Israel Story

We are four childhood friends who came together - from very different professional backgrounds - to tell a story. A complicated, nuanced story, which is neither uni-dimensional nor propagandist. A human story - the Israel Story.

Location: Jerusalem
Year founded: 2013

Description

Israel Story' is a new radio and podcasting initiative dedicated to telling the story of a different, diverse and nuanced Israel. In essence, it is about deconstructing borders – both ideological and physical – between Israel and Jews around the world. By presenting human-interest stories that profile a broad spectrum of Israelis, and delivering them through the wildly popular medium of podcasting, we hope to promote a greater awareness of, and interest in, modern Israeli society.

Modeled after National Public Radio's 'This American Life,' our show seeks to portray the intricacies of Israeli culture and showcase its rich plurality. Israel, we posit, is ultimately much more complicated and interesting than the usual coverage it receives. Therefore, our show is not concerned with Bibi or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It does not focus on the threats of Iranian bombs or Security Council resolutions. Instead, our primary goal is to amplify and humanize voices that are rarely heard on the airwaves; to tell long-form tales by, and about, regular Israelis. Taking the time to properly present multi-faceted narratives in an intelligent, original manner, while avoiding catchy headlines and simplistic conclusions, is - unfortunately - becoming exceedingly uncommon, especially in the Israeli context. Doing so now is thus more important than ever before. By entering the homes and lives of the people living in Israel – Jews, Muslims and Christians, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Russians, Bedouin and Ethiopians, Filipino foreign workers and Eritrean refugees, orthodox and secular, Palestinians and settlers, hawkish right wingers and diehard liberals – we wish to expose a side of our country that does not typically make it into the mainstream media. As avid believers in the power of storytelling, we are confident that our radio show offers a fresh way for Jews around the world to connect, and reconnect, to Israel. After all, once we hear a compelling personal narrative – whether it is touching or humorous, dramatic or illuminating – we can begin to empathize. The 'other' swiftly becomes a person. A person with a story.

Through our episodes, live shows (at JCCs, Hillels, college campuses, synagogues, Jewish high schools and elsewhere) and educational outreach, we strive to find new ways, and use new technologies, to engage young American Jews with the vibrancy and complexity of life in Israel. As we look ahead, with a growing team and a growing appetite, we hope to become the bridge that brings Israeli culture and society to Jews around the world.

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