Israel: Vot a Country!

Last Updated on Thursday, 2 January 2014 08:13 Written by bryfy Thursday, 2 January 2014 08:13

For those of you who read my blog (and apologize for my slackness) you might have noticed that I rarely if ever promote a particular product. Today is an exception to my self-imposed rule – and I do this because I want to and not because anyone asked me to.

You see a while back I stumbled upon a podcast – and now it has made my subway commute all the more bearable. Even more than that this podcast has really changed the way that I feel and interact with Israel – the country and the people. This really is my Promised Podcast.

Just last week I was at the Limmud Conference in England (a phenomenon which deserves its own blog entry) when I overheard a voice in the lobby of the dining room. I soon recognized the voice as that of Eilon Schwartz, one of the presenters of the Promised Podcast, and after a very quick conversation I decided then and there to make a new years resolution – to single handedly go about increasing the number of downloads for this podcast. As they say about themselves, “Gripping discussion and perspectives on Israeli politics and culture, brought to you from the studios of “Shaharit: A Think-tank for New Israeli Politics”.

So what is it that I love about The Promised Podcast? Here are just three reasons and believe me I could come up with a whole lot more.

1. It doesn’t treat me as if I was stupid.

The 3 segments each podcast deals with are matters of significance in Israeli politics and society mainly. The podcasts are balanced (although I’m sure some people would claim some bias) and in-depth (some would say perhaps a bit too long). But here I have 3-4 very well credentialed reporters teaching me and sharing opinions on items of news that I might vaguely read about in the newspapers but seldom hear discussed in such depth. These broadcasts re-connect me to a land and a people that over time I have grown somewhat distant from since those days of my long hair and heated youth movement discussions that lasted well into many an evening.

2. Israeli culture comes to life.

At the start and end of the podcast, and in between segments Israeli music is played – the likes of which a Diaspora Jew like me would never otherwise come across. I’m not talking Arik Einstein or Shlomo Artzi, I’m not even talking David Broza or Hadag Nachash – but each week The Promised Podcast surprises me with their choices of new, edgy, ethnically diverse Israeli music.

 3. Vot a Country!

So if you’re anything like me then I am sure that there are moments in your life when you lose a bit of faith in that frustrating country over in the Middle East.  But then comes the last segment of the Promised Podcast (often around the 45 minute mark) where the presenters each share their uplifting Israel moment of the week. From family moments, to cultural events, to random daily episodes from people’s lives cant help but make you want to smile. If you’re ever in need of an Israel pickmeup then I couldn’t recommend anything more than a listen to the Vot a Country segment each week.

So go ahead and do yourself a favor:

  1. Check out The Promised Podcast website:
  2. Like The Promised Podcast Facebook page:
  3. Or download the podcast directly into iTunes by typing “TLV1 Promised Podcast” in your iTunes store to download the podcast directly

Spend an hour of your week treating yourself to a conversation about Israel that I haven’t found myself a part of for several decades!

(And my personal challenge – pass this information on to your chevrei, your friends, your colleagues, your students, your teachers – anyone you think might have the desire to remain connected with smart conversations about Israel – so maybe we can double the amount of downloads that this podcast is already registering)

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