Vault: Whistle-Stop Tour

December 24th, 2019


Back in 2014, we met Elik Fromchenko. During the day he works at an auto magazine, but - just like Clark Kent - he has a secret superpower: Elik is a …

"An Audio Egg Roll"

December 23rd, 2019


If you happen to associate Christmas Eve with egg rolls, hot-and-sour soup and sesame chicken, tune in to tomorrow's re-release of one of our Season …

49: We Share The Same Sky

December 17th, 2019


Rachael Cerrotti was a college freshman when she first came to Israel on a Birthright trip. Shortly thereafter, back in Philadelphia, she and her …

Short: "Achoti"

December 10th, 2019


In our last episode, "Achi" (my brother), we told the tale of two siblings and their unusual life together. And today, we're sharing a …

48: "Achi"

December 3rd, 2019


When God first spoke to Benjamin, he was reading the newspaper. That was just the start of a wild journey that led two Orthodox brothers from the Bronx to a new life, a new homeland, a new lord and - above all - to each …

Short: The Last "Rabbi" of Baghdad - A Thanksgiving Special

November 26th, 2019


Jews have been in Iraq for more than two-and-a-half millennia. Today, the entire Jewish community of Baghdad can fit in a single car. In this special Thanksgiving bonus, we bring you a conversation between …

47: By the Rivers of Babylon

November 19th, 2019


A century ago, close to one-third of Baghdad's population was Jewish. Today, just five Jews remain in the city. In today's episode, we explore the …

From the Vault: Herr Eichmann

November 1st, 2019


To most, Adolf Eichmann - the mastermind behind the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution’ - is the ultimate symbol of evil. But to a small group of Israelis, he …

46: The Needle

October 25th, 2019


In May 1960, the Mossad captured Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, and brought him to stand trial in Jerusalem. It's one of Israel's most glorified …

45: Explosive Confession - A Yom Kippur Special

October 8th, 2019


The special was recorded in Ben Wallick’s studio and was mixed by Sela Waisblum.Repentance, prayer and charity, we are told, are our saving graces …

44: Dear God - A Rosh HaShanah Special

September 27th, 2019


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 …

43: "The Wall" Part IV - This Wall is My Wall

September 10th, 2019


In its final installment, our 'Wall' series comes full circle, back to where we began - the Kotel. But this time we won't be meeting …

Welcome, Shalom and Call Home

September 5th, 2019


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 …

42: "The Wall" Part III - The Invisibles

August 12th, 2019


After visiting two of Israel's most visible walls, we shift gears to slightly more abstract ones. Walls, both new and old, that you might have a …

41: "The Wall" Part II - The Other Side

July 23rd, 2019


Some call it the 'security fence,' while others prefer the 'West Bank barrier.' But to most around the world it is known simply as the 'separation wall.' Our series continues with a visit to what is perhaps the most …

40: "The Wall" Part I - Operation Hulda

July 2nd, 2019


And... we're back! We kick off our fourth season with a brand new miniseries - "The Wall." Today's roller-coaster of a mystery begins with Israeli …

Now That’s a Buzzword!

June 27th, 2018


A quick note from a big celebration.

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39: "Mixtape" Part IV – War, Peace and Bumper Stickers

June 15th, 2018


In our season finale, we explore two songs that - perhaps more than any others - capture the complex and intermingled nature of Israeli society.

Over …

38: "Mixtape" Part III – Eastward Bound

June 8th, 2018


In a music scene dominated by Ashkenazi culture, Mizrahi singers had to patiently pave their way to the Israeli mainstream one song at a time. In …

37: "Mixtape" Part II – Iron and Gold

June 1st, 2018


Our musical journey through the intricacies of Israeli society continues. And this time we explore a song that, ever since the dramatic month that forever changed Israeli history, has become the country's soundtrack: …

36: "Mixtape" Part I – Our Hope?

May 25th, 2018


Welcome to 'Mixtape,' our very first mini-series. Over the course of the next four episodes, we will go on a musical journey through anthems, songs of yearning, of war, of peace, and hear the stories behind some of …

35: Whither Thou Goest

May 18th, 2018


Ruth the Moabite said she'd follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, anywhere. That blind devotion has since made her an enduring symbol of loyalty, faith …

34: Coming Out, Getting In

March 30th, 2018


Payam Feili is a gay Iranian poet. Nadav Schwartz is an Orthodox Israeli Jew. But in ways both astoundingly similar and utterly different, both men have journeyed out of their communities, leaving behind almost …

33: Milk, Honey and Sweet Mary Jane

February 2nd, 2018


Cannabis in the Holy Land is clearly a booming business. Through the unlikely story of Amos Silver, the Israeli 'Green Giant,' we take a deep dive …

32: King of the Hill

December 23rd, 2017


From the top of Tell El-Ful, an abandoned hilltop in East Jerusalem, you can see all the way from Amman to Tel Aviv, from Jerusalem to Ramallah. And …

Short: Fed-Ex Over Your Snow

November 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 …

31: Dear Lord Rothschild

November 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.

