JEWISH NATIONAL FUND'S PREMIER ISRAEL PODCAST
Welcome to IsraelCast, Jewish National Fund's premier podcast where we share stories of interesting people doing fascinating work all over Israel. Join host Steven Shalowitz as he sits down with guests to discuss Israeli news, culture, history, and much more.
New episodes are released every other Wednesday. You can listen to Israel's number 1 podcast right here or make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher – simply search for IsraelCast. And while you’re at it, rate and review us so that it makes it easier for more people to find us. Happy listening!!
“Love IsraelCast podcasts! Always interesting, educational and entertaining!” - Janet E. Newman
“Really enjoy the podcasts! Thank you.” - Elyse Gelerman Ingber
“I scrolled down the list of podcasts looking at the various topics when I came to Episode 65 which was an interview with Gali, the owner of the Yehelim Boutique Hotel in Arad.
That is where we stayed for three nights this past February. It was fun to listen to. Brought back good memories.” - George Silver
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Episode 160 - Started after the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, NGO Monitor is a globally recognized research institute promoting democratic values and good governance, working to ensure that decision makers and civil society operate in accordance with the principles of accountability, transparency, and universal human rights. Combining research and analysis with action, they have helped successfully defund over $100 million from various anti-Israel organizations in the last 10 years alone. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with NGO Monitor Vice President Olga Deutsch to discuss which NGOs are the biggest violators, how they combat that, and the importance of holding these organizations accountable.
Episode 159 - As global needs shift and a greater importance has been placed on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), the global workforce has not yet caught up to meet these needs. Even in Israel, the startup nation, there is a shortage of people with crucial engineering and science experience. Afeka Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering is working on fixing this through recruiting and educating students in these much-needed fields. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with host Steven Shalowitz talk to Ami Moyal, the President of Afeka Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering, on the importance of STEM education, his and the college’s research on speech recognition, and how to adjust education based on the current generation of students.
Episode 158 - Matthew Nouriel has always worn many hats. A drag queen who goes by the stage name “The Empress Mizrahi,” the nonbinary activist is also the Community Engagement Director at JIMENA - Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, which connects Matthew to their Iranian Jewish roots. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Matthew to discuss their journey towards coming to terms with their identities, how Middle Eastern and African Jews are not a monolith, and the importance of compassion when it comes to Israel advocacy.
Episode 157 - One of Jewish National Fund-USA’s most groundbreaking initiatives, the Kasser Joint Institute for Global Food, Water, and Energy Security is a collaboration with the University of Arizona, the Arava regional councils, and Jewish National Fund-USA, that seeks to find applicable solutions to food security, water scarcity, and energy poverty particularly in arid environments. The plan is to branch out into Africa and provide technology transfer, applied research, knowledge, training, ongoing guidance, and education. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Tania Pons Allon, Director of the Kasser Joint Institute, to discuss the challenges facing the Arava, a few of the projects the Joint Institute is working on, and her journey from Tel Aviv to the desert.
Episode 156 - Actor and filmmaker Yuval David knows the power of advocacy. Encouraged to change his name because it was “too foreign,” David stayed true to who he was, and rose through the industry to win multiple Emmys, as well as become a staunch supporter of the Jewish and LGBTQ communities. And despite pressure from outside forces, including some of his peers, he continues to fight Jew hatred and anti-Zionism daily. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with David to discuss the discrimination he’s faced in the film industry and how he rose above it, what Zionism means to him, and his LGBTQ activism in the Middle East.
Episode 155 - The Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel is a crucial education initiative that invites full-time university and college faculty members to participate in an academic trip to Israel. Supported and funded by Jewish National Fund-USA, the program enables participants to meet with professionals and experts to understand the many facets of Israel’s evolving national and international policies, in addition to connecting educators and researchers with their Israeli counterparts for a freer exchange of ideas. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Dr. Ruben Ceballos, a biology professor and researcher from University of Arkansas and faculty fellowship attendee, to discuss his academic research, key takeaways from his faculty fellowship experience, and how he’s using science to build cultural bridges.
Episode 154 - Sports have always been an incredible unifier. From pickup games on the street to professional athletes competing, sports are a way for otherwise disparate individuals to come together and work with each other to reach a common goal. For years, Eric Rubin has been promoting sports as one of several ways to build bridges between Jews and other communities, from the Arab-Israeli population to African American communities in America. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Rubin to discuss his efforts in reaching out to other communities, the importance of Holocaust education to Arab-Israelis, and Israel’s status as the “Startup Nation.”
Episode 153 - Based in Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev, The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is an academic and research institute working to advance cooperation between Israel and its neighbors on pressing environmental concerns. A valued Jewish National Fund-USA affiliate, the Institute brings together Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian students to study and address common problems relating to water usage, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Dr. Tarek Abu Hamed, Executive Director of the Arava Institute, to discuss the environmental issues facing the Middle East, how the Institute is solving these issues while building community bridges, and the immediacy with which we need to address climate change.
Episode 152 - One of the most important units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is military intelligence. All of Israel’s military strategy is based on the information gathered by the IDF’s intelligence officers, and Israel has been saved countless times due to the mental acuity and creativity of its military intelligence. As an intelligence officer for 20 years, Miri Eisin is one of the leading experts in Israeli intelligence, security, and diplomacy. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Eisin to discuss her experiences in the military, the importance of diversity in the intelligence community, and the benefits of exposing American Jews to the reality of living in Israel.
Episode 151 - As one of the leading experts on the Holocaust, Dr. Rafael Medoff has been an outspoken critic of western countries and their reticence to support European Jews before and during WWII. According to Medoff, at every turn where America could have supported the persecuted population, they instead callously went out of their way to find reasons not to get involved. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Medoff to discuss his thoughts on the recent Ken Burns documentary on the Holocaust, the politics behind countries not helping Jews as much as they could have, and whether FDR would have supported a Jewish state.
Episode 150 - As Jeremy Corbyn rose to power in Britain’s Labour Party, the party grew increasingly antisemitic, isolating both Jews and those allies. Those allies include Rt. Hon. Joan Ryan, a longtime member of Labour Friends of Israel who grew increasingly disillusioned at her party’s turn towards Jew hatred. When she finally left the party, she cited antisemitism as the sole reason for her resignation. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Ryan to discuss how she got involved in British politics, why she is such a strong supporter of the Jewish community, and why she doesn’t regret speaking out against antisemitism despite the backlash against her.
Episode 149 - When it comes to creating cultural understanding and tolerance, few things are more unifying than sports, which brings people of all backgrounds together for one common goal. Dubbed “the Jewish Jordan” for his religious heritage and professional basketball background, Tamir Goodman uses his basketball camp to bring diverse players from around the world to learn about basketball and more effectively communicate with each other. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Goodman to discuss his personal background, the unifying power of sports, and what Zionism means to him as an Israeli Jew.
Episode 148 - As one of the most prominent Zionist leaders ever, as well as the founder of Jewish National Fund, Theodore Herzl’s influence has reverberated throughout modern Jewish history. And as the largest owner of Herzl memorabilia with over 5,000 items, David Matlow has made it his life’s goal to educate people on the life and legacy of Theodore Herzl. Through both his collection and his Herzl Project, Matlow helps people of all ages recognize the vast impact Herzl has had and inspires them to follow in his footsteps. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Matlow to discuss the history of Herzl and the early Zionist movement, how he came to acquire his vast collection, and how Herzl’s theater background helped him recognize the importance of projecting the correct image.
Episode 147 - Our past is filled with countless stories about Jewish leaders who changed the course of history. There are also the stories of the Jewish People’s friends beyond the Jewish faith -- individuals who have dedicated their life’s work to supporting Jews despite not sharing their religion. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Ari Mittleman, the author of Paths of the Righteous: Stories of Heroism, Humanity and Hope, which discusses non-Jewish individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty in supporting both Israel and the Jewish People. Shalowitz and Mittleman discuss some of these individuals and how happenstance often plays an important role in making a difference.
Episode 146 - Zack Bodner is a bridge-builder. The CEO of the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, Bodner has been creating dialogue and understanding between diaspora and Israeli Jews through his Z3 project. As a former AIPAC regional director who has worked on college campuses, Bodner has experience with Jews from all walks of life, and understands the important role Israel has played in Jewish history and the importance of coming together as a people despite our differences. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Bodner to discuss the three central principles of the Z3 project, the ambivalence he feels over anti-Zionist Jews, and how being Jewish means different things to different people.
