Who Are We?

Israel Story's mission is to promote a deeper understanding of - and connection to - Israel, through non-political, human-interest storytelling.

Who Are We?

Our Goals Are To…

  • Use the power of storytelling to expand the circle of those engaged with Israel
  • Promote greater awareness of, and interest in, the complexities of modern Israeli society
  • Combat stereotypes by showcasing the country’s rich human tapestry and telling the story of a diverse, more nuanced, Israel

Our Story

Israel Story, or ‘Sipur Israeli,’ was born as a late-night project in 2011. Our hope was to step outside of our social bubbles and explore the diversity of our own country. We had no relevant experience but nevertheless dreamed of creating a small podcast, meant primarily for friends and family. Our first episode initially had eleven downloads. Yet what followed exceeded our wildest dreams: Within a few months, our show was picked up by Galey Tzahal and soon offered a prime time slot on national radio. Suddenly reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners, we were inundated by messages saying that Israel Story offered a unique way of encountering the rich human tapestry of the country.

In 2014, we decided to add a new facet to our operation, and – in addition to the Hebrew show – started producing episodes in English, in partnership with Tablet Magazine. We figured that the Israel people loved, as well as the Israel people hated, was – largely speaking – an imaginary place. We, on the other hand, wished to tell stories of the ‘real’ Israel; to showcase a different, more nuanced, and more diverse, Israel. We do not, therefore, focus on politics, the BDS movement or governmental propaganda. Instead, we collect stories that celebrate the plurality of local communities and traditions, and try to present a cross-section of ‘Israeliness.’ We have come to think of our microphones as magic wands that allow us to enter homes and communities that are often sidelined and silenced in the mainstream media.

Israelis are a nation of storytellers. And our job is to amplify voices and shine a spotlight on the small and large dramas that make up Israeli life.

The Team

  • Mishy Harman

    Mishy Harman
    Host, Senior Producer

    Mishy is a Jerusalemite, through and through. Following his military service, he studied history at Harvard, archeology at Cambridge and…

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  • Yochai Maital

    Yochai Maital
    Senior Producer

    Yochai grew up in Haifa, but now can’t imagine calling anywhere but Tel Aviv his home. After eight years as…

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  • Zev Levi

    Zev Levi
    Managing Producer

    Zev grew up in Perth, Australia, and started out as a mechatronics engineer. Having lived and worked in Perth’s music…

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  • Joel Shupack

    Joel Shupack
    Producer, Scorer

    Joel grew up in Central Oregon and, contrary to popular fear-mongering, was taught to always talk to strangers. After following…

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  • Yoshi Fields

    Yoshi Fields
    Producer

    Yoshi is from Massachusetts and graduated with a B.A. in ethnography and religion from Hampshire College. In his undergraduate thesis,…

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  • Skyler Inman

    Skyler Inman
    Producer

    Skyler was born in Houston, Texas. After studying English and nonfiction creative writing at Yale, she packed her bags and…

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  • Marie Röder

    Marie Röder
    Production Intern

    Marie grew up in Berlin, Germany, and holds an M.A. in Government Studies. She came to Israel for the first…

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  • Alicia Vergara Murillo

    Alicia Vergara Murillo
    Production Intern

    Alicia grew up in Berlin where she studied social sciences and recently finished her post-graduate degree in Jewish Studies at…

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  • Michael Vivier

    Michael Vivier
    Production Intern

    Michael is a production intern who grew up in Dallas, Texas and studied Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana…

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  • Jeff Umbro

    Jeff Umbro
    Marketing Manager

    Jeff Umbro comes from digital marketing and publicity departments of the book publishing world. In 2017, he launched The Podglomerate,…

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  • Sharon Rapaport

    Sharon Rapaport
    Chief Operations Officer

    Sharon has spent 25 years collecting, telling, and sharing people’s stories all over the world. She finds stories in everyone,…

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  • Rotem Zin

    Rotem Zin
    Chief Financial Officer

    Rotem was Born in Seattle, Washington, and lives in Haifa with his wife, four kids, and their dog Billie. He…

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