21: 68 and Counting- Part II  

In the second installment of this two-part series (and our season two finale), we pick up where we left off last week: Presenting small stories - one per decade - that took place on Israel's Independence Day, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and that, in some way, reflect their era. Part I, took us from 1948 to 1978. In today's episode, which begins in 1988 and brings us all the way to the present, we encounter a Soviet 'refusenik' celebrating his first Yom Ha'Atzmaut in Israel; an American couple building a new West Bank settlement; Batsheva Dance Company dancers caught up in a heated culture war over tank-tops and long-johns; a controversy surrounding a tilted flag; and the four Israeli finalists in this year's International Youth Bible Competition.

20: 68 and Counting- Part I  

This is the first in a two-part series that takes us through Israel's short but dramatic history. Over the last few months, we've spent many hours, in all kinds of archives, learning all we could about Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The result is a mosaic of stories that took place on Yom Ha’Atzmaut itself, in ten year intervals, and that in some way reflect their era. Part I will take us from 1948 to 1978: We'll visit Israel's first makeshift national radio studio, we'll ride a bicycle piled high with Persian carpets, we'll march in an extravagant military parade in Jerusalem, and finally we'll sink some dramatic game-winning jump shots. Next week, Part II of the series will bring us all the way to the present.

19: Of Numbers and Names  

This Thursday, May 5th, Israelis observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.  At 10 a.m., according to custom, an air raid will sound and the country will fall quiet for two long minutes.  Silence won’t do for a podcast, so instead we bring you two stories. Act I, “B-1367,” is about an elderly father and his 53-year old son, and the inked number that binds them. In Act II, “Herr Eichmann,” we meet up with a group of men for whom Eichmann is not a symbol of Nazi evil, but a gaunt, balding prisoner for whom they were responsible, as guards and interrogators.

18: Thicker Than Water  

On Today's show, we delve into the messy territory of family bonds—how they’re formed, challenged, and change over time. We’ll meet three families who are all, at the end of the day, happy, but are not (contrary to Tolstoy’s claim) in any way alike. First we hear from Mishy's family—Dorothy, David, Danna and Oren—who like to talk to each other. A lot. In Act I, “The Missing Moms,” producer Shoshi Shmuluvitz introduces us to Tali Griffel, a thirty-six-year-old physical therapist from Jerusalem who has been searching for a stable maternal bond her entire life, ever since she lost not one, but two, mothers. In Act II, “The Radio Babe,” we tell the tale of a couple who won’t be able to hear their own story. Eli and Mira Kosover, both deaf, somehow managed to raise a radio producer, our very own Maya Kosover. Through conversations with her parents and her brother (who is hearing, like her), Maya brings us into the noisy world of her deaf upbringing. A transcript of the episode is available at israelstory.org.

17: Stop That Bus!  

Israeli buses regularly make international headlines, be it for suicide bombings, fights over gender segregation or clashes concerning Shabbat schedules. On today’s episode of Israel Story, we delve into the world of lesser known bus-related conflicts. In Act I, “The White Elephant,” Yochai Maital walks us through the history of Tel Aviv’s ‘New’ Central Bus Station — a derelict eight-story behemoth and modern day Tower of Babel — which mirrors much of modern Israeli history, with its grand vision and messy implementation. Act II, “The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God,” is adapted from Etgar Keret’s short story collection of the same name, and performed by Keret himself. In it, we meet—yes—a bus driver whose deeply held belief in equity and fairness flies right smack in the face of Eddie, an assistant cook who has a problem getting places on time.

16: Over and Out  

In the last episode of Israel Story, we met couples in love. But for every story of love found, there are, of course, piles and piles of broken hearts. So today on our show, "Over and Out." We've got three stories of relationships that have ended, and the things (the often slightly nutty things) that people do once they no longer see eye to eye. We'll journey back to the early dates of the State of Israel, and then travel all around the world, to London and New York, even to Beijing.

15: Love, Revisited  

The stories in today’s episode come from our most recent live show, “Israel in Love.” We'll meet three couples looking back at their love affairs from very different vantage points. Zvi and Regina Steinitz’s romance has been going on the longest—in fact, it's been going on since the very birth of the state of Israel. Danna Harman shares their story in Act I, “Like A Stone.” Act II, “There’s a Wall Between Us,” began as a radio piece called “Checkpoints and Secrets," by Daniel Estrin, which aired in last year's Valentine's Day special. Daniel's piece followed the winding love affair of two men, an Israeli Jew from Jerusalem and a Palestinian Muslim from the West Bank, as it unfolded over a long time. We then gave Daniel's original recordings, so the actual words the two men had told him, over to composer Or Matias — the Musical Director of the electro-pop opera "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812," which will go up on Broadway this coming fall. Or, in turn, adapted the piece into a mini-musical, with entirely original music, performed here by Alaa Daka and Eyal Sherf, with Mike Cohen on flute, Dillon Condor on guitar and mandolin, and Dan Weiner on percussion. Our final story, “When Time Will Fold Over,” takes place in a tiny village, midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, called Mevo Modi’im. The 254 people who live there look like a cross between the Lubavitch Rebbe and Jerry Garcia. This is the story of two of them, Michael and Leah Golomb, and their 37-year marriage. It is an updated version of a piece that we aired exactly a year ago, and is produced by Benny Becker and Yochai Maital, with original music by Collin Oldham. 

14: Besties  

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

13: Sacred Plants  

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

12: Now Boarding  

For the year’s heaviest week of travel, Israel Story brings tales of love and interrogation at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport

11: Herzl 48 Live  

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

10: Birthstory  

In this very special episode, Israel Story teams up with Radiolab to tell the story of Tal and Amir-- an Israeli couple who went to Nepal to pick up their three babies from two surrogates and then discovered that the transaction is not so straightforward.

9: Man, I Feel Like a Woman  

What do you do when you realize that in order to be true to yourself, you have to shatter everything around you, including the lives of those you love most?

8: Rabin Is…  

Rabin is a symbol. An icon. But in Israel of 2015, twenty years later, it isn't so simple to understand what he really stands for anymore.

7: Out of Africa… And Back Again  

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


We're back! New episode coming October 21st!

6: What’s Love Got To Do With It?  

Tales of love, romance, and the pursuit thereof.

5: Holy Cow!  

An episode all about sacred bovines!

4: A Man on a Mission  

The stories of three Israelis who are not religious but have pursued unusual hobbies with missionary zeal.

3: People of the Book  

Three stories revolving around people who rescue books, chase after books, or otherwise allow books to determine their destiny.

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