Episode 145 - Advocate Ory Slonim’s life has always revolved around Israel. From his family’s heritage in pre-state Israel to his military service to his many charity operations, Slonim has dedicated himself to helping others. He has also worked closely with POWs and MIAs, serving as a Special Consultant to seven of Israel’s Ministers of Defense on the matter and writing a bestselling book on his experiences. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Slonim to discuss his work supporting POWs, how his Israeli roots date back 200 years to Hebrron before the State of Israel was formed, his brush with terrorism, and his support for maintaining a proper work-life balance.
Episode 144 - Switching gears away from the law, Glasgow native Eve Barlow rose to prominence as one of the leading music journalists in Britain. After amassing a large social media platform and significant following, Barlow turned her focus towards Jews and Israel, staunchly advocating against antisemitism and anti-Zionism, both in general and in the British music and political scene. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Barlow to discuss her experiences in the music journalism industry, why she felt the need to start advocating for Jews, and how she feels so much of anti-Zionist activity is performative rather than sincere.
Episode 143 - In 2014, Jason A. Kessler made a video response to a Jon Stewart episode after Stewart was overly critical of Israel during the Gaza War. Kessler’s video, which was originally meant to be a one-off, blossomed into the popular web series Jew or False, which fights antisemitism and misinformation with truth and humor. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Kessler to discuss several important topics he covers in Jew or False, what Zionism means to him, and how his background as an advertising lawyer makes him more keenly aware of misinformation.
Episode 142 - Overseeing more than 180 heritage sites around the country, The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS), a JNF-USA affiliate, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Israel’s historically significant locations, ensuring that learning about the past is readily available to the present and future generations. Jewish National Fund-USA supports SPIHS as part of its efforts to increase visitation and elevate the importance of Israel’s history to residents and tourists alike. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Noa Gefen, the Executive Vice-Chairman of SPIHS, to discuss the stories behind several of our heritage sites, the importance of preserving and learning from history, and how Jewish National Fund-USA has supported renovations of heritage sites both famous and overlooked.
Episode 141 - Meet the doers of the small, up-and-coming cities of Israel – the amazing volunteers of MAKOM. From cultural preservation to family programs to supporting the elderly, MAKOM is focused on building the land and people of Israel with Jewish National Fund-USA’s support. Most recently, MAKOM has supported Ukrainian refugees by providing necessary supplies and emotional support at the border, as well as supporting the influx of Jewish refugees now in Israel. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Shosh Mitzman, Jewish National Fund-USA’s liaison at MAKOM, to discuss the volunteering and pioneering spirit of Israel, and how aiding refugees goes beyond merely providing food and water.
Episode 140 - Israel has recently been making major strides in the culinary world. Israeli cuisine has become increasingly popular, and the country has produced some of the world’s most prestigious chefs. And Israel’s culinary reach will only expand with the upcoming opening of the Galilee Culinary Institute (GCI by JNF), Jewish National Fund-USA’s cutting-edge new culinary school. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Mitchell Davis, host of GCI by JNF’s podcast, “What’s Burning,” to discuss the important role food plays in society, how Israeli cuisine has evolved over the years, and how GCI by JNF will revolutionize the culinary world.
Episode 139 - The relationship between Christians and Israel has always been a complex one with varying perspectives and relationships with the State of Israel as well as vastly different histories with both Jews and Israel. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Rabbi Dr. Daniel Friedman, a leading expert in Christian-Israeli relationships, to discuss the relationships between different Christian sects and Israel. Friedman discusses the role Christianity has in America’s consistent support of Israel, how a break in the Presbyterian Church led to them officially adopting a less pro-Israel stance, and why it’s important to have allies we may disagree with on other issues.
Episode 138 - The Israeli Consulate in New York is the largest Israeli Diplomatic mission in the world. Responsible for several states consisting of approximately 3 million Jews, the New York Consulate oversees diplomatic efforts for one of the most prominent Jewish hubs in the world. As Consul General of Israel in New York, Ambassador Asaf Zamir is crucial in connecting with these Jews and reaching out to allies across the political spectrum. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Zamir to discuss his transition to New York with his family, Israel’s role in supporting Jews caught up in the conflict in Ukraine, and the rise of antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism.
Episode 137 - As the crisis on the Ukrainian border intensifies, several Jewish National Fund-USA affiliates have been providing crucial aid to refugees fleeing the area. One such organization is MAKOM, which is sending delegations to the border to provide refugees with food, essential supplies, emotional support, and more. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Omri Ben Horin, a MAKOM volunteer who just returned from Ukraine. They discuss bringing kosher chocolate for the children they meet, collaborating with the local Jewish organizations, and the life-changing interactions he had with people at the border.
Episode 136 - Over the last two years, Jewish National Fund-USA has had incredible success pivoting away from traditional fundraising methods and focusing on their partners’ (donors) needs, making thousands of wellness calls to check up on people and launching virtual tours of Israel for people who wanted to see their ancestral homeland from the comfort of their own home. Now, under CEO Russell F. Robinson’s leadership, JNF-USA is stronger than ever, with a vast array of programs and initiatives for the land and people of Israel. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Robinson to discuss the importance of teen travel to Israel, his excitement about bringing JNF-USA’s upcoming $350 million World Zionist Village to fruition, and the importance of JNF-USA’s Conversations on Zionism and why we need to keep the discussion going.
Episode 135 - Over the last few years, Israel has made a much stronger push towards success in the athletic world. From Israel’s baseball team coming in fifth at last year’s Olympics to winning six medals in the last two Summer Olympics, Israel’s profile on the world stage has been raised. Now, with the help of their incredible Olympic athletes, Israel is making its mark on the winter Olympics too. Listen in as Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with AJ Edelman, Captain of the Israeli bobsled team, to discuss his journey to his first Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018, the surreal experience of being an Israeli representative on such a massive stage, and his hopes for the future of Israeli winter sports, especially bobsledding.
Episode 134 - Jewish National Fund-USA ensures that no member of Israeli society is left behind, from its state-of-the-art rehabilitative facility in the Negev to Special in Uniform, which integrates teens with disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces. In recognition of Jewish Disability, Acceptance, Awareness, and Inclusion month, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Yossi Kahana, the director of JNF-USA’s Task Force on Disabilities, to talk about JNF-USA’s work supporting people with disabilities, what he’s learned in his 20+ years of experiences working with disabled Israelis, and the importance of making sure nobody gets left behind.
Episode 133 - With plans to open in early 2023, Jewish National Fund-USA’s Galilee Culinary Institute (GCI by JNF) is set to revolutionize the culinary arts. Located in Kiryat Shmona in Israel’s fertile Galilee region, GCI by JNF is a 12-month, community immersion and intensive culinary arts program designed specifically for students to acquire a combination of practical culinary skills and a broad understanding of the major themes moving the food world today. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with the CEO of GCI by JNF, Nathan Hoffman, to discuss the culinary scene in Israel’s north, how GCI by JNF plans to transform the industry, and why he loves living in Tzfat.
Episode 132 - In May 2021, the media breathlessly followed the 11-day armed conflict between Israel and Hamas, with hundreds of pundits appearing on television and commenting on social media to analyze the escalation of fighting. However, according to Middle East expert Jonathan Schanzer, much of the media missed many important details, opting for a version that ignores many of the complexities and nuances of the most recent conflict. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Jonathan to discuss his new book, Gaza Conflict 2021: Hamas, Israel, and Eleven Days of War, the history of Hamas and its conflict with other Palestinian factions, and the future of policymaking regarding Israel and Hamas.
Episode 131 - During the Gulf War, Israelis looked for stability amidst the fear and chaos of a constant barrage of missiles from Iraq. As an IDF spokesperson, Dr. Nachman Shai served as the calming voice that told them when it was safe to exit their bomb shelters. Now, as Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Shai looks to build bridges between Israeli Jews and Jews from all over the world. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Shai to discuss the importance of being honest with Israelis during the Gulf War, the differences between Israeli and Diaspora Jews, and the importance of reaching out to Jews everywhere to ensure their safety from old and new forms of anti-Semitism.
Episode 130 - For years, Jewish National Fund-USA has been transforming Israel’s Negev and Galilee to attract new residents to the regions, by improving the quality of life, supporting tourism, agriculture, healthcare, education, and so much more. On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, JNF-USA’s ever-energetic PR and Communications Manager in Israel, Yael Levontin, walks host Steven Shalowitz through JNF-USA’s vision for the land and people of Israel, from its Blueprint Negev and Go North initiatives in the Negev and Galilee to its push to redefine the conversation on what it means to be a Zionist. She also reflects on her personal experience with JNF-USA and Israel, and how she balances work and raising five children.
