Two Nice Jewish Boys

By Eytan and Naor

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The Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast is a weekly dose of free and open conversations with the most interesting voices in Israel. Hosted by Naor Meningher and Eytan Weinstein and recorded in Tel Aviv, the Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast covers everything from politics and history to entertainment and science. Ultimately, the Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast is here to provide a platform for free and open conversations about Israel and the Jewish world in the belief that only through free speech and open dialogue can we build a better future together.

Episode Date
#291 - The Incredible Story of Tel Aviv (Eytan Schwartz)
Support us on Patreon: *** When you think about Tel Aviv, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The beautiful beaches? Rothschild boulevard? The luxurious Neve Tzedek neighborhood? All of the above? It’s hard to imagine, but until not too long ago Tel Aviv wasn’t the trendy, touristy, attractive city that it's become. It took a lot of work to make it what it is today. So, how did it happen? Today we have with us just the man who can tell us the story of Tel Aviv. A man who's responsible in large part for Tel Aviv’s world reputation. Eytan Shcwartz is the former CEO of Ir Olam - a TLV Municipal company responsible for Tel Aviv's international PR. Eitan was also the head of Tel Aviv’s communications division, a role from which hejust recently stepped down. We’re thrilled to be joined by Eyan Schwartz today to talk about Tel Aviv’s secret, its stories and its people. (Photo by Kfir Sivan)
Jun 29, 2022
Jun 29, 2022
#290 - German Journalist In The Middle East (Christine Kensche)
This is not a drill: Israel is going to elections. No, you’re not listening to a rerun episode from 2021, 2020 or 2019. It’s actually happening again, after the Bennet-Lapid government - which only withheld for a single year - dissipated into the abyss. Meanwhile, in Europe, it isn’t too boring either. Russia’s war against Ukraine slowly continues, heavily funded by EU taxpayer’s money; Inflation is sky-rocketing; And the strongest country in the Union, Germany, is arming up, as Germany’s new Chancellor Shultz pledges to build the largest European army since WWII. Germany is also Israel’s most important and powerful ally in Europe, and as it intends to buy natural gas and military technology from Israel in astronomical sums - it seems like the relations between the countries are coming to a new era. To talk about all this - and much more - we’re joined today by journalist Christine Kensch. Christine is the Middle East correspondent for The Welt, one of Germany’s biggest and most important news outlets. She is also the author of the book ‘Our Law Applies on the Street’, a biographical novel about the life of Khalil, an arab-born Berlin clan member (out only in German, unfortunately!). We’re excited to have Christine with us today!
Jun 23, 2022
#289 - WTF is NFT!? And Other Related Blockchain Qs (Meytar Zehavi)
Bitcoin. Blockchain. Crypto. NFT. For most of us, these are all just synonyms for "get rich quick!" But apparently, there's actually something more to them. Or is there? That's a heated debate in today's financial and economical spheres. Are these actual, solid financial assets or hyped-up memes that are drawing huge amounts of money into an ever expanding bubble? In order to understand that, we need to understand what these things are in the first place. What is crypto currency? What is Blockchain tech? And most recently, what the hell is NFT? Today, we're joined by the lovely Meitar Zehavi. Meitar is a veteran of the 8200 unit, one of the IDF’s prestigious intelligence units. She’s a filmmaker, a content creator and a self described “explainer”. And today she’s here to explain to us the mind-boggling concepts of Blockchain, Crypto and NFTs.
Jun 16, 2022
#288 - Monthly Recap: Bennett's Manifest, Housing Prices and the Wild Wild West Bank
Eytan and Naor are deep-diving heads first into recent events!
Jun 06, 2022
#287 - China's Lost Jewish Town (Noam Urbach)
China. Just saying the name of this country is enough to spark debate in most Western circles. On the one hand, modern China is the antithesis to the Individualism of the West. The vast 9.5 million square kilometers is home to almost 20% of the world’s population, all strictly ruled by an authoritarian Communist regime. On the other hand, China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, growing an average of about 10% per year for the past 3 decades! Many of the things you own, almost certainly your phones, are made in China. Today we are joined by Noam Urbach, a China expert active in academia, business and media. Noam specializes in the study of the history of foreign religions in China, in particular the history of Chinese Jews, as well as Chinese religious policy. We’re super excited to have him on the show today to talk China
May 25, 2022
#286 - The Philosophy of Abortion and the Meaning of Life (Natan Galulazar)
One of the fundamental questions that divide the right and left today, all over the world, is the question of agency. Are we in control of our lives? Or are our lives playing out some deterministic script? Are we non-playing characters in a reality-sized computer game? More than 200 episodes ago, we hosted Dr. Yaron Brook, Chairman of the Board of the Ayn Rand Institute, on the podcast. One of the central tenets of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism is that we are not NPCs in some video game. Well, not quite in those words. Rather, Rand claimed that it is our moral duty to selfishly pursue our own happiness. At the basis of that claim is the idea that the individual rests at the center and he or she (or they) are capable of shaping their own lives. Today, we are joined by another student of philosophy, another Ayn Rand fan boy, another man who also believes we’re all selfish, self-centered joy-seeking bastards, and good on us for that. Natan Galulazar is a father of two, content creator, Objectivist, musician several days a year, and public relations manager of an Israeli high tech firm. We are super thrilled to be joined by Natan today to talk about objectivism, the Israeli right, abortion and any other random topic that comes up because… why not? Natan's Twitter:
May 12, 2022
#285 - Monthly Recap: Has Israel Become Impotent Against Terror?
Naor and Eytan talk about recent events, including the terror wave, Roe V. Wade and more! Please note: This episode contains profanities.
May 06, 2022
#284 - Proving The New York Times' Anti-Israel Bias (Lilac Sigan)
The New York Times has never been a great friend of the Jewish People. 80 years ago, for example, during the Holocaust, what was arguably the most important American outlet didn’t do much to expose its readers to the atrocities that led to the Holocaust, nor the atrocity of the Holocauset itself. What’s even more amazing, is that the publisher of the NYT during that period was a Jew - Arthur Hays Sulzberger. In modern times, it seems like the Times constantly takes the pro-Palestinian angle, even when it means spreading actual fake news. Only a year ago, in a list of the child victims of the war in Gaza, the NYT included a photo of a kid who died 7 years prior in Ramallah. That is why our guest today, renowned Maariv columnist and author Lilac Sigan, has decided to take it upon herself to carefully trace the NYT’s coverage of Israel on a day-to-day basis, and to conclude once and for all how biased they actually are. We’re super happy and excited to have Lilac here with us today to talk about the NYT, Israel and fake news. Lilac's twitter: (Photo by Yoram Esheim)
May 03, 2022
The Truth About 'Palestine': 2NJB Interview on The Daily Lie Podcast
Naor and Eytan talk about the Conflict on an interview for Warren Redlich of The Daily Lie Podcast. Enjoy!
Apr 30, 2022
#283 - Israeli Gaming Startup Superstar (Doron Nir)
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** More than 5 years ago, in November 2016 - before the world turned upside down - Doron Nir was our first guest ever on the podcast. Doron was - and still is - an entrepreneur as well as one of Israel’s podcasting pioneers. Ever since that legendary episode, Doron went on to found Stream Elements, which is now one of the fastest growing, most promising, new Israeli startups in the world. Stream Elements is a platform for online streamers - mainly gamers, but not only - who want to enrich their streams with a variety of amazing tools and features. And if the last sentence is Chinese to you, don’t worry, because we have Doron Nir with us today, straight from the new Hipster Capital of the world, Austin, Texas! Doron is the President and Co-Founder of Stream Elements. His podcast Geekonomy, which he co-hosts with yet another Stream Elements co-founder Reem Sherman, is one of the most successful Hebrew podcasts to date. We’re super happy to have Doron back on the podcast again today to discuss his company, his career and much more!
Apr 26, 2022
#282 - Price of Terror: The Father Who Lost His Son to a Suicide Bomber (Yossi Tzur)
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Israel is currently in the midst of a deadly Palestinian terror wave, the likes of which we haven’t seen for years. 14 lives of innocent civilians have already been lost, in 4 terror attacks - all in less than a month. In the meantime, merely 10 months after Bennet’s government came to be, its foundations are already crumbling. A few days ago, Bennet lost his coalition’s majority in the Israeli parliament - the Knesset - when his head of coalition and a member of his party - MK Idit Silman - announced that she can no longer be a part of the coalition, for ideological reasons. Indeed, Bennet betrayed his voters when he formed a coalition with Mansour Abba’s Raam party, an Arab party that some say is a sister to the Muslim Brotherhood organization. And now, when he lost his majority in the Knesset, some journalists claim that Bennet and his political ally Yair Lapid, are relying on the Arab Joint List to save them from new elections. The Arab Joint List’s members, have a long record of statements and actions in support of terrorists. All that puts Israel - and Israelis - in turmoil. As many Israelis can’t help but wonder - when and where will the next terror attack be? - we thought it might be insightful to talk to someone who unfortunately knows grief personally. Yossi Tzur is the father of Asaf Tzur, who was murdered in 2003 in the horrific terror attack on city bus 37 in Haifa, in 2003. Since then, Yossi devotes his life fight terrorists and terror supporters. We’re honored to have Yossi on the show with us today to talk about his son, and to hear the perspective of a bereaved father on what our country is going through. *** Asaf's memorial website:
Apr 11, 2022
#281 - Former Bank of America Strategist Breaks Down Russia-Ukraine Conflict (David Woo)
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** In February 2022, U.S. inflation rose to a 40-year peak - a staggering 7.9 percent. Which means that every month, your dollar can buy less and less and less. This, combined with the rising prices of both energy and other commercial goods - may lead to an economic disaster, possibly more severe than anyone can imagine. The markets haven’t been doing so well either, and in the past several months - it seems - most of the pandemic time’s earnings and high company valuations were literally scrapped. So why is this happening? Who’s to blame? And can something still be done - or is it already too late? To answer these mind boggling questions, and much more - we have with us today no other than David Woo. David Woo is a former Bank of America strategist, now CEO of David Woo Unbound, a global forum devoted to the promotion of fact-based debates about markets, politics and economics. In 2013, David was voted as one of the twelve smartest people on Wall Street by Business Insider magazine! We’re super thrilled to have him on the show today to talk about the economic problems we’re all facing today and how we might better prepare for what’s to come. David's website: And Youtube channel:
Apr 06, 2022
#280 - Monthly Recap: Terror Wave, Queer Disney and Eytan's Exciting News
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Your monthly dose of Naor and Eytan is finally here! Tune in for unimportant opinions about recent events. WARNING: Do not listen to this episode if you're not high or lightly drunk.
Apr 03, 2022
#279 - The Iranian Threat III (Dr. Dan Schueftan)
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** For the last year, ever since Joe Biden became president of the United States, there’s been a tremendous effort on the part of the US to renew the deal between them and Iran. To rejoin the JCPOA. To revive the dying legacy of Biden’s former boss and ideological forefather, President Barack Obama. How much will the US be willing to concede? How likely is it that a deal will ultimately be signed? And will such a deal stop Iran from obtaining nuclear arms? Well, to answer all this and more, we are joined by - you guessed it - our dear friend, the no-filter owner of the most glorious mustache, Dan Schueftan. Dan is the head of the National Securities Studies Center at the University of Haifa. He has taught at the IDF National Security College and Command and Staff College. He was an advisor to Israel’s National Security Council and former Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon. He’s also the author of several books and articles on issues pertaining to Israel’s National Security. He joins us today for the third time to talk about the Iranian Threat. We’re thrilled to welcome Dan Schueftan to the podcast. (Main photo: Hagai Fried)
Mar 28, 2022
#278 - The Woman Who Almost Died Climbing Antarctica's Highest Peak (Daniel Wolfson)
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Last year we interviewed mountain climber Daniel Wolfson twice - once, before her long-awaited journey to be the first Israeli woman to climb mount Everest, and then again, right after she climbed its peak. Her breathtaking stories inspired us, as they inspire thousands of Israeli men and women, who come to Daniel’s lectures to hear her swashbuckling tales. Well, now she’s done it again. This time, Daniel climbed the peak of Vinson mountain, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Yes, you heard us right. Antarctica. She made it back in one piece (barely), and now she’s here to tell us all about it. Daniel Wolfson is a lawyer by trade but in her free time she runs marathons, does triathlons and conquers some of the highest summits in the world. We’re super happy to have her on the show today.
Mar 14, 2022
#277 - Climate Change: Are We Doomed or Duped? (Prof. Yonatan Dubi)
We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Today, there’s hardly a subject that isn’t considered controversial. But long long ago, in a galaxy far far away, the most controversial topic was a little thing known as Climate Change. Actually, they called it Global Warming then. Point is, the question of how we as humans are affecting the climate of our planet and what we should do about it, and when, is a hot topic. So hot that representatives of 197 parties attended the UN’s COP26 last year and drafted the Glasgow Climate Pact. It’s a topic so scorching hot that many politicians suggest aiming for net zero emissions in record times. So hot a topic, that we just had to have a climate expert on our show to discuss all this. Professor Yonatan Dubi is a professor in the department of Chemistry at the Ben Gurion University in the Negev. His fields of research are Energy transport in nanoscale junctions, Energy transport in photosynthetic complexes, and Heat flow in complex low-dimensional systems. If any of that means anything to you, you’re probably listening to the wrong podcast. Professor Dubi will hopefully break down climate change in terms Two Nice Jewish Boys can understand. We are thrilled and honored to be joined on the show today by Professor Yonatan Dubi.
Feb 21, 2022
#276 - Monthly Recap: NSO, Cost of Life, The Whoopi Paradox and Soviet Ambitions
We are sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Naor and Eytan talk about recent events in Israel and around the world!
Feb 15, 2022
#275 - Will Israel Grant Palestinians Citizenship? (MK Simcha Rothman)
We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** During the week of Passover in 2002, a young Israeli-Arab walked into the Matza restaurant in Haifa and blew himself up, killing 16 Israelis and wounding many more. The terrorist was the son of a Palestinian from Jenin who was married to an Israeli-Palestinian woman from Northern Israel. This week the Knesset is scheduled to vote on one of the most impactful laws legislated in recent years, a law that could breach the very concept of what it means to be an Israeli - the Citizenship bill. This law is so controversial that it threatens to dismantle the coalition. Included in the law is the fundamental question of how a non-Israeli Palestinian may become a citizen of the State of Israel. One of the versions of this law to be voted on was proposed by our guest today, Knesset member Simcha Rothman. Simcha Rothman recently joined the Knesset as part of the Religious Zionist party led by Betzalel Smotrich. He is a lawyer and the co-founder of The Movement For Governability And Democracy, an NGO which advocates for returning power from the judicial to the legislative branch. His book, “The Supreme Court Faction” depicts how judges, prosecutors and bureaucrats have stolen power from the democratically elected representatives. We are thrilled to be joined today by MK Simcha Rothman to talk about his proposal for the Citizenship law, the judicial system in Israel and much much more.
Feb 07, 2022
#274 - The Incredible Life of Morris Kahn: From Cow Farming to SpaceIL
We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** There are few people on this planet as industrious and creative as our guest today. After making Aliyah from South Africa in 1956 with his wife, he had several less than successful business ventures including a bicycle factory and a cow farm. But these did not deter Morris Kahn. Morris Kahn went on to found Golden Pages Israel, Amdocs and of course SpaceIL, which launched Beresheet to the moon in 2019. Kahn has dedicated decades of his life and vast amounts of his wealth to philanthropy and child healthcare. He helps bring elite Israeli doctors around the world to save children’s lives through the Save A Child’s Heart organization. He supports medical research including some amazing breakthrough cancer research at Tel Aviv University. And he does so much more. If we tried to cover even 5 percent of his generosity, we’d be here until tomorrow. And then we’d miss the pleasure of talking to the man himself. We are thrilled and honored to be joined today on the podcast by Morris Kahn.
Feb 01, 2022
#273 - Is Israel Spying On Its Citizens With NSO Spyware? (Prof. Michael Birnhack)
This episode is sponsored by the Podcast “Thirty Six” With Justin Hayet! Listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcast *** We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** This weekend, two earthquakes hit Israel. Luckily, they weren’t too strong - only 4 the Richter scale. They were nothing compared to the level 10 earthquake that hit the news. In a series of articles published in the Cacalist newspaper, Tomer Ganon revealed that the Israel police used Pegasus, a sophisticated offensive cyber-security software - to hack into the phones of numerous Israeli citizens, illegally. Among the victims of this alleged illegal espionage, are mayors, ex-PM Netanyahu staffers, and even average Joes. It was also claimed, that the police used the software to hack into a political activist’s phone, where they found he was using Grindr, a gay dating app, which could be used to extort him, as he’s a married man. His sin? Protesting against the government. The articles sent shockwaves throughout Israel, and while the police chiefs and Minister of Internal Security themselves denied everything - evidence shows otherwise. If true, what are the implications of those actions? What are the legal claims of the police? Does the Israeli law permit the use of such software against Israeli citizens? Under what circumstances? To answer those questions we have with us today one of Israel’s leading experts in the fields of law and the digital sphere, Prof. Michael Birnhack. Prof. Birnhack is a Professor of Law at Tel Aviv University, he researches, teaches and writes about intellectual property, privacy law, information law, and law and technology. We’re super happy to have Prof. Birnhack on the show today.
Jan 24, 2022
#272 - 6 Million - Fact or Myth? (David Fisher)
This episode is sponsored by the Podcast “Thirty Six” With Justin Hayet! Listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcast: *** We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** 6,000,000. A number that resonates with us all. A sum that represents the endless sea of horrors, atrocities and tragedies. Entire worlds that crumbled, infinite realities that ceased to be. 6,000,000 is a sacred number. Our guest today, documentary filmmaker David Fisher, was haunted by this number. In his mind, a neverending stream of questions - where did this number come from? What does it mean? Who’s to say there were really six million? Is it myth, or historical fact? In the holocaust research world, those questions are borderline blasphemy. And indeed, many doors were shut in Fisher’s face along his expedition for the truth. However, other doors began to open. On the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are honored to have David Fisher on our show to discuss his new documentary, ‘The Round Number’.
Jan 21, 2022
#271 - Monthly Recap: Stranded in NYC with Covid and Doughnuts
This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Eytan and Naor talk about Eytan's trip to the States, Covid, Emma Watson, Arabic and much more!
Jan 12, 2022
#270 - Sex, Gender, Perversions and Dating in the 21st Century (Prof. Danielle Knafo)
*THIS EPISODE CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT* *** This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Marriage and relationships have never been easy. Since the day Abraham told his beloved wife Sarah he wants to have an open relationship - millions of couples have had to navigate the stormy waters of intimacy. And although throughout history, maintaining a relationship was never easy - doing so in the 21st century brings along its own unique set of challenges. In the age of the internet, with its metaverse, Hitech, TikTok and twitch - we're constantly facing temptations, jealousy and FOMO. Maybe our parents were better off after all? To talk about all this - and much, much more, we're joined today by a very honorable guest, Prof. Danielle Knafo. Prof. Knafo is a psychologist, psychoanalyst and author. She is considered one of the top sexuality theoreticians in the world. Danielel Knafo is a professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at LIU-Post and on the faculty at NYU Postdoctoral Program. She has published and lectured extensively on the subjects of creativity, psychoanalysis, gender, sexuality, and technology. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan and Great Neck, NY. I am super happy to have Prof. Knafo on our show today! Prof. Knafo's website:
Dec 30, 2021
#269 - The Woman Fighting for Justice Against the Terrorists who Murdered Her Uncle (Ortal Tamam)
This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** On August 6, 1984, Corporal Moshe Tamam, who was 19 years old, took a bus ride from the northern city of Tiberia to Tel Aviv. Moshe was on vacation from his military service, where he served as an instructor of heavy-duty vehicle drivers. He was accompanying his girlfriend to her home in Tiberia that day, but on his way back, he was kidnapped and brutally murdered by 4 arab-israeli terrorists. A year and a half later, the 4 terrorists were captured, tried, and put in jail. But this was not the end of the story, it was only the beginning. In Israeli jail, the terrorists enjoyed a high standard of living, which includes relative autonomy inside the jail, use of cell phones, the ability to study a degree, and more. A few months ago, one of the murderers, Rushdi Abu-Moch, was set free after the 35 years sentence ended. He was accepted with celebrations in the Israeli-Arab town of Baka-Al Garabia. Moshe Tamam’s family was outraged. Today, we are honored to have Moshe Tamam’s niece, Dr. Ortal Tamam. Ortal is a medical doctor, and towards the end of her PHD, researching genetics of preterm birth. She is a Gates Award Laureate, and a prominent spokesperson of the families of terror victims in Israel, who are constantly fighting against the lack of justice against the murderers of their loved ones. (Photo: Eran Gilvarg)
Dec 22, 2021
#268 - Monthly Recap: Omicron Schmomicron, Anti-democratic Laws and Nazi Trip Itineraries
This episode is sponsored by the Podcast “Thirty Six” With Justin Hayet! Listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcast: *** We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Naor and Eytan talk about Covid, new anti-democratic laws, Eytan's upcoming trip to the States, and Naor's trip to Italy!
Dec 16, 2021
#267 - The Mossad Commander Who Saved a Hamas Leader's Life (Dr. Mishka Ben David)
This episode is sponsored by the Podcast “Thirty Six” With Justin Hayet! Listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcast: *** We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** It is feared and revered throughout the world. Its operations have been igniting the imagination of generations. Its capabilities seem endless - from wreaking havoc in a far Iranian nuclear facility, to assassinating a high-profile Hamas agent in his hotel room at the heart of Dubai (all according to foreign publications, of course). It is far reaching, it is bold, it is legendary. It is the Israeli Mossad. Today, for the first time on the Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast, we are going to talk to a person who was a Mossad agent. Not just an agent - he was one of the top commanders of Cesaria unit, the special ops branch of the Mossad. In another lifetime, Mishka Ben David was a regular guy, like you and me. Born in 1952, his story is Israel’s story. He fought in Yom Kippur war and the War of Attrition, he studied literature at the University of Wisconsin - where he served as the delegate of the Zionist Histadrut. He was even working at the Matnas Company, which manages local culture centers in Israeli cities and villages. But all that changed in 1987, when he was recruited to the Mossad. After retiring in 1999, Mishka became a writer, his novels depict thrilling spy stories that might - or might not - be based on true events. We are super excited to have Mishka Ben David on the show today to talk about his amazing life, books and service in the Mossad. (Photo by Daniel Chechik)
Dec 06, 2021
#266 - A Practical Plan for Peace (Dr. Mordechai Kedar)
This episode is sponsored by the Podcast "Thirty Six" With Justin Hayet! Listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you get your podcast *** We are also sponsored by Masa Israel, check them out at *** Israel is still licking its wounds from what happened here last May, as thousands of Israeli-Palestinians stormed the street in violent protests, lynches and vandalism. With very few people arrested and persecuted, it seems like the repercussions of what happened will continue to resonate in the near future, and nobody truly knows when the next time a match will ignite the explosive barrel on which we’re sitting. In the meantime, Iran is growing stronger by the day and getting closer and closer to the bomb, while America’s influence in the Middle East is weakening, and Israel seeks new alliances with unexpected partners like the UAE and Bahrain. To talk about all that, and much more, we invited one of Israel’s top experts on the Arab world - near and far. Dr. Mordechai Kedar. Dr. Kedar has proposed ‘The Palestinian Emirates Plan’ plan, which he claims to be the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Kedar holds a Ph.D from Bar Ilan University, where he’s a lecturer and a scholar at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He is an expert for Arab media, as he’s fluent in Arabic and frequently appears in Arabic-speaking TV channels, such as al-Jazeera. We’re honored to have Dr. Kedar on the show today.
Dec 01, 2021
#265 - The MK Who Rebelled Against Israel's PM (MK Amichai Chikli)
Check out Masa Israel here: *** Back in May, everything lay in the balance. Israel had just concluded its 4th elections in 2 years and it seemed as if it was in yet another stalemate - on the way to another round of elections. But then, at the last minute, we witnessed one of the craziest political twists this country has ever experienced. Naftali Bennett, leader of the 7-seat Yamina party, agreed to form a government with a coalition of center, left-wing and Arab parties… on one condition: that he serve as Prime Minister. The entire country was astounded. Yamina, which means Right (as in right-wing), ran on a traditionally conservative platform and on the explicit promise to not form a government with his rivals, Lapid and the Arab parties. Many, if not most, of his voters felt betrayed. But all of the elected MKs in Bennett’s party went along with his political coup d’etat. All but one. Amichai Chikli is a Jerusalem-born ex-Israel Navy officer and the founder of the Tavor Academy for Social Leadership. He has quite the resume but what took Chikli to the national stage was his decision to stand up to the leader of his party, today’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett. Chikli is still a member of Yamina but he sits on the opposition. We are honored and thrilled to have MK Amichai Chikli on the podcast today.
