The Team - Israel Story The Team - Israel Story
The Team

Israel Story or Sipur Israeli, is a radio initiative that brings high quality, long-form non-fiction content to, and about, Israel.

We began as a small podcast, meant for family and friends. But what followed exceeded our wildest dreams: Within a few months, the show was picked up by Galey Tzahal, Israel’s leading national radio station, and was offered a primetime slot. Each of our first season’s eleven episodes reached an estimated audience of hundreds of thousands of listeners. The response was overwhelming, and so we’ve kept making stories in Hebrew, and also expanded into English, produced in partnership with Tablet Magazine and PRX!

Israelis, we all know, are a nation of storytellers. So in many ways our task was an easy one – to shine a spotlight on the little (and big!) dramas that comprise Israeli life. Our primary goal is to tell the story of a different, diverse Israel: To amplify voices that are rarely heard on the mainstream media, to showcase and celebrate the plurality of local communities and traditions. By bringing you multi-faceted narratives on thought-provoking themes, Israel Story aims to become a refreshing alternative. We don’t want to talk about Bibi, Lapid or Bennett. We’re kind of tired about hearing about the threat of the Iranian bomb or the Security Council resolutions. Instead, we hope to present a cross-section of ‘Israeliness,’ entering communities that are typically sidelined and silenced, and to tell stories that are not aired anywhere else: These are the stories you’d tell a friend over a plate of hummus on a Friday afternoon, the stories you’d share with your partner at the end of the day – Everyday stories, told by, and about, regular Israelis.

 

 
The Team:
Mishy Harman

Dr. Mishy Harman is the co-founder and host of the show. Following his military service, he studied history at Harvard, archeology at Cambridge and wrote his PhD – a biography of

Dr. Mishy Harman is the co-founder and host of the show. Following his military service, he studied history at Harvard, archeology at Cambridge and wrote his PhD – a biography of the first Protestant missionary in Ethiopia – at the Hebrew University. He lives in Jerusalem, with his wife Federica and their two dogs, Nomi and Golda.


Yochai Maital

Yochai grew up in Haifa, but now can’t imagine calling anywhere but Tel Aviv his home. After eight years as an intelligence officer in the army, Yochai embarked on a

Yochai grew up in Haifa, but now can’t imagine calling anywhere but Tel Aviv his home. After eight years as an intelligence officer in the army, Yochai embarked on a new trajectory, and started studying creative writing at Tel Aviv’s Minshar College for Arts. Ecologically minded, Yochai has built multiple eco-houses, and co-founded Tel Aviv’s first (and still only) organic food Co-Op. He lives with his wife, young daughter and son, and, of course, Trotsky the dog.


Shai Satran

Shai grew up in Jerusalem, a middle brother between two lively sisters. Now he lives in Tel Aviv, where he is in the midst of a master’s program in clinical

Shai grew up in Jerusalem, a middle brother between two lively sisters. Now he lives in Tel Aviv, where he is in the midst of a master’s program in clinical psychology. Shai is an active advocate for women’s rights and volunteers at the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center, where he dedicates one morning a week to facilitating workshops in Jerusalem high schools on topics ranging from sexual assault to pornography.


Ro’ee Gilron

Ro’ee is originally from Be’er Sheva. Once he finished his military service, he did his undergrad at Brandeis, and founded a tech start-up with Mishy. After working at a NASA

Ro’ee is originally from Be’er Sheva. Once he finished his military service, he did his undergrad at Brandeis, and founded a tech start-up with Mishy. After working at a NASA Lab conducting experiment in zero gravity environments, he returned to Israel, to begin his PhD in neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Regardless of what he’s doing, he’s probably cycling to get there. To the great dismay of his friends (and any other normal person), Roee thinks that no distance is too great for a nice bike ride.


Maya Kosover

Maya is originally from Haifa and currently living in Jaffa. She is married to Rotem, and together they raise Noah, their dog. Breathing radio from childhood, Maya later turned her

Maya is originally from Haifa and currently living in Jaffa. She is married to Rotem, and together they raise Noah, their dog. Breathing radio from childhood, Maya later turned her love into a profession. Maya is a veteran in TV and radio- she was the editor of “Anashim Ba-laila” with Kobi Meidan on Galei Tzahal. Today, she teaches at Sapir college and the pre-army academy in Jaffa, and spends most of her time recording, editing and story hunting for “Israel Story”. 