Episode 129 - So you value social justice, are you kiddin’ us, what the h*** gives you the right to tell us who’s indigenous?” This line, from Noah Shufutinsky, AKA Westside Gravy’s “Diaspora,” is emblematic of his increasingly popular music: provocative, unapologetic in his identity, and has something meaningful to say. On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Shufutinsky to discuss his mixed-race heritage as a black Russian Jew, how his rap music is both an extension of his identity and a platform to discuss real-world issues, and the importance of minority communities not being defined by outsiders, instead forging and maintaining their own unique identity.
Episode 128 - For Jews living in the Soviet Union, identity was a complicated and sensitive issue. Though many Jews assimilated into Soviet culture, they still forged their Jewish identity through shared cultural interests, get-togethers, and the necessity to stand together in the face of anti-Semitism. In this episode, host Steven Shalowitz sits with Izabella Tabarovsky, Program Associate to the Kennan Institute, Contributing Writer at Tablet Magazine, and expert on Soviet Jewry, who talks about her experience growing up in the Soviet Union, what Americans can learn from the modern Refusenik movement, the importance of Russian-speaking Jews in the Zionist movement, and what Israel means to her personally.
Episode 127 - Many young Jews and Zionists today are grappling with their identity. What does it mean to be Jew? What does it mean to be a Zionist? How do those identities intersect with other parts of who I am? How do I deal with people online telling me my Judaism is a problem? Amy Albertson, a professional Social Media Coach and Jewish activist, has dealt with these questions her whole life as a Chinese-American-Jewish woman. Host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Amy to talk about Zionism and how her experiences with antisemitism, the greater Jewish community, and Israel led her to further explore her Jewish identity and become an activist for Jewish pride around the world.
Episode 126 - Jewish people have a right to self-determination in the land of Israel as one of the indigenous populations of that region. That’s fact. Unfortunately, Jewish people around the world have seen this fact become forced open to interpretation by those that harbor antisemitic sentiments. On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Gil Troy, a leading Zionist activist and acclaimed American historian, to discuss the alarming increase in antisemitic and antizionist rhetoric from thought leaders in our society and how even the most local of leaders can start a negative chain reaction that ultimately affects global perspectives. Tune in to learn more about Troy lays out how Jews and their allies can combat the hate with the knowledge of history.
Episode 125 - For decades, Israel has been a leader in the global emergency response efforts from both governmental and civilian perspectives. In this week’s episode of IsraelCast, we’re honored to highlight IsraAID, an Israeli NGO, and welcome its Global CEO, Yotam Polizer. Since 2001, IsraAID has worked in emergency and long-term development settings in 55 countries, collaborating with communities at the deepest level, regardless of politics, religion, and ethnicity, working together for as long as it takes to provide relief where it’s needed.
Episode 124 - What if we told you that you never had to worry about curbing your sweet tooth ever again? Well, that may become reality sooner than you think thanks to DouxMatok’s Incredo® Sugar—a sugar reduction solution that doesn’t compromise the taste or the level of sweetness! On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz chats with CEO, DouxMatok Ari Melamud about how Incredo® Sugar is able to accomplish such a feat and what this means for the future of personal nutrition.
Episode 123 - If you’ve been a young Jewish adult or have raised one in the last twenty two years, chances are that you’ve heard of Birthright—a once-in-a-lifetime odyssey to the land of Israel. Since 1999, Birthright Israel Foundation has gifted more than 750,000 young Jewish adults from over 68 countries with this ten day trip to their ancestral homeland. This, in turn, has ensured a vibrant future of the Jewish people by strengthening their Jewish identities, communities and connections to Israel. According to a study at Brandeis University, Birthright alumni are 93% more likely to feel very connected to Israel than non-participants while 84% ultimately raised their children Jewish! Tune into this week’s episode of IsraelCast as host Steven Shalowitz sits down with the President and CEO of Birthright Israel Foundation, Israel “Izzy” Tapoohi, to discuss the crucialness of gifting young Jewish adults with this trip to Israel and why it has such a positive, long-lasting impact on its participants.
Episode 122 - Did you know that Jewish people have been in America since before the American Revolution? Meet Aryeh Green—a direct descendent of one of America’s first Jewish families and of many prominent Jewish American figures in later years. Green grew up incredibly proud of both his American and Jewish identities, but had not really dived into his Zionist identity. This all changed when he moved to Israel for rabbinical school, immersed himself in the culture and realized how crucial Zionism was to Judaism as a whole. Green eventually made Aliyah and has been living in Israel for over three decades. Tune into this week’s episode of IsraelCast as host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Aryeh Green to discuss the many aspects of his life in Israel, including his soul-healing trek on Israel’s famed National Trail.
Episode 121 - Virág Gulyás is a former diplomat to the EU, communications consultant, and journalist. She is also the NYC coordinator for End Jew Hatred, a grassroots civil rights movement dedicated to ensuring Jewish liberation from centuries of persecution and achieving justice for the Jewish people through peaceful direct action. Tune into this week's episode of IsraelCast as host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Gulyás' to hear her incredible journey from growing up surrounded by antisemitism in Hungary to becoming one of the most prominent allies to the Jewish community and Israel.
Episode 120 - Anti-Semitism, Anti-Israel, Anti-Zionism…what’s the difference? Is there a difference? This week on IsraelCast, author and educator Ben M. Freeman sits down with host Steven Shalowitz for an engaging conversation on Jewish pride. Tune in to hear about why Jewish people need to reject the shame of anti-Semitism imposed by the non-Jewish world and how to define your own Jewish identity through Jewish experiences, history, and values.
Episode 119 - Yoseph Haddad is a defender of Israel – from his time defending Israel as a member of the Israel Defense Forces or more recently as the CEO of Together – Vouch For Each Other, an organization bridging the gap between the Arab sector of Israeli society with Israeli society as a whole. What surprises most people who hear him speak, though, is that this staunch supporter of Israel is not Jewish, but an Israeli-Arab himself. Tune into this week’s IsraelCast episode as Yoseph sits down with host, Steven Shalowitz, for a fascinating conversation on growing up in Israel, how his life was shaped by a life-threatening injury when he served in the IDF, and about his ongoing work with integrating Israeli Arabs into Israeli society.
Episode 118 - From long shots to Olympians, Team Israel baseball is currently on a remarkable Cinderella run. After much success during three qualification tournaments, Team Israel won the Africa / Europe 2020 Olympic Qualification tournament thus securing them as the first Israeli National Team since 1976 to qualify for an Olympic team competition. One man who has helped with the rise of popularity of baseball in Israel and Team Israel's recent accomplishments is Team Israel's General Manager, Peter Kurz. IsraelCast host, Steven Shalowitz, welcomes Peter to the show to discuss the players' stories and why they joined Team Israel, the pride of being associated with Team Israel, and how you can show your support as they head to Tokyo to compete for a gold medal.
Episode 117 - Get an inside look at Israel and what it means to be Jewish through the eyes of David Kaufman, Architectural Digest’s Digital Director and a juror for Jewish National Fund-USA’s Envision Tomorrow’s Israel Competition. David was introduced to religion by his black Baptist grandmother, and expounds on the diversity of the Jewish experience, the captivating architecture of Tel Aviv, and what it means to be a creative person. Tune into this week’s IsraelCast episode as host Steven Shalowitz sits down with David, someone you may not know but will feel like a friend by the end of the conversation.
Episode 116 - For people living on the Israeli border towns near Gaza, life is 99% heaven and 1% hell. We've heard the positive stories when it feels like heaven – the community, the agriculture, the beauty – but do we know the realities of life during the 1% of hell? Adele Raemer, mother, grandmother, and patriotic Zionist, joins Steven Shalowitz on IsraelCast this week to shed light on the stress and fear that pervades the region during times of conflict, and also to express the common humanity she and her community share with their Arab neighbors just a few miles away, across the border.
Episode 115 - In her book Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, actress, writer, and producer Noa Tishby discusses the inconvenient truths about a country that has too many disproportionate perceptions behind it. Host Steven Shalowitz welcomes Noa for a discussion on the worldwide benefit of supporting Israel, the Middle East conversations happening on college campuses, and how Zionism and Feminism go hand-and-hand.
Episode 114 - How is the conversation about Israel on college campuses unfolding today and how is virtual learning impacting the discourse? This week, IsraelCast host Steven Shalowitz invites Asaf Romirowsky, PhD, Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, to expound on the complexities of the campus environment for both students and faculty, how the “cancel culture” mentality suppresses dialogue, and how to effectively teach a rich history to kids who are living on 160 characters.
Episode 113 - Love binge-watching shows on Netflix? Then this week’s IsraelCast episode is just for you, as yes Studios’ Managing Director, Danna Stern, sits down with host, Steven Shalowitz. They discuss the secrets of television production, what makes Fauda and Shtisel international sensations, and a behind‑the‑scenes look at their upcoming new series.