Nov 24, 2021
#264 - Digging Out Israel's Ancient Ruins (Emily Bischoff Bruintjes)
Check out Masa Israel here: *** When you think about the history of the Land of Israel, you probably think about King David, The Romans, Bar Kochva or the Ottoman Empire. But the fact of the matter is, that all of those powerful rulers and leaders roamed this land pretty recently. After all, what is 1000, 2000 or even 3000 thousand years in the history of mankind? In recent centuries archeologists have been working hard to reveal the many secrets buried in layers upon layers of earth, here in Israel. All of us have heard about the various findings regarding Jewish ancient history. But long before any records of Monotheism, ancient men lived here. Israel’s strategic location, right on the border between Asia and Africa, made it an important crossroads for humanity - for tens of thousands of years. Nowadays, it is the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) who’s responsible for digging up and revealing the secrets of ancient times. Today we’re thrilled to be joined by Archeologist Emily Bischoff Bruintjes, who works and digs for the IAA. Emily is a Prehistoric Archaeologist who currently digs in southern Israel. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a Masters from Tel Aviv University. She is originally from Minnesota but now she lives in Israel. We’re super excited to talk to Emily today about her work and Israel’s prehistoric history!
Nov 18, 2021
#263 - Snapping Nudes to Save The Dead Sea (Ari Leon Fruchter)
Buy our mugs here: *** A month ago 300 Israelis striped naked and posed in the middle of the desert. This demonstration was part of an art installation photographed by world renowned photographer Spencer Tunick. And this wasn’t the first time. Back in 2011, there were 1,200 subjects, all naked, photographed by Tunick. But all this wasn’t done to simply photograph a bunch of nudists in the desert. There was a bigger motivation. Ari Leon Fruchter, the man who staged this whole thing, hopes these images will raise awareness and ignite a wave of activism that may help slow or even stop the disappearance of the Dead Sea. We are thrilled today to be joined by Ari Leon Fruchter to talk nudism, environmentalism and activism. So many isms.
Nov 11, 2021
#262 - Monthly Recap: Trapped In a Restroom Praying For The Climate
Check out our merch store! *** Naor and Eytan discuss everything that happened in Israel and the world recently. INCLUDING: -Eytan's green pass debacle -Why climate summit in Glasgow is a sham -Can Elon Musk solve world hunger? -Fan mail/ hate mail/ death threats And much more!
Nov 02, 2021
#261 - An Arabic-Speaking Jewish Stand-Up Comedian Talks About The Conflict (Noam Shuster-Eliassi)
Check out our merch store! *** About 6 months ago, in May of this year, the entire country was hit with a wave of Arab-Israeli mob violence. Jews were targeted both in the streets and in their homes in cities like Acre, Lod, Jaffa. 2 Jews died, one in Acre, one in Lod. Many were injured. There were also a few incidents of Jewish mob violence but not quite on the same scale. On May 10th, Israel began it’s fourth military operation in Gaza. Another round in Israel’s ongoing attempt to defend itself against Hamas. All hope for co-existence seemed gone. And then about a month later the government was formed. In an unexpected and historic twist, Prime Minister Bennett managed to form a coalition by garnering the support of one of Israel’s Arab parties. For the first time in history, an Arab party is part of the ruling coalition. Is this just a fling or is this a true step in the direction of peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Today we are joined by comedian and activist Noam Shuster-Eliassi. Noam joined us back in June to talk about her bout of covid and her time in Hotel Corona. But Covid-19 is so 2020. This time, Noam joins us to talk about Peace in the Middle East. Noam hails from quite a unique place - Neve Shalom or Wahat Al-Salam (which translates to Oasis of Peace), a cooperative village founded by Arabs and Jews with the stated goal of showing the world that it’s possible. Noam performs in Hebrew, Arabic, and English and we are thrilled to have her on the show today.
Oct 27, 2021
#260 - The Right Wing Extremist Settler Who Became a Left Wing Pro-Palestinian (Dov Morell)
Check out our merch store! *** At the age of 12, he ran away from home - a settlement in the West Bank. It was then he was drawn to a life of right-wing nationalist extremism. He joined the hilltop youth, an informal group of settlers responsible for incessant attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. Soon enough, he found himself indicted for incitement. His crime - dancing with a picture of the murdered Dawabsha baby as another hilltop youth stabbed the photo. But this is all in his past. Today, Dov is an activist for Palestinian equality, for Feminism and for freedom of religion. Is this just another form of extremism or is Dov a changed man? Today, we’re joined by Dov Morell to talk about his life as a hilltop youth, his journey and his drastic change of perspective.
Oct 19, 2021
#259 - Monthly Recap: James Bond, Facebook "Whistleblower" and Green Passes
Naor and Eytan talk about everything that went down in Israel this past month. *** Check out our merch store!
Oct 07, 2021
#258 - When Hollywood Tried To Whitewash Hitler's Top Nazi (Guest: Vanessa Lapa)
In 2014, Vanessa Lapa had just released her new documentary film, ‘The Decent One’, about the lost diaries of SS commander Heinrich Himmler. Diaries which miraculously landed in her hands. The film was a huge international success. And after years and years of thorough research, archive deep dives and a life that revolved around Himler - Lapa thought it was probably time to move on and put the Nazis where they belong - on the shelves of history. But fate had other plans for her. During one of the screenings of ‘The Decent One’ in New York, an old Jew approached Lapa with an extraordinary offer which eventually led to her next documentary “Speer Goes to Hollywood.” Just when she thought she was out - they pulled her back in. Albert Speer was one of the closest men to Hitler, his minsiter of Arms and the mastermind architect behind Nazi grand-architecture. Now, ‘Speer Goes To Hollywood’ is premiering worldwide, and we have the great privilege of hosting Vanessa Lapa on the podcast tonight. NYC screening: October 29th L.A screening: November 5th More info:
Sep 29, 2021
#257 - What Is the Best Holocaust Movie of All Time? (Rich Brownstein)
We all remember the Holocaust. The gas chambers, the piles of dead bodies, the merciless murder of women and children and men. Of course, you also remember that girl in red. Benigni’s kid on the tank. Or Adrian Brody playing that dusty piano. And how can we forget, Shoshana. So much of our imagery and memory of the Holocaust has been informed by stories, some purely fictional. But that’s the nature of time. So much of history is surrendered to the narrative - to the storytellers, the filmmakers and the poets. What a heavy responsibility that must be. Rich Brownstein was born in Portland, Oregon in 1962. In 1989, Rich created what became Hollywood’s largest transcription company: The Transcription Company, used by virtually every major studio and network, including NPR, ABC News, and Oprah. In 2003, he sold the business and moved his family to Jerusalem. He started teaching Holocaust film for Young Judaea in 2010 and branched out into Jewish film in 2013. Since 2015, Rich has been a lecturer at Yad Vashem, specializing in teaching educators how to teach the Holocaust using film. He has lectured at many colleges and universities about the history of Holocaust film. We’re very honored to be joined by Rich today to talk about the Holocaust in film. Rich's new book:
Sep 09, 2021
#256 - The Elites Vs. The People (Gadi Taub)
Check out our NEW merch store! *** The government in Israel is celebrating 2 months since its establishment, and boy, what a ride has it been! This week, PM Bennet will go to Washington for his first meeting with President Biden. But here in Israel, many people feel this government doesn't represent them. 1 million Likud voters were left out of the party, because their leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is boycotted by the leaders of the left and central wing parties. Some people in Israel claim that Israeli society is divided into two - First Israel, mostly left wing ashkenazis, and second Israel - mostly right wing mizrahis. The elites, which includes mostly ‘first Israel’, is depriving second Israel from the game, according to those who believe in this theory. Many of them are Likud voters. In his new book, ‘The Mobiles and The Fixed - The Struggle of the Elites Against Israeli Democracy’, Taub is debating that the struggle between First Israel and Second Israel, will define the future of the country. Dr. Gadi Taub is probably one of the most hated and despised people among Tel Aviv’s intellectual elite. The reason is simple: once, he was one of them. An eloquent left winger, a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University and all the right opinions. But alas, Dr. Taub woke up one morning and decided to “shift sides”. Now Taub publishes in-depth, highly controversial, right-wing op-eds in Haaretz. We’re thrilled to have Dr. Taub on the show to talk about his new book.
Aug 31, 2021
#255 - Monthly Recap: Gaza Protests, Covid, Afghanistan And 2NJB Celebrates 5 Years!
Naor and Eytan talk about all the recent events in Israel and around the world. *** Check out our NEW merch store!
Aug 23, 2021
#254 - The Jew Who Studied In An Islamic College (Avi Shalev)
Check out our NEW merch store! *** For so many, the Arab-Israeli World is a mystery. Even in Israel, where we live side by side with Arab-Israelis, it’s a foreign culture to us non-Arabs. We read about it in the news, we see it depicted in movies and television and we hear it talked about endlessly. But we don’t really know what it’s like. Probably the only part of their culture some of us know fairly well is Arab food - Shawarma, Knaffeh, Msabaha, the list goes on and on. It’s a good list too. But other parts of the culture are alien to us. For example, what is it like to study in an Arab academic institution? Well, our guest today might just have some insight. Avi Shalev served in Military Intelligence and the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip for 24 years. And then, he had what some might call a crazy idea. He wanted to obtain a teaching certificate in order to teach Arabic in schools and he decided to do it in Al Qasemi College, a Sufi Muslim academic institution in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, an Arab village along the border with the West Bank. Avi wanted to cross the imaginary lines that divide Jewish and Arab Israelis and try to understand what life is like on the other side. Avi documented his experiences in his new book Al Qasemi Journal, or Yoman Al Qasemi in Hebrew and he joins us today to share his experience. We are thrilled to have Avi Shalev on the podcast today. "The Al-Qassemi Diaries" on Headstart:
Aug 20, 2021
#253 - Everything You Wanted To Know About Iran But Were Afraid To Ask (Dr. Thamar E. Gindin)
On October 1st, 1939 Winston Churchill gave a speech on BBC Radio. When talking about the Soviet Union, Churchill said it is ‘A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’. Now, 82 odd years later, while that definition is still true to modern time Russia, it’s just as much true about another country the west is struggling to understand. It’s Iran. Iran is vast. With 1,684,000 square Kilometers, it is larger than the combined territories of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. It’s the 16th most populous country in the world, with almost 83 million citizens. It has an army of almost a million people. And all of this might is ruled by a bizarre combo of a kinda-democratically-elected president, alongside an almighty supreme leader, the Ayatolla. Iran is the number 1. sponsor of terrorism on the entire globe, with the intent to ‘spread the shiite-islamic revolution’. They are the main funding source for terror organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. And they also don’t hesitate to kill their own, with tens of thousands of innocent Iranians who died for no reason since the 1977 revolution. Last week a new president was sworn to office in Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, ‘The Butcher of Tehran’, who massacred thousands of innocent Iranians when he served in various roles in Iran’s judiciary system. Today, it is safe to say Iran seeks to become a world superpower, and eventually destroy the ‘small devil’ - Israel, and the ‘Big devil’ - the United States. Will they succeed? To try and understand what makes Iran tick we figured we’d bring someone who knows it best. Today we’re joined by Dr. Thamar E. Gindin. Dr. Eilam Gindin is an Iran expert from the Ezri Center in Haifa University. She is also the host of the Podcast ‘Enriched Iranium’ in Hebrew. We’re super happy to have her on the show today!
Aug 12, 2021
#252 - Elephants and Donkeys: US Politics Deep Dive (Yiftach Dayan)
In a little over a year, the United States will head to midterm elections. While these elections usually get less coverage and less voter turnout than presidential elections, they play a major role in American Politics. Congress is the main event with all 435 seats up for election. Also up for grabs - about one third of the senate seats and two thirds of the gubernatorial seats. With the progressive discourse growing more dominant in the states, these upcoming elections are not only relevant for the US but also foretell of US - Israel relations and American foreign policy in general. One thing’s for sure, Andrew Cuomo will most likely no longer be the governor of New York… To discuss all this and more, we’re joined today by Yiftach Dayan. Yiftach is a commentator of American politics and author of the Hebrew blog “On Elephants and Donkeys.” And according to his Twitter bio, apparently a world renowned bed sheet folder - we’ll have to see about that.
Aug 05, 2021
(Rerun) Holocaust Historian Deborah Lipstadt, Next US Ambassador to Combat and Monitor Antisemitism
US President Joe Biden has just decided to nominate Deborah Lipstadt as the next US Ambassador to Combat and Monitor Antisemitism. We interviewed Prof. Lipstadt in 2017 when the movie 'Denial' premiered. The movie depicted her incredible life story. We're re-uploading the episode so that you can listen to it if you haven't yet!
Jul 30, 2021
#251 - Monthly Recap: Delta Variant Restrictions, NSO & Macron, and Dumb New Taxes
Join us as we talk about the latest news this month in Israel. The delta variant ushers back mask mandates and other restrictions; NSO sells spyware to Morocco helping in their surveillance of French President Macron; and the Israeli governments mulls new taxes on everything from electricity to plastic.
Jul 29, 2021
#250 - The Guy Who Finds Covid In Poop (Dr. Yair Lewis)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Since Delta is on the rise and we might all be put back in our cages in a few weeks time, we thought it would be a great idea to revisit our old friend, Covid. But this time, from a different angle. The poop angle. Dr. Yair Lewis was part of the team led by Health Ministry’s national lab for environmental virology which is testing sewage across Israel to help pinpoint high risk coronavirus infection areas. Dr. Lewis is also the VP Medical at Navina, a medical AI startup that makes patient data accessible for care providers. He earned his MD from the Hebrew University, and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Yair also holds a PhD in molecular biology from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. We are super excited to be joined by Dr. Yair Lewis today to talk about Covid… and poop.
Jul 22, 2021
#249 - Is The Media Slandering The Charedis? (Rabbi Doniel Katz)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * It seems that in the past couple of years, the ultra-orthodox and Charedi community in Israel are constantly under the spotlight. It began with the Corona outbreak, when they were, quite despicably, tagged by the media as ‘disease spreaders’. Then, a couple of months ago, with the disaster at Mount Miron, in which 45 Charedis lost their lives as they visited the holy grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai. And now, the Charedis are again in the spotlight, as the new minister of Finance, Avigdor Liberman, announced that he will be cutting funds to the community unless, as he says, Orthodox men go out to work, instead of studying Torah all day. Exactly a month ago, on June 15th, Rabbi Doniel Katz wrote a post on Facebook that went viral. “Having lived exclusively immersed in this culture for the last 21 years, I think I'm sufficiently qualified and well-researched enough to state that the consistent depiction of Chareidim and Torah Judaism by mainstream media, from Netflix to the daily news, is somewhere between delusion, slander and the literal equivalent of racism.“ We’ll read the entire post for you soon. Rabbi Katz is the founder and director of The Elevation Project, an organization which aims to unlock the Torah & Kabbalah's definitive model of consciousness, meditation, and human psychology. Rabbi Katz is of course by no means an official representative of the ultra-orthodox community. But he is an educator, a lecturer, and a member of the Charedi community, so we thought it’d be interesting to hear his perspective. We’re extremely happy to have Rabbi Katz on the show.
Jul 15, 2021
#248 - The First Israeli Woman On Mount Everest Summit (Daniel Wolfson)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * A few months ago, on episode 237, we had Daniel Wolfson on the show. Daniel told us her incredible story, about how she almost became handicapped but eventually recovered and became a mountain climber. Daniel was going to peruse her biggest dream, and become the first woman ever to climb mount Everest. Well, a few weeks ago, it happened. Daniel did it, and made history. Today, we’re super proud to have Daniel again to talk about her incredible, extremely dangerous journey.
Jul 06, 2021
#247 - Monthly Recap: New Government, Family Reunion Bill and Youtube Censorship
Naor and Eytan talk about everything that happened in Israel this month. *This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * *Support Jeremy's Circle! Jeremy’s Circle is the first and only community in Israel to support children and teens growing up in families struggling with cancer or cancer loss. *
Jun 30, 2021
#246 - Pro-Israel Influencer Rudy Rochman
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: promo code: 2NJB As we record this episode, we are about 2 weeks after Operation Guardian of the Wall, aka - Israel’s 4th war with Gaza. In the 12 day war, Hamas shot thousands of rockets on innocent civilians, as the IDF retaliated against military targets in Gaza, doing everything it could to harm as few civilians as possible. While Operation Guardian has come to an end, there is another battle that is ongoing. One that probably won’t end anytime soon. The battle for public opinion. Israel is fighting an uphill battle when it comes to advocating its case to the world. And some say it’s not doing the best job. As the Palestinians have a sophisticated propaganda wing, reinforced by a chain of influencers and celebrities like the Hadid family, John Oliver and Trevor Noah, we have…. well, not much at all. Even our biggest celebrity, Gal Gadot, refrained from stating her clear unequivocal support for Israel. So, on to that almost empty stage stepped Rudy Rochman. Rudy is a noted speaker and writer on Jewish rights and an avid advocate for Israel worldwide. He was born in France but made aliya at the age of 3. He studied at Columbia University, where he joined Students Supporting Israel and served as the president. Since then he’s been creating viral content on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are super thrilled to have Rudy Rochman on the podcast today!
Jun 09, 2021
#245 - The Guy Who Wrote Israel's Iconic Gay Movies (Gal Uchovsky)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: promo code: 2NJB Last February, Gal Uchovsky said something provocative. So far, that’s not really news - since Uchovsky, who’s a very well known publicist, filmmaker and gay-rights-advocate, is also very well known for his eccentricity, his though provoking columns and television appearances. But this time, things have gotten a bit out of hand. On a Friday-evening family talk show, Uchovsky said ‘we should declare war on the Charedis. They’re like a cult.” Almost immediately, Uchovsky received hundreds of phone calls and messages, from random people who called him for very peculiar reasons. Thankfully, Uchovsky’s life and career has made his skin thick. As a screenwriter, he wrote some of Israel’s most famous movies, including ‘Walk on Water’ and ‘The Bubble’, directed by Eitan Fox, his partner. Those movies redefined the conversation about homosexuality in Israeli cinema. As a columnist, he wrote for many years in Maariv newspaper, and now he’s writing for the popular website ‘mako’. And in 2020, his documentary series, ‘The Gay Revolution’, was aired and was in the center of numerous debates and opinion pieces. Uchovsky is the producer of Eitan Fox’s new movie, ‘Sublet’ now in theaters! It’s safe to say then, that today’s guest is an extraordinary and opinionated person, so tune in, because today’s episode is bound to be interesting!
Jun 01, 2021
#244 - Operation Guardian of the Walls: What the $*&# Happened? (Ofir Dayan and Jonathan Elkhoury)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: promo code: 2NJB It seems like forever ago when rockets hit Israel and we ran to shelters to the soothing sounds of the sirens. Actually, wait, that was a week ago! That’s the pace of things in the Middle East. Still, something big happened here. Tectonic changes. Things will never quite be the same as they were. Many people blamed the recent round of hostilities on Jerusalem-related events. Be it the Temple Mount, where we made the Palestinians angry, or Sheik Jarah, where… Apparently we made the Palestinians angry. They get angry quite often, I’ve noticed. But I digress. In the aftermath of Operation Guardian of the Walls, we decided to summon some of our favorite past guests to talk about what went down and the current situation. Ofir Dayan is a Temple Mount Enthusiast, an Al Aqsa aficionado if you will, and an advocate for Israel in the world. As a student at Columbia University in New York, she served as the head of SSI, Students Supporting Israel. Our second guest tonight, Jonathan Elkoury, was one of our first guests on the podcast back in 2001. Jonathan is an avid advocate for Israel in international media, he’s a political activist and recently, a reality tv star in a new upcoming show. We are thrilled to be joined by Ofir and Jonathan today to try and understand what the hell happened here, and what the future holds for Israel and Jerusalem.
May 27, 2021
#243 - SPECIAL: 5 Myths About The Current Hostilities In Israel
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: promo code: 2NJB *** Naor and Eytan talk about the current hostilities in Israel
May 12, 2021
#242 - Ambassador Turned Novelist (Dr. Michael Oren)
(This episode was recorded before the recent events in Jerusalem and Gaza) *This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * *We’re also sponsored by the Susie & Kevin Davis Foundation, please check it out at, and consider supporting their efforts.* Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: promo code: 2NJB Our guest today is a great friend of the podcast. We’ve had the honor of hosting him quite a few times, but always in a very different capacity than today. In the past, we’ve introduced Dr. Michael Oren as someone who served as the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's office, as Member of Knesset in the Kulanu Party and as the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 2009-2013. Today, we’re introducing Dr. Michael Oren as a novelist. Dr. Oren has released several non-fiction books in the past, including Sand Devil, Reunion and a collection of short stories titled The Night Archer and Other Stories. But in just about a week, Michael’s latest novel is going to hit the bookshelves. To All Who Call In Truth tells the story of Sandy Cooper, a guidance counselor and coach in a suburban junior high school, who’s otherwise uneventful life turns upside down after a word of advice to a troubled student embroils him in a forbidden relationship and the exposure of a twisted murder. Aside from his extensive service to the country, Dr. Michael Oren also taught history at the Ben Gurion University and was a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown. We are thrilled to be joined by Dr. Oren on the podcast today to talk about his new novel and of course a little bit of politics - how could we not?
May 11, 2021
#241 - Highs and Lows of a Startup King (Shaul Olmert)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * *We're also sponsored by the Susie & Kevin Davis Foundation, please check it out at, and consider supporting their efforts.* Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: promo code: 2NJB CEO of a company that was valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, executive at Nickelodeon and MTV and novelist. These are just a few of the entries on today’s guest’s resume. Shaul Olmert was CEO of Playbuzz, a company that for quite a while dominated online content. If you were on Facebook in 5 years ago, there’s 0 chance you didn’t come across a Playbuzz article. Today he is CEO and Co-founder of a stealth-mode startup called Piggy. And, recently, he’s written a novel. One that’s caused him to ask himself: Is Shaul Olmert an entrepreneur and businessman who just wrote a book? Or is he a novelist who’s been masquerading as an entrepreneur and businessman? Well, today we get to find out. We are super excited to be joined by Shaul Olmert to talk about his business endeavors, his new novel and what his favorite Playbuzz article was.
May 06, 2021
#240 - Monthly Recap: A Success Story, A Crime Story and A Tragic Story
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: Naor and Eytan talk about everything that happened in Israel this month.
Apr 27, 2021
#239 - Worms for Brains and Other Tales from the TAU Genetics Lab (Prof. Oded Rechavi)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: What would you do if you woke up one day, and you were told that you’re going to be given 2.5 million dollars. No ifs or ands or buts. Just take the money, and make something good out of it. Unfortunately, us simpletons seldom face these kinds of problems. But today’s guest was recently put to this very test. Prof. Oded Rechavi is one of the youngest, most promising scientists in the Israeli academia today. He’s a Professor of Neurobiology and Genetics in Tel Aviv University, where he researches various subjects, from diseases, to irrationality and even ancient scrolls. Prof. Rechavi is a laureate of many awards, including the Blavetnik award, the Schmidt award and the Polymath award, which recently granted him with 2.5 million dollars, and one goal - make something interesting out of it, whatever you see fit. We are extremely excited to have Prof. Rechavi on the show today!
Apr 21, 2021
#238 - The Iranian Threat II (Dr. Dan Schueftan)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: Back in 2018, President Trump made a bold move when he exited the Iran Nuclear Deal and levelled crippling sanctions on the Iranians. Iran, in retaliation, cranked up its Uranium enrichment - well, at least they no longer hid it. Last week, in a quiet corner of Vienna, the US began back channel negotiations with Tehran with the aim of reentering what is officially known as The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Talks are set to continue this week. Yesterday, Natanz nuclear facility in Iran experienced a devastating power outage which experts are saying has set back Iran’s nuclear goals by about 9 months! And guess who most are saying is responsible? Dan Schueftan is the head of the National Securities Graduate Program at the University of Haifa. He has taught at the IDF National Security College and Command and Staff College. He was an advisor to Israel’s National Security Council and former Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon. He’s also the author of several books and articles on issues pertaining to Israel’s National Security. He joins us today for the second time to talk about the Iranian Threat. We’re thrilled to welcome Dan Schueftan to the podcast.