Zev Levi

Zev grew up in Perth, Australia, and studied Engineering and English at UWA. Having lived and worked in Perth’s local music scene, he developed a passion for high-quality production and

Zev grew up in Perth, Australia, and studied Engineering and English at UWA. Having lived and worked in Perth’s local music scene, he developed a passion for high-quality production and well-crafted audio. Now living near his old yeshiva in Jerusalem, Zev is involved with religious movements that pursue equality in Israel.


Joel Shupack

Joel grew up in Central Oregon and has been living in Portland for the last eight years. Eschewing popular fear-mongering, his father taught him to always talk to strangers. After

Joel grew up in Central Oregon and has been living in Portland for the last eight years. Eschewing popular fear-mongering, his father taught him to always talk to strangers. After following the classic “punk rocker to folksinger to bicycle mechanic” path, Joel has found his way to audio storytelling. Over the years he’s been a part of a few local radio and podcast projects, most recently a podcast called SquareMile.


Yoshi Fields

Yoshi is from Massachusetts and graduated with a B.A. in ethnography and religion from Hampshire College. In his undergraduate thesis, he wrote about how experiences with mortality affect the lives

Yoshi is from Massachusetts and graduated with a B.A. in ethnography and religion from Hampshire College. In his undergraduate thesis, he wrote about how experiences with mortality affect the lives of hospice workers. While working as a baker, he fell in love with podcasts as a form of storytelling. When he is not working on audio stories, Yoshi can be found camping, sipping smoothies, in silent meditation or strumming the few chords he knows on the guitar.


Rotem Zin

Born in Seattle, Washington, Rotem now lives in Haifa with his wife, four kids, and their dog Billie. Together, they’ve enjoyed traveling the world, trekking in North America, South America,

Born in Seattle, Washington, Rotem now lives in Haifa with his wife, four kids, and their dog Billie. Together, they’ve enjoyed traveling the world, trekking in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Rotem has been Israel Story’s CFO since 2017, and is passionate about music and Maccabi Tel Aviv FC.


James Feder

James was born in New York City, raised outside of Philadelphia, educated in Scotland, and since 2018, he has called Tel Aviv home. The child of a loving interfaith couple,

James was born in New York City, raised outside of Philadelphia, educated in Scotland, and since 2018, he has called Tel Aviv home. The child of a loving interfaith couple, issues of identity — where it overlaps, comes into conflict, transforms and adapts — have long inspired his writing and reporting. His Israeliness is very much a product of Israel Story, and while making his mom happy isn’t the only reason he’s working with the podcast, it’s not not a factor.


Niva Ashkenazi

Niva was born in Israel and moved to Seattle, Washington at the age of nine. She returned to Israel to intern for Israel Story after she graduated from the University

Niva was born in Israel and moved to Seattle, Washington at the age of nine. She returned to Israel to intern for Israel Story after she graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in anthropology and journalism. Podcasts are her preferred way to consume the news, hear stories, learn history, and reconnect to Israel when she’s abroad. When she’s not working with Israel Story, Niva likes to run, read on her balcony, and take pictures of the cats she meets on the street.


Hannah Barg

Hannah Barg is a St. Louis, Missouri native with a passion for education, radio and storytelling. Hannah graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2014 with a B.A. in Anthropology. After

Hannah Barg is a St. Louis, Missouri native with a passion for education, radio and storytelling. Hannah graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2014 with a B.A. in Anthropology. After college, she moved to Chicago to work for a college access program, working directly with low-income, first-generation college-bound high school students. In 2017, Hannah interned at StoryCorps, an American oral history project committed to preserving the stories of everyday people. Hannah’s excited to be back in Israel, the place which sparked her interest in culture and desire to tell complex stories about people and place.


Ari Wenig

Ari is from Melbourne, Australia. In 2017, he finished studying Jazz Composition; said goodbye to his wedding band, students, friends, and family; and came to Israel, finally settling in the

Ari is from Melbourne, Australia. In 2017, he finished studying Jazz Composition; said goodbye to his wedding band, students, friends, and family; and came to Israel, finally settling in the place that had made him melt (from the heat of the sun and the warmth of the people). He’s been making music for as long as he can remember. Since being in Israel, he’s explored the music, people, and food of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, getting to know their characters and weaving his own way into their stories. Somehow, somewhere along the way, Ari was sent an incredibly lucky star and found himself in Virginia Beach, on an Israel Story live-show tour, with 10 remarkable people who he hardly knew at the time. And there he was, woven inextricably into the Israel Story story.


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