Episode 112 - “I feel a responsibility to talk about this as much as I can.” So recounts Stephen B. Jacobs, one of the last remaining survivors of the Holocaust. Sent to Buchenwald concentration camp at the age of 5, Stephen recalls his memories hiding in the TB ward where his father worked, being reunited with his family after liberation, and how he remembers “too much” while his brother remembers nothing, having blocked out his harrowing experiences. Fast forward to the present, with Stephen helping to memorialize the heroic acts of Albanians who risked their lives to save Jews during the war, and again to the future, as he takes a prominent role in enhancing the future of the Jewish people as a judge in Jewish National Fund-USA’s Envision Tomorrow’s Israel competition for their new world-class campus in Be’er Sheva, Israel. This week’s episode of IsraelCast reminds us not just to “never forget”, but also to build on the past for future generations.
Episode 111 - “Be proud of who you are and be strong.” These simple words from a Holocaust survivor encouraged Michael Neuman to become a professional obstacle course racer and lead a non-profit that helps children with physical challenges through a Spartan race. Tune into IsraelCast this week as Michael sits down with host, Steven Shalowitz, to discuss the reasoning behind wearing a yarmulke during an obstacle course and the “Why?” of anti-Semitism.
Episode 110 - Our world has changed, yet, Jewish National Fund-USA has also changed the worlds of so many Israelis in many meaningful ways. The positive and inspiring stories that have come out of these difficult times have been endless. Join JNF-USA CEO, Russell Robinson, and host, Steven Shalowitz, as they discuss the superhero work of JNF-USA and its partners, and why Russell is so optimistic about the future of Israel.
Episode 109 - For the past 73 years, children in Israel have grown up following in the footsteps of their grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends by enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). But for those with disabilities and special needs, the dream of joining the IDF was, for a long time, unattainable. Enter Special in Uniform, an organization close to the heart of Lihi Lapid, author, journalist, and special needs advocate. In this week’s episode of IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz speaks to Lihi about how Special in Uniform deeply impacts youth with special needs by giving them a chance to join the IDF, as well as her life as a journalist and photographer.
Episode 108 - When Riki Golan was born two months prematurely and didn't receive enough oxygen, the doctors diagnosed her with cerebral palsy and told her she would never be able to walk. Riki defied the odds and became a Major in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In honor of Jewish Disability, Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAAIM), host, Steven Shalowitz welcomes her on IsraelCast to discuss her journey through the IDF and the meaningful work of Special in Uniform, who helps integrate young Israelis with disabilities into the IDF and prepare them for life after the army.
Episode 107 - What a week! As we conclude our IsraelCast Abraham Accord series, second-time guest Arsen Ostrovsky continues an ongoing theme of the week: that it is up to everyday people to make the relationships across the Middle East flourish. Tune in as host, Steven Shalowitz, speaks with Arsen about his role on the board of Sharaka, an organization that helps strengthen the bond between the people of the Gulf & Israel, as well as the love of coffee and food shared between the two cultures.
Episode 106 - How do you bring peace and solidarity between countries? Easy…chess! Twenty years ago, Lior Aizenberg found Chess4All for Israelis of all ages to play chess. However, now that we live in an internet world with no “boundaries”, Aizerberg has started to host tournaments with other countries, including Iran, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, and many more. Lior joins host, Steven Shalowitz, for a conversation on the important lessons chess teaches children and the rapid growth of chess around the world.
Episode 105 - It all started with the swap of a basket of dates and a homemade challah, which turned out to be the perfect symbolic cultural exchange for May AlBadi & Elli Kriel. May & Elli are developing a set of 50 recipes to join Jewish & Emirati traditions that they plan to publish in a cookbook: Kosherati. For this episode of our IsraelCast Abraham Accords series, May joins Steven Shalowitz to discuss the similarities of Israeli & UAE cuisines, her favorite Jewish foods, & her emotional experience at her first Shabbat.
Episode 104 - When author, speaker, & researcher Dan Feferman, first visited Dubai, he felt that he had stepped 20 years into the future. Tune in as Steven Shalowitz welcomes Dan onto IsraelCast for our Abraham Accord series. Listen to their conversation on the differences of Israeli business culture vs. the UAE, the warm welcome both countries had for one another, and the doors that this peace agreement opens for the rest of the Middle East.
Episode 103 - Known for the photo that became the face of the historic Abraham Accords peace agreement, Norah Alawadhi is an Emirati pro-peace activist. On this episode of our IsraelCast Abraham Accords series, Norah talks to host Steven Shalowitz about her excitement meeting Israelis for the first time, the misconceptions of women in the UAE, and her desire to try Israeli coffee.
Episode 102 - "Our system of government is based on our religion and this is what our people want. Should they seek alternatives, we are ready to listen to them. We are all in the same boat, and
they are both captain and crew."
The founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed, encouraged the involvement of people of all ages, nationalities, faiths, and backgrounds - which has helped Rabbi Levi Duchman establish a strong Jewish community in the UAE. Listen to Steven Shalowitz speak with Rabbi Duchman on the coexistence of different religions in the region and the process of practicing Judaism.
Episode 101 - What do the Dallas Cowboys & the Abraham Accords have in common? The both provide a wealth of excitement and promise for United Arab Emirates businessman, Thani Al-Shirawi. For the second episode in our Abraham Accords IsraelCast series, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Thani to discuss the misconceptions of Emiratis, why Israelis & Emiratis need to “talk the talk” instead of “walk the walk”, and where he wants to visit when he travels to Israel for the first time.
Episode 100 - Wow! 100 episodes already? From chefs to political figures, we have enjoyed telling a positively Israel message from a unique perspective through the eyes of our incredible guests. To celebrate our 100th episode and kick-off our Abraham Accords IsraelCast series, host Steven Shalowitz welcomes The Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief, Yaakov Katz for a fascinating discussion of the new media landscape of the Middle East and all the different factors that can affect what is reported in journalism.
Episode 99 - Jews across America have different views, different politics, and different levels of religious observance, but there is one organization that strives to act on the consensus of the Jewish people everywhere, and that organization is the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Whether you know about this organization already or it’s new to you, you’ll be fascinated by its work. Through addressing anti-Semitism to building relationships in the Middle East, the CoP is the unifier who brings the Jewish community together. Named by The Jerusalem Post as being among the fifty most influential Jews worldwide, William Daroff started off his political journey handing out pamphlets door to door; now, he is the CEO of the CoP. Daroff sits down with IsraelCast host Steven Shalowitz to discuss the importance of elected officials, combatting “Jew Hatred” on social media, and the journey of becoming a vegan.
Episode 98 - Is Israel the new Silicon Valley? According to Elie Wurtman, yes it is. Coined The Man with the Golden Touch, Elie stays busy maintaining roles as an entrepreneur, wine maker, and devoted Zionist. Listen to his conversation with Steven Shalowitz as they discuss the venture capitalist landscape of Israel, the future of entrepreneurship in the younger generation, and building new relationships with the Gulf countries of the Middle East.
Episode 97 - You’ve heard Israel called the “start-up nation” – now hear from its “guru”. Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd and often known as “the startup nation’s guru”, joins IsraelCast host Steven Shalowitz this week to discuss the work of OurCrowd, the importance of the Abraham Accords to the tech industry, and Jon’s large Hawaiian shirt collection.
Episode 96 - How do you see Jerusalem? Is it the history? The social entrepreneurships? The peacefulness of the surrounding hillsides? This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. Listen to Fleur explore the new relationships between Israel, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, growing up surrounded by politics, and how she sees the future of Jerusalem.
Episode 95 - Veterans Day is not a memorial of the fallen; rather, it is a day of recognition of those who fought valiantly in service of their country, ideals, and values. On a very special Veterans Day edition of IsraelCast, host, Steven Shalowitz, sits down with Alon Wald, the son of Rami Wald, an Israel Defense Forces captain and war hero who fell at Ammunition Hill. Listen to Alon, who is currently Head of Operations at Ammunition Hill, speak on the impact of the Battle of Ammunition Hill and how it remains a staple for Israeli history and current day teachings. Recently, Jewish National Fund-USA established the Wall of Honor at Ammunition Hill, which serves as a tribute to the heroism and courage of Jewish servicemen and women who fought in defense of the countries in which they lived. To honor a current or former member of the armed services on JNF-USA’s Wall of Honor in Jerusalem, please visit https://jnfusa.org/wallofhonor.
Episode 94 - Some countries protect its borders through tanks or checkpoints, but is it possible to do it through activism? By volunteering in local communities, participants at Kedma Student Villages are doing just that. Tune in as Tirael Cohen, Kedma’s founder and CEO, joins host Steven Shalowitz on this week’s episode of IsraelCast to discuss how the young generation of Israel has found meaning and belonging through volunteering on Israel’s borders.
