• Bonus: Turkey Time!
    • Bonus Episode
    • 00:16:53
    • 2021

    Bonus: Turkey Time!

    As many of us celebrate the holiday and think about all that we are thankful for, we hope you will…

  • Bonus: Yalla Banaat
    • Bonus Episode
    • 00:25:06
    • 2021

    Bonus: Yalla Banaat

     The only way we manage to survive, the only way we’re able to produce season after season, is with your…

  • Lost and Found – Part II
    • Episode 72
    • 00:43:06
    • 2021

    Lost and Found – Part II

    In Part I of our ‘Lost and Found’ double-hitter, we heard how Steve Gray and Anat Harrel of Kibbutz Hanaton…

  • Lost and Found – Part I
    • Episode 71
    • 00:47:04
    • 2021

    Lost and Found – Part I

    We all know that sinking feeling of having lost something dear to our heart. Sometimes these things are gone for…

  • Bonus: Behind the Scenes of “Soul Food”
    • Short Episode
    • 00:17:54
    • 2021

    Bonus: Behind the Scenes of “Soul Food”

    When we decide to pursue a story, we identify the relevant characters, reach out to them and go interview them….

  • Soul Food
    • Episode 70
    • 00:58:03
    • 2021

    Soul Food

    While “soul food” has come to mean a specific type of cuisine, for the women we encounter in today’s episode,…

  • Bonus: Behind the Scenes of “Pigging Out”
    • Short Episode
    • 00:13:46
    • 2021

    Bonus: Behind the Scenes of “Pigging Out”

    Pigging Out was supposed to come out long ago: The stories had been recorded, drafts had been written and we…

  • Pigging Out
    • Episode 69
    • 01:09:50
    • 2021

    Pigging Out

    Not once, but twice, does the Bible admonish us to abstain from eating the flesh of the pig. And though…

  • No Place Like Home
    • Episode 68
    • 01:01:54
    • 2021

    No Place Like Home

    In different ways, we are all constantly searching for a place to call home. For some that home is physical,…

  • A Day at the Y
    • Episode 67
    • 01:12:14
    • 2021

    A Day at the Y

    On June 7, 2021 the entire Israel Story team – nine radio producers – descended upon the Jerusalem International YMCA….

  • Game Changer
    • Episode 66
    • 00:49:45
    • 2021

    Game Changer

    With the fate of the 2020 – now 2021 – Tokyo Olympic Games still up in the air, our season finale tells the story of a dream to introduce a sport to a nation, and a nation to a sport. But it is a dream made up of as many tears of pain and disappointment as it is of joy and triumph.

  • The Stories We Killed
    • Episode 65
    • 00:25:28
    • 2021

    The Stories We Killed

    Like everything else in life, stories die. And, more often than not, we are the killers. Today we give you a behind-the-scenes peek into some of the stories you didn’t get to hear this year.

  • Tell Saki – Part II
    • Episode 64
    • 00:53:37
    • 2021

    Tell Saki – Part II

    We conclude our two-part Tell Saki story by returning to the soldiers after the battle and following their respective journeys – full of pain and regret, but also full of longing and camaraderie – in the years since the Yom Kippur War.

  • Bonus: The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God, Revisited
    • Short Episode
    • 00:22:10
    • 2021

    Bonus: The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God, Revisited

    As a little respite from the intensity of war explored in our two-part Tell Saki series, we replay a short piece of fiction by our beloved Etgar Keret. And, as a special bonus, we include highlights of a conversation we held with Etgar during lockdown.

  • Tell Saki – Part I
    • Episode 63
    • 01:00:18
    • 2021

    Tell Saki – Part I

    We embark on a two-episode journey back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and specifically to one small hill – a dormant volcanic tell – in the southern Golan Heights. There, we follow a group of young IDF soldiers who, trapped in a small bunker for thirty-six hours, went to hell and back.

  • Bonus: The Most Beautiful Book Ever Written, Revisited
    • Short Episode
    • 00:22:22
    • 2021

    Bonus: The Most Beautiful Book Ever Written, Revisited

    On the very first day of 2021, when so many of us are busy making New Year’s resolutions and embarking on new and hopeful journeys, we re-air one of our favorite stories, all about a quixotic, improbable, yet inherently optimistic, search for love.

  • Round Trip
    • Episode 62
    • 00:53:18
    • 2020

    Round Trip

    Many of us would normally be on the move around this time of year. But 2020 has, of course, been everything but normal. So in our episode today, we bring you two less-than-normal travel stories about people going back home – but doing so having gained a new understanding of the place from which they come.