Apr 13, 2021
#237 - Will She Be the First Israeli Woman to Climb Everest? (Daniel Wolfson)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: What do you do in your free time? Do you paint? Cycle? Study a foreign language? Well, our guest today climbs mountains. But not just any type of mountain. She climbs the mountains that are almost impossible to climb. Her most recent peak was Ojos Del Salado in Chile, the highest active volcano in the world. And this is what she does in her free time. Daniel Wolfson is a lawyer by trade but in her free time she runs marathons, does triathlons and conquers some of the highest summits in the world. We are super thrilled to have Daniel Wolfson on the podcast tonight to talk about the injury that led her to mountain climbing, the crazy dreams climbers have at high altitudes and the crazy dream she has at ALL altitudes - the dream of being the first Israeli woman to climb Mount Everest.
Apr 06, 2021
#236 - Monthly Recap: Back To Life In Israel, Biased Media and Porch Hot Tubs
Naor and Eytan talk about recent events in Israel and the world. *This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15:
Mar 18, 2021
#235 - The Doctor Who Was Outcast For His Opinion About Covid (Prof. Eitan Friedman)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: On the 1st of March, Prof. Eitan Friedman, the director and founder of the Oncogenetics Unit at the Sheba Medical Center, will end his tenure there. On several occasions over the several months, Professor Eitan Friedman has publicly denounced the government’s policy of lockdowns as an ineffective measure in dealing with the pandemic. Some suspect this might be one of the reasons he will no longer serve as a director at Sheba Medical Center. Professor Friedman has been a professor at Tel Aviv University since 1999. His research is focused on the inherited predisposition to cancer and population genetics. He is also the first Israeli to swim solo across the English Channel. We are thrilled to have Professor Eitan Friedman with us today to discuss Israel’s Corona policies, the current situation of the pandemic and the price he’s paid for speaking his mind.
Mar 10, 2021
#234 - ELECTIONS SPECIAL: Breaking Down ALL The Political Parties In Israel (Yoav Rabinovitz)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: In a bit less than 3 weeks, on March 23rd, Eytan Weinstein will turn 32. Oh yeah, and Israel will hold its 4th election round in the past 2 years. If you don’t live here and follow the news obsessively, you might find yourself baffled as to the amount of parties, agendas, boycotts and potential Prime Ministers in our tiny political pool. Don’t you worry though, because today - we got you covered. Who’s ‘we’, you ask? Well, to try and make sense of the chaotic Israeli political map, we are joined today by Yoav Rabinowitz! By day, he’s the chief-editor of the super influential tv show “The Other Side with Guy Zohar”, which deconstructs news items and political speeches, and confronts them with the cold hard facts. By night, Yoav takes off his suit and becomes a stand-up comedian and the wittiest tweeter in the Middle East. Tonight, we have one goal for the show. We’re going to walk you through all the main parties on the ballot (and some not so main ones) and try to find one that doesn’t make us want to vomit. Buckle up!
Mar 03, 2021
#233 - The Israeli Arab Who Was Wounded In Lebanon Fighting For Israel (Yoseph Haddad)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: There's no better way to introduce our next guest than by telling you about the following tweet. A few days ago Gideon Levy published an op-ed in Haaretz and wrote "There is not and there can't be an Arab who stands silent for the siren on the Memorial Day for fallen IDF soldiers, the soldiers who killed his fellow nationals, who conquered his land, who banished his fathers and who continue to abuse his brothers. An Arab who stands during the siren commits a lie in his soul and betrays his nation. Period." Yoseph Hadad, an Arab Israeli and CEO of the NGO Aravim Ze Le Ze, tweeted a photo of the excerpt and wrote: "Gideon, I am an Arab Israeli and I'm a wounded IDF veteran. I stand during the siren with pride and with sorrow every single year and think about my friends who I lost as they fought for the entire country - Jews and Arabs." Aravim Ze Le Ze is an NGO dedicated to connecting the Arab community to Israeli society. Aravim Ze Le Ze directly translates to "Arabs, one for another '' but is also a play on the old Jewish proverb "All of Israel is responsible one for another. We are super thrilled to be joined by Yoseph Hadad today to talk about just how integrated Arabs are in Israeli society.
Feb 25, 2021
#232 - World (Dis)Order in the Age of Globalization (Nadav Eyal)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: Let’s talk about your underpants. The undies you’re wearing right now, were most likely not manufactured in your home country. Chances are, they were made in China or Malaysia or Taiwan, thousands and thousands of kilometers away, by a kid who’s paid a fraction of what you make in an hour. Then, with the click of a button, dem undies you’re wearing, traveled across the globe and landed on your doorstep. And that’s just undies. Information travels infinitely faster. This, in a nutshell, is the story of globalization. The incredible historic process that has connected our planet in an unprecedented way, and which is now under attack - at least according to Nadav Eyal. Nadav Eyal, is a renowned Israeli journalist. He’s currently a columnist for Yediot Ahronot newspaper. Until recently, he was the head of the Foreign Desk at Channel 13 News and before that, he was on the political beat for various outlets including Maariv and Galey Tzahal. His new book - Revolt: The Worldwide Uprise Against Globalization, depicts the major undercurrents that he believes might threaten modern civilization. We are thrilled to be joined by Nadav Eyal to discuss his new book, as well as a subject he’s been covering thoroughly for over a year - the battle against covid.
Feb 17, 2021
#231 - Monthly Recap: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Covid Anal Swabs and Eytan's Quarantine
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: Naor and Eytan talk about everything that happened in Israel during the last month.
Feb 10, 2021
#230 - The Man Who Took Down An Islamic Terrorist (Kfir Itzhaki)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: Naturally, there are feelings that we don’t enjoy. Feelings we feel we’d be better off without. Hate, sadness, fear. Fear, what a useless emotion. Right? Almost a century ago, at his inaugural address, FDR said those now famous words, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” But hasn’t fear been ensuring our survival since the dawn of our species? Would we really be nature’s apex predator if we didn’t have that cautious, neurotic, loss-averse coward we all do deep down inside? Kfir Itzhaki has been fascinated with fear all his life. He faced fear time and time again, as a professional martial art fighter, as a fauda-style ‘mista’arev’ in Duvdevan unit in the IDF, and as a citizen who stormed an Islamic terrorist during the second intifada. Today, Kfir lectures on fear and the art of dealing with it, and his new book “Unconventional Weapon”, is all about utilizing fear to our advantage. 2NJB is happy to have Kfir Itzhaki on the show.
Jan 27, 2021
#229 - The Israeli Social Media Star Who Was Kicked Off TikTok (Hananya Naftali)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $15: Yesterday, Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States of America and Kamala Harris as the first female Vice President in American History. With them Israel waved goodbye to one of the friendliest American administrations in modern history. And if that’s not enough, Israel is on its own way to an inauguration… but first it has to get through another election (the fourth in two years). Meanwhile, Israel has extended the lockdown for another 10 days while the national vaccination effort is progressing at an unprecedented speed. We’ll be discussing all this and more today with a great friend of the podcast, and old guest and an Instagram sensation, Hananya Naftali. While serving in the IDF, Hananya was unable to turn a blind eye to all the fake news he heard about Israel. So he decided to do something about it. Fast forward 4 years - he’s got huge followings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We are super thrilled to be joined by Hananya Naftali.
Jan 21, 2021
#228 - CEO of 'she codes' Battles Covid (Ruth Polacheck)
*This episode is sponsored by Masa Israel Journey. Check them out at * From Mark and Steve to Bill and Elon, when scrolling through any list of the top figures in tech, there are practically no female faces. And it’s not just at the top. According to some statistics, in the US, women represent only 14% of software engineers and only 25% of all computer-science related jobs. It’s not much better in Silicon Wadi either. As of 2017, women made up only 29% of all computer science students in Israel. So why is this? Why in 2021, in the age of equality, is there still such a wide gap? And finally, are we doing something about it? Ruth Polachek is the Chairwoman, Founder and CEO for 6 of the last 7 years of “she codes”, a community of 30,000 Israeli female software developers. “she codes” has as its mission statement the goal of reaching 50% female representation in the tech industry within a decade. Ruth is also currently CEO and Co-Founder of a new Digital Health venture, LessTests, which aims to make Covid-19 testing as accessible as possible to everyone around the world. We are thrilled to be joined today by Ruth Polachek.
Jan 15, 2021
#227 - Israel Weekly Recap: Inception Lockdown, Naor's Vaccine Story and A Holocaust Tale
We had to reschedule all our guests because of the lockdown. So guess what? You're stuck with us for the second time in a row. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Jan 06, 2021
#226 - 2020 Yearly Recap
It's time to wrap up 2020! We talked about elections, vaccinations, horrible dating dilemmas, and Eytan's promising new political party that's gonna conquer Israel by storm.
Dec 30, 2020
#225 - Startup for the People (Tamara Harel-Cohen)
Covid has been with us for a year now - happy birthday! But as we’re all gonna be vaccinated pretty soon, some aspects of the disease are going to remain with us for a long time in the future. Because even though most people didn’t end up getting infected with the virus, a huge amount of households - here in Israel at least - suffer from the devastating economic impact, that two lockdowns and more ever-lasting draconic restrictions, have brought upon middle class and lower class people who simply try to make ends meet. When Tamara Harel Cohen decided to make Aliyah and devote her career to build a socially impactful startup, she didn’t imagine the %@#$%-storm that would hit us all. Her company, Riseup, tries to help households make better economic decisions, and get out of debt. As debt in Israel rises constantly each year - that is not an easy mission to embark on. We’re super excited to have Tamara Harel-Cohen with us today, to talk about her fascinating and innovative company, economic decisions, and much more.
Dec 24, 2020
#224 - StandWithUs Israel Executive Director (Michael Dickson)
What makes up the DNA of a nation? It’s hard to think of one quality, or even a handful of qualities that unite millions or hundreds of millions of people. After all, societies are, in the end of the day, just a bunch of individuals. And still, it’s hard not to wonder sometimes, what makes a nation tick, and why do certain people - and certain countries - stand out? Only a little over 70 years old, Israel is already a huge success story in so many ways. For decades Israel enthusiasts have been trying to find the answer to the question - why has the Jewish nation thrived in such extraordinary ways? Is it our culture, our upbringing, or perhaps something in the tap water? Today we’re joined by Michael Dickson. Michael and his co-author Dr. Naomi L. Baum have recently released Isresilience, a new book which, through a series of conversations with inspiring Israelis, endeavors to answer just these types of questions. Michael is the Executive Director of Stand With Us in Israel - an organization that advocates for Israel and fights against the BDS movement worldwide. We’re super thrilled to have Michael Dickson with us today to talk about his new book, about StandWithUs and about much much more. (Photo by Jared Bernstein)
Dec 16, 2020
#223 - Monthly Recap: Covid Vaccines, Fake Emiratis and a Latke Recipe
Naor and Eytan talk about everything that went down in Israel during the past month. *** Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Dec 09, 2020
#222 - Israeli Olympic Medalist (Arik Zeevi)
Israel is a pretty small country. Just about 9 million. But for our size, we pack quite a punch. Everybody knows the ol’ Nobel Laureate spiel - Israelis have won a whopping 12 since 1966 and that’s crazy for a country of our size. It seems like we got the brains. But what about the muscle? Unlike the USA, Russia and China, we don’t have the resources to nurture younglings from an early age on their journey to become the best athletes in their field. This is why we never particularly excelled at the Olympics. There are, however, a few fields of sports in which we are really good at. Surfing and sea sports is one of them, and Judo is another. Out of 9 Olympic medals Israel has gotten in the Olympics throughout the years, 5 were in the field of Judo. Yael Arad was the pioneer, when she brought us the Silver medal in 1992, and became the first ever Israeli to win an Olympic Medal. More than a decade later, in 2004, Arik Zeevi won the Bronze medal, and made history. Since then, Arik has been inspiring generations of Martial Artists, in Israel and throughout the world. So without further ado, 2NJB are proud to have our first ever Olympic Medalist, ladies and gentlemen - Mr. Arik Zeevi.
Dec 01, 2020
#221 - The Green Old Deal (Rabbi Yonatan Neril)
If you grew up in a religious or even a traditional Jewish home, this might sound familiar to you: It’s dinner time on Tuesday night and you served yourself way more food than you could eat. Seeing that you didn’t finish the food on your plate your mother reprimands you with those two words: “Bal Tashchit!” “Bal Tashchit” is one of the 613 commandments in the old testament and it literally translates to “you shall not destroy” or “you shall not waste”. These two words are at the center of the Jewish debate on environmentalism. Today we’re joined by Rabbi Yonatan Neril, co-author of Eco Bible, a publication on what the Bible says about ecology and creation care. We are happy to be joined by Rabbi Neril to talk about the environment, about climate change and about what nice Jewish Boys (and girls) should do to care for our planet.
Nov 25, 2020
#220 - Making The Most Out Of The Pandemic (Aki Avni)
Corona, it seems, is wreaking havoc throughout Israel, as we’re in the midst of a semi-lockdown, and the worst is yet to come. The theaters have been closed since winter, the movie industry is on hold, and thousands of artists, actors, producers and others from the entertainment industry, find themselves at a crossroads. Some choose to take the stimulus checks the government is sending, and keep their heads down. Others, take another approach. If you grew up in Israel, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Aki Avi. Aki is one of the busiest, most talented actors in Israel. There isn’t an angle of Israeli culture where he didn’t leave his mark - theater, tv host, cinema, tv shows and even Hollywood - Avni’s career is simply breathtaking. 2NJB is happy to have Aki Avni on the show today, to talk about finding inspiration during pandemic times, the craft of acting, expressing your political views in Israel, and much more.
Nov 16, 2020
#219 - Monthly Recap: Two Nice Jewish Boys & One Never-ending US Election
Join us as we talk about the US elections, censorship by Israel’s Public Broadcasting Corporation and how to avoid getting caught being adulterous on camera (hint: don’t do it.)
Nov 08, 2020
#218 - 24 Hours To USA Elections - The Israeli Perspective (Oren Nahari)
Tomorrow is a big day for America, and naturally for the world. Many US citizens have already voted and many more will as the country faces the big decision - who will be the man to lead the free world for the next four years? Donald Trump or Joe Biden? If Israelis were voting, the outcome would be definitive. In a recent poll held by i24News, 63% of Israelis said Trump would be a better president for Israel. Only 18.8% said the same about Biden. Trump also represents a big divide in the American Jewish community: whereas most of American born Jews living in the States do not support Trump, the majority of Israeli-born Jews living in the States do. So is Trump good for the Jews? Is he good for Israel? And, what will happen if Joe Biden wins tomorrow? To discuss all of this, and much more, we are joined by Oren Nahari. We hosted Oren on the podcast almost 4 years ago to discuss Trump after 30 days in office. Oren is a legendary Israeli foreign affairs correspondent, an author, a sci-fi geek and an avid cat person. We are thrilled to have him on the show today.
Nov 02, 2020
#217 - Israel's Number One Communist (Dov Khenin)
Communist. Arab-lover. Tree-hugger. These are just a few of the nicknames his rivals use against him. He’s one of only a select few Jewish Israelis to have served as a Member of Knesset in a majority Arab party. He’s a proud communist who until recently had pictures of Che Guevara and Vladimir Lenin hanging in his parliamentary office. He’s an activist for socio-economic equality and environmental justice. HE is Dov Khenin. All the descriptors we just mentioned probably either make your blood boil in rage or simmer with excitement but either way, this is bound to be an interesting conversation. And if you want to learn more, after you’re done with this episode, check out “Comrade Dov”, a recent documentary directed and produced by Barak Heyman, which tells the story of Dov Khenin. We are thrilled to be joined by former Member of Knesset Dov Khenin today to talk about his recent resignation from political life, the documentary, his beliefs and the future of Israel. To watch the movie, please email
Oct 27, 2020
#216 - The Director Of Netflix's "Devil Next Door" (Yossi Bloch)
Back in November 2019, when the world was still a relatively normal place, and our biggest concern was which Ice Cream taste we should get on our midnight-munch-Wolt-Delivery (yes, wolt delivers ice cream in TLV) - anyway, last year, we had the distinct pleasure of having Yoram Sheftel on our podcast. Sheftel was one of the central characters (and what a character) of Netflix’s hit documentary series, The Devil Next Door, which depicted the incredible story of John Ivan Demjanjuk. Demjanjuk was a Ukranian-American, who was charged back in 1989 in Israel of being Ivan The Terrible - a sadist and cruel guard of Sobibor camp, during the Holocaust. The show was a phenomenal success, and was one of the pioneering Israeli TV documentary shows to be showcased on Netflix. If you haven’t heard our episode with Sheftel, then once you’re done with this one, got check it out - it’s a must. Episode 167. Today we’re joined by Yossi Bloch. Yossi is one of the busiest and most successful documentary filmmakers working in Israel currently. He co-created The Devil Next Door with Daniel Sivan, and coincidentally, he’s a fan of our Show! So without further ado, Yossi Bloch. *** Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Oct 20, 2020
#215 - The Man Who Invented The Iron Dome (Chanoch Levin)
In 2019 Israel spent about 20 billion dollars on defense. That’s around 11 percent of its annual budget and puts Israel amongst some of the highest spenders on defense. All in all, makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that starting in the early 2000s, Israel was seeing a barrage of constant rocket fire from Gaza injuring hundreds, killing dozens and terrorizing entire communities. Sometimes all the money in the world won’t solve a problem. For that you need bright minds all set to a singular goal. And of course, someone to manage them. Chanoch Levin was that man. Chanoch was the project manager for Iron Dome, the anti missile defense system developed by Israel and the US to counter the constant rocket fire from the Gaza strip. Against all odds Chanoch and his team at Raphael were able to achieve the unimaginable. The story of Iron Dome is being told through a new documentary series featuring Chanoch Levin and other top Israeli brass responsible for making this miraculous missile defense system come to life. The new 3-part documentary series is now available to stream, worldwide outside of Israel, exclusively on IZZY. Visit Today, we’re extremely honored to be joined by Chanoch Levin to talk about the Iron Dome defense system. *** Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off: *** Photo credit: Nehemia Gershuni-Aylho CC-BY-SA 4.0
Oct 12, 2020
#214 - Monthly Recap: Is Donald Trump Hitler? Nope
Naor and Eytan talk about everything that went down in Israel during the last month. *** Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Oct 07, 2020
#213 - The Idan Raichel Experience (Idan Raichel)
We all have our soundtracks. A song or an artist that truly resonates with people becomes the soundtrack of those people’s lives. For many Jews across the world, and non-Jews as well, Idan Raichel is the soundtrack of some part of their life. Raichel is one of the most well known Israeli artists in the world. Since his hugely successful debut album The Idan Raichel Project was released in 2002, Raichel has zigzagged across the globe on countless tours. He performed a private concert for the visiting President Obama in 2013 (and that was the second time he performed in front of the president) and he’s collaborated with many world renowned artists including Alicia Keys. Ladies and gentlemen, today we are incredibly excited and so honored to be joined by the one and only, Idan Raichel. *** Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Sep 27, 2020
#212 - Fact Checker By Day, Comedian By Night (Yoav Rabinovitz)
Humanity, in general, can be divided into two main groups: those who watch the news, and those who live a happy and prosperous life. But if you’re a sucker for news and politics like us, you’re doomed to cope with an endless stream of spins, fake news and manipulations, that it’s hard to sometimes really know what the hell’s going on. Fortunately there are good people who take upon them the burdensome job of fact-checking, sifting through dusty archives, watching hours upon hours of materials, in the quest for a slippery thing called The Truth. Yoav Rabinovitz, our guest today, is one of those people. By day, he’s the chief-editor of the super influential TV show “The Other Side with Guy Zohar”, which deconstructs news items and political speeches, and confronts them with the facts. And by night, Yoav takes off his suit and becomes a stand-up comedian, the wittiest tweeter in the Middle East, and a guy that can dance as if he’s the love child of Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger. 2NJB is happy to have Yoav Rabinovitz to talk about these turbulent times in Israeli politics, the justice system, and above all - why he thinks Aroma, the Israeli coffee chain, is the best place in the world. Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Sep 21, 2020
#211 - The MK Who's Fighting Facebook And Twitter (Michal Cotler-Wunsh)
Israel recently went through a traumatic year of election cycles in which it seemed like there were no winners - only losers. But eventually, amidst all the political gunfire and smoke, a government was formed. One of the figures that emerged from that year is Michal Cotler-Wunsh. Michal is the daughter of a former Canadian Justice Minister and the former Parliamentary Secretary of Begin’s Gahal and Likud parties. So it’s no surprise that she’s risen to such prominence. Michal joined the Knesset as a member of Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party after the March elections. She recently rose to national and international headlines after leading a string of hearings of the largest social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google, questioning them on their censorship policies last month. We are very excited and very honored to be joined today by Michal Cotler-Wunsh to talk about censorship on social media, about the protests going on in Israel and about much much more!
Sep 14, 2020
#210 - Monthly Recap: Why Are We Ok With LockDowns?
Naor and Eytan talk about all the hot topics of September 2020. Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Sep 09, 2020
#209 - Europe's Last Dictator (Guest: Shalom Boguslavsky)
He’s been nicknamed “Europe’s Last Dictator” by much of the media. He’s been in power for over 24 years. He’s suppressed and even arrested much of his political opposition and he just prevailed through his 5th consecutive electoral win but many, if not most, question its legitimacy. Can you guess which head of state we’re talking about? Alexander Lukashenko has been the president of Belarus since 1994 and today the country seems like it might be on the brink of a revolution. Shalom Boguslavsky organizes study tours in Eastern-Europe. He writes and lectures about both Eastern Europe and Israel with a focus on geopolitics and Jewish history. We’re happy to be joined by Shalom today to talk about the situation in Belarus. (Photo by Serge Serebro, Vitebsk Popular News ) Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that’s 67% off:
Sep 07, 2020
#208 - BLMing The Jews (Ofir Dayan)
No matter where you’re from, it’s hard to ignore what’s going on in the United States as of May. The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer ignited massive protests and widespread riots across the country. Covid and an approaching election did nothing to calm the storm. When something this dramatic happens to Israel’s most powerful ally, it’s especially hard for Israelis to ignore. Unrest usually doesn’t bode well for either Israel or Jews in general. Today we’re with an old guest of the podcast, Ofir Dayan. Ofir studies at Columbia University in New York and she’s the head of SSI, which stands for Students Supporting Israel. She joins us today to talk about the unrest in the United States and about what it all means for the people who will probably end up being blamed for causing it all, the Jews. *** Exclusive subscription offer for podcast listeners: Get 6 months of The Forward for only $10 — that's 67% off:
Aug 31, 2020
#207 - The Guy Who Makes Food From Trash (Shai Rilov)
What do you have in your fridge right now? Some eggs, a head of wilted lettuce, maybe a loaf of bread? How do you decide when it’s time to move on, when your food is overdue, and destined to be thrown out and replaced by fresh, shiny, new food? According to some estimations, about 30-40% of all food in the United States is being wasted, thrown to the garbage because it wasn't eaten in time. Sometimes, we even throw good food - food that’s still completely edible. And it makes you think - what if we were smarter about how we treat our old, perhaps less enticing, but still very much nutritious, food? Shai Rilov is a social entrepreneur from Haifa. He came up with an ingenious idea - take the food that people don’t want, make delicious dishes out of it, and serve it to those who can’t afford it in restaurants. That’s how Robin Food came to be, a restaurant that Shai opened in Haifa’s historic food market, Talpyiot. Shai joins us today to talk about Robin Food, and his next exciting ventures.