Episode 93 - From Zionist pioneer, Leon Pinsker, to the Father of Modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl, to the first President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, the story of Zionism has been filled with controversy, misunderstanding, and astonishing feats. Author of Zionism: The Concise History, Alex Ryvchin sits down with host, Steven Shalowitz, to tell the story of Zionism and the impact it has on modern Jewish identity and to war and peace in the Middle East.
Episode 92 - Growing up as an Israeli Muslim in a Bedouin family, Ishmael “Ish” Khaldi wanted to be a farmer. After two of his close friends were killed during their police service, Ish made a personal commitment to serve the country of Israel. Listen to Ish as he sits down with Steven Shalowitz to discuss his upbringing, values, and career as a diplomat.
Episode 91 - September 15, 2020 was a historic day for Israel and United Arab Emirates - signing a peace treaty normalizing their relations. This week on IsraelCast, Steven Shalowitz welcomed on Lior Haiat, the Israel Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, who was part of the official delegation that visited the UAE for this momentous event. Listen to Lior speak about the visit and what this means for the future of the Middle East.
Episode 90 - Half a century ago, a 6-year-old Roni Raab visited his grandparents, who had made Aliyah, in Israel. On Sunday, Sept. 6, 1970, he, his mother, and 4 siblings boarded a TWA flight to return home to New York. A week later, Roni and his family finally deplaned after a tense, harrowing experience on an airplane that had been hijacked by the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). Find out how Roni made it through this dangerous time and how it impacted the rest of his life on this week’s episode of IsraelCast with host Steven Shalowitz.
Episode 89 - Ever since he was a little kid, Yonatan Winetraub wanted to go to Mars. Find out how he went from a kid with a dream to the co-founder of SpaceIL, running a robotic mission to the moon, on this week’s episode of IsraelCast. Host Steven Shalowitz talks to Winetraub about the importance of motivating students to be interested in science and engineering, not just being a YouTube star. Hear about the time capsule of hopes and dreams, Beresheet, left on the moon - including a small Bible, letters from communities around the world, and a picture painted by his grandmother.
Episode 88 - Courage. Gratitude. Connection. These words are bantered around often enough, but it is rare to find someone with so many stories of simple acts, making connections, and saying thank you. Tune in to this week’s episode of IsraelCast as host Steven Shalowitz sits with Israel advocate and former diplomat Shahar Azani, who relays stories from Kenya, Israel, Yemen, and the United States – and who reminds us of the value and importance of finding commonalities with others and appreciating the simple things in life.
Episode 87 - Elhanan Brown’s passion for Israel is contagious. Whether he is teaching in a classroom, touring the country with his students, or guiding groups online, his knowledge of history and love of country come through. This week on IsraelCast, join host Steven Shalowitz as he sits down with Elhanan, an Alexander Muss High School in Israel educator and licensed tour guide, to discuss archeology, if there was even a King David, and everything in between.
Episode 86 - How do you build a house in the desert? How do you grow a community when there’s no pipe underground to get the water in for plumbing? Find out in this week’s episode of IsraelCast, when host Steven Shalowitz sits down with real estate exec Jeff Schwartz and JNF-USA’s Chief Development Officer Rick Krosnick, to talk about how they identified the challenges facing those who wanted to move to Israel’s periphery, and figured out how to solve it with the Housing Development Fund.
Episode 85 - Is COVID-19 causing a re-envisioning of the world order? In this week’s episode of IsraelCast, we welcome back Ambassador Ido Aharoni, who tackles this question and others. What is the virus’ impact on international collaboration? Why are 100,000 people trying to move to Israel in the next 18 months? How is the travel industry impacted? Listen now to this fascinating conversation.
Episode 84 - "Laughter is the best way to take medicine". During these difficult times, listen to an uplifting conversation between Steven Shalowitz and Nimrod Eisenberg, an actor, circus artist, and clown. They dive into the remarkable work done by Dream Doctors, an organization that helps patients with the medical coping process through humor and entertainment. Hear about the history of the "Red Nose", the "Clownbulance" turning dreams into a reality, and the world’s first bachelor’s degree in "Medical Clowning" at Haifa University.
Episode 83 - This week on IsraelCast, we travel to the Central Arava and visit with Hanni Arnon, the Executive Director at the Arava Institute Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT). Hanni discusses agriculture in the middle of the desert and the country-wide impact AICAT students have had during COVID‑19.
Episode 82 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven Shalowitz has a conversation on survival, strength, and resilience with former Soviet Refusenik, Marina Furman. In this sit down, Marina speaks on her ten year struggle with the Soviet government and the "hell" she went through to immigrate to Israel. Listen to Marina elaborate on the importance of fighting for what you believe in and why Israel has a special place in her heart.
Episode 81 - Did you know? The Arava Region produces more than 50% of Israel’s fresh vegetables. This week on IsraelCast, Steven Shalowitz speaks with Noa Zer, the Central Arava Regional Council’s Director of Resource Development, from her home in the Central Arava. Listen to Noa address the challenges of growing produce in an area with no water and the impact that the Arava Region has worldwide.
Episode 80 - What does the Torah have in common with ecology? This week on IsraelCast, Steven Shalowitz sits down with Rabbi Yonatan Neril to discuss 18 essential Jewish lessons on the environment. Listen to Rabbi Neril examine the connection of the teachings of great rabbis and the practices of environmentalists today.
Episode 79 - This week on IsraelCast, Hen Mazzig, an Israeli speaker and writer, joins host Steven Shalowitz to discuss growing up in the Mizrahi community, his work in Israel advocacy, and the rise of anti-Semitism. Hear Hen elaborate on being "politically homeless" and ways to fight hate speech.
Episode 78 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz celebrates World Water Day by welcoming back recurring guest, Seth Siegel. Siegel discusses the debate of whether water regulation should fall under an environmental issue or a public health issue. Listen in to hear what’s really in our drinking water and why it’s not being fixed, even though there are solutions out there.
Episode 77 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Lt. Col. Oshrat Bachar, the first female combat‑battalion commander in the Israel Defense Forces. Lt. Col. Bachar now serves as the commander in charge of gender equality in the IDF, where she has assisted in efforts to integrate women, shape sexual harassment strategy, and change the narrative for LGBTQ soldiers. Tune in to learn about gender in the IDF and what other international armies can learn from Israel.
Episode 76 - Did you know that there are 6.8 million job openings in the United States, but that only 20% of people with disabilities are employed? Tune into this week’s episode of IsraelCast – Jewish National Fund’s premier podcast – to hear from Chris Neeley, Chairman of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, on how he is working to expand opportunities and break down barriers for people with special needs. You’ll learn about the Corps of Honor, Neeley’s initiative to bring JNF’s Special in Uniform program from Israel to the United States to integrate people with disabilities into the U.S. military.
Episode 75 - This week on IsraelCast, we get ready to celebrate Tu BiShvat, the Jewish New Year for the trees, with Vicki Christiansen, Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Did you know? The U.S. Forestry Service has had a long and productive relationship with Israel for over 30 years! Listen in to learn more about that existing relationship, carbon offset tips, and much more.
Episode 74 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz interviews New York Times op-ed columnist and long-time Jewish National Fund contributor, Bret Stephens. Bret reminisces about when he received a handwritten apology from former Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres and its significance. Throughout the discussion, Bret answers the tough questions: Anti-Semitism vs. Anti-Zionism? Social Media vs. Mental Health? Thin Crust vs. Deep Dish?
Episode 73 - Israel and the Western press: why the obsession? On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with journalist and author Matti Friedman to discuss Israel’s disproportionate representation in the Western media. Hear Matti explain how the intensity of the Israel news story is so much greater than any other international news story, how press is censored in restricted areas such as Gaza, North Korea, and Iran, and how the media can shape a story rather than just report on it.
Episode 72 - This week on IsraelCast, we are visited by Lucy Aharish, one of the most influential journalists in Israel. During this captivating conversation, Lucy speaks about being an Israeli Arab Muslim woman and how she has persevered despite a Molotov Cocktail being thrown in her car and abundant backlash and hatred for marrying an Israeli Jew.
Episode 71 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz is back at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya visiting with Dr. Tsvi Sheleg, the center’s Deputy Director General. Dr. Sheleg discusses evacuating to fully operational underground hospitals in times of crisis and working seven days straight during his time as the Medical Director of the IDF Field Hospital in Haiti and Nepal after devastating earthquakes.