  • Bonus: The Queen Rania Tree, Revisited
    • Bonus Episode
    • 00:31:38
    • 2020

    Bonus: The Queen Rania Tree, Revisited

    On March 29, 2020 – during the very early days of the pandemic – Israel Story fans from around the…

  • Bonus: The Pitcher, Revisited
    • Bonus Episode
    • 00:33:55
    • 2020

    Bonus: The Pitcher, Revisited

    In celebration of Hanukkah, we revisit – and update – one of our fan favorites. An episode that – much like the tale of Hanukkah itself – is all about a miraculous jug of liquid.

  • The Princess
    • Episode 61
    • 00:56:46
    • 2020

    The Princess

    Most Israelis remember the 2005 disengagement from Gaza as a dramatic moment of national upheaval. But for Hodaya Azulay of the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, the drama was of a different nature altogether – it marked a traumatic turning point in her relationship with her favorite mare, Sheleg.

  • Bonus: Man, I Feel Like A Woman, Revisited
    • Bonus Episode
    • 00:58:38
    • 2020

    Bonus: Man, I Feel Like A Woman, Revisited

    On April 13, 2020 – in the middle of our first pandemic Passover – Israel Story fans from around the…

  • Horsing Around
    • Episode 60
    • 00:42:26
    • 2020

    Horsing Around

    Cowgirls with oversized belt buckles and horse breeders fantasizing about producing world champions are not exactly what come to mind when you think of Israel. But today we take you into arenas, rings, and stables around the country to uncover a surprising subculture of equine enthusiasts.

  • The Last Laugh
    • Episode 59
    • 00:43:59
    • 2020

    The Last Laugh

    Forty years after Carl Sagan’s ‘Golden Records’ began their long voyage into the depths of outer space, Eyal Gever – an Israeli high-tech-wunderkind-turned-conceptual-artist – received an unusual call: NASA asked him to create the first artwork to be printed in space. What, he now had to decide, truly captured the essence of humanity?

  • The Dreamer
    • Episode 58
    • 01:04:46
    • 2020

    The Dreamer

    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 prophet?

  • Bonus: Love Syndrome, Revisited
    • Bonus Episode
    • 01:08:47
    • 2020

    Bonus: Love Syndrome, Revisited

    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 popular episode ever – “Love Syndrome.”

  • “Alone, Together” Part VII – Something Like A Brother
    • Episode 57
    • 00:30:00
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part VII – Something Like A Brother

    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 a woman from Porto Alegre, Brazil – into soulmates.

  • “Alone, Together” Part VI – Six Feet (Under)
    • Episode 56
    • 00:41:59
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part VI – Six Feet (Under)

    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 past six months. In the penultimate episode of our “Alone, Together” series, we bring you two stories about dying in times of Corona.

  • “Alone, Together” Part V – Enjoy Your Stay
    • Episode 55
    • 01:07:01
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part V – Enjoy Your Stay

    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, they were either a post-apocalyptic heaven or an exit-less hell.

  • “Alone, Together” Part IV – The Lifesavers
    • Episode 54
    • 00:45:31
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part IV – The Lifesavers

    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 saving a life end up saving your life, too?

  • “Alone, Together” Part III – Gevalt
    • Episode 53
    • 00:40:38
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part III – Gevalt

    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 anti-Haredi sentiment that pervaded the country. Here’s what it looked like from their perspective.

  • “Alone, Together” Part II – In the Beginning
    • Episode 52
    • 00:45:50
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part II – In the Beginning

    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.

  • “Alone, Together” Part I – Mazal Tov!
    • Episode 51
    • 01:10:46
    • 2020

    “Alone, Together” Part I – Mazal Tov!

    The global pandemic has—to state the obvious—reshaped our lives, refocused our priorities, and forced us to reevaluate countless things we’ve long taken for granted…

  • Introducing Our New Miniseries – “Alone, Together”
    • Short Episode
    • 00:08:00
    • 2020

    Introducing Our New Miniseries – “Alone, Together”

    Like the rest of the world, Israel experienced curfews and lockdowns, shifting social distancing guidelines, layoffs, economic hardship, illness and…

  • Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Episode 50
    • 00:39:56
    • 2019

    Keep Calm and Carry On

    Some people operate within the confines of reality. Others don’t. Instead, they will things into existence. Today we’ll meet one such determined woman who – faced with countless obstacles …

  • We Share The Same Sky
    • Episode 49
    • 00:59:33
    • 2019

    We Share The Same Sky

    Hana Dubova was born in Kolín, Czechoslovakia, in 1925. Her granddaughter Rachael Cerrotti was born in Boston in 1989. But the unusual bond they share transcends both time and space. …