Aug 26, 2020
#206 - Black Flags And Pink Bandanas (Maya Rimer)
Two months ago, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, a subsequent economic crisis and a prime minister accused of corruption, thousands of Israelis decided to hit the streets. Gathering in Jerusalem, right next to the Prime Minister’s residence, they had one goal in mind. Benjamin Netanyahu must resign. His failure in handling the health and economic crises and his questionable legal standing means one thing - he’s gotta go. These protests continue today both in Jerusalem and across the country. Many Israelis criticize the protests for being unfocused, for exploiting global and national instability to secure political objectives and for being unruly and sometimes even violent. On the other hand, these protesters themselves claim to be the victims of both police and civilian violence. As usual, Israel ain’t a walk in the park. Joining us today is a former guest of the podcast, the journalist and activist Maya Rimer. Maya is a participation specialist and group facilitator who took part in the 2011 protests in Israel and is currently one of the voices that’s calling for change.
Aug 18, 2020
#205 - Monthly Recap: Criminal (In)Justice, Virtue Flagging and Why Seth Rogen's Wrong
Naor and Eytan discuss current events.
Aug 11, 2020
#204 - The Mastermind Behind Netanyahu's New Media (Topaz Luk)
A legendary Jewish poet once wrote: “It’s lonely at the top”. And indeed, the higher you climb in politics, the lonelier it gets. And when you’re the Prime Minister of Israel - which some might argue is the most difficult job in the world - and you need to decide whether or not to attack Iran, you can listen to smart people, sure, but no one will be there when you make the final decision. No one but you. And still, even prime ministers can’t do everything by themselves. They must surround themselves with dedicated, smart and excellent people who will help them, say what they think from time to time, and most of all will be there when they are needed. Topaz Luk was only 22 years old when he got a phone call from the Prime Minister of Israel. He was freshly out of Dover Tzahal, the luxurious “IDF Spokesman” unit, where he specialized in social media and helped the IDF revolutionize its online presence. Not long after, he found himself working with Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the most influential, historic - but also controversial - leaders in the history of our young country. More than five years and a gazillion political campaigns later - Topaz is still the Prime Minister’s new media consultant, and one of his most devoted and closest advisors. We’re thrilled to have Topaz on the show today to talk about these turbulent times in Israel, his work with the Prime Minister, his world views and much more.
Aug 04, 2020
#203 - The Communist Turned Capitalist (Ariel Karlinsky)
Most people don’t hang flags above their beds. But Ariel Karlinsky isn’t most people. Above his bed, throughout his childhood and well into high school, Ariel hung the red flag of the Soviet Union - its yellow sickle and hammer watching over him every night. Until one bright day he decided to take it down, fold it up and tuck it away, along with his strong beliefs in the Communist system. Ariel Karlinsky is an Economist at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative think tank dedicated to (quote) “secure Israel's future as the nation-state of the Jewish people, to strengthen representative democracy, and to broaden individual liberty and free-market principles in Israel.” Ariel joins us today to talk about how a communist became a capitalist.
Jul 29, 2020
#202 - The Man Who Brings 36,000 Americans To Israel Every Year (Gidi Mark)
6,744 miles. That’s the distance between Israel and America. Together, the two countries are home for 90% of Jewry around the globe. But while in Israel Jewish identity is obvious to almost everyone, from the moment they are born to the moment they punch their ticket - in America, things are a bit different. As the years progress, some young Jewish Americans feel more and more detached from their Jewish identity. Some are only half Jewish, or quarter Jewish, some don’t even know about their Jewish roots. It is feared, therefore, that within a few generations, not much will be left of the American Jewish, non-haredi community.  To battle this possibility, an initiative named Birthright was established in 1999. The idea was simple - bringing young Jews from all around the world to Israel, so that they can understand their roots, get to know the country, and hopefully, fall in love. Since then, more than 750K people participated in the project, 75% of which are Americans and Canadians. It was a wild success. But now, as Corona emerged in our life, the future of the entire operation is being put to the test. So what does the future hold for Birthright? And did the project achieve any actual results? To answer these questions, we have Gidi Mark on the show today. Gidi is the CEO of Taglit. He started his career as a diplomat, and he served the country of Israel in many embassies, including Istanbul, Bonn and New York. He’s been serving as CEO since 2008, and let is to impressive success. We’re happy to be joined by Gidi Mark to discuss Birthright, American Jewry, and much more.
Jul 21, 2020
#201 - Monthly Recap: Cancel Culture, Pro-LGBTQ Palestinian Tahini And Corona Weddings
Naor and Eytan talk about everything that's been going on in Israel lately.
Jul 14, 2020
#200 - Is Annexation Good Or Bad For Israel? (Uri Zaki)
July 1st was a date some Israelis were looking forward to. For the past few months, most Israelis have been speaking about one thing, (well, except for corona) - Annexation. Aka instilling Israeli law in much of the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria. Since the Six Day War in 1967 when Israel conquered the area - Israeli citizens have been living there in settlements under military rule. Annexation would change that permanently, and settlers would cease to be settlers. They would be living, de facto, in the State of Israel. Of course, in Israel, nothing’s ever that simple. This plan split the country in two - those who prayed for annexation, and those who dreaded it. Uri Zaki is a political activist, a member of the Meretz party, one of Israel’s more left-wing parties. He is the founder of “The Front for the Protection of Democracy”, an organisation that strives to be (quote) “the assaultive tool in the struggle for the Israeli democracy”. Uri is also the partner of MK Tamar Zandberg, who we had the please of hosting on the podcast - check out episode 34. We’re happy to be joined by Uri Zaki to discuss the Deal of the Century, democracy in Israel - and much more!
Jul 08, 2020
#199 - The Most Radical Professor In Israel (Amir Hetsroni)
Israel is one of the youngest democracies on the face of the planet. If you turn on the news here in Israel, or a reality TV show for that matter, even if you just go out to buy a carton of milk at the supermarket, you’re bound to hear people arguing. Everyone here has a strong opinion and they’re not afraid to share it. Right-wing, left-wing, you name it. In Israel, free speech is the word. But every once in a while, someone says something that stretches the boundaries and tests the tolerance of Israelis. Today, we’re joined by someone who basically does this every time he speaks. Prof. Amir Hetsroni. From the time he said that Israel would’ve been better off without its Mizrachi Jews, who came from arab-speaking countries - and the time he engraved anti-Zionist messages on his parents’ graves, to the time he ridiculed Israel’s fallen soldiers for being “idiots who didn’t know how to avoid the draft”, Prof. Hetsroni has been involved in countless controversies and he definitely hasn’t escaped unscathed. Prof. Hetsroni previously taught communications at Ariel University, and currently teaches at Koch University in Turkey. Today we are joined by Professor Amir Hetsroni to talk about his career, his world views and an upcoming documentary film about him. So buckle up, here we go.
Jul 02, 2020
#198 - The Woman Who's Turning TLV's Homeless Into Celebrities (Mor Shaal)
If you live in Tel Aviv, you simply can’t miss them. They are part of your life. When you hang out with your friends at the local bar - they’re there. When you go out for jogging - they are there. When you come home from your parents on Friday night and waiting at a red light in the entrance to Tel Aviv - they’re there. They are Tel Aviv’s saddest souls, the homeless. Yes, Tel Aviv is not Seattle nor is it San Francisco. But the city struggles with its own homeless people, asking the passersby to spare a shekel. Most of us walk right by them, don’t look, don’t care. But today we’re joined by someone who just can’t ignore them. Mor Shaal is an artist who was living in Haifa up until a year ago. When she moved to Tel Aviv, she was amazed by the amount of homeless people in the streets, and became fascinated by them. She started talking with some, and then began documenting these encounters for a project which went viral on social media. Mor Shaal joins us today to speak about her amazing work with the Street Dwellers Project.
Jun 24, 2020
#197 - Welcome To Hotel Corona, Such a Lovely Place! (Noam Shuster)
As of today, Israel hasn’t been hit very hard by the Coronavirus, relatively speaking. The government took extreme measures early on, and managed to limit the spread of the virus and death toll. One of the unique steps taken by the Israeli government was to rent out entire hotels throughout the country, and convert them into Quarantined Hotels. The idea was simple - if you have Corona, and can’t isolate, check into the hotel, receive food and medical treatment and once you recover, you can checkout. Welcome to The Hotel Corona! Such a lovely place. Noam Shuster is a stand up comedian, a peace activist and recently, patient number 3555. When she checked into Hotel Corona in Jerusalem, nothing had prepared her for the multicultural, unforgettable experience that would unfold in the following days. We’re happy to host one of the only people in Israel who CAN’T infect us with covid19 (hopefully), Noam Shuster.
Jun 15, 2020
#196 - Monthly Recap: George Floyd and the Lie of Systemic Racism (and some Feiglin Afterthoughts)
Naor and Eytan discuss recent events.
Jun 06, 2020
#195 - The Orthodox, Libertarian, Pro-Weed Israeli Politician (Moshe Feiglin)
Once upon a time, in an election far far away, in April of 2019, amidst the political cacophony of right and left, one party stepped into the lime light as a possible king maker. You see here in Israel, as a small party, you can tip the scales of a coalition - and thus hold a lot of power. Zehut, or Identity, led by Moshe Feiglin was predicted to receive as much as 7 mandates. For many, Zehut is an enigma. On one hand the founder of the party Moshe Feiglin leads a libertarian approach to government and economics. He believes in lowering taxes, abolishing social security and a separation of church and state. And as an added bonus, he wants to legalize pot. On the other hand, he's a devout religious Jew who believes the Temple Mount should be under Israeli control and that the third temple is soon to be built - g-d willing. Some people adore him, others despise him, but one thing is certain. Moshe Feiglin is one of the most intriguing Israelis to hit the political stage in recent times. We are very thrilled and honored to be joined today on the podcast by Moshe Feiglin.
Jun 04, 2020
#194 - Giving in Times of Corona (Achi Kushnir)
For many, during these times, it’s all too easy to slip into hibernation after a steady diet of Netflix, while suffering existential angst, anxiety and apathy. Anything beyond that can seem, well, just too hard. But, let’s face it. Nothingness - doing nothing - simply breeds more nothingness. So, it’s no surprise that the nation that made the desert bloom, has created a whole lot of some things out of this current Covid climate (CCC). Australian-born Israeli Achi Kushnir could be considered your typical intelligent, driven Israeli. Yet, like most Israelis, there’s nothing typical about Achi. Achi’s volunteering has led him to discover the amazing grassroots initiatives everyday Israelis have developed in helping those affected by the Coronavirus. We are thrilled to be joined today by Achi Kushnir to talk about his group Here For Good, volunteering and staying positive in trying times.
May 28, 2020
#193 - Monthly Recap: Supreme Court Reality TV and Marxist French Textbooks
Eytan and Naor talk about everything that's happened in Israel during the last month, and much more.
May 13, 2020
#192 - The Acclaimed Cellist and The Japanese Man Who Saved 6000 Jews (Kristina Reiko Cooper)
Coming from a long line of musicians and artists, our guests today has been praised by the New York Times as “sensational in concert” and as a “striking virtuoso” by the Los Angeles Times. Her awards and accomplishments are way too long to list, but suffice it to say that she’s performed as a solo artist and a chamber musician at some of the world’s most renowned venues - Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall of Tokyo, the list goes on and on and on. She’s serving as a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University here in Israel and she has been so kind and brave as to accept our invitation and join us on the podcast today. We are thrilled to be joined by the amazing cellist, Kristina Reiko Cooper.
May 06, 2020
#191 - Funny Times (Kandi Ableson)
We could all use a good laugh. Especially now while many of us are secluded in our homes, far away from our loved ones, with nothing better to do but watch Too Hot To Handle on Netflix. True story. Don’t watch it unless you want to feel a strong, deep, unshakable sense of shame. If only there was an Israeli English speaking comedian who would agree to risk her life and come to our studio, to boost the national morale and give hope to our listeners around the world. How amazing would that be? Well, unfortunately we couldn’t find anyone like that, so that’s that for today’s episode guys, stay safe! Bye! Just kidding. We have the perfect comedian for the job right here with us. Her name is Kandi Ableson, she’s American, she made aliyah, she’s a superstar in the local comedy clubs doing stand up IN HEBREW, at least she was when going out and comedy clubs still existed. We’re delighted to have Kandi on the show with us today, and a quick disclaimer - this episode might include profanities!
Apr 29, 2020
#190 - Genetics and Nazism (Prof. Amir Teicher)
We all want to be the best we can be. And of course, we want to surround ourselves with the best of the best. But this seemingly positive motive has led some people to say and do some pretty horrific things throughout history. The Greek Philosopher Plato suggested selective mating to breed a higher class of humans. In Sparta, a council of elders inspected every child to determine if he or she was fit to live. In early ancient Rome, fathers were expected to immediately kill their child if they were disabled in any way. But it’s not just ancient history. In the 19th and 20th century a new system of beliefs began to emerge - Eugenics. The idea that through selective breeding we can improve the genetic make-up of the human race. Sound familiar? But where did Eugenic thought originate? Professor Amir Teicher discusses exactly that in his new book, “Social Mendelism: Genetics and the Politics of Race in Germany, 1900-1948” Professor Teicher is an assistant professor of history at the University of Tel Aviv. His research is focused on Germany, eugenics, the development of modern biological thinking, racism and antisemitism, and the history of medicine. We are super thrilled to be joined today by Professor Amir Teicher to talk about his new book and the history of Eugenics.
Apr 22, 2020
#189 - 2NJB LIVE MONTHLY RECAP: A Land Under Lockdown
Is the world overreacting to coronavirus? How has it influenced the political arena? Will a new government finally be formed or is Israel headed to a 4th round of elections? And finally, how long before life returns to normal? Tune in to the Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast!
Apr 13, 2020
*NEW PODCAST* Economize Me - Episode 1: Buy 3 Get 1 Free (Awful) Haircuts
Hey everyone! We have a new podcast! It's called Economize Me, and here's the first episode. What forces are at play in our relationship with our wallets (and our hair)? What exactly causes us to spend money? And how does that influence the way we behave? As a student of film and television, my acquaintance with economics was... non existent. But after 4 awful haircuts (one of which was free), I found myself asking: “Why did I act so irrationally?” In an attempt to understand my own behavior, I contacted Professor Barry Schwartz of the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. Professor Schwarts has been investigating the link between economics and psychology for over 40 years. Just the man to answer my questions.
Apr 04, 2020
#188 - Corona, Coalition and Constitutional Crisis (Vivian Bercovici)
These are highly turbulent times in Israel. Not only are we facing the Corona crisis with a health system that’s more or less stuck in the 80’s, we are also in the midst of a political earthquake that’s shattering the entire Israeli political landscape as we know it. Here’s a small recap of what’s happened here in just the past few days: the Supreme Court ordered Yuli Edelstein, the head of the Knesset, to hold an election for his successor, he refused and resigned, thus causing a constitutional rift (if Israel had a constitution); Ganz, the head of the Blue and White Party, decided to cross his most loyal political partner, Yair Lapid, and against all odds join Bibi for a right-wing-orthodox government; And if nothing crazy happens (which at this point, is just like saying if nothing normal happens), it looks like Bennet, Israel’s Defence Minister, will be left out of the upcoming coalition. And that’s just the appetizer. To discuss all this sweet sweet craziness, we decided to talk to Vivian Bercovici. Vivian served as Canada’s Ambassador to Israel between 2014-2016. She’s a Lawyer, a business consultant and a columnist for several outlets including the Jerusalem Post, the National Post, and Commentary Magazine. Vivian was also brave enough to risk her life and join us today on the podcast, and for that we’re extremely thankful.
Mar 30, 2020
#187 - Painting Her Way From a Kibbutz to the Venice Biennale (Miriam Cabessa)
From the time of the cave-men to this day, painting has been deeply rooted in the DNA of mankind. It’s as primal as humanity itself, and can teach us much about what it means to be human. Maybe that's why millions of people visit the louvre to see the Mona Lisa, or to Rome to behold the Sistine Chapel - maybe through these works of art, they can understand themselves. Miriam Cabesa’s career has reached peaks many Israeli artists can only dream of. For the past 20 years, she's lived in NYC, devoting herself to her art. Since the 90’s Cabesa has been known as one of the most important Israeli artists. She was born in Casablanca, Morocco grew up in a kibbutz and became extremely influential, showcasing in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and various galleries in NYC and throughout the United States and even representing Israel in the Venice Biennale. Now she’s back in Israel, which gives us a rare opportunity to talk with her about her art and her life story.
Mar 25, 2020
#186 - LIVE: Coronavirus, Politics and Reality TV (Roy Iddan)
It’s officially the end of the world, so we thought we’d do one last, no holds barred, all-in, episode extraordinaire! And who better to do that with that an old friend of the podcast, the man, the legend, the one who a Mako blog recently described as “pretentious, possessing an awful sense of humor, nerdy, out of his element, with a hint of personal and professional self-disappointment.”, ladies and gentlemen, Roy Iddan! Roy Iddan is a scriptwriter, he’s created and/or written many Israeli TV shows. Roy was also the production designer for the 2009 MTV show Dj & the Fro. But that’s only by day, by night, Roy is a political columnist, radio show host and even a political consultant for various campaigns. cough cough Likud cough cough Blue and White cough cough. We’re super thrilled to have Roy Iddan on the show today to talk about Corona, Politics and being on Reality TV!
Mar 16, 2020
#185 - Secret Letters of an Israeli Pioneer (Daniel Chertoff)
Mordecai Chertoff came to Palestine in 1947 as a twenty-five-year-old, determined to make his contribution to the emerging Jewish State. Between 1947 and 1949 he was variously, local news editor, foreign news editor and war correspondent for the Palestine Post, soldier in the Haganah and resident of Jerusalem. In a series of vivid and often moving letters to his family back in the United States, Mordecai described the news of the UN vote for partition, the ongoing battles along the dangerous Jerusalem–Tel-Aviv highway and the attempts to break the siege of Jerusalem, the bombing of the Palestine Post, the declaration of the State of Israel, and, inevitably, the loss of friends. These letters have been annotated and contextualized in the book, Palestine Posts: An Eyewitness Account of the Birth of Israel, written by Modecai’s son, Daniel Chertoff. Daniel worked in the investment industry and as a senior executive in a large Israeli high tech company. Before discovering his father’s letters, he was an adviser to the World Jewish Congress and happily writing his doctoral dissertation in English literature at the Hebrew University. Daniel is an Associate Editor of Partial Answers and he joins us today on the podcast to talk about his new book, about his father and about the founding of the state of Israel.
Mar 10, 2020
#184 - 2NJB Monthly Recap - Corona and Elections in Israel, Dem Primaries and Much More!
LIVE: 2NJB Monthly Recap - Corona and Elections in Israel (third time is NOT a charm), Dem Primaries and much, much more!
Mar 06, 2020
#183 - The Israeli World Champion of Debate (Yoni Cohen Idov)
Jews have always loved a good argument. From the oral teachings to the Talmud, the culture of arguing, making a point and then a counter point - is deeply rooted within the Jewish tradition. Maybe that’s the reason that in recent years, under the radar, Israel has become an international juggernaut in the debate world. The debating clubs are thriving, and in international debating competitions Israel is winning big prizes. Yoni Cohen Idov is the world debate champion for 2019. He’s a debate coach and currently works in Israel, USA and China. He joins us to discuss the art of debating, so that hopefully, we’ll be a bit better at it.
Feb 26, 2020
#182 - The Guy Who Plans to Buy 2.3% of The Planet (Uri Shanas)
The fires this season in Australia have claimed the lives of 29 people to date. 15 Million acres of woodland have burned in Australia. Not to mention the 4.6 million acres that have burned in America and over 2 million in Brazil. It is estimated that in Australia alone, between 500 million to one billion animals have died, including approximately half of the entire Koala population. In many cases, governments are either helpless or completely uninterested in the problem. And although it is clear that 90% of the fires are caused by people, it’s not clear if there’s something that could be done to change the situation. One thing is for certain: around the world many nations are seriously struggling to preserve nature and wildlife. In 2015, Prof. Uri Shanas of Haifa University came up with a groundbreaking idea - what if private people got together to buy a big chunk of nature, and committed to preserve it. With several partners, Uri created TiME - This is My Earth, an organisation that strives to purchase and preserve 2.3% of Earth’s entire territory. We’re happy to have Prof. Shines on the podcast today to discuss the initiative.
Feb 19, 2020
#181 - 2NJB Monthly Recap, Coronavirus, Brain Injuries in Iraq, 2NJB Post Bag and much more!
What happened in Israel in the last month? 2NJB are here to summarize.
Feb 11, 2020
#180 - Trump's Peace Plan - "Deal of the Century" (Michael Oren)
Recently, President Trump and his team unveiled the much awaited Deal of the Century, a plan to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This immediately led to a media frenzy. Several obvious opponents including the PA and the Arab League rejected the plan flat out. Others joined in their rejection claiming that it completely ignores the Palestinian side. On social media, many people shared a meme comparing the plan to the one laid out at the Oslo Accords, claiming the two to be identical. We figured, we should try and figure this out. What is actually in the plan? Is it fair? Is it feasible? Is it really the deal of the century? To help us unravel all this is a good friend of the podcast, Dr. Michael Oren. Dr. Michael Oren was Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's office, Member of Knesset in the Kulanu Party and served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 2009-2013. Oren also taught history at the Ben Gurion University and was a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown. He is the author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction, which we’ve discussed here on the podcast. We are honored to be joined by Deputy Minister Oren to discuss the so-called Deal of the Century.
Feb 06, 2020
#179 - Young Israeli Climate Change Activist (Michael Bäcklund)
The cover of Time. Many monumental figures of history have graced this much coveted magazine cover: Albert Einstein, JFK, MLK, Pope John Paul II. This year, joining these ranks is Greta Thunberg, this year’s Time Magazine Person of the Year. So much has been said and written about Greta, the 16 year-old Swedish girl who took the world by storm with her furious speeches and international Friday demonstrations. Here in Israel, Greta didn’t receive much coverage. However, many young people felt connected to Greta’s movement, and joined the environmental zeitgeist that was taking over the world. Today we’re finally going to talk about climate change, one of the most controversial topics of our time. Michael Buckland was born in Finland, and made Aliyah 2 years ago. He quickly became aware of issues like the use of plastic and air pollution in Israel, and started getting involved. Soon enough he began organizing protests and today he’s one of the leaders of a new Israeli green movement. We’re happy to have Michael Buckland on the podcast today to talk about climate change!
Jan 29, 2020
#178 - Tel Aviv's New Kosher Bacon Cheeseburger (Todd Aarons and James Oppenheim)
Sitting right across from the Cinematheque, Bodega is Tel Aviv’s newest, American-style burger joint. That’s where Todd Aarons and James Oppenheim serve kosher Philly Cheese Steaks and B.L.T.s, and everything is certifiably, mouth-wateringly delicious. Todd Aarons grew up in LA and has been a professional chef for over 20 years. He has worked in kitchens in Italy, NYC, San Francisco, LA, and Israel, and was founding executive chef of Tierra Sur in Oxnard, CA. James Oppenheim has been working in high tech for over 20 years before entering the food business. We are super excited to host Todd Aarons and James Oppenheim on the podcast today.
Jan 22, 2020
#177 - The Haredi Rabbi Who Battles Pedophilia (Rabbi Horowitz)
The Hasidic Jewish community in Melbourne, Australia is an extremely closed community - they have no access to Radio or Television, boys and girls are separated as early as 8 years old, and the Rabbi has the final say on all issues. In 2008 the community was in havoc, due to a number of girls who complained that their school principal, Malka Leifer, sexually assaulted them when they were children at the school. The school immediately bought Leifer plane tickets and she fled to Israel before facing any charges. Leifer remains in Israel to this day, as Australia’s extradition request is suspended in endless trials and legal processes. How many Malka Leifers are there in the Orthodox communities in Israel and worldwide? It’s extremely hard to know. With a clear tendency to avoid any discussion on sex or sexuality, has the Orthodox community doomed itself to simply suffer quietly, exposing the vulnerable? In the last 15 years, one man has been trying to make sure that’s not the case. His name is Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, and he’s the author of “Let’s Stay Safe!”, a children’s book about sexual safety. Yaakov has devoted his life in recent years to fighting sexual abuse in the Orthodox community. He’s now in Israel as 15 thousand copies of his book are being printed in Hebrew and distributed for free. Rabbi Horowitz is Founding Dean of a Monsey, NY Yeshiva and Director of The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES, and we’re honored to have him on the show.