Episode 70 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven Shalowitz sits down with Lior Lev Sercarz, Master Spice Blender, and Michael Solomonov, star of Netflix’s “In Search of Israeli Cuisine”, for an exclusive look into the vision behind Jewish National Fund's Galilee Culinary Institute. Lior and Michael explore the history of Israeli cuisine and what makes the Kiryat Shmona region the perfect place to be the next culinary and food tech capital.
Episode 69 - This week on IsraelCast, hear from Nadav Tamir, Senior Advisor at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation who has an illustrious career with the Israeli Foreign Service. Nadav elaborates on his views for Israeli foreign policy and the morals of late President Shimon Peres, the eternal optimist who transformed Israel into a modern economy.
Episode 68 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz visits with Jacob “Yaki” Reuven, an internationally acclaimed mandolin player, to talk everything music. At age seven, Yaki was introduced to the most beautiful sound he had ever heard: the sound of a mandolin. Listen in to hear about his passion for music (and the mandolin) and what has changed for the Israeli music scene over the past decade.
Episode 67 - This week on IsraelCast, Dr. Itzhak Siev-Ner sits down with host Steven Shalowitz to discuss the state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital currently under construction in Southern Israel at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran. This innovative hospital will offer 3 main rehab departments: Orthopedics, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Brain Trauma. Listen to Dr. Siev-Ner explain why he made the switch from an orthopedic surgeon to rehabilitation services and what makes the Negev a perfect location for this new hospital.
Episode 66 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Rakhel Zinder and brings in the New Year with a sweet talk about honey. What makes honey organic? Why is bitter honey so rare? How do you calm down a colony of bees? Listen in to hear these answers and more in this episode of IsraelCast.
Episode 65 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz visits Yehelim Boutique Hotel, the only family boutique hotel in the South of Israel, and sits down with the owner, Gali Soffer. Gali explains the intricacies of their famous breakfast including a variety of delicious options for their vegan guests. Listen in to hear what made her family move to Arad and why you should come visit.
Episode 64 - This week on IsraelCast, tech innovator Ilan Regenbaum joins us to talk about the Israeli innovation scene. During his tenure as the Chief Innovation Officer for the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, Regenbaum founded the Israeli Air Force’s first tech accelerator, participated in hackathons, and helped bring the IDF’s culture of innovation to the next level. Hear this self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” discuss what’s next for the Start Up Nation and for his own new ventures.
Episode 63 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz visits the Alexander Muss High School in Israel-JNF and sits down with co-CEO, Leor Sinai. Leor talks about his passion for the country of Israel and his journey to AMHSI. What makes AMHSI-JNF the most loved and recommended Israel-based study abroad, college prep program? How does this semester-abroad experience help boost your college applications, and enhance the next generation of Jewish learning and connectivity? You’ll find all that and more in this episode.
Episode 62 - This week on IsraelCast, hear from Maor Elkayam, a social entrepreneur who uses his passion and knowledge to help hundreds of other young entrepreneurs launch their businesses. From opening a center to teach 3-D modeling to the Bedouin community to offering scholarships for inspiring artists, Maor explains how his community, Eretz‑Ir, provides a platform for people beginning a social business.
Episode 61 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz visits the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya to speak with Dr. Eyal Sela, an expert on treating victims of Syrian violence as a result of the Civil War in Syria. From a boy who lost both of his hands playing with grenades to a man who was brought in for surgery after losing his entire family, listen to Dr. Sela’s perspective on the moral imperative of treating patients with an adverse view of Israel – and how helping them impacts their views and their lives.
Episode 60 - This week on IsraelCast, we hear from Aston Bright‑an American fire fighter from Plantation, Florida who traveled with the Emergency Volunteer Project to Israel in 2017 ‑ 2018 to help fight fires. While deployed in Jerusalem and along the southern border of Gaza, Bright witnessed the difficulties Israel fire departments face. Listen in to hear an outsiders’ perspective on Israel and the positive impact the country has had on his life and career.
Episode 59 - This week on IsraelCast, we hear from Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, a unique nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting descendants of Jews and the lost tribes of Israel to reclaim their roots. After immigrating to Israel in 1995, Michael served as the Deputy Communications Director to Prime Minister Netanyahu and worked for international public relations firm Ruder Finn. Listen in to learn about Shavei Israel’s work and the incredible stories of Jewish descendants across the world.
Episode 58 - This week on IsraelCast, we hear from Hillel Fuld--global speaker, entrepreneur, journalist, vlogger, and leading startup advisor. Named Israel's top marketer, Hillel started as a technical writer and now brings over a decade of marketing experience to rising Israeli and Silicon Valley startups. Listen in to learn about Israel's tech scene and how Hillel has become and helped other entrepreneurs.
Episode 57 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz is back in the small town of Klil in the Western Galilee, speaking to Hagit Lidror, a chef, educator, and entrepreneur. Hagit talks about her passion for colorful vegetarian cooking, how to cook with local, seasonal ingredients, and even shares a few recipes. Listen and be inspired by how easy it is to cook simple, healthful meals.
Episode 56 - This week on IsraelCast, we hear from Michal Shiloah Galnoor, CEO of Western Galilee Now. A 5th generation Jerusalemite, Michal made the tiny community of Klil her home after she fell in love with the magic of the region - even after living in Tel Aviv, Rome, and Germany. Listen in to learn about the genesis of Western Galilee Now, a chamber of commerce started by wine makers, cheese makers, and tour providers in the region who realized that if they combined forces they could promote the area more effectively.
Episode 55 - This week on IsraelCast, we are joined by Yosef I. Abramowitz, an activist, educator, and pioneer in the solar energy industry in Israel and East Africa. Nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and named by CNN as one of the six top global “Green Pioneers,” Abramowitz talks about his goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people globally by 2025 through his company, Energiya Global. From developing the first solar fields in Israel to now announcing solar fields in Africa and the United States, Abramowitz explains the environmental challenges and opportunities Israel and the world are facing.
Episode 54 - This week on IsraelCast, we are joined by Adele Raemer, who has lived in a Kibbutz on the border with Gaza since 1975. A mother and grandmother, she moderates a Facebook group called “Life on the Border”, which describes what life is like for residents of the Gaza Envelope communities during both calm times as well as during periods of tension and high alert. Listen as Adele paints an honest and insightful picture of life in this region, and what Jewish National Fund is doing to support the people who live there.
Episode 53 - This week on IsraelCast, we are joined by Rabbi Dov Lipman, respected educator, active political leader, and widely published media spokesperson. Lipman shares his personal and professional experiences – from telling his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, that he planned to make Aliyah to Israel, to his time as a Member of the Knesset. Tune in to hear his views on the current challenges Israel faces, and what lies ahead.
Episode 52 - Today on IsraelCast , we broadcast from the radio station at Alexander Muss High School’s campus in Hod Hasharon, just outside Tel Aviv! Our guest is the school’s co-CEO, Orit Rome.
Episode 51 - Today on IsraelCast , we spotlight Jewish National Fund partner Red Mountain Therapeutic Riding Center, a unique center located on Kibbutz Grofit that provides weekly horseback riding therapy to nearly 200 children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, as well as emotional and behavioral issues in Israel’s Arava Valley region. Here more from its Jewish National Fund liaison, Alon Aviel.
Episode 50 - Today on IsraelCast , we spotlight Jewish National Fund partner Special in Uniform in honor of Jewish Disability Awareness, Inclusion, and Acceptance Month. We welcome SIU director Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia. SIU is an innovative program that aims to integrate young people in Israel with Autism and other special needs into the IDF, and in turn, into Israeli society. Lt. Col. (Res.)
Episode 49 - This week on IsraelCast, we talk to Elie Honig, a CNN Legal Analyst who previously worked for 14 years as a federal and state prosecutor. Honig discusses his recent (and first) trip to Israel, where he had the opportunity to meet with Gabriel Bach, the Israeli jurist who was the deputy prosecutor in the prosecution of Adolf Eichmann.
Episode 48 - Today on IsraelCast , we welcome Rabbi Ari Lamm to the program! One of the great, young, thought- leaders of our time. He’s the special advisor the president of Yeshiva University, with whom he works closely on all matters concerning the university’s mission and vision. He also oversees intellectual and philosophical initiatives emerging from the office of the president. Most recently, he was the resident scholar at the Jewish Center of Manhattan. He’s a founding editor and contributor at The Lehrhaus, a forum to generate thoughtful and dynamic discourse around Jewish ideas.
Episode 47 - Today on IsraelCast , we have our second two-time guest: joining us in the studio is Lior Lev Sercarz! You may remember Lior is a chef, Master Spice Blender and owner of La Boîte – a biscuits and spice shop in NYC. Lior has worked close with leading chefs around the world, developing custom spice blends for them and for other customers. Lior is also the driving force behind the International Culinary Institute, which is being built with Jewish National Fund in Israel’s Upper Eastern Galilee.