  • Short: “Achoti”
    • Short Episode
    • 00:19:40
    • 2019

    Short: “Achoti”

    With the kind of storytelling we do, most of our interviews end up on the proverbial “editing room floor.” And we’re often sorry they do, since we’d like you to …

  • “Achi”
    • Episode 48
    • 00:46:51
    • 2019

    “Achi”

    Growing up, Benjamin and Reuven Berger never imagined they’d be roommates well into their seventies. Nor did they imagine their lives would unfold as brothers in faith. But from their …

  • Short: The Last “Rabbi” of Baghdad – A Thanksgiving Special
    • Short Episode
    • 00:18:48
    • 2019

    Short: The Last “Rabbi” of Baghdad – A Thanksgiving Special

    It’s a busy week. Many of you will be traveling, and those of you staying put will probably be cooking turkeys and preparing cranberry sauce. And while you are doing …

  • By the Rivers of Babylon
    • Episode 47
    • 00:54:38
    • 2019

    By the Rivers of Babylon

    Jews first arrived in what is today Iraq in the 6th century BC, after the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar sacked Solomon’s Temple. It was from there that Ezra and Nehemiah led …

  • The Needle
    • Episode 46
    • 00:44:28
    • 2019

    The Needle

    Last month, the world marked the eightieth anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the start of WWII. In Israel, too, this was a big milestone: Kids discussed it at …

  • Explosive Confession – A Yom Kippur Special
    • Episode 45
    • 00:31:20
    • 2019

    Explosive Confession – A Yom Kippur Special

    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 …

  • Dear God – A Rosh HaShanah Special
    • Episode 44
    • 00:29:59
    • 2019

    Dear God – A Rosh HaShanah Special

    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 …

  • “The Wall” Part IV – This Wall is My Wall
    • Episode 43
    • 01:05:22
    • 2019

    “The Wall” Part IV – This Wall is My Wall

    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…

  • “The Wall” Part III – The Invisibles
    • Episode 42
    • 00:58:24
    • 2019

    “The Wall” Part III – The Invisibles

    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…

  • “The Wall” Part II – The Other Side
    • Episode 41
    • 01:13:50
    • 2019

    “The Wall” Part II – The Other Side

    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…

  • “The Wall” Part I – Operation Hulda
    • Episode 40
    • 00:55:00
    • 2019

    “The Wall” Part I – Operation Hulda

    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…

  • “Mixtape” Part IV – War, Peace and Bumper Stickers
    • Episode 39
    • 00:43:42
    • 2018

    “Mixtape” Part IV – War, Peace and Bumper Stickers

    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, …

  • “Mixtape” Part III – Eastward Bound
    • Episode 38
    • 00:47:50
    • 2018

    “Mixtape” Part III – Eastward Bound

    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, …

  • “Mixtape” Part II – Iron and Gold
    • Episode 37
    • 00:44:26
    • 2018

    “Mixtape” Part II – Iron and Gold

    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 …

  • “Mixtape” Part I – Our Hope?
    • Episode 36
    • 00:36:36
    • 2018

    “Mixtape” Part I – Our Hope?

    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. …

  • Whither Thou Goest
    • Episode 35
    • 01:08:56
    • 2018

    Whither Thou Goest

    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 …

  • Coming Out, Getting In
    • Episode 34
    • 01:05:22
    • 2018

    Coming Out, Getting In

    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…

  • Milk, Honey and Sweet Mary Jane
    • Episode 33
    • 00:52:30
    • 2018

    Milk, Honey and Sweet Mary Jane

    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…

  • King of the Hill
    • Episode 32
    • 01:08:26
    • 2017

    King of the Hill

    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…

  • Short: Fed-Ex Over Your Snow
    • Short Episode
    • 00:16:04
    • 2017

    Short: Fed-Ex Over Your Snow

    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…

  • Dear Lord Rothschild
    • Episode 31
    • 01:05:08
    • 2017

    Dear Lord Rothschild

    On November 2, 1917, Arthur James Balfour – Britain’s mustached Foreign Secretary – signed his name at the bottom of a short, typed letter addressed to a shy banker-turned-zoologist by…

  • Food Fight
    • Episode 30
    • 00:49:32
    • 2017

    Food Fight

    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…

  • A Better Place?
    • Episode 29
    • 00:52:48
    • 2017

    A Better Place?