Jan 15, 2020
#176 - Yemen: Where Middle Eastern Powers Clash (Uzi Rabi)
(Please note: this episode was recorded before the elimination of Qassem Soleimani) The Middle East is riddled with conflict. If you watch the mainstream media in the US, you might come to think that the main showdown is between the Israelis and the Palestinians but the truth is: there is hardly a stable state in the entire region. We’ve talked a lot about Syria in past episodes so today we’re dedicating an episode to take a closer look at Yemen. Since 2015 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels drove out sitting President Hadi, civil war has claimed the lives of tens of thousands and driven millions, most of the country in fact, into a state of destitute poverty. Is this just another Saudi-Iran proxy war? What Western powers are playing a role and what role are they playing? Is there any end in sight? And ultimately, will the Middle East every see stability in our lifetimes? To answer these questions, we’re joined by Professor Uzi Rabi, Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. Professor Rabi Rabi has written a number of books in both English and Hebrew. In 2015, he published “Yemen: Revolution, Civil War, and Unification.” We are very happy to be joined by Professor Uzi Rabi today to talk about Yemen. (Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/VOA)
Jan 07, 2020
#175 - 2019 End of Year Special Live Episode
EYTAN GOT ENGAGED! And a few other things... Join Two Nice Jewish Boys LIVE as we wrap up 2019!
Dec 30, 2019
#174 - Is Israel a Socialist or Capitalist Country? (Eli Cook)
Israel was founded largely by a group of Russian Jews. Ben Gurion, Moshe Sharet, David Remez, the list goes on and on. They came to Israel In the end of the 1800’s and early 1900’s, and were extremely influenced by Karl Marx and socialist ideas. The entire culture of Jewish Society in mandatory Palestine was socialist. If you wanted to be someone, you had to be a part Mapai, Ben Gurion’s Workers’ Party, and if you wanted a job, you had to bare the party’s famous “Red Notebook”. When Israel was founded, the socialist ideas of the founding fathers were the foundations for the country’s entire infrastructure. Every 1st of May, the entire country celebrated International Workers’ Day, and when Stalin passed in 1953 the newspapers mourned. Flash forward, 75 years later. Israel in 2020 is a thriving country, where innovation and merit are important values. But the country is more divided than ever when it comes to economic ideology, as most of the population thinks the country isn’t “social” enough, while others call for the end of what remains of the socialist system. So is Israel a social country, or a capitalist country? To clarify this daunting question, we brought Dr. Eli Cook straight from Haifa Uni. Eli is an expert for the History of Capitalism, and we’re super happy to have him here today.
Dec 25, 2019
#173 - The Jewish Man Who Changed An Antisemite's Mind On Twitter (David Abitbol)
Twitter. A place where you usually go when you’re in a desperate need for a good, pointless argument. Some people are drawn to this arena, like an insect to the light. And you gotta wonder - what’s the point in those endless discussions about Trump, or Bibi or Greta. No one has ever been convinced by some super witty or well articulated Tweet or Facebook comment. Right? Well, usually. Something different happened when blogger David Abitbol (aka Jewlicious) started a thread on Twitter with Megan Phelps-Roper, a daughter to a notorious family, that’s part of the Westboro Baptist Church, in Topeka, Kansas. About a week ago David sent us an email with the subject “I think we have what to talk about!‏”, followed by: I was recently on Good Morning America, a Steven Spielberg documentary and all kinds of fun stuff for something I did out of my shitty apartment in Machane Yehuda.” And that, dear listeners, is what we call an offer we cannot refuse. We’re super excited to have David "Jewlicious" Abitbol here with us on the podcast today.
Dec 18, 2019
#172 - Women Of The Wall and Freedom of Religion In Israel (Yochi Rappeport)
The Western Wall. The outer wall of the ancient temple in Jerusalem. The site to which millions of Jews in Israel and around the world do a pilgrimage to pray and to place a small note with their deepest ambitions between the cracks of those ancient stones.  For decades, shortly after Israel reconquered Jerusalem in 1967, women and men prayed at the wall according to traditional orthodox customs - meaning women cannot read from the Torah or wear tefillin or talit, customs of the reform movement, which barely exists in Israel.  As ties between American Jewry and Israel grew stronger and more Americans began to visit Israel, and the western wall, a group of women rose up and decided to stand up for their religious freedoms. This is how Women of the Wall was born. Over the years, Women of the Wall have demanded their right to pray and worship as they wish often demonstrating and protesting the restrictions. Recently they achieved a great breakthrough. But has the fight really ended?  Today we are joined by the Yochi Rappeport, Executive Director of Women of the Wall, to talk about religious freedoms in Israel.
Dec 15, 2019
#171 - The Rap-Battling Jew From Jersey (Kosha Dillz)
Today we’re doing an episode about something we’ve never really talked about. Rap. So we thought, how can we introduce such a young, hip, cool concept. Naturally, we turned to The Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford dictionary gives the word Rap a birth-year - 1541. The definition, if you’re wondering, is "to utter (esp. an oath) sharply, vigorously, or suddenly". Indeed, many words and phrases were uttered vigorously since the Rap music style started flourishing in black neighborhoods in America, in the form of Reggae in the 60’s, and hip hop in the late 70’s and 80’s. But as the years progressed, rap and hip hop evolved and have become a rich genre in mainstream music. In the last few decades, rap was mixed with every other genre imaginable. It crosses continents, cultures and languages but remains, still today, a form of musical protest and sometimes of musical rage. So today we’re here to talk about Rap music, but not just any rap music. Jewish Rap music. We’re proud to have Kosha Dillz on the show. Born as Rami Matan Even Esh, Rami grew up in Jersey to Israeli immigrant parents. He collaborated with Matisyahu, Snoop Dog, and many many more, and now he decided to make Aliyah! It gives us the thrills to be joined by the Kosha Dillz.
Dec 09, 2019
#170 - Are Israeli Ex-Soldiers Committing Treason? (Ronen Bergman)
Let’s say you’re a 16-year old Israeli teenager who likes computers and knows how to write some code. The day comes when you get a very important envelope in the mail (not email, but your actual mailbox) - this is called Tzav Shmone - “Draft Notice number 8”, and it’ll determine your fate for the next 5 to 20 years. Now assuming your a 16 year old computer geek you know exactly where you wanna end up in the IDF - the 8200 unit, Shmoneh Mataim. 8200 is a secret-ish unit in the IDF’s intelligence division. It’s main purpose is to conduct telecommunication reconnaissance, aka sig-int or signal intelligence. In recent years, 8200 has made a name for itself as the breeding ground for some of Israel’s leading entrepreneurs. A lot of people think of it as a ticket to success in life and indeed many of it’s alumni are snatched up by high tech companies and startups right out the gate.   But having been trained by the IDF in such confidential techniques, these veterans face a serious dilemma. Where do you draw the line between personal advancement and treasonous activity?  Today we’re joined for the second time by Dr. Ronen Bergman who recently published a series of articles in Yedioth Aharonot about veterans of the 8200 unit working for shady companies, sometimes even working for ones that are engaged in hostile activity against the State of Israel.  Dr. Ronen Bergman is a senior political and military analyst for Yedioth Aharonot and the New York Times. He’s the author of Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations and he’s been a guest lecturer at countless universities including Princeton, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge (where he received his PhD in history).   We are thrilled to be joined today by Dr. Ronen Bergman to talk about the 8200 unit and its graduates.
Dec 05, 2019
#169 - 2NJB Monthly Recap: Panic on the Streets of London and the Unholy Comeback of Louis C.K
LIVE: Panic on the streets of London, Sacha Baron Cohen speaks out against FB and Louis CK stages his unholy comeback in the Holy Land. Buckle up!
Dec 02, 2019
#168 - Middle East Breakdown Vol. III (Seth Frantzman)
In mid October, the IDF chief of staff, Aviv Cohavi, briefed both Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz on the state of Israel's security. The situation according to Cohavi, is grim. With regional stability at a low and threats of war on multiple fronts, Israel faces serious security challenges. Some pundits argue that Cohavi is simply trying to enrich the IDFs coffers. Others claim that this time it's for real. So, the question still stands: is Israel going to war? And if so, what will it look like? Joining us today is Seth Frantzman. Seth is the Oped Editor and Middle East affairs analyst at The Jerusalem Post. He has covered the war against Islamic State, three Gaza wars, the conflict in Ukraine, the refugee crises in Eastern Europe and also reported from Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Senegal, the UAE, Ukraine and Russia. We're super excited to be joined by Seth Frantzman to discuss the next Israeli war.
Nov 27, 2019
#167 - The Man Who Represented Ivan Demjanjuk (Yoram Sheftel)
In a free democratic state, every person is innocent until proven guilty and is entitled to a fair trial. That seems simple enough. However, sometimes the rule of law doesn’t quite line up so perfectly with our personal sense of judgement. In 1986 a man by the name of John Demjanjuk was extradited from the Cleveland, Ohio to the Israel. Demjanjuk was accused of being Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka - a notorious guard who would torture Jewish prisoners before they entered the gas chambers at the second deadliest Nazi extermination camp. Before Demjanjuk stood trial in Israel, he needed representation. No one in Israel was willing to defend the man that most believed to be one of the cruelest perpetrators of crimes against humanity. Until Yoram Sheftel came along. Today we are joined by Yoram Sheftel to talk about the Demjanjuk case and the new Netflix documentary “The Devil Next Door”.
Nov 20, 2019
#166 - LIVE: Deep State or No Deep State? (Gadi Taub)
These are fateful days for the State of Israel. A government is still nowhere in sight, and the chances for third elections seem higher than ever, as Ganz’s opportunity to form a government ends this Wednesday at midnight. In the meantime, Prime Minister Netanyahu is facing severe criminal charges, and Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is due to submit his final decision on Netanyahu’s cases in the upcoming days. This decision, will determine, in many ways, Israel’s destiny. In recent weeks, a group of right-wingers started to demonstrate against the Prosecution and the legal system in general, in demand to drop the charges against the Prime Minister. They’re joined by central media and news personalities who are critiquing both the police and the prosecution for being dishonest and even criminal. One of those demonstrators is Dr. Gadi Taub. Gadi Taub is probably one of the most hated and despised people among Tel Aviv’s intellectual elite. The reason is simple: once, he was one of them. An eloquent left winger, a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University and all the right opinions. But alas, Dr. Taub woke up one morning and decided to “shift sides”. Now Taub publishes in-depth, highly controversial, right-wing op-eds in Haaretz, lately denouncing the Israeli justice system. We’re thrilled to have Dr. Taub on the show to talk about Netanyahu’s criminal charges and the future of the Israeli Justice System.
Nov 17, 2019
#165 - Talking with an Israeli Feminist (Ya'ara Cohen)
(Please note: this text was written by the hosts and does not represent Ya'ara Cohen's opinions) In Israel, every year, 20 women on average get murdered by a family member. It might seem a relatively small number for an American, but in a country of 9 million - it’s a LOT. The majority of these women, are - PC TRIGGER ALERT- from Arab families, but definitely not all of them. Only recently, Israeli society was shaken by a horrendous murder of a mother by her father in front of their baby - and they were, on paper, the perfectly normal “Israeli” Jewish family. In the world, Israel is known as the only democracy in the Middle East. A torch of light amidst an ocean of cultural darkness - a country of gay pride parades, innovation and enlightenment. But when it comes to women, we need to ask ourselves - is Israel a feminist country? To try and answer this, we’re joined by Ya'ara Cohen. Ya'ara is a board member at Politically Corret - "Corret" translates to “She reads”, an organization that tries to shed a feminist perspective on everyday texts which we read in the newspaper and online. We’re happy to have Ya'ara Cohen on our show.
Nov 14, 2019
#164 - Israel and Gaza Escalation: What's Next? (Anna Ahronheim)
LIVE with Anna Ahronheim of The Jerusalem Post to talk about today's hostilities between Gaza and Israel.
Nov 12, 2019
#163 - Israel's Number One Tech Blogger (Hillel Fuld)
Some of the biggest global companies stem from this region. From Mobileye, Checkpoint and Mellanox to Wiz, Waze and Lemonade, Israel is not only on a global level, but at the top of tech innovation. But it’s not only the big companies, the ones that reach the headlines and sell for billions of dollars that call this company home. There is an ecosystem of thousands of innovative companies like Flytrex which does drone delivery, and who’s CEO, Yariv Bash we interviewed back in Episode 92. Or Zeekit which is disrupting the fashion industry by allowing you to virtually try on clothes online before buying them. Of course there’s also the dark side of the Israeli startup scene, which today can sum up in two words: we work. We’ll also get to that. To talk about all this, we’re joined today by a really exciting guest. Born in New York City, living now in Gush Etzion, and consulting for some of Israel’s fastest growing startups, Hillel Fuld is one of the most Influential tech vloggers in Israel and even in the world. Straight from the Hilzfuld Tech Vlog, we are thrilled to be joined today by Hillel Fuld.
Nov 06, 2019
#162 – 2NJB Monthly Recap: Scandals and the PATRIARCHY!
LIVE: The Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast with the monthly recap - talking about scandals, elections and the PATRIARCHY!
Nov 04, 2019
#161 - Breaking Down Israel In Numbers (Shmuel Rosner)
The last elections that were held in Israel a month ago, brought the country to yet another political standstill. With no clear winner or loser, the country could very well be approaching its third elections in a single year. And the worst part? Those elections might just lead us right back to square one. How could it be that the only Jewish state, the only democracy in the Middle East, is dealing with such a deep divide? The answer, as always, is in the numbers. Israel’s inner demographics are extremely complicated, with dozens of streams and sub-streams, beliefs, ideologies and various political views. Mix all these ingredients together, put it over medium heat for a couple of years, and you’ll get a complete chaos of a dish. That’s the Israeli story. To understand those complexities, one must dive into the numbers and ask some hard and basic questions: how many Jews in Israel fast on Yom Kippur? How many wave the Israeli flag on independence day? How many people think that serving in the IDF is essential, and how many think Israel should have sovereignty from the river to the sea? Those questions, and the statistics behind them, might help us put the pieces together, in the puzzle of Israeli society. Which leads us to Shmuel Rosner. Alongside Prof. Kamil Fuchs (the Israeli Nate Silver), Shmuel Rosner wrote an extremely important book “#Israelijudaism”, which is now out in English. The book is based on a broad-scale, thorough series of polls conducted by the author, their interpretation and the conclusions that Shmuel Rosner deducts from them. Shmuel Rosner is an Israeli writer, researcher editor based in Tel Aviv. He is a senior fellow at The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in Jerusalem. Rosner is a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times; he is senior political editor for at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, he’s the host of the great podcast Rosner’s Domain and we’re thrilled to have him on our show today, for the second time? (last time between ep 114 and ep 115).
Oct 31, 2019
#160 - What In The World Is Going On With Syria And The Kurds? (Jenia Frumin)
We’ve talked about the Syrian Civil War a lot on the podcast, but today it seems even more relevant than ever. When civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, the United States was very wary of getting itself embroiled in another conflict in the Middle East. With Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to solve the longest standing conflict in the Middle East, the Israeli - Palestinian conflict, the US had enough on their plates. But when you’re the most powerful nation on Earth, it’s hard to stay neutral. Recently, President Trump announced that he would be leaving Syria, clearing the way for a Turkish incursion, and leaving the Kurds in Syria to fend for themselves. This caused a bit of a stir to say the least. But what was the extent of America’s involvement in Syria? How big of a step was this actually? And what does this mean for the future of a conflict that has been raging on for almost a decade? Today, we’re joined by Jenia Frumin. Jenia is an Masters student of Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and formerly a fellow at the Shaharit Institute a thinktank that seeks to build bridges between Israel’s various communities. Jenia is also a senior guide at the L.A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art and an occasional speaker on subjects related to Middle Eastern history and modern day Russia. We’re excited to be hosting Jenia to talk about the recent events in Syria’s civil war.
Oct 24, 2019
#159 - The Amazing Life of Walter Bingham (Walter Bingham)
(We apologise for the technical issues you might hear during the recording) Today’s guest is no less than extraordinary. There is no way we can do justice to his life history in this short intro, in this single episode, or even if we dedicated this entire podcast to it, for that matter. No joke. But just to give you an idea: After witnessing the Nazi book burnings and Kristallnacht, he escaped Germany in the nick of time in 1939 only to be on the front lines during the invasion of Normandy as part of the British Royal Army Service Corps. After the war, he interrogated the Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop as part of Counter Intelligence, was awarded the Military Medal by King George VI as well as France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor, and now holds the Guiness World Record for being the eldest Radio Talkshow Host. But not too old to have skydived just last year at the age of 94. Oh yeah, and he acted in a couple of Harry Potter movies. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I am extremely thrilled and tremendously honored to be joined today by host of the radio show Walter’s World, Walter Bingham.
Oct 16, 2019
#158 - The Land of Milk, Honey and Startups (Max Marine)
Israel has certainly earned the nickname “StartUp Nation”. We have the largest number of startups per capita in the entire world. The population of this small country recently passed 9 million, so that’s about a startup for every 1,500 people. The stories abound of huge exits, like Mobileye to Intel for 15 billion dollars, Mellanox sold to Nvidia for about 7 billion dollars earlier this year, and the list goes on and on and on. But what makes Israel the startup hub that it is? What does the VC - startup courtship look like here in Israel ? And with so many startups, what happens to all the ones that fail? Max Marine is a CFA at Lool Ventures, an Israeli VC that has invested in many successful Israeli startups including Zooz which sold to PayU for $80 million. I'm super thrilled to be joined by Max Marine on the podcast today to talk about our startup nation.
Oct 10, 2019
#157 - 2NJB Monthly Recap: Elections and New Year Resolutions
Eytan and Naor discuss the podcast's 3rd anniversary, election results, and much more!
Oct 04, 2019
#156 – Breaking the Silence CEO (Avner Gvaryahu)
It is an ideal of most societies to support and respect those who defend it - namely, the police and the military. That is why when someone speaks out against these institutions, things get a bit heated. Today, in many societies there are indeed movements that put into question the integrity of these institutions. Here in Israel, one of the most controversial organizations, Breaking the Silence, has made it its mission to, “expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. [...] to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. [their] work aims to bring an end to the occupation.” Avner Gvaryahu served in the Orev Unit in the Paratroopers and is currently the Executive Director of Breaking the Silence. We are excited to be joined by Avner today on the podcast to talk about our troops and the morality (or immorality) of the occupation. (Photo by Joe Mabel)
Sep 27, 2019
#155 - Playing With Your Food (Ruthie Rousso)
Think about your favorite food. Whatever it is, it’s probably safe to say, you think it’s tasty. Unless you’re some sort of foodie masochist. But do you think it’s really tasty? Objectively tasty? How much of our taste is biological and how much is constructed, culturally, socially, maybe even morally? It’s exactly questions like this one that have accompanied Ruthie Rousso on her lifelong journey to discover food. Ruthie Rousso is a well known Israeli Chef and food journalist. She’s the daughter of Nira Russo, who you might call Israel’s Julia Child. And she has just released her first cookbook, Ruthie Rousso’s Kitchen. Ruthie joins us today to talk about her personal love story with food.
Sep 20, 2019
#154 - Liberman: Evading Indictments and Taking Down Governments (Simona Weinglass)
Aesop, the great greek storyteller, once said “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Israel, just like any country with a government, has a history of political corruption. Ehud Olmert, Ariyeh Deri, Moshe Katzav, these are all names that are synonymous in most Israeli minds with the concept of political corruption. One party that has been especially dogged by corruption charges is Israel Beyteinu, the party founded and headed by Avigdor Liberman. Today we’re joined by the amazing journalist Simona Weinglass. Simona is an old friend of the podcast, she joined us around two years ago to discuss the fraudulent Binary Options industry we she helped to take down with her groundbreaking expose in the Times of Israel titled the Wolves of Tel Aviv. Today, Simona joins us to talk about corruption in Israel.
Sep 13, 2019
#153 - Israel and Iran: How Will This End? (Dan Schueftan)
In 2011 Civil War broke out in Syria. Many people had high hopes for the uprising and for the Arab spring in general. Perhaps this would end of the long reign of dictators in the Middle East. But quickly, the war took a sharp downturn into oblivion. What started out as rebels against the regime, quickly transformed into something entirely different. Since 2011, you might have noticed that Israel has struck Syria with hundreds of airstrikes. And if you’ve only been reading the headlines, you might be wondering, what the hell is Israel doing? Why get embroiled in a mess that has seemingly little to do with Israel. Let the Muslim nations battle it out and let’s just be happy that they’re not messing with us. Well, it turns out, that’s not the case at all. Prof. Dan Schueftan is the head of the National Securities Studies Center at the University of Haifa. He’s also the author of several books and articles on issues pertaining to Israel’s National Security. He joins us today to talk about the Iranian Threat. We’re thrilled to welcome Prof. Dan Schueftan to the podcast.
Sep 06, 2019
#152 - The Asian American Female Reform Rabbi Who Sang for Obama (Angela Buchdahl)
Throughout history, Christianity and Islam have battled it out, each vying to be the dominant religion on our planet. Jews, on the other hand, have done everything within their power to stay inside their tiny communities. Becoming Jewish, to this day, is extremely difficult. We’ve done a few episodes in the past on the struggles of “orthodox” conversion. The fact of the matter is - if you don’t go full ‘orthodox’, Israel will not consider you a real Jew. The divide between Orthodox Judaism and other denominations, mainly reform and conservative Judaism, is growing wider and wider. And many people find themselves stuck in this divide. Rabbi Angela was born in South Korea to a Jewish Father and a Budhist mother. She grew up in America, and from a young age she experienced demeaning comments, by fellow jews, doubting her Judaism. And from a young age, she decided she would not let those people dictate her relationship with Judaism. What led Angela on the path of becoming one of the most influential women Rabbis in America? How did she pave a way from Temple Beth El in Tacoma, Washington, to singing Hanunuka songs to President Obama in the White House? And ultimately, what helped her persevere in spite of all the obstacles she faced? We’re honored and thrilled to be joined by the Rabbi and Cantor Angela Buchdahl.
Aug 30, 2019
#151 - Reporting From The Most Dangerous Places on Earth (Itai Anghel)
If you’re looking for a stable, financially secure, safe career, one profession you definitely want to stay as far away as you can from is journalism. There’s a reason Jewish mothers aren’t praying for their kids to become doctors, lawyers, or journalists. But at the end of the day, journalism is one of the main pillars of modern society, and many would even say it’s a pillar of democracy. Itai Anghel is a household name in Israel. But while his name lives comfortably in every home in Israel, Itai himself does quite the opposite. Since the early 90s, Itai has been flying to and covering the most conflict ridden regions in the world. From Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo in the 90s to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon in the 2000s. This decade Itai has covered the Civil War in Syria and the war against ISIS in Iraq. While most wars drive people away, it seems that war draws Itai Anghel in. Itai started his career out, as many journalists in Israel do, in the Army Radio. He worked as a reporter for Israel’s prime time Friday Night news show, Ulpan Shishi, where he prepared documentary pieces. And later he worked for Uvda, one of Israel’s leading news magazine shows. We are thrilled and honored to be joined by Itai Anghel on the podcast today.
Aug 23, 2019
#150 - Mall Carts: An Underground Fraudulent Israeli Industry in the US (Tal Badichi)
Most Israelis are drafted to the IDF when they turn 18. For many of them, the years in the military involve extreme stress, frustration, and sometimes real life danger. It’s no wonder that the first thing most people do when they finish their service, is to go abroad for a trip that lasts anywhere between 3 to 12 months, minimum. Alongside that trip, comes a need for money. So, some become waiters, other bartenders. But in Tel Aviv of 2019, it just isn’t enough to make ends meet, surely not for the big trip abroad. The solution? Carts. If you’re an American and you happened to go into a shopping mall, you might have noticed them. Mall carts manned by well groomed young Israelis selling peculiar products like hair straighteners and remote control helicopters. But the most famous, or infamous, of them all, are the Dead Sea carts. And what you might at first say is an innocent business, or even praise as an entrepreneurial endeavor, has some rather shady elements to it. And that’s putting it lightly. Tal Badichi grew up in Israel and moved to America after the army to work in the Dead Sea carts. Like many others, she did pretty well for herself. Now, she’s back in Israel, and she’s written a book revealing all the dirty secrets behind this under-the-radar, millions of dollar industry. Tal joins us on the podcast today to share all those dirty secrets with us.