On November 2, 1917, Arthur …

30: Food Fight

October 4th, 2017


Forget politics, forget territorial disputes, forget religion. Our new episode explores the real Middle Eastern battleground - food.

Food, it turns …

29: A Better Place?

September 8th, 2017


Not that long ago, an Israeli vehicle was about to change the world. But it didn’t. In today's episode, we find out why the Better Place electric car generated such excitement and inspired such devotion, and why its …

28: On the Outs

August 25th, 2017


There are a zillion ways of being an outsider. That, of course, we all know. But what does it mean to belong, why do we want it so badly, and just how far are we willing to go in order to be on the 'inside'?

Eli Amir, …

27: Jarab

July 28th, 2017


They're enemies and cousins, neighbors and rivals, lovers and haters, and at times even one and the same. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the complicated world of Israel's Arabs and Jews.

More often than not, we think …

26: Oath of Blood

July 6th, 2017


Imagine getting the worst news possible, learning it isn’t true, and then realizing it is after all — in the span of a single day. That’s what happened to the Harels of Jerusalem, in the chaotic frenzy of the First …

25: Peace Now. Almost.

June 5th, 2017


In the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, a Palestinian lawyer and two Israeli reservists nearly brokered a peace agreement. Just imagine how …

24: Losing My Religion

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.

In 1991, REM’s Michael Stipe famously sang, “That’s me in the spotlight, …

23: A Severe Case of Second Generation

April 21st, 2017


Lizzie Doron always felt there was an invisible ghost in her life. She wasn't wrong.

Early next week we will mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance …

22: And in the End…

April 19th, 2017


Our season opener takes us right to the end... An episode full of surprising stories that explore how we die, and what comes next.

It’s springtime in …

21: 68 and Counting- Part II

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 …

20: 68 and Counting- Part I

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, …

19: Of Numbers and Names

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 …

18: Thicker Than Water

April 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 …

17: Stop That Bus!

March 25th, 2016


Israeli buses regularly make international headlines, be it for suicide bombings, fights over gender segregation or clashes concerning Shabbat …

16: Over and Out

March 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. So today on our show, “Over and Out.” We’ve got three stories of …

15: Love, Revisited

February 17th, 2016


Three couples look back at their time together—on a kibbutz, in verse, and in a hospital.

The stories in today’s episode come from our most recent live show, “Israel in Love.” We’ll meet three couples looking back at …

14: Besties

January 27th, 2016


How Moshe Dayan’s wife and Yasser Arafat’s mother-in-law became bosom buddies, and other tales of unlikely friendships.

When Raymonda Tawil met Ruth Dayan in 1970, they seemed well-primed to be enemies. Ruth, the then …

13: Sacred Plants

January 13th, 2016


How we change nature and nature changes us, from wildflower picking in Israel to ayahuasca retreats in Peru.

There have already been a few sightings of anemones in Israel, and that means it’s the start of wildflower …

12: Now Boarding

December 30th, 2015


For the year’s heaviest week of travel, Israel Story brings tales of love and interrogation at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport

The first place travelers to Israel encounter is usually Ben Gurion Airport. What they’ll …

11: Herzl 48 Live

December 16th, 2015


Israel Story producers crisscrossed the small country, visiting every 48 Herzl Street and collecting stories from whomever they encountered.

There is …

10: Birthstory

December 2nd, 2015


In this very special episode, Israel Story teams up with Radiolab to tell the story of Tal and Amir-- an Israeli couple who went to Nepal to pick up …

9: Man, I Feel Like a Woman

November 18th, 2015


What do you do when you realize that in order to be true to yourself, you have to shatter everything around you, including the lives of those you love most?

Yiscah Smith lives in Nahlaot, in Jerusalem. But her journey to …

8: Rabin Is…

November 4th, 2015


Rabin is a symbol. An icon. But in Israel of 2015, twenty years later, it isn't so simple to understand what he really stands for anymore.

Who is …

7: Out of Africa… And Back Again

October 20th, 2015


Two journeys - in very different directions, and taken for very different reasons - out of, and then into, Africa.

Israel is embroiled in Middle …


October 9th, 2015


A look back and a peek ahead.

Starting October 21st, we’ll be releasing a new episode of Israel Story every two weeks. A new reason to love Wednesdays!

For more, head to our site.


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6: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

February 11th, 2015


Tales of love, romance, and the pursuit thereof.

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 …

5: Holy Cow!

January 12th, 2015


An episode all about sacred bovines!

The stories of four featured moo-ers: a red heifer that some think will bring the messiah, a cow that’s become …

4: A Man on a Mission

December 12th, 2014


The stories of three Israelis who are not religious but have pursued unusual hobbies with missionary zeal.

In this, our fourth episode, we introduce three Israelis who are not religious but have pursued unusual hobbies …

3: People of the Book

October 27th, 2014


Three stories revolving around people who rescue books, chase after books, or otherwise allow books to determine their destiny.

Are Jews still “the …

2: Love Syndrome

September 22nd, 2014


Chaya Ben Baruch grew up as Enid, in a Conservadox Jewish family in Far Rockaway, NY. Midway through college, she left that world behind to study sea …

1: Faking It

August 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 …

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