ISRAELCAST

JEWISH NATIONAL FUND'S PREMIER ISRAEL PODCAST

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Welcome to IsraelCast, Jewish National Fund's premier Jewish podcast where we share stories of interesting people doing fascinating work all over Israel. New episodes are released every other Wednesday. You can listen to Israel's number 1 podcast right here but make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us on iTunes, Google Play, or Soundcloud – 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!!

 

Host Steven Shalowitz - Born and raised in Chicago, Steven worked for a major international advertising agency in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and New York City. While producing and hosting a radio show in Singapore, he conceived the idea for "The One Way Ticket Show" podcast which he launched after moving to New York. An exhibited photographer with a penchant for travel to rogue nations, Steven’s adventures have taken him from North Korea to Libya, Iran to Burundi, and Syria to Sudan. Steven earned his B.A. in Chinese Language & Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, and his M.A. in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the JNF NY Board, JNF's Social Media Committee, and is a member of the Alumni Board of Governors of Washington University in St. Louis.

 

 

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Episodes

 

 

 

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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.”

 

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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 IsraelCast are available for your listening pleasure. Looking forward to year two!

 

 

 

Episode 32 - Today on IsraelCast , we were joined in the studio with Judy Isaacson Schaffer, the founder and president of Heroes to Heroes, and extraordinary organization dedicated to helping bring back to life American veterans suffering from PTSD.

 

 

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 [email protected] 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 world-wide audience.

 

 

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.

 

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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 Illuminea, a full - service Wordpress development and online marketing agency. She shares her Israel journey, how she’s able to manage both home and office, and her many business successes.

 

 

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, Mizrahic, and Ashkenazic individuals who are interested in incorporating something traditional yet new into their Seders.

 

 

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 IsraelCast, we welcome Ambassador Ido Aharoni, a global distinguished professor at NYU school of International Relations. He’s known as the founder of the Brand Israel program, a marketing paradigm that is focusing on Israel’s assets and broadening public understanding of the country’s global contributions. He was career public servant in Israel’s foreign ministry, and served as the longest serving Consul General of Israel in NY, among many other positions and accomplishments throughout his career.

 

 

Episode 20 - On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, we were joined in the studio with Steve Rhodes, Chairman and CEO of the Trendlines Group. This Galilee-based company invents, discovers, invests in and incubates innovation based medical and agricultural technologies. Steve shares the cutting edge technologies his team is developing, what makes Israel a tech leader, and why the Galilee is such a dynamic place to work and live in.

 

 

Episode 19 - On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, we welcome Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the president of Shurat HaDin, a Tel- Aviv-based law center that represents the families of hundreds of terrorist attack victims in lawsuits world-wide.  Nitsana was recognized by Forbes Israel as one of the 50 most-influential Israeli women of 2016, and by the Jerusalem Post as one of the most influential Jews. Together with special operations and counter terrorism experts, Nitsana recently co-authored Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism's Money Masters with Shmuel Katz.  

 

 

Episode 18 - This week’s episode of IsraelCast is a special one, recorded live this month at our 2017 National Conference in South Florida! Steven speaks in front of a live audience with the multi-faceted Titi Aynaw – a top Israeli model, television personality, Israel advocate and community leader. She became the first Israeli Ethiopian to win the Miss Israel title back in 2013. Just last year, she placed second in the Israeli version of the T.V. show Survivor, which took place in Honduras. She recently founded and helps fund the Titi project, which provides extracurricular activities and enrichment to 66 Ethiopian children in Netanya, and she hopes to expand the project and give other kids opportunities that she lacked growing up. Here, she talks about her journey through life and what is yet to come.

 

 

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 award winning TV producer and marketing executive. Jamie and her husband have six kids and now reside in Jerusalem.

 

 

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, and organization that works to bridge socioeconomic gaps between Bedouins and Jews in the Negev through education. Gabe is the director of social tourism for Eretz Ir. They speak about the opportunities for social impact in the Negev.

 

 

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 Nirens, founder of Galileat, which offers culinary adventures in Israel's Western Galilee, including cooking classes and cooking tours.  Paul shares what makes the Galilee such a unique destination, his love for the region, food, and bringing people together.

 

 

 

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 life changing impact on Tremayne, who shares that story with us today.

 


 

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!

PLANT TREES IN ISRAEL