Aug 16, 2019
#149 - The TLV Street Food Scene (Ruthie Edelstein)
Everybody knows the old joke about Jewish holidays. Basically, all Jewish holidays boil down to: They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat. Food and Jews is a millennia old romance. And if you visit Israel today, there’s no question that that romance has produced a lot of good food. From the empires of Eyal Shanni, Assaf Granit and Aharoni to the thousands of bistros, hummus shops and falafel stands, Israel is stuffed with delicious food! And that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today. Ruthie Edelstein is a tour guide for Delicious Israel (or as they call them, delicious experts). Delicious Israel is an organization that offers personalized walking, travel and cooking tours for foodies seeking the real Israel experience. We’re thrilled to have Ruthie on the podcast today to talk about some of the tastiest spots in Israel, the colorful people she’s met, how she ended up moving to the Middle East from Sacramento and, whether or not a falafel ball can bring peace to the middle east.
Aug 09, 2019
#148 - Is the Israeli Justice System Unjust? (Talia Einhorn)
Talia Einhorn’s career wasn’t a walk in the park. As an accomplished law professor, she wrote countless articles and studies on important topics revolving around Israeli and international law. She’s also been serving as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Appointment of Government Officials, one of the the most important bodies in the state, which advises the government on the appointment of people to key roles. Today we’ll be asking what is the problem with the way the Israeli legal system works? Prof. Einhorn joins us today to talk about all this and much more.
Jul 31, 2019
#147 -The NFL Player Who Converted to Judaism And Made Aliyah (Yosef Murray)
Here are some things that don’t go together. Caviar and Cheetos. Dostoevsky and Six Flags. Jews and the NFL. But just like there’s probably someone, somewhere who likes cheetos with their caviar, and another person who read Crime and Punishment on a roller coaster, today we’re joined by a Jew who was in the NFL. Yosef Murray, formerly Calvin Murray, was a running back in the NFL. His career started at Ohio State, playing college football. Murray was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 81 and then in 83 he played for the Chicago Blitz of the USFL, a league that ran for 3 years back in the 80s. Murray and his wife, Emuna (formerly Jeri), were youth pastors and raised their six children in a devout Christian home. But that was all very long ago. We’re thrilled to be joined by Yosef Murray today to talk about his life, his career and his discovery of Judaism.
Jul 18, 2019
#146 - An Israeli Journalist in the Heart of Syria (Efrat Lachter)
Civil war. Child soldiers. Sex slaves. Underground torture chambers. And an army of women rebels. This probably sounds like the stuff of a dystopian sci-fi film to you. But the tragic truth is that this a reality, today. Northern Syria. 2014. The lives of the citizens of the are already pretty dark. But their lives are about to become a hell on earth. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, manages to overrun the Assad Loyalists and maintain a stronghold in the are.. Women are raped and forced to bear children who are then taken from them and trained to kill. Everybody is in danger of being arrested, tortured and killed. Into this hellhole, steps Efrat Lachter. Efrat is an investigative journalist for Ulpan Shishi, Israeli’s prime time weekly news show on Friday evenings. She has a masters from Tel Aviv University in Political Science and Government. A few months ago Efrat flew into the center of the storm, Raqqa, Syria. She came back with a story, which had it not been documented, would’ve been hard to believe. We are thrilled to have Efrat on the podcast with us today to tell us her story.
Jul 11, 2019
#145 - Battling Antisemitism on US Campuses (Ofir Dayan)
Let’s say you’re an adrenaline junkie, there’s tons of extreme activities that will get your heart pounding to whatever level your heart desires. You can bungee jump off a bridge, swim with sharks in the open sea, or jump out of a plane... without a parachute. Or you can take the lesser known route, and go to a US college campus wearing a Star of David or an IDF T-Shirt. Careful, it’s not for the weak of heart. Being pro-Israel on American campuses has become a real struggle. The hostility towards Israel and its supporters is palpable, and as Palestinian propaganda manages to conquer the hearts of American students, the Jewish student unions work around the clock to spread the truth. From the frontline of the battlefield, we have with us today Ofir Dayan. Ofir studies at Columbia University in New York and she’s the head of SSI, which stands for Students Supporting Israel. She’s now visiting Israel and she joins us to talk about what’s going on on US campuses today, and what can be done about it.
Jul 02, 2019
#144 - Are UK Jews In Danger? (Tuvia Tenenbom)
When you think about Anti-Semitism, you probably think about the Middle East, North Africa, maybe Eastern Europe or Germany, but you don’t usually think about the UK. However, antisemitic sentiment has been on the rise in England. It’s just going by a different name, Anti-Israel. Tuvia Tenenbom visited the UK in the hopes of writing a book about Brexit but ended up doing something entirely different. When he showed up in Britain, instead of finding Union Jacks waving in the wind, he found countless Palestinian Flags. Tuvia Tenenbom is a journalist, an author, a playwright and a theater director. He’s written several books, some of which have become bestsellers, including I Sleep In Hitler’s Room and The Lies They Tell! Tuvia was on the show almost 2 years ago on Episode 58 of the Two Nice Jewish Boys Podcast and we’re super thrilled to have him on again to discuss his upcoming book about England.
Jun 26, 2019
#143 - Jewish Pride: Changing Sexes and Keeping Kosher (Yiscah Smith)
We all have the power to choose. Free will is a tenet of most religions and philosophies. But there are some things in life, that no matter how you look at it, you can’t choose. You can’t choose your parents. You can’t choose your face (at least not the one you’re born with), and you can’t really choose your sex at birth. It is what it is. If Yiscah Smith would have been given the choice of how to be born, it might not have necessarily been as Yaakov, a Jewish man. But that’s what fate, or God or whatever you wanna believe in - chose. But when the time came, Yiscah did make an incredible choice, which led her to become the observant woman that she is today. As many of you know, June is pride month. Last Friday Tel Aviv hosted its Pride Parade, and we’re continuing to discuss the fascinating questions about gender, sexuality and Jewish identity. With us today is Yiscah Smith, author of Forty Years in the Wilderness, My Journey to Authentic Living. She lives in Jerusalem and teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. We are very honored and thrilled to have her here with us on the show today.
Jun 20, 2019
#142 - The Queer of Many Genders (Shirley Charlie Kleinman)
This Friday the streets of Tel Aviv are going to be bustling with probably over a quarter of a million people. Why? One word says it all. Pride. While we’re not at the top of the list, Tel Aviv boasts one of the world’s most impressive Pride Parades. Being situated in the heart of Middle East might have something to do with that. But what is pride? What is it that attracts over 250 thousand people to march through the streets of Tel Aviv? To many, this topic is still controversial. Not just the idea of non-hetero relationships, but also the institution of marriage, the roles and makeup of parenthood and the definition of gender itself. Shirley Charlie Kleinman is an activist, a public speaker, a journalist and the Bis Dev manager at LGBTech which is a non for profit which facilitates a social business network for the LGBTQ community in the tech industry. Shirley Charlie also advocates for the community on various media platforms and outlets. We’re very excited to have Shirley Charlie on the podcast today to talk about their life story and to enlighten us a bit about what pride really is.
Jun 13, 2019
#141 - Six Time World Champion in Samba (Alyssa Chriqui)
People have been dancing more or less since the dawn of mankind. Some people were born with the dancing gene. Others are so clumsy that they avoid the dance floor at all costs, even if it means the bride will do her first dance with her grandpa. Alyssa Chriqui is the former. She’s a world champion of Salsa and Samba. She’s been dancing her whole life, first in Australia where she was born, and now here in Israel. We’re super thrilled to have her on the show and discuss, among other things, how does one actually move, like Jagger.
Jun 05, 2019
#140 - The Real Indiana Jones and Israel's Buried Treasures (Jim Barfield)
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are undoubtedly two of the 20th century’s best and most influential directors and screenwriters. Rarely did these two collaborate, but the first time they did, they brought to life one of the greatest adventure series of all time - Indiana Jones. What is it that draws us to Indiana Jones and his archaeological adventures? Is it the quest for hidden treasures? Is it the thrill of uncovering the secrets of our long lost past? Or is it the ridiculously life-threatening situations into which he inevitably stumbles? Probably all of the above. And more. But for some people, watching Indiana Jones isn’t enough. Jim Barfield is a firefighter and a criminal investigator from Oklahoma, with a passion for the bible, and a fascination with the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly the Copper Scroll, which unlike the other dead sea scrolls, is not a literary work, but rather a list of places. But not just random places, places where supposedly, buried in the ground are various items of gold and silver. In other words, a bonafide treasure map. So in a sense, today on the podcast we’re joined by a real life Indiana Jones. Here to tell us the story of the Copper Scroll is Jim Barfield.
May 28, 2019
#139 - The Neo-Nazi Who Converted to Judaism (Yonatan Langer)
Today we’re joined on the podcast by Yonatan Langer. But Yonatan’s name wasn’t always Yonatan. It used to be Lutz. And Lutz used to be an ardent Neo Nazi. Today Yonatan is an observant, orthodox Jew who lives in Israel and studies Kaballah, the Jewish Mystical school of thought. The road that led from Lutz to Yonatan was a long one. But before all that, the story begins with a kids Karate instructor. We’re really excited to have Yonatan on 2NJB today to tell his story.
May 21, 2019
Michael Solomonv of 'Zahav', Best US Restaurant 2019 (Rerun)
In recent years, Israeli cuisine has been on the rise, becoming extremely popular throughout Europe and the United States. This has many people asking themselves, perhaps rightfully so, “what the hell is Israeli cuisine?” Some critical voices even claim that many of the wonderful dishes Israel is claiming as its “own” are actually stolen – which, of course, echoes a longer, deeper controversy that has plagued the Middle East for about a century. In a way, you might say Israeli food is the Arab-Israeli conflict in a plate. But regardless, Israeli restaurants keep opening their doors on street corner in almost every big American city. Lines of clientele stretch around the block and lines of praise stretch across the food critics’ reviews. Michael Solomonov is an Israeli-American chef, renowned for his critically-acclaimed Israeli Restaurant, Zahav, in Philadelphia. He’s the winner of several James Beard awards including Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2011, Cookbook of the Year in 2016, and Outstanding Chef in 2017. His cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine is a huge bestseller. Fortunately for us Mike is now touring Israel and was gracious enough to let us interview him here in Tel Aviv. We are honored, we’re extremely thrilled and we can’t wait to get started. So, let’s get to it!
May 16, 2019
#138 - Iddo Netanyahu: Playwright, Doctor, Warrior
Every doctor needs a baker to bake his bread. Every baker enjoys the occasional movie. When the filmmaker's car breaks down, he visits the mechanic, and when then mechanic breaks down he visits the doctor. This is the story of the modern world. But the thing is, each character in this story envies the other a little, the mechanic wishes he could bake cakes. The filmmaker disappointed his mother because he never became a doctor (true story). And the doctor? He was always, deep inside, an inspired artist. It’s seldom that someone manages to enjoy both worlds, maintaining a flourishing career on one hand, and making a living from his passion or hobby on the other. But such is the case with Dr. Iddo Netanyahu. Dr. Netanyahu is the third and youngest son of Zila and Prof. Ben Zion Netanyahu, brother of the belated Yoni Netanyahu, hero of Entebbe, and of The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. He grew up between Israel and America, joined the army, served, as Netanyahus tend to, in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, and then studied medicine and became a doctor of Radiology. In parallel, he’s been maintaining another career as a writer. He’s authored several books that have been translated into many languages, and in recent years he’s published several plays which have showcased around the world. We’re proud and excited to have Dr. Iddo Netanyahu on the show today.
May 07, 2019
#137 - The 'Freier' Behind 'The Daily Freier'
Every culture has a hierarchy. And there’s usually an extra special place reserved for people at the very bottom of the ladder. In Japan it might be the selfish, in America perhaps the freeloader, but to us Israelis it’s very clear who’s at the bottom. The Freiers. Freier is a Yiddish term that’s been absorbed into everyday Hebrew. It can be loosely translated to mean, a sucker, a fool, a pushover or a dupe. Whatever it is, if you live in Israel long enough, you develop a sixth sense of sorts. You can smell a Freier from a mile away. And sometimes, the smell is you. The Daily Freier is an online satirical blog founded by Aaron Scheer. Aaron made aliyah after serving in the US military, and decided to stay in this land of suckers. We’re super excited to have him on the podcast today to talk about, what it’s like to become an Israeli.
May 03, 2019
#136 - Should There Be Jews?
As Jews, both in Israel and in other parts of the world, we tend to go about our day-to-day lives worrying about the regular issues of our existence, like how to pay the bills at the end of the month, which Game of Thrones watch party to attend and of course the eternal Papa John's or Dominos dilemma. But not many of us stop this daily struggle with first-world problems to contemplate on the deeper questions that may lurk in our subconscious, like what is our place as Jews in Israel, or in America? What does it even mean to be Jewish in the 21st century? And what does the future hold for us as a religion and as a people? Luckily for us, some people do try to tackle these mind-boggling question, thus clearing a path for an important discussion. One of the people who do that is Tal Keinan, an extremely successful businessman, investor and social entrepreneur, author of the recently published book God is in the Crowd. Tal Keinan was born in America, and when he was 21 he decided to move to Israel and join the IDF. He became the first Oleh combat pilot, and he still serves as a reservist in the IAF. Tal is one of the founders of Clarity Capital, Israel’s first full-spectrum asset management firm. Tal also does social activism. He is the Chairman of Koret Israel Economic Development Funds, an NGO that gives credit to small businesses. 2NJB is thrilled to have Tal Keinan on the show today.
Apr 25, 2019
#135 - Eytan and Naor Spill the Beans - Cross-episode with the Angry Falafel Podcast
Joining Daniel Roth, host of the Angry Falafel Podcast today are Eytan Weinstein and Naor Meningher, creators of the Two Nice Jewish Boys podcast - a show they describe as a glimpse into Israel and some of the interesting people in it and I’m very happy to have them at the falafel palace today.
Apr 19, 2019
#134 - 24 Hours to Israeli Elections
The day after tomorrow, Tuesday the 9th of April, all of Israel will have the day off. Elections are upon us. About 4 million of us will be hitting the ballot boxes to determine who will lead this tiny Middle Eastern country in the upcoming years. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Master Campaigner, second only to Ben Gurion in duration as Prime Minister. Or Benny Gantz, an ex-IDF Chief of Staff, who has no experience in politics, and who’s running alongside Yair Lapid and two other ex-IDF chiefs. The country is in turmoil. It’s heated. It’s dirty. It’s a close race and the polls just keep on changing. But one thing is for sure - for the first time in 10 years, Bibi’s reign is under a real and present threat. Today we’re super excited to host one of our favorite past guests again. Danielle Berrin is one of the shining stars of Jewish Journalism in America. She was a senior columnist for the Jewish Journal. She also wrote for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Yedioth Ahronoth, The Guardian and British Esquire. She’s now visiting Israel and we’re thrilled to have her on the podcast again to talk politics.
Apr 08, 2019
#133 -The Israeli Who Became One of the Biggest Gay Porn Stars in the World
Porn. It’s one of those things we just don’t like to talk about. But by all estimates, at least half of us watch it on a regular basis. For the most part, when it comes to porn, we’re happy to consume but we wouldn’t want anything to do with it. Think about it. How would you react if you found out that a family member, a friend or anybody you knew for that matter, was working in porn? We’re not here to pass judgment, but you can’t deny the cognitive dissonance. Now, being a non-straight kid in Israel during the 1980’s was no walk in the park. Jonathan Agassi, then Jonathan Langer, from the small city of Holon, suffered throughout his childhood from bullying, from rejection and even from sexual abuse. But Jonathan made it through the rough years and eventually, he would grow up to become the most well known Israeli gay porn star. But, as is usually the case, his trauma didn’t stay behind. Tomer Heyman’s documentary, ”Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life” chronicles Jonathan’s story and is Premiering next month in Austin Texas. So without further ado, the one and only, Yonatan Agassi.
Apr 02, 2019
#132 - What Does God Want From Yehuda Glick?
"Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves, therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he binds up, he shatters, but his hands heal." Job 5:17-18 Why did God strike Job time and time again? Was it because he wanted to win a bet with Satan? Or maybe it was a test for Job’s faith? Or maybe there is no earthly reason why, and we, humans, are doomed to suffer through life’s agonies with the notion that we will never understand God’s intentions. But then, how do we go on? Where do we gather the strength from? When you think about Yehuda Glick’s life story, you can’t help but wonder what his answers to these questions might be. Yehuda was born in the US and made Aliyah in 1974. For decades he was involved in politics and social activism, and he devoted many years from his life to the struggle of Jewish access for prayer on the Temple Mount. But Glick’s life has take quite a few twists and turns in recent years. Since 2014 he survived an assassination attempt, he became a Knesset member, he was widowed from his wife, and recently he lost in the Primaries for the next Knesset. So what does God want from Yehuda Glick? Since we weren’t able to book the Almighty himself, we have the next best person to answer this question, Knesset Member Yehuda Glick.
Mar 26, 2019
#131 - The One State Solution
Here on the Two Nice Jewish Boys podcast, we’ve recorded episodes with authors, we’ve done an episode about the discovery of THC, we did one about the navigation system within bats and one about the fraudulent binary options industry. But one subject seems to be, without intent, a recurring theme. It’s not hard to guess which one, either. I suppose it just goes to show, how ingrained it is in the Israeli psyche. That is, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And it seems that every episode we do, every guest we bring to speak about this topic, has another view point. As the saying goes, Two Jews, three opinions. But regardless, however many opinions there might be, one thing seems constant. At least, so far. The conflict doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. But is there anything we can do in the meantime? Some people think that separation, walls, borders and retreats are the solution to reach peace in the area. But for others, the way to go about it, is by building - not settlements - but human relations. At least that was the notion that led Inon Dan Kehati to innovate and seek for new ways to approach the problem. Instead of looking at the macro level, he chose to look at the micro, and to build connections between people, in the hope that in the future, peace will pursue. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with his non for profit organization, The Home. We’re really excited to have Inon with us on the podcast today.
Mar 19, 2019
#130 – The 24-Year-Old TLV Girl Who Bakes Michelin Star Desserts
We all have aspirations in life. Some of these goals we might achieve through hard work, taking risks and making tough sacrifices. Others we might struggle with our whole lives but never accomplish. This is why when we see someone who has done something great, we look up to them with admiration. When you set your mind to something and you persevere, people can’t help but appreciate the feat. Yuval Feldman is a rising star in the New York Culinary scene. She graduated the Culinary Institute of America - one of the top cooking schools in the US, where she specialised in desserts. Then, she immediately started working at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, a 2-star Michelin restaurant. She also worked in the bakery of Dominique Ansel, who was elected the world’s top confectioner in 2018. But as if all that wasn’t enough, she then started working in the Manhatta restaurant, one of Danny Meyer’s restaurants, where she became a su-chef, a rare privilege at such a young age. Now she’s here, for a short time before she goes back to the big Apple. Yuval Feldman joins 2NJB to talk about New York City’s culinary scene, what makes a good muffin and the question of the century: peanut butter and jelly OR peanut butter and chocolate.
Mar 13, 2019
#129 - The Right Wing Israeli Arab that Fights for Gay Rights
Being an Arab living in Israel brings about many dilemmas, internal conflicts and possibly a very serious identity crisis. While some Israeli Arabs prosper, man other Arabs are living in Gaza in debilitating poverty, and suffering under the brutal, murderous dictatorship of Hamas. Most most Israeli Arabs support the Joint List of Arab parties, a minority actually support right-wing, Zionist parties like the Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu’s party. Some Israeli Arabs work in industrial areas in the occupied territories, whereas others support the BDS movement that does everything within its power to shut down the very same industrial areas, rendering thousands of Palestinians jobless. Anyway, you get the point. Being an Arab Israeli is complicated. And now imagine what it means to be an Arab Israeli fighting BDS around the world, a supporter of Zionism, and a son of an ex-South Lebanon Army general who fled to Israel in the year 2000. Jonathan Elkoury was one of our first guests, in episode 21 titled 2001: A Lebanese Odyssey with Jonathan Elkhoury. If you wanna hear Jonathan’s story, you gotta check it out. Now, two years later he’s back to talk about his courageous journeys defending Israel’s right to exist, his political and personal struggles here in Israel, and yes, also the nation state bill. We’re very honored to be joined today by Jonathan Elkoury.
Mar 06, 2019
#128 - Master Chef of Israeli Food
In recent years, Israeli cuisine has been on the rise, becoming extremely popular throughout Europe and the United States. This has many people asking themselves, perhaps rightfully so, “what the hell is Israeli cuisine?” Some critical voices even claim that many of the wonderful dishes Israel is claiming as its “own” are actually stolen - which, of course, echoes a longer, deeper controversy that has plagued the Middle East for about a century. In a way, you might say Israeli food is the Arab-Israeli conflict in a plate. But regardless, Israeli restaurants keep opening their doors on street corner in almost every big American city. Lines of clientele stretch around the block and lines of praise stretch across the food critics’ reviews. Michael Solomonov is an Israeli-American chef, renowned for his critically-acclaimed Israeli Restaurant, Zahav, in Philadelphia. He’s the winner of several James Beard awards including Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2011, Cookbook of the Year in 2016, and Outstanding Chef in 2017. His cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cuisine is a huge bestseller. Fortunately for us Mike is now touring Israel and was gracious enough to let us interview him here in Tel Aviv. We are honored, we’re extremely thrilled and we can’t wait to get started. So, let’s get to it!
Feb 26, 2019
#127 - Israel's Social Media Ambassador
Being Pro-Israeli is hard enough, doing it on social media is a whole other story. It's more than an uphill battle, it's more than bearing the brunt of the mainstream global media. In a way, you might say it’s more like a social media suicide mission. However, a few brave profiles manage to rise up, through the rubble, as pro-israel, pro-zionist, social media vanguards. One of these people is Hannyia Naftali. Hananiya was a regular soldier in the IDF who just couldn’t stand the onslaught of fake news about Israel and the IDF that circulated around the world. So he decided to do something about it. Fast forward 4 years - his videos have got MILLIONS of views, he has a huge following on facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and he even had the privilege of interviewing the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. We are super thrilled to be joined by Hananiya Naftali. Of course, if you’re watching this live, feel free to ask questions in the comments and we’ll do a bit of Q&A as we go. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Feb 19, 2019
#126 - The Grandson of a Nazi who Volunteers with Holocaust Survivors in Israel
Israel and Germany’s relationship has known ups and downs over the years. When Israel was established, in 1948, it upheld a policy of enforcing a complete and total boycott on Germany. Israelis swore never to buy a Volkswagen car, never own a Bosch refrigerator, and never to accept a dime of aid from the state that inherited Germany from the Third Reich. But circumstances brought West Germany and Israel closer together during the 1950’s, as Germany needed Israel’s forgiveness for global legitimacy, and Israel needed Germany’s financial aid to avoid bankruptcy. A decade later, total clemency was afforded to the Germans by Israel, embassies were opened and diplomatic relations grew deeper and deeper. To this day, Germany claims to have a special relationship with Israel, and its obligations to Israel’s future and security are constantly reaffirmed, with words at least. And indeed, in recent years Israelis travel in huge numbers to Germany. Many of them stay and dwell in Berlin, once the city of Hitler, and now a flourishing and vibrant world cultural center. But whereas young israelis fascination with Berlin has been discussed time and time again, a more overseen element of the relationship remains undisclosed - the attraction of young Germans to Israel. Alex Deize is a German born Christian. He’s been living here in Israel for some time now, in the northern city of Tiberias. But the story here is what led Alex to Israel - a shocking discovery about his family’s past and the path to God. We’re extremely thrilled to have Alex here with us today.
Feb 15, 2019
#125 - The Hungarian TV Megastar Who Bought a 100 Year Old Jewish Newspaper
Just a couple of weeks ago we commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the entire western world mourned for the 6 million souls that perished. But what is often missed is the fact, that the Nazis didn’t only murder the people, they murdered whole parts of the Jewish culture that thrived in Europe for many centuries. They destroyed hundreds of newspapers and obliterated whole libraries. They murdered a language, Yiddish. And indeed, before World War II, Jewish culture in Europe was extremely vibrant, with an endless stream of theater, books and newspapers. Literally hundreds of newspapers were published throughout Europe and America, in Yiddish, Hebrew and the local languages. The people of the book were obviously obsessed with ink and paper, and it showed. Most of these publishings didn’t make it through the war, but some survived. One of those was Új Kelet, a Hungarian-Romanian newspaper founded 100 years ago. The history of this paper is a long one, but the interesting part is how the paper nearly went bankrupt a few years back. Right when Kristof Steiner entered the story. Kristof is a Hungarian, part-Jewish model and TV celebrity. He’s been living in Israel for the past ten years and when he heard about the state of Új Kelet, he decided he simply couldn’t let the paper die. What happened next is absolutely incredible. We’re proud to have Kristof Steiner here on the podcast to tell the story.