Episode 46 - Today on IsraelCast , we speak with Dr. Clive Lipchin, the Director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute. Clive joined the faculty of the Arava Institute in 2003, where he teaches a multi-disciplinary course on water management in the Middle-East. He oversees research projects, workshops and conferences that focus on transboundary water and environmental problems facing Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories.
Episode 45 - This week on IsraelCast, we welcome Leah Soibel, the founder and CEO of Fuente Latina, a non-profit, non-governmental organization, that removes geographic, cultural and linguistic barriers for global Spanish language media and influencers covering stories about Israel and the Middle East. Leah joins us on Skype from her office in Miami to talk all about Fuente Latina!
Episode 44 - Today’s guest on IsraelCast needs no introduction to anyone who knows their way around the kitchen or for those like host Steven Shalowitz who just love to eat! She is the wildly popular author of the best-selling Kosher By Design cookbook series – Susie Fishbein.
Episode 43 - Today on IsraelCast , we honor Veteran’s Day, November 11th, with a salute to all the men and women who have served in the US military. One such distinguished service-member is Sergeant Harrison Manyoma. On July 2nd, 2004, Sergeant Manyoma was severely injured by a suicide car bomber while on duty in West Baghdad. He received the Purple Heart for his injuries but his wounds would forever be embedded in him. Once on the brink of suicide due to PTSD, Harrison received help from the Heroes to Heroes Foundation, which he now works for. Sergeant Manyoma joins us via Skype from his home in Houston, Texas.
Episode 42 - Today on IsraelCast, we are honored to welcome the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein! The organization is the coordinating body of 53 national Jewish organizations. Mr. Hoenlein appears regularly in the media, including 3 weekly nationally syndicated radio broadcasts (so he knows his way around the recording studio!) He has lectured and met with leading officials around the world and is the recipient of some of Israel’s most prestigious awards. He holds 4 honorary doctorates and 2 honorary fellowships and is associated with and serves on the boards of many communal, educational, and civic organizations.
Episode 41 - Today on IsraelCast , we talk water, water and more water! With Jewish National Fund’s Chief Israel Emissary, Talia Tzour Avner. In her role, Tali works closely with Israel’s Water Authority, Israeli water associations, municipalities, and farmers, to help develop new and additional sources of water.
Episode 40 - Today on IsraelCast we welcome the one and only, Siggy Flicker! You may know Siggy from her VH1 reality show ‘Why Am I Still Single?’ or from her two seasons on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The Israeli-born Flicker has recently returned from a remarkable trip to the Jewish Homeland, and tells of her experience.
Episode 39 - On this week's episode, we're back at JNF House in NYC, and our featured guest is familiar to all in the Jewish National Fund world and well beyond - JNF CEO Russell F. Robinson. Russell was our first guest and now our first repeat guest! He joins us to give an update about what's going on in the Jewish National Fund world, and speaks about the culmination of an 11-city, 14-day tour showing the reality of what is happening on the Israeli border with Gaza.
Episode 38 - This week on IsraelCast, we are joined on the line by Professor Alon Tal, Chair of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University, founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a prolific author, and chair of This is My Earth and Tzafuf - The Israel Forum for Population, Environment and Society. In this fascinating conversation, Tal shares his views on overpopulation in Israel – the causes, the consequences, the predictions, and a few solutions.
Episode 37 - This week on IsraelCast, we are joined on the line by Erez Ben-Yosef, Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University, a Fulbright scholar, and the Head of the Timna Valley Archaeological Expedition. In this fascinating conversation, Ben-Yosef shares his experience working at the Timna mines, where archaeologists have found the remains of a pregnant woman, probably of Egyptian origin, as well as remains from textiles, food and organic matter.
Episode 36 - This week on IsraelCast, featured guest Naftali Aklum joins us on the line from his home in Be’er Sheva. Naftali was born in Ethiopia in 1979 and was among the first group of Jews to make Aliyah via Sudan. He works as an advocate for Ethiopian-Israelis, striving to raise awareness about Jewish-Ethiopian history and to strengthen Ethiopian-Israeli identity. He strongly believes that through education and self-confidence the Ethiopian community throughout Israel will flourish. Naftali discusses Ethiopian Jewish history, culture, and the unique challenges faced by the Ethiopian Jewish community living in Israel.
Episode 35 - This week on IsraelCast, JNF's premier podcast, critically acclaimed musician, director, and author Oren Lavie joins us on the line from his home in Tel Aviv. Oren, a Grammy-nominated artist, discusses the significance of being an Israeli artist, his career trajectory, and the "storytelling" aspect of art that is most important to him.
Episode 34 -This week on IsraelCast, comedian and lifelong Jewish educator Benji Lovitt joined us on the line to discuss the nuances of American Jewish humor, how creativity thrives in times of crisis, and the importance of knowing your audience. As an oleh (immigrant to Israel), Benji utilizes his unique perspective to analyze the complexities of Israeli “sabra” humor and its reflection on Israeli society, understanding it all within the larger context of the phrase “throughout our history, we Jews have laughed to keep from crying.”
Episode 33 -Today on IsraelCast, we are thrilled to host the dynamic and multi-faceted Akiva Gersh, a professor at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, a contributing blogger at the Times of Israel, a musician, as well as the author of the newly released Becoming Israeli, where he chronicles his thoughts about the aliyah experience.
Celebrating IsraelCast's First Year! - Today on IsraelCast, we're excited to celebrate the first anniversary of our podcast with you! We've had 31 wonderful episodes over the last twelve months. From
Jewish National Fund CEO
Russell Robinson enlightening us to the transformative work of JNF, to Alon Ben-Gurion, grandson of Israeli founding father David Ben Gurion, we've hosted a cohort of men and women who are each changing the land and people of Israel. Thank you for
being a supporter, and if you're new here, welcome! All 31 past episodes of
Episode 32 - Today on IsraelCast , we were joined in the studio with Judy Isaacson Schaffer, the founder and president of Heroes to Heroes,
Episode 31 - Today on IsraelCast , we chatted with Zika Abzuk, a business development senior manager at Cisco Israel. A noted figure in the tech world, Zika’s leading Cisco’s new initiative of country digitization acceleration in Israel. Zika’s numerous initiatives on behalf of Cisco have been widely recognized to the point where The Marker Magazine listed her as one of Israel’s 100 Most Influential People.
Episode 30 - Today on IsraelCast , we launch our series of Israel@70 with special guest, Ambassador Danny Ayalon, one of Israel’s most distinguished public servants. Ayalon served as Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs, a
Member of Knesset and Ambassador to the United States from 2002-2006, as well as foreign policy advisor to three Prime Ministers. He was elected as the #1 most influential foreign diplomat by Foreign Policy Magazine. In addition to all this, he
founded the Truth About Israel, an online series of videos about Israel. They’ve been translated into 50 languages and have garnered a
Episode 29 - Today on IsraelCast ,we bring you a special briefing from current Jewish National Fund President, Dr. Sol Lizerbram, recorded live at the JNF House in NYC. Sol gives us an update on where we are in the progress of our Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, a plan laid out just about 5 years ago. In addition to his role at JNF, Sol is co-founder and chairman of HealthFusion Inc., an Internet electronic medical record and healthcare transaction company based in San Diego. Sol is active in many philanthropic endeavors and has received countless honors and awards.
Episode 28 - This week on IsraelCast, we were joined by Joe Hyams, the CEO of Honest Reporting. With a media and marketing background, the London-born Hyams joined Honest Reporting in 2005. He trains Israel supporters the world-over in the identification of media bias and effective responses in the digital age, and directs the organizations growth and operations from Jerusalem.
Episode 27 - Special World Water Day Edition: In honor of #WorldWaterDay, we welcome serial entrepreneur, water activist and best-selling author Seth Siegel, to IsraelCast! Seth is a campaigner for water change in the U.S. and around the world. He’s been recognized for his thought leadership and advocacy on water scarcity. He’s the author of best-selling book Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution to a Water Starved World. The book is now available in 15 foreign language editions and in 50 different countries.
