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. Then, in 2021, we began partnering with The Jerusalem Foundation as well. 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Yoshi Fields

    Yoshi Fields

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

  • Skyler Inman

    Skyler Inman

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

  • Adina Karpuj

    Adina Karpuj

    Adina is a Chilean native who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. After traveling the world for a year, she moved…

  • Naomi Schneider

    Naomi Schneider

    Naomi grew up in Modi’in and moved to Jerusalem with her partner Yuval. She served in Galei Tzahal, a nationwide…

  • Elie Bleier

    Elie Bleier

    Elie grew up in Evanston, Illinois, moved to Israel at the age of 18, then to New York City, and…

  • Tanya Huyard

    Tanya Huyard
    Production Intern

    Tanya was born and raised in Amish country in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but always dreamed of making her life in Israel….

  • Matthew Litman

    Matthew Litman
    Production Intern

    Matthew grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated from Brown University’s Literary Arts program, where he wrote a collection of…

  • 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,…

  • 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,…

  • 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…