Feb 05, 2019
#124 - IDF Humanitarian Attache Fighting BDS
A few weeks ago we received this email: "Would you be interested to hear about how to survive aliyah, make it through the IDF as a Lt. Col., have the door slammed in your face, have people stand on your shoulders when you remove money from the cash machine, and peak over your shoulder at the pharmacists to see what types of medication you use, and much more... then we should talk. I do have a crazy life story and look forward to sharing it with you and your podcast audience." We took the bait. Daniel Beaudoin (PhD, Lt. Col. Ret) is a speaker, educator and writer from Israel. He offers incisive and behind the scenes analysis on the assault on Israel by the UN and the international aid organizations who operate in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. He teaches on human rights, humanitarian operations and conflict resolution at Tel Aviv University. He is also a successful survivor of Aliyah and lives to tell the story.
Jan 29, 2019
#123 - MLK Day Special: Prof. Ephraim Issac, Peacemaker
Most American or European high school students know about the American Civil War, the Holocaust or even the French Revolution. Most don't know about the 30 years of civil war that ravaged the horn of Africa in the latter part of the last century - conflicts that together claimed the lives of over a million Africans. Much of these conflicts were inner war within Ethiopia, but the greater conflict extended beyond. In 1991, finally peace came to the region much thanks to the ad hoc Peace committee founded by Prof. Ephraim Issac. Prof. Issac's accomplishments are too numerous to list and his life story too great to paraphrase but suffice it to say that he was the first African Studies professor in the United States at Harvard University and he had the privilege of meeting Martin Luther King Jr. So without further ado, we are thrilled to be joined tonight by Prof. Ephraim Issac.
Jan 21, 2019
#122 - Dr. Michael Oren: 4 Years in Government
Israel is headed to elections. On April 9th, Israelis will be called to the ballot box to support their political party. Bibi, the incumbent prime minister, is once again asking for Israelis trust and support. With tensions rising along the border with Syria and Gaza, and internal pressure building up between the left and the right here at home, this election is bound to be dramatic. In an attempt to understand the upcoming elections, the players and the current state of affairs, we’re joined by Deputy Minister Michael Oren, who by now, we’re happy to say, is a regular on the podcast. Dr. Michael Oren is a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's office, Member of Knesset in the Kulanu Party and he served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 2009-2013. In a previous life, Oren also taught history as visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown. He is the author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction, which we’ve discuss here on the podcast. We are honored to be joined by Deputy Minister Oren to discuss what’s in store for Israel and for him.
Jan 15, 2019
Episode 121 - Cartoons for Autism
It happens one day: you meet someone special. You fall in love, move in together. Support each other. You get married, until death do you apart. You take a mortgage, buy a place in the suburbs or in the city. Everything is going according to plan, and life is smiling at you. Then you decide it’s time to take the next step. And before you know it, the stork delivers a beautiful baby to your doorstep, as if you ordered it in Amazon Prime. You want what’s best for the baby, you invest in him from day one. You send him to the kindergarten, you play with him, sing songs together. You’re genuinely happy. When your child is two, maybe three… something seems a little off. You can’t really put your finger on it. The kid doesn’t talk yet, he seems anxious, and he never looks at you straight in the eyes. You take him to a specialist, and the news is devastating - your child is autistic. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. And the scariest thing of all - not one know what causes autism, nor why the sickness rate is in constant growth. But when your kid is diagnosed, it’s not the end. Only the beginning, and today, more and more companies are trying to develop ways to aid autistic children. But today’s guest, Gilad Piker, is a little bit different. Gilad works in Candy Bear, a production company for animated content. He co-produced Zack and Quack alongside our guest from episode 41, Gili Dolev. And one day he had an idea, that might revolutionize the world of autistic children. We’re extremely glad to have Gilad on the show today.
Jan 08, 2019
Episode 120 - Palestinian Exodus: Facts and Myths
Breakdown of the Palestinian Refugee Problem in 20 seconds: The year is 1947 and the UN announces its Partition Plan for Palestine, also known as resolution 181. Promptly, the Arabs residing in the region open fire on Jews. Eventually a war breaks out and the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians ensues. This has turned into one of the most controversial debates in modern history. What caused the Palestinian exodus in the years 1947-1949? There’s the mainstream Zionist narrative, more or less that Arab leaders urged the Arab population to leave. There’s the mainstream Arab narrative, basically Zionist ethnic cleansing. And then, there’s Professor Benny Morris. Now buckle in because this is slightly more nuanced than the stuff you might be used to hearing. Professor Benny Morris is the professor of history in the Middle East Studies department of Ben Gurion University. He is the author of several works including The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947–1949. And, he’s a pretty cool dude. So we are thrilled to join him in his home this evening to talk some history!
Jan 01, 2019
Episode 119 - Daphni Leef: Leading Israel's Biggest Protest
September 3, 2011. Close to half a million people hit the streets in Israel, 300 thousand of them in Tel Aviv, wielding their megaphones and posters, shouting at the top of their lungs,  “The nation demands social justice!” This was the climax of the 2011 social justice protests which took place in Israel. What started as a small protest against the rise in housing prices quickly transformed into a national phenomenon that took the country by a storm and encompassed a wide range of issues from healthcare and taxation to schooling and public transportation. At the head of the movement, Daphni Leef. Daphni graduated Tel Aviv University (like one of these Two Nice Jewish Boys) and became a film editor following her studies. But that’s not where this story begins. It begins the day she received a letter ordering her to evict her apartment of 3 years. We are very excited to be joined by Daphni Leef to talk about her life, about the protests and about social justice.
Dec 25, 2018
Episode 118 - Middle East Break Down Vol. II
This morning the sun rose. Birds were chirping and the middle east was still turbulent. Yes, even when Israel is not making headlines on CNN, things still tend to get pretty messy down here. We may not always feel it in our rose-colored-bubble of TLV, but the wheels of evil forces keep spinning, enemies are conspiring against us and we’re always prepared for the next war, which might be the last. It is in times like this that it’s good to have someone around who can actually understands the middle east, someone who’s devoted his life to explain Israel’s complexities. Someone who can provide us a little bit of context. Someone like Neil Lazarus. Neil Lazarus is one of the most popular Israeli public speakers out there. He’s traveling the world, talking about Israel, BDS and middle eastern politics. His Youtube videos are all over the internet and his seminars are packed. We’re so glad to have him here on the show with us today, to talk about Israel’s current situation in the middle east. (Photo by IDF)
Dec 18, 2018
Episode 117 - Fighting Over Kafka
”Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning”. This perfectly crafted sentence opens probably one of the most important novels of the 20th century, written by probably one of the most important novelists in modern literature. It was written by a 30-something year old Jew from Prague. In his short life he went on to write several books that would make his name almost synonymous with modern literature. That name is Franz Kafka. But what most people don’t know about the legendary author is that Kafka and his works almost disappeared into oblivion. Almost, but thankfully, there was Max Brod. In his new book, The Last Trial, writer Benjamin Balint tells for the first time the full story of Kafka’s legacy and how it survived against all odds. 2NJB is honored to be joined by Benjamin to hear about his new book and the story of Kafka.
Dec 11, 2018
Episode 116 - The Real Batman
Let’s do a little thought experiment. Imagine you’re going to your local supermarket. When you leave your house, or your apartment building, do you take a right or a left? Think about the next steps. When do you turn? How do you know when to turn? When do you cross the street? Or if you’re in a car, how many traffic lights do you pass? Now let me ask you something a little more specific. How many meters exactly is it to your closest supermarket? What cardinal direction is it in exactly? Unless you’re a robot, those last questions probably stumped you. It turns out that while we’re perhaps the top of the food chain, relative to other animals, we don’t have the most sophisticated sense of direction. Who does? Bats. Such a vilified creature. Together with sharks and spiders, bats have been among the most disparaged animals in the entire kingdom for as far back as stories and villains go. But really, when you think about it, they’re not all that bad. And they might have the answers to a few questions about navigation. Prof. Yossi Yovel is the head of the Bat Lab for Neuro Ecology at Tel Aviv University and he joins us today to talk about bats and how they get to the supermarket. (Photo by dolovis)
Dec 04, 2018
Episode 115 - The Liberal That Battles BDS on Campuses
The battle against BDS is a sort of David vs Goliath style fight. On one side you have the BDS supporters, heavily funded by foreign governments and NGOs, reinforced by celebrities, activists and an army of social media justice warriors. And on the other side you've got a handful of eloquent volunteers who stand as a human shield, trying to protect what’s left of Israel’s dignity in the world. The battle is not an easy one at all. Ask Hen Mazzig. Hen is an Israeli Jew from Mizrahi descent (we’ll get to why that’s important later). After a meaningful service in the IDF, Hen decided he can't stand on the sidelines any longer and watch as his country’s PR crumbles. While he's a proud member of the LGBT community here in Israel and even critical of the right-wing government and its policies, Hen has been touring the world for years, giving lectures at extremely hostile campuses, and generally getting the word out there - BDS is bad, for everyone, especially the Palestinians. Hen joins us today to discuss his life and the path that led him to fight BDS.
Nov 26, 2018
Cross Episode with Rosner's Domain: In the Aftermath of Pittsburgh
Two Nice Jewish Boys discuss the aftermath of the Pittsburgh attack, Israeli and Diaspora Jewish relations, and much more in this cross over episode with Shmuel Rosner of Rosner's Domain. Tune in and subscribe to get updates about our weekly episodes! (Photo:
Nov 13, 2018
Episode 114 - Sufism: An Islam of Peace and Love
Like it or not, the 21st century is the century of Islam. This 1,400 year old religion has around 1.5 billions believers, and its philosophy and morals are profoundly shaping the world in which we live. Like any religion, Islam has its beauty as well as its dark sides. To some parts of western society, Islam is associated with warmongering, cruelty and terror. To others, it’s just another religion to be respected alongside Judaism and Christianity. Many know the story of the two most dominant streams in Islam, of Sunni and Shia, forever torn in a nasty conflict fueled by ancient grudges and bad blood. But amidst the wars within Islam and the wars it’s fighting with western society - certain streams in the religion remain quiet in the dark, waiting to be discovered. One such group is the Sufis. Sufis are a mystical sect of Islam, established around 200 years after Muhammad. They believe in peace and love, and they live in poverty, dedicating their lives to helping others. Dr. Sarah Sviri is a Professor Emerita at the Arabic Language and Literature department at The Hebrew University. She is an extremely prominent scholar of Sufism, and her book, The Taste of Hidden Things, depicts her lifelong studies. She joins us to talk about a lesser known side of Islam.
Nov 06, 2018
Episode 113 - The Dark Side of Innovation
Hi-tech and innovation have brought many good things to the world. Social media connected us to one another and in doing so gave power to the citizens of the world. Search engines gave us access to knowledge and the day may come when autonomous cars will rid us of accidents on the road and save millions of lives. But start-ups may also have dark sides. Facebook helped, unwittingly, spread fake news and foreign governments used it to intervene in the democratic process in America. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are used for drug and weapon trafficking, far from the eyes of law enforcement. And then there’s privacy. It’s that thing we used to have, and maybe never will again. So innovation goes both ways. That we know. But what happens when companies innovate to provide tools for governments to intercept their citizens’ activities, extract information about them and maybe ultimately - prosecute them and violate their basic human rights? In recent years more and more Israeli companies are blamed for doing exactly that. In a huge investigative report on Haaretz - one of Israel’s leading newspapers, reporters Hagar Shizaf and Yonathan Yakobzon, delved into the dark pasts of a few of these companies. What they found was alarming. Hagar Sheizaf of Haaretz, joins us today to talk about the investigation and the piece she co-wrote.
Nov 01, 2018
Episode 112 - From Soccer Fields to Concert Halls
Elisha Abas was a talented kid. The great-Grandson of the legendary Russian pianist Alexander Skriavin, Elisha’s talent was noticeable as early as age 4, when he started learning Piano at the Jerusalem conservatory. By the time he was 11, he had already performed with Leonard Bernstein in Carnegie Hall, as Isaac Stern sat in the audience watching. But alongside his passion for music, young Elisha was also drawn - like so many other Israeli kids - to the game of soccer. And soon enough the boy realized that his aspirations of being an international piano star come at a great price. He decided to let go of the piano, and become a professional soccer player. His soccer career flourished, and it seems life was going in the right direction. But then, when Elisha was 30, something unexpected happened, leading him back to the embrace of the piano. 2NJB is honored to be joined by Elisha Abas, to talk about his extraordinary life and career.
Oct 23, 2018
Episode 111 - The Jewish Messiah Who Converted to Islam
You've heard it before: the fact that the Jewish religion has survived in exile for more than 2000 years is nothing less than a miracle. And really, if you think about it, what are the odds that such an odd religion would persist, especially amidst the multi-billion strong titans of Christianity and Islam? But somehow, it did. For generations upon generations, people said the same prayers in an ancient language they often didn’t even understand. They followed the laws of a God they had never seen. And kept secluded in they’re communities, with one mission in mind: to survive, and keep Judaism whole. But in retrospect, a rift was inevitable. And indeed, it came in the 17th century, shaking the Jewish world to its foundations. Shabtai Zvi was born in 1626, and from a young age he was fascinated by the secrets of Jewish mysticism. When he was 22, he declared himself the Messiah. The huge cultic movement that he created in the years to come, is considered the single biggest rupture in Jewish history. Dr. Alexander Van Der Haven Studies Jewish history in the Ben Gurion university in the Negev desert. His new book: Sarah the Ashkenazi, the Queen of the Sabbateans, is depicting the fascinating story of Shabtai Zvi’s wife. We’re super excited to have him here to talk about the Sabbateans and his new book.
Oct 15, 2018
Episode 110 - Can We Really Solve the Conflict?
An opinion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a bit like superman boxers - everybody’s got one. And it seems that nowadays no matter where you go - be it indonesia or wyoming - anyone with a pulse will tell you that while it’s true that Arafat said NO to Barak’s peace offer in 2000, it doesn’t really count since Barak was a lame duck by then. There’s one thing, though, that the discussion about the conflict really lacks. It’s subtle, yes, but if used wisely, it has the potential to redefine our thinking process and our perceptions. This thing is objectivity. Objectivity regarding the conflict - is there even such a thing? Let’s just say that if there is, sitting with us today is the guy who brings it to the table. Dr. Micha Goodman is a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the head of the Beit Midrash Yisraeli Ein Prat, a torah studying institute for young adults. He authored several best sellers, and his most recent book, Catch 67’, was recently published in English. In the book Dr. Goodman tries to rethink and deconstruct the most basic perceptions about the conflict, in an effort to reach new insights, untangle the axioms and maybe, just maybe, disarm the timebomb we’re all sitting on. How does he do it? 2NJB are thrilled to have Dr. Micha Goodman with us today to find out. Photo by W. Hagens
Oct 09, 2018
Episode 109 - Lost In Lebanon: 18 Nameless Years
Operation Peace for Galilee. The Lebanon War. The First Lebanon War. The 1982 Lebanon War. It’s got a lot of names. The first full blown war the IDF engaged in across its border with Lebanon. The war ended in 1985 - you know, if you look on Wikipedia. But 15 years followed, 15 nameless years. 15 years in which Israeli soldiers - 18 to 21 year old kids - were stationed within Lebanese territory embroiled in a long, drawn out, seemingly endless affair. 15 years of casualties. 15 years of trauma both for the individual soldiers and their families and for the nation as a whole. One of those soldiers was named Matti Friedman, a Canadian who emigrated to Israel and drafted to the IDF in the late 90s. After, basic training Matti was stationed on a hilltop outpost named the Pumpkin. The Pumpkin became briefly notorious in Israel in 1994 when Hezbollah fighters staged an attack on the outpost, killing a soldier and wounding 2 others. Had this been all, the outpost wouldn’t have garnered all that much attention. After all, hundreds of Israeli soldiers had been killed in Lebanon since 85. But this wasn’t all. Matti Friedman is a journalist and author. His much acclaimed The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible was awarded the Same Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in 2014. His recent book, Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War has been extremely positively reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and countless others. We are so honored to be joined today by Matti Friedman.
Oct 02, 2018
Episode 108 - Don't Worry Be Happy
The Internet is a double edged sword - on one hand, it connects people, it entertains, it informs, educates and inspires. But it’s also time consuming, highly addictive and often puts the spotlight on a more sinister side of humanity.    Well, if there’s a winning chance for the positive side of the net, it must be thanks to Meir Kay. Meir is an independent content creator on Youtube, a vlogger and an internet personality. He started uploading videos in 2010, and has since become incredibly successful. His short movies have gone viral on social media amassing hundreds of millions of views. Meir Kay has tons of different types of videos - from acts-of-kindness clips to inspirational shorts and social experiments - but throughout all of his content, one thing stands out - positivity. I think it’s safe to say that Meir Kay is one of the MOST positive figures on the internet. And that positivity has influenced countless people. Going over the comments on his videos is enough to understand the impact that he has had. Now, all that remains is to wonder, what makes this guy so upbeat!? I mean, you can’t REALLY be that happy? Right? We’re THRILLED to have Meir Kay with us today to talk about his videos and about the power of positivity.
Sep 25, 2018
Episode 107 - TLV: Building a Bauhaus City
Walking down the streets of Tel Aviv, it’s practically impossible to ignore the humble, yet still extraordinary architecture of this seaside city. Rothschild boulevard, the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, Allenby street - certain parts of Tel Aviv really feel like a film shoot set in the early parts of the last century. One of the styles that strongly influenced this period and today is so iconic to Tel Aviv, is Bauhaus, or more accurately, International Style Architecture. In Tel Aviv, you can’t miss it. Minimalistic, aesthetically symmetric, low and generally white, these buildings dominate the Tel Aviv landscape. But Bauhaus is more than just an architectural style, it’s buildings tell the story of a certain part of Zionist history. To tell this fascinating story, we’re joined by Yigal Gawze. Yigal is a photographer, artist, architecture graduate and a Tel Aviv Bauhaus explorer. His careful examination of Tel Aviv's International Style Architecture has led to a photography exhibition and now to a private walking tour of the "White City". Yigal’s new book : Form and Light- from Bauhaus to Tel Aviv is due to be released next month. We’re excited to have Yigal on the podcast to talk about the Bauhaus Movement and TLV.
Sep 17, 2018
Episode 106 - Writing an Amazon #1 Bestseller
Americans love reading. And often, more than 140 characters. While here in Israel the number of book readers is at a constant decline - the US book industry is flourishing - not without the help of course of Amazon and others who ushered the book into the digital age. The e-book revolution brought a true disruption to the field of novel writing. Now, when you no longer need a publisher to get your book out there, many aspiring authors try their luck by digitally publishing their own work, and some even succeed and make money. In recent years, Israel has become a major player in exporting content in fields like TV shows, reality formats and even documentary films, but you don’t often hear about the modern Israeli novelist. That is, before Mike Omer. Mike was your regular Israeli. A bright young man, pursuing a promising career in High-Tech. But one day he decided to quit his day job and make an old dream come true - he decided he’d be a novelist. Not long after that, and his most recent book, A Killers Mind, has climbed to number 1 on Amazon’s best seller list. How did he do it? We’re very happy to have the man himself, Mike Omer, here with us, to tell his story.
Sep 10, 2018
Episode 105 - Living in the Shadows of ISIS
4 years ago, under the sweltering heat of Nineveh in the kurdish region of Northern Iraq, the small city of Sinjar came under attack by ISIS forces. The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, caught off guard, retreated, abandoning the civilians of Sinjar without warning. The outcome was devastating. Thousands massacred. Women and children taken into slavery. A population dissolved by evil. Of course, all this appeared in the headlines, it flashed across our television screens but beneath the surface of the stream of breaking news from this tormented region, live a people whose lives have been shattered to pieces by daily tragedy. The horrors are unimaginable, the evil seemingly unstoppable and the trauma almost insurmountable, nevertheless, as always, wherever there is human peril there are stories of human virtue. This story is about Lisa Miara. Born and raised in the UK, but currently residing in the Shariya refugee camp, Lisa has spent the past several years trying to save the lives, literally, of thousands of Yazidi refugees from both mortal danger and the agony of their trauma. Through her foundation, Springs of Hope, Lisa works restlessly to provide the displaced Yazidi people with hope and purpose. She joins us today to share her stories.
Sep 03, 2018
Episode 104 - Back in the USSR
In the 1990’s the Iron Curtain finally came down, making it possible for approximately 1 million Russian Speaking Jews to flee and immigrate to Israel. It was the biggest single immigration wave in Israel since the 1950’s. But many things have changed since Israel began accepting immigrants - or Olim as they are called in Hebrew, in the golden years of the 50’s. Then, the concept of the melting pot, embraced by Ben Gurion in the hope of creating one homogenous Israeli culture - kept the Israeli society from disintegrating into secluded factions, by enforcing severe pressure to erase the past completely and assimilate at any cost. But that policy has dissipated over time. The result was, and in many ways still is - a cultural chaos. Amidst this chaos enters Alex Rif, a daughter to Russian-speaking parents. Alex was raised as an Israeli, but realized that something inside her longs for her ancestors’ Russian culture. She formed the group Generation 1.5, in the goal of bringing new life to the Russian-Israeli culture. Alex joins 2NJB to speak about her struggles, hopes and initiatives.
Aug 27, 2018
Episode 103 - A Thousand Words in Focus
In today’s world every one of us is a pseudo-photographer. The ubiquity of advanced photography devices has turned us into compulsive picture snappers. But despite this inflation of the photographed image, in fact, perhaps now more so than ever, it remains true that there is much more than just pressing a button in the capturing of a moment. Ziv Koren, one of Israel’s most prominent and world-renowned photographers, has been in the business for almost 30 years. Throughout his life, Koren has documented countless historical events around the globe, from HIV epidemic outbreaks and the Tsunami disaster in southeast asia, to the Earthquake in Haiti and many more. His photos won numerous awards and were exhibited in luxurious museums such as the Mett in Tokyo, the Art Museum in Houston and the MAXXI in Rome. Koren has published 15 books of his work including Writing with Light, Milestones, Shalom Inshalla and more. We’re super excited to have Ziv Koren on the show to take an audio-snapshot of his incredible career and talk about what it means to be a photographer.
Aug 20, 2018
Episode 102 - Bannon's Canons and the Nation-State Bill
Behind every great man stands a great political strategist. As far as political earthquakes go, Donald Trump’s victory in November 2016 was at least an 8 on the Richter scale. Right up until the last second, no one saw it coming. But a few people were probably less surprised than most of us and one of them is surely Steve Bannon. Considered by many to be the architect of Trump’s rise to the White House, Bannon is certainly a controversial figure. To most, he’s a either the despicable leader of the Alt-right or the savior of American pride and nationalism. And to the rest, he’s an enigma. Luckily, we’ve got Gadi Taub. About a month ago, Dr. Taub, a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was able to sit down for about 2 hours with the man himself. You can find his in-depth analysis piece on the Haaretz website. Although Bannon’s been dismissed from the administration, it seems that he might be the key to understanding the currents of change that took place and that are continuing to take place in America, as well as the Jews’ place in all this mess. We’re thrilled to welcome back Gadi to the podcast to disambiguate Bannonism for us once and for all.
Aug 13, 2018
Episode 101 - Science is a Myth
Science and Religion. The ultimate standoff. It’s hard to imagine two more dichotomous extremes, right? Well, maybe not. Maybe these age old rivals have much more in common than we have been led to believe. Maybe the mythologies that make up religion have nestled in them some deeper truths. Maybe science is a mythology of its own. Do the two not ultimately attempt to answer the same underlying questions: How was the universe created? How did life on earth begin? How does our consciousness work? What is morality? Regardless of your personal beliefs, it’s hard to deny that both Science and Religion are extremely captivating. But whereas the mythologies of religion have been refined to perfection, its stories inducted into sacred canons, crafted into bestsellers, science has been left to the scientists. The mythologies of science have been and are still being written in dry, technical, unapproachable language bereft of any poetic prose that will both enchant the reader and do justice to the vast knowledge scientists possess in 2018. This ambitious mission is exactly what it seems Dr. Oren Harman took upon himself to accomplish in his new book, “Evolutions: 15 Myths that Explain our World” . Dr. Harman is a professor in Bar Ilan University, where he’s the Chair of the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society. He studied in Harvard and received his PhD with distinction from Oxford University. His fields of expertise include the history and philosophy of biology, the theory of evolution, the evolution of altruism, the cultural history of science and more. Harman’s work featured in Science, Nature, the New York Times, The Economist and many other honorable platforms. Prof. Oren Harman joins 2NJB today to talk about his very own mythology of science.