    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…

  • On the Outs
    • Episode 28
    • 00:58:19
    • 2017

    On the Outs

    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…

  • Jarab
    • Episode 27
    • 00:36:24
    • 2017

    Jarab

    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…

  • Oath of Blood
    • Episode 26
    • 00:46:44
    • 2017

    Oath of Blood

    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 …

  • Peace Now. Almost.
    • Episode 25
    • 00:31:48
    • 2017

    Peace Now. Almost.

    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…

  • Losing My Religion
    • Episode 24
    • 00:49:18
    • 2017

    Losing My Religion

    In 1991, REM’s Michael Stipe famously sang, “That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion, trying to keep up with you, and I don’t know if I can do it.”…

  • A Severe Case of Second Generation
    • Episode 23
    • 00:27:30
    • 2017

    A Severe Case of Second Generation

    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…

  • And in the End…
    • Episode 22
    • 00:49:21
    • 2017

    And in the End…

    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…

  • 68 and Counting – Part II
    • Episode 21
    • 00:49:33
    • 2016

    68 and Counting – Part II

    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…

  • 68 and Counting- Part I
    • Episode 20
    • 00:52:10
    • 2016

    68 and Counting- Part I

    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 …

  • Of Numbers and Names
    • Episode 19
    • 00:48:42
    • 2016

    Of Numbers and Names

    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 …

  • Thicker Than Water
    • Episode 18
    • 01:00:24
    • 2016

    Thicker Than Water

    On today’s show, we delve into the world of family bonds. We’ll ask how they’re formed, and how they change over time, and are challenged in a bunch of different …

  • Stop That Bus!
    • Episode 17
    • 00:54:12
    • 2016

    Stop That Bus!

    Israeli buses regularly make international headlines, be it for suicide bombings, fights over gender segregation or clashes concerning Shabbat schedules. On this week’s episode, we delve into the world of lesser known bus-related conflicts.

  • Over and Out
    • Episode 16
    • 01:11:19
    • 2016

    Over and Out

    Stories of relationships that have ended, and the things (the often slightly nutty things) that people do in the aftermath.

  • Love, Revisited
    • Episode 15
    • 00:45:47
    • 2016

    Love, Revisited

    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.

  • Besties
    • Episode 14
    • 00:44:06
    • 2016

    Besties

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

  • Sacred Plants
    • Episode 13
    • 00:54:33
    • 2016

    Sacred Plants

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

  • Now Boarding
    • Episode 12
    • 00:50:29
    • 2016

    Now Boarding

    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? Passing through, with fear or wariness, en route to someplace else?

  • Herzl 48 Live
    • Episode 11
    • 00:37:16
    • 2016

    Herzl 48 Live

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

  • Birthstory
    • Episode 10
    • 01:05:55
    • 2016

    Birthstory

    An Israeli couple flies to Nepal to pick up their three babies from two surrogate mothers and discover that the transaction is not as straightforward as it seems.

  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman
    • Episode 9
    • 00:40:52
    • 2015

    Man, I Feel Like a Woman

    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?

  • Rabin Is…
    • Episode 8
    • 01:05:56
    • 2015

    Rabin Is…

    Rabin is a symbol. An icon. Twenty years later, it isn’t so simple to understand what he truly stands for anymore.

  • Out of Africa…And Back Again
    • Episode 7
    • 00:41:14
    • 2015

    Out of Africa…And Back Again

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

  • What’s Love Got to Do With It?
    • Episode 6
    • 00:56:52
    • 2015

    What’s Love Got to Do With It?

    Valentine’s Day is not native to Israel, but the country does not lack for tales of love, romance, and the pursuit thereof.

  • Holy Cow!
    • Episode 5
    • 01:02:06
    • 2015

    Holy Cow!

    We’ve got 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 biblical big-business.

  • A Man on A Mission
    • Episode 4
    • 00:55:35
    • 2014

    A Man on A Mission

    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 professional whistler.

  • People of the Book
    • Episode 3
    • 01:00:59
    • 2014

    People of the Book

    Three stories that all revolve around people who rescue books, chase after books, or otherwise allow books to determine their destiny—from a Yiddish book collector based in the Tel Aviv central bus station to a lonely college student to bibliophiles in search of the lost fragments of the Aleppo Codex.

  • Love Syndrome
    • Episode 2
    • 00:57:06
    • 2014

    Love Syndrome

    For Enid, the birth of her sixth child—born with Down syndrome, started her and her family on an incredible journey—to Tzfat, Israel, and from there to court rooms, hospitals, ultra-Orthodox yeshivas, and wedding halls, all so she could do right by her child and the other special-needs children she picked up along the way.

  • Faking It
    • Episode 1
    • 00:58:42
    • 2014

    Faking It

    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.