Episode 26 - This week on IsraelCast, we have a special guest in honor of Women’s Month! Miriam Schwab has her pulse on all things tech in Israel, and is a Global WordPress expert. She's the founder
and CEO of Stratic, a
server-less publisher for WordPress websites that makes them more secure, faster and scalable. She's also the founder and CEO of
Episode 25 - With Passover around the corner, this week on IsraelCast we welcome Jennifer Abadi - a researcher, developer, and preserver of Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic recipes and food customs. A culinary
expert in the Jewish
communities of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Central Asia, and North Africa, Jennifer teaches cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and at the Jewish Community Center Manhattan (JCC). She also offers private lessons and works for a
variety of clients in the New York City area as a personal chef. In addition, Jennifer provides Jewish food and culture tours on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Her first cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma
Fritzie's Kitchen, is a collection of recipe and stores from her family. Too Good To Passover: Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe, her second cookbook released this January 2018, specializes in
traditional Sephardic, Judeo-Arabic, and Central Asian recipes and customs (covering both pre- and post-Passover rituals) appealing to Sephardic,
Episode 24 - This week on IsraelCast, we speak with IDF Major General Res. Doron Almog, a decorated veteran who received the Israel Prize in 2016, and founded Aleh Negev, a state-of-the-art rehabilitative village in the Negev, home for children and adults with severe special needs. While in the IDF, Major General Almog led an operational task force against the terrorists who murdered the Israeli sports team during the Munich Olympics. He also commanded the first force to land in Entebbe during the 1976 rescue operation and played a key role in the clandestine mission that rescued around 6,000 Jewish Ethiopians from refugee camps in the Sudan. He shares about the groundbreaking work of Aleh Negev and about his remarkable career. This episode is in coordination with Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month, which we honor every February.
Episode 23 - This week on IsraelCast, we were joined with the CEO of the Sterling Group International, Howard Sterling! Howard’s a Harvard educated lawyer, and a pioneer in taking Israeli healthcare companies public on the NASDAQ, beginning in 1981. He’s guided over 160 IPOS to date, including 24 Israeli companies, and has done extensive private placements and foreign strategic partnerships. Howard shares why Israel is so unique when it comes to tech and advanced medical care.
Episode 22 - This week on IsraelCast, we meet with Laura Ben- David. Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura began writing and never stopped! She’s the author of the book “Moving Up: An Aliyah Journal,” a memoir of her move to Israel. She’s spoken extensively about Israel and Aliyah. Formerly the head of social media at Nefesh B’Nefesh, Laura, who’s an accomplished and exhibited photographer, recently started her own business LBD Creative. She shares her Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah experience, her work with the Bnai Menashe community, and about photographing Israel.
Episode 21 - On this week’s episode of
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Episode 17 - This week on IsraelCast, we spoke to the woman known affectionately as “the Queen of Kosher”- the effervescent Jamie Geller. Geller is the Founder and CEO of Kosher Network
International, publisher of JoyofKosher.com, and the award-winning ‘Jamie Geller’s Joy of Kosher Magazine’. She’s the author of four cookbooks, including the wildly popular
‘Quick and Kosher Recipes from
the Bride Who Knew Nothing.” Chances are you’ve seen her on television shows, newspapers and magazines all over the world. Before she found her way around the kitchen, Jamie graduated Magna Cum Laude - Phi Beta Kappa from NYU in just
three years,. She then enjoyed an illustrious career as an
Episode 16 - This week on IsraelCast, we have a 2-for-1, the wife and husband team of Ravit Greenberg and Gabe Axler, both originally from the US. They made Aliyah to Israel in 2010 and have been living
extraordinary lives in the
Negev. Ravit is the development liaison in the Tamar Center,
Episode 15 - This week on IsraelCast, we met with Chloe Valdary. Chloe is the Director of Partnerships and Shillman Fellow at Jerusalem U, a non-profit organization dedicated to film-based Jewish and Israel education. She’s been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast and more. In our conversation, Chloe shares her thoughts on Israel engagement, what’s working and what isn’t, her concept of the theory of enchantment, and her thoughts on intersectionality.
Episode 14 - This week on IsraelCast, we are joined in the studio with Jon Rathauser, founder and CEO of Keheala, a mobile health company that’s improving healthcare access and treatment outcomes for patients in the developing world. In our conversation, Jon shares background on the company, his passion for playing and sharing Lacrosse in Israel and Kenya, and his take on what makes Israel so unique.
Episode 13 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven is joined on the line by Alex Ryvchin from his home in Sydney, Australia. A lawyer by trade, Alex was born in Kiev in the former Soviet Union. As refusniks, he moved to Australia with his family in 1987. Alex is now the Director of Public Affairs for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He’s also a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps. His writings on the Arab-Israeli conflict and foreign affairs are featured in leading publications. Alex is the Editor of the recently released book: The Anti-Israel Agenda: Inside the Political War on the Jewish State published by Green Publishing House. In the conversation, Alex highlights how institutions of great influence -- including the United Nations, the campus, and the media -- are being turned against Israel to isolate and cripple the Jewish state.
Episode 12 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven talks to Paul
Episode 11 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven is joined in the studio with Tremayne Smith, a native of Salisbury, North Carolina. Tremayne serves as the special assistant to U.S. Congressman G. K.
Butterfield of North Carolina. He's
the Chief Deputy Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. Just this past winter, 2016-2017, while pursuing his Masters of Political Management at the George Washington University, Tremayne was selected by Caravan for Democracy to participate in
one of its missions to Israel. The trip had a
Episode 10 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven speaks with Moe Mernick on his recent visit to NYC. Moe runs business development for Hometalk, the world's largest DIY community, with offices in Jerusalem and New York. He has spearheaded social partnerships that drove over 150 million visits to the site! He previously worked as a strategy consultant for Deloitte and was the regional director for the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Moe holds an international MBA and Rabbinical ordination. He recently published his first book, "The Gift of Stuttering." Moe lives in Israel with his wife and children, and he frequently travels the globe giving motivational speeches.
Episode 9 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven was joined in the studio by Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, which unites and empowers pro-Israel campus organizations, providing strategic coordination and expertise to strengthen support for Israel. Jacob shares, among other things, the current state of pro-and-anti- Israel activism on college campuses, ICC's mission, and the work of its coalition partners.
Episode 8 - This week on IsraelCast, we sat down with Tel-Aviv based Arsen Ostrovsky while he was travelling in NYC. Arsen wears many hats, he's a leading international lawyer, diplomat, writer and pro-Israel activist. He's also executive director of the Israeli- Jewish Congress, a leading Israeli-based NGO supporting the state of Israel in Europe, and working with Jewish communities around the continent to strength their bond with Israel. Arsen is co-chair of the Zionist education and international affairs committee for JNFuture Israel. Needless to say, he is very active on social media. In fact in March 2016, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency named Arsen Ostrovsky one of their 25 most influential Jewish people on Twitter.
Episode 7 - This week on IsraelCast, Steven is joined via Skype with Kenneth Chepkwony, an enterprising Kenyan student studying at AICAT, the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training. He relays his experiences there and the lessons he's taking back to his home country. Kenneth also talks his love for the Arava Desert, what it's like biking in Israel and even how to make a cow happy!
Episode 6 - This week on IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Alon Ben-Gurion, grandson of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben- Gurion, to talk about his grandfather's life and work. We cover his remarkable journey from a being a boy in Plonsk, Poland to being named one of Time Magazine's 100 most important people of the 20th century. Ben Gurion talks about his grandfather’s love for his country, his vision for its future, and we even get a behind the scenes at look at the NY Waldorf Astoria where the leader held secret meetings with leaders like JFK and Konrad Adenauer.
Episode 5 - This week on IsraelCast, we meet Hadas Goldman, an actress, social activist and the Co-Founder and Current CEO of the "Tarbut Movement", an Israeli organization that brings artists from different disciplines to live and work in low-income cities throughout Israel.
Episode 4 - This week on IsraelCast, a conversation with Lior Lev Sercarz. Born and raised in the Galilee, Lior is the chef, spice blender and owner of La Boîte, a biscuits and spice shop in New York City. Lior’s the one top chefs throughout the United States go to when they need spice blends. Lior shares his plans for a Culinary Institute in the Galilee, and talks about Israel as a food lover’s paradise.
Episode 3 - This week on IsraelCast, we meet Yedidya Harush, who currently serves as the community representative for Israeli residents living on the border in the Halutza region, established after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Yedidya fills us in on the exciting developments taking place in his community and why he's particularly excited about the Negev region.
Episode 2 - This week on IsraelCast, we speak with Russell Robinson, the CEO of Jewish National Fund. In our conversation, Russell shares his thoughts on Israel's relevance in the world today, the drive and spirit of its people, as well as Jewish National Fund's Blueprint Negev and Go North Initiative.
Episode 1 - Welcome to IsraelCast, Jewish National Fund's premier podcast where we'll be sharing with you stories of interesting people doing fascinating work all over Israel. New episodes will be released every other Wednesday. Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us on iTunes, Stitcher or Google play - simply search for IsraelCast. And while you're at it, rate and review us so that it makes it easier for more people to find us. Happy listening!