Aug 06, 2018
Episode 100 - Hawaiian Jewish Beauty Queen Takes on Israel
What makes someone a Jew? Some might say: I’m a Jew because I believe in Judaism, and I feel Jewish. But to many, including most Orthodox and conservative rabbis, that’s not enough. Some might say: I’m Jewish because I’ve been converted. But the State of Israel, for example, doesn't recognize Jews who were converted by reform and conservative Rabbis. And to many, even those who converted by the most stringent of laws, are not REALLY Jews, and referred to as “Meguyar” or "Converted" But some people choose to take their own path, disregarding what others think, and pursue their dream with all their might. Frances Wilson, is undoubtedly one such person. Wilson is an African-American from Hawaii, who converted to Judaism and now came for one year of teaching and volunteering in Israel. Winner of several beauty contests, Frances’s path to recognition in Israel is not without struggle, and she’s joining us today to talk about why she came here, and the bewildering choice to join one of the most exclusive and often loathed religions in the world.
Jul 30, 2018
Episode 99 - Spotlight Israel
Never underestimate the task of a journalist. In the maelstrom of political commentary which seems to pull every news outlet into its powerful grip, it’s probably pretty difficult to swim against the newsfeed and remain true to, well, truth. Especially in today’s endless stream of information. Many English speakers in Israel, and around the world, turn to the Times of Israel for honest reporting on the Middle East. Reading through their articles, you get a sense that the Times of Israel is not looking to please any specific readership. Despite their relative youth, The Times also has an impressive record of investigative journalism including the piece known as “The Wolves of Tel Aviv” written by Simona Weinglass (who was a guest on the podcast). The expose and Weinglass’ journalism are widely accredited for playing the central role in taking down the fraudulent Binary Options industry in Israel. David Horovitz, the founding editor of the Times of Israel, began his career in 1983 at the Jerusalem Post where he eventually became editor-in-chief. After leaving the Post in 2011, Horovitz launched the Times on Israel in 2012 and has since grown the website to a reach of 3.5 million readers a month. Horovitz has also authored several books including Still Life with Bombers: Israel in the Age of Terrorism and A Little Too Close to God: The Thrills and Panic of a Life in Israel. We’re thrilled to have David Horovitz on the podcast today to speak about Israel, Journalism and free speech.
Jul 23, 2018
Episode 98 – Beautiful That Way
Reading through a list of Achinoam Nini’s performances, you can’t help but be taken aback by the sheer magnitude of her career. Carnegie Hall, Olympia in Paris, the Colosseum, just to name a few. From humble beginnings, Nini, or Noa as she is known outside of Israel, has conquered the world with her music. In 1994, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, Nini performed Ave Maria for a live audience of 100,000 and a television audience of millions at the Vatican in Rome. In 2000, Nini recorded “La vita e bella”, the theme song for Roberto Benini’s Oscar winning film, “Life is Beautiful.” The list of her accomplishments goes on, and on, and on. She performed in the white house before President Clinton, and collaborated up until today with Sting, Steivie Wonder, Santana, Sheryl Krow, Mercedes Sosa and many others. There is no question that Nini and her music are a pillar not only in Israeli music, but in the global music world as well. We are beyond thrilled to be joined by one of the greats, the legendary, Achinoam Nini. (Photo by the Vatican)
Jul 16, 2018
Episode 97 - Genius By Design
Humans yearn for beauty from the moment they are born. And though nature has the ability to supply us with pretty impressive amounts of it, we decide, time and time again, to prove that we can do better, and bigger. It’s hard to know when it was that people started designing things but one thing’s for sure: today, design is deeply intertwined with each and every aspect of our lives. From the mug of coffee you’re just about to sip from, to the handle on your bathroom door, and even the app which you’re using right now to listen to this podcast. Everything today MUST be designed. Enter Ron Arad, an Israeli Born Designer and Architect based in London. Ron is not only one of the most successful Israeli designers - he’s one of the most renowned designers in the world. His works are sold worldwide, in stores and luxurious auction halls alike. His products were showcased in London’s Design Museum, the Barbican Art Gallery, Pompidou Center, and New York’s Museum of Art. As an architect, Ron’s buildings include the currently-under-construction ToHA office complex in Tel Aviv, which will be Israel’s tallest building, and the future UK Holocaust Memorial. From his London studio and offices, we’re extremely honored to talk to Ron Arad.
Jul 10, 2018
Episode 96 - Privacy: What's the Big Deal
Undoubtedly, over the past several weeks, you’ve received countless emails from services ranging from Spotify to that restaurant in Ashburn, Virginia whose app you once downloaded to get 10% off their late night delivery, updating you on their new privacy policy. This was due to a little regulation recently passed into law by the EU called GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation. It can be easy to get lost in the conversation about privacy but it is an important conversation to have. In fact, it is extremely relevant to our everyday lives. In a time when your every step is recorded trough your phone’s GPS and your voice is recorded by smart speakers or even your phone’s microphone, the question of who looks after our privacy becomes more crucial than ever. Luckily for us, we have with us today Jules Polonetsky, THE go-to-guy when it comes to privacy. He is the CEO of the Future Privacy Forum, a non-for-profit think tank based in DC, that helps hundreds of companies by consulting with them on their privacy policies. The Forum is supported by AT&T, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and many other including corporations and foundations. Before his work at the Forum Jules served on boards of numerous privacy and consumer protection organizations, and he’s a regular speaker at privacy and technology events. He joins today to help us to understand if there’s anything left of our privacy. Photo credit:
Jul 03, 2018
Episode 95 - The First Zionist Heroine
Every nation needs a mythical hero, a key figure in its history that against all odds, rebelled and fought the malicious powers that be in order to promise a future. To us, Zionist Israelis, the Aharonson family and the Nilly underground is as close to a mythical legend as it gets. So much has been said and written about the British and their ruthless 31 years of occupation in Israel/Palestine between 1917 and 1948. But many seem to forget that before the British, the Ottoman Empire ruled this land for centuries. And when the first Zionists came here in the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, they had to face a ruthless, cruel and primitive regime that was soon to bring a Holocaust on the Armenian people. It was under these circumstances that the Aharonson family, who were Romanian zionists that dwelled in the just-established village of Zikron Yaakov - decided to rebel and assist the British from within. Their underground became a remarkable story which would inspire generations. Gregory J. Wallance is an American lawyer and an author. His book Papa’s Game was nominated to the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and he wrote several other critically acclaimed books, alongside op-eds for leading American newspapers such as the New York Times and the LA Times. His most recent book is called “The Woman Who Fought an Empire: Sarah Aharonson and her Nili Spy Ring”, and it depicts the incredible story of the Aharonson undergrounds. We're thrilled to have him on our show to talk about these turbulent and adventurous times.
Jun 24, 2018
Episode 94 - Bibi: The Man Behind the Myth
Few figures in Israeli politics, or in global politics for that matter, arouse such extreme levels of both antagonism and diehard support as the man the world has come to know as Bibi. Benjamin Netanyahu was the inheritor of a long dormant dynasty known as the Revisionist movement which eventually developed into the Likud, Israel’s current ruling political party. Every human who rises to such levels of fame and infamy, becomes to a certain degree, mythological. But not too many people know the story of the man behind the myth. Today, by many, Bibi is seen as the inexorable protector of Zion, the ultimate diplomat, the only man fit to lead the Jewish people. By many others, he’s forgone all ethical and moral boundaries and is destined to doom our nation. But before Benjamin Netanyahu was all these things, before he was Prime Minister of Israel, he was a kid, enchanted by his older brother Yoni, he was a furniture salesman, a two time divorcee, he was Ben Nitay studying architecture at MIT. Today, embroiled in corruption allegations and staving off a world of condemnations, it’s hard to see Bibi as much else than transcendent good or evil. But that won’t stop us from trying. Anshel Pfeffer has been a journalist for the Israeli Daily, Haaretz, since 2014 and has recently published his biography titled “Bibi: the turbulent life and times of Benjamin Netanyahu” We’re very excited to be joined today by Anshel Pfeffer to discuss the man, the legend, Bibi. (Photo: WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/ Jolanda Flubache)
Jun 18, 2018
Episode 93 – The Wonder Woman of Cyber Space
When we hear about cyber attacks, systems getting hacked and ransomware, we usually imagine a bunch of masked hoodlums in a dark basement, probably on the outskirts of Moscow, plotting to bring anarchy upon the world. What we seldom imagine, though, are a bunch of intelligent, successful computer scientists in a luxurious office, looking for security breaches, hacking into systems, and sometimes even taking part in cyber warfare. Keren Elazari was a geeky kid in the 90s when she discovered, at a very young age, that her peculiar hobby actually has a name: hacking. It wasn’t long before she was participating in international hacking conventions, serving in a secret military intelligence unit, and finally receiving grants to conduct research in her field. Keren Elazari was the first ever Israeli woman to lecture on TED. She’s an analyst and cyber researcher at Tel Aviv University, and her articles were published in many international magazines. We’re very excited to have her here today to talk about cyber security and hacking.
Jun 11, 2018
Episode 92 - Taking Israel to the Moon
Yariv Bash had a simple idea: taking Israel to the moon, for the first time. To pursue his new dream he quit a luxurious job in the prime ministers office, and founded the NGO SpaceIL. Together with his co-founders, they quickly joined Google’s spaceX competition, battling with groups from all around the world to be the first to send a spacecraft to the moon. For many years, spaceIL was leading the competition. But then something unexpected happened. Bash, an enthusiast of extreme sports, had a severe ski accident, which left him on a wheelchair. Yariv Bash joins us today to talk about Israel’s race to the Moon, and his journey race to get his old life back.
Jun 05, 2018
Episode 91 - Settlers: Let's Break Some Myths
Settlers. They are mentioned endlessly in international media, often described as religious fanatics. They are also very present in the Israeli media, which tends to blame them for much of the political distress Israel faces. On the Israeli street, no one is indifferent to this issue. The settler is either notorious for their illegal theft of palestinian land or celebrated for being the frontline pioneers of the zionist endeavor. The left and advocates of the two state solution scorn them for basically looting the state coffers due to the disproportionate sums of money they receive from the government. While the right praises them for their vineyards, their factories and even their employment of palestinians. One camp shines the spotlight on the violent factions that throw molotov cocktails and break through checkpoints to reach Joseph’s burial site in Nablus, Shchem as the other camp cheers for their bravery. The settler is perhaps the most controversial figure on the face of the planet today. Yishai Fleisher is the spokesperson for the Jewish Community in Hebron, he’s a radio show host and a writer. Fleisher is also the founder and director of Kuma, an organization meant to help educate for the cause of Zionism. Yishai Fleisher has been living in the West Bank or as he would call it, Judea and Samaria for the last 15 years. We’re thrilled to be joined by Yishai Fleisher to talk about the settlements.
May 28, 2018
Episode 90 - In the Name of My Son
Nothing in Robi Damelin’s life could have prepared her for that day. Not growing up in South Africa under Apartheid. Not her immigration to Israel in 1967. Nor any other character forging event throughout her life. A mother is not meant to bear the death of her own child. But what is meant to be, is not always what ends up happening. Robi’s son David was shot by a Palestinian sniper in March of 2002. But from the endless grief and sorrow, Robi chose to re-emerge with a new purpose in life. Counting from 1860, 23,645 Israelis have lost their lives in wars or terror attacks. Every year, on the national memorial day, around 1.5 millions Israelis - almost 19% of Israel’s population - visit the cemeteries to remember their lost loved ones. But recently, on the national memorial day, there's another event that catches public attention - the alternative memorial ceremony, conducted by the Parents Circle Families Forum, in which both Israeli families who lost their loved ones to war or terror attacks, and Palestinian families who lost their loved ones in war - unite in their grief. The controversy in Israeli society around these ceremonies, and around the Forum’s agenda in general - is vigorous. Nevertheless, the organization, that has more than 600 families as members, both Israeli and Palestinian, continues its struggle to end the violence. Robi Damelin is the Forum’s spokesman, and she’s here today to talk about her personal story, about her son David, and about the Parents Circle Families Forum, which became her life’s purpose. (Photo by Dan Peretz)
May 21, 2018
Episode 89 - Professor Cannabis
Close to 60 years ago, in the early 1960s, Marijuana AKA Cannabis wasn’t exactly the friendly substance it is today. In pretty much every developed country, recreational use of the drug was totally illegal and medical research was limited. So as a junior faculty member of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam had to jump through a few loops to get his hands on a sample for his research. Luckily for Dr. Mechoulam, the director of the Weizmann institute had an old army buddy in an opportune place - the head of the investigative branch of the national police. Dr. Mechoula, reach out to him and was provided with 5 kilos of seized Lebanese Hasish. This sample allowed Dr. Mechoulam and his research partners to discover cannabidiol in 1963 and THC the following year. In 2001 Prof. Mechoulam was awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious award for scientific achievement and today he continues his research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We are super thrilled to be talking to Prof. Mechoulam today about cannabis, his life and his research.
May 15, 2018
Episode 88 - Innovation Nation: Inventor of the Thumb Drive
Once upon a time there were cave walls. Our ancestors sketched hunting scenes and traced their hands on them. Thousands of years later, we humans, in our abundant ingenuity, invented papyrus, parchment, canvas and finally paper. Eventually, we began storing data digitally. Remember those 3.5 inch floppy disks with a few measly megabytes? But as men and women had more to say, more to paint, more to communicate, these methods were no longer enough. Enter Dov Moran. Dov Moran was fascinated by technology from a very early age. He would tinker with electronic gadgets he bought from MAD magazine, unfortunately, according to him, to not too much avail. But this passion eventually lead Moran to invent a gadget of his own that would, in many ways, change the world - the USB Flash Drive AKA the diskonkey. A small device, you can carry in your pocket, capable of storing large amounts of data. Dov Moran studied in the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and went on to establish his own company, M-Systems. He continues with his entrepreneurship today with over 40 patents! We are extremely glad to be joined today by Dov Moran to talk about the story of the DiskonKey and his passion for technological entrepreneurship. (Photo by ComigoTV)
May 07, 2018
Episode 87 - Mossad: Kill or be Killed
A little over a week ago, in the early morning of April 21st, Fadi Al-Batsh was walking down a road in Gombak, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. He was on his way to the local mosque for dawn prayers. Suddenly, two men on a motorcycle drove up, drew their pistols and gunned down Al batsh with no less than 14 bullets before driving off. Seven years prior to his assassination, Fadi Al Batsh had moved to Malaysia from Gaza to research and acquire weapon systems and drones for Hamas, the ruling power in the strip. This, ostensibly, made him a target for Israel’s international spy agency, the Mossad. Of course, this is not the first such mission undertaken by the clandestine organization. The Mossad, along with the other branches of Israel’s intelligence apparatus, has a long, dark and often contentious history of targeted assassinations dating back to the very founding of the state. If we listed the qualifications and accomplishments of Dr. Ronen Bergman, we’d have no time left to talk about his incredible new book, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. Suffice it to say that Dr. Bergman is a senior political and military analyst for Yedioth Aharonot, Israel’s largest daily newspaper, he’s been a guest lecturer at countless universities including Princeton, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge (where he received his PhD in history), he’s written for numerous international newspapers including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and The Times and finally, he deserves a special congratulations for recently becoming a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine. We are thrilled to be joined today by Dr. Ronen Bergman to talk about his new book and Israel’s history of covert killings.
Apr 30, 2018
Episode 85 - Jerusalem: A Tale of Many Cities
Jerusalem. A powerful city. So powerful that we recall it when we take the oath of matrimony, on every holiday and with it we seal our national anthem. But it also has the power to divide, to tear apart families, to bring nations to wage war against one another. Jerusalem isn't only a city. It's a stoney ocean of history, of reincarnations, of dreams and of destruction, layer upon layer. All of that, and more, is encapsulated in one new book, beautifully titled “Jerusalem: Drawn and Quartered”. This book was written by none other than Sarah Tuttle-Singer, and it depicts a year in her life, a year in which she dwelt between those ancient walls, met with the inhabitants of the old city, conversed with them, and immersed herself in Holy City. But the book also tells Sarah’s life story, a story of much love and passion, but also tragedy. Sarah Tuttle-Singer is probably one of the more influential Israeli Americans living here. She writes for the Times of Israel, she’s a social media sensation, and her name is extremely well known both in the local English speaking community, as well as in the international Jewish community. Sarah joins us today to talk about her life, and her exciting debut book.
Apr 16, 2018
Episode 84 - Haredi Horror Stories
What do you know about the world of ultra-orthodox Jews? Probably more or less as much as we, secular Israelis, know. Much of the ultra-orthodox community lives in self-confinement, enclosed in their almost “alternate universe”. Only seldomly do we catch a glimpse of the secrets of this fascinating and menacing world, and when we do, we’re left in awe. Meni Philip was born to a well-known ulta-orthodox family in Petach-Tikva. After studying in Yeshiva for a few years, Meni decided to pivot and embark on a new career as a Hasidic singer. His talent was embraced by the Israeli Orthodox community, and he quickly became the most successful Hasidic singer in Israel. But after two albums and a marriage, Meni began drifting away, towards a new life. He decided to “return to question”, as the Hebrew phrase describes the excruciating process of leaving the religion and becoming a secular Jew. Meni became an award winning documentary filmmaker, with a successful international career. He’s been living in Los Angeles for several years, but now he’s visiting Israel, shooting a new documentary about a new groundbreaking movement that he established. Meni Philip joins us today to share his amazing life story.
Apr 09, 2018
Episode 83 - Big in Tel Aviv
Immigrating to Israel is not easy. Alongside mastering Hebrew, finding a Job and making friends, one of the biggest challenges is simply to integrate, to find your place, to feel like a local. If you’re an artist immigrating here, it can be even more difficult. If language is not your medium, art is certainly always a cultural thing - and the divide can easily become a chasm. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv has become a vibrant multi-national city, and it seems that English speakers are thriving here. Even if you’re an Israeli English speaker, so long as you’re present on social media, you can’t escape the stream of immigrant produced content emanating from Israel. And at the top of that chart, sitting comfortably on her throne, is Renny Grinshpan - the benevolent queen. Renny Grinshpan is an actor, creator and a model who made aliyah 4 years ago. Since then she’s been scorching Israel’s facebook feed with hilarious viral videos, mainly as part of the Israeliot group, making her one of the most known and influential local internet stars. Renny graduated the Columbia School of Journalism. She’s created videos for the Jewish Daily Forward and the Tross Creative House. Renny Grinshpan is here with us today to answer the age old question: chocolate or vanilla? Also, will there be peace in the middle east.
Apr 02, 2018
Episode 82 - Crashing on the Hudson
It was a cold January afternoon in New York City when Adir Freilich boarded US Airways flight 1549 to Charlotte, North Carolina. He was on his way to Myrtle Beach to visit his grandparents. But Adir wasn't destined to end up in Myrtle Beach that day. No, Adir ended up in the Hudson River. The aircraft was in command of Captain Chesley (“Sully”) Sullenberg , a 57 year old former fighter pilot who had over 25 years of experience as an airline pilot. About 2 minutes after takeoff, flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada Geese. All engine power was lost. The events that followed are truly stranger than fiction. Adir Freilich joins us today to share with us his first hand account of the Miracle on the Hudson. Photo by: Greg L
Mar 26, 2018
Episode 81 - Staring in the Eyes of Evil
It was a Saturday afternoon in mid December in 2010 when Kay Wilson and Kristine Luken decided to go for a hike in the Mata forest, near Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem. That decision proved fateful, and even fatal for one of them. Rewind 4 months. Kay, a British-born Israeli citizen, is guiding a Holocaust tour through Poland. She meets Kristine Luken, a Christian American enthralled by the Jewish people and their history. Kay is so moved by Luken’s passion that she invites her to her home country to experience the real Israel and Luken accepts. She flies to Israel and the two engage in their mutual love of hiking. What happened in the hills that day in December has been haunting Kay ever since. This very interview was postponed as Kay found herself suffering from a debilitating bout of PTSD. But still she finds the strength to tell her story, again and again. Why? We’re honored to have Kay Wilson join us today to tell her story and answer that question herself. [Photo: Voice of Israel / YouTube ]
Mar 19, 2018
Episode 80 - What Makes Us Curious?
What were the qualities that pushed mankind forward throughout history? Deduction was an important element in our ability to understand the world around us. Innovation certainly aided us in our pursuit the master the forces of nature. But perhaps one characteristic above all others has driven our species forward: Curiosity. Curiosity is almost an instinct, an impulse to find an answer to question. The itch to find new questions to which we ought to seek answers. And the ability to doubt and question everything around us - these abilities led us to be the dominant species on earth and known universe, light years above any other form of life. But a very reflexive question comes to mind when we speak of curiosity, and that is - what is it that makes us curious? It seems we are so eager to find answers to questions, that we never quite stopped to think about why we're asking the questions. Dr. Mario Livio is a world renowned scientist and the author of six internationally acclaimed popular science books. He was a professor of physics at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, and worked with the Hubble Space Telescope from 1991 to 2015. His bestselling book The Golden Ratio - the Story of Phi won the Peano Prize and the International Pythagoras prize for popular books on Mathematics. Dr. Livio’s new book, titled “Why? What makes Us Curious”, depicts his journey to understand the roots of curiosity. It’s a great privilege to have Dr. Mario Livio with us today to discuss this curious topic.
Mar 12, 2018
Episode 79 - The Lost Brother
Usually a Skype call begins with a clamor of several similar, almost identical, questions: “Can you hear me?”, “Can you hear me now?”. But not this one. This one started with a series of quiet smiles, followed by all eight? people on the call bursting into tears. One end of this call is New Jersey, the kitchen table of the Katz family. The other end, a remote part of Russia called Sakhalin Island, near Japan. In April of 2016, Jess Katz picked up again on a search she'd been conducting for most of her life, a search which she most likely expected to lead her to archived documents or in the best case scenario, a photo. She was continuing a cross-generational search for her grandfather’s long lost younger brother. Her grandfather never had the fortune of meeting his younger brother after the Holocaust ripped them apart. Unfortunately, neither did Jess. But her search was definitely not to no avail. Jess Katz joins us today to share her inspiring story.
Mar 05, 2018
Episode 78 - The Wilf Doctrine
“You promised a dove.” Those words were written by the Israeli poet, Shmuel Hasfari, in his song “Winter ‘73”. Some interpreted them as a sort of eulogy to peace. A peace which was promised to a generation of Israelis who only found themselves disappointed time after time at the ever eluding prospect of peace with the Arab world. The song was written around the same time as the Oslo Accords were signed between Israel and the PLO - a time of great hope for this generation - the kids of ‘73. But soon they were devastated once again. With the outbreak of the second intifada, many gave up hope for the prospect of peace. Some pointed their fingers at the Israeli leadership who failed them. Some blamed the settlement movement and others pinned the failure to attain peace on the Palestinian’s lack of determination. Dr. Einat Wilf, a former Member of Knesset, grew up as a member of the Labor Party and was an ardent advocate of the two state solution. She believed that if only Israel and its leaders would propose the right deal, at the right time, we would have peace. We would have that allusive and elusive “dove”. The kids of ‘73 had a childhood full of hope and aspirations. They grew up to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and the Oslo Accords. However, the failure of those Accords, the atrocities of the second intifada, and stalemates upon stalemates in the peace process caused many in that generation to abandon hope. Dr. Wilf join us today to talk about how her experiences both in and out of politics shaped her perspective on the peace process. Photo credit: Iliya Yefimovich **Correction: The massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein in Hebron in 1994 took place in The Cave of the Patriarchs (not in Rachel's Tomb as stated in the episode)
Feb 26, 2018
Episode 77 - Can Climate Cause War?
For almost seven years a gruesome civil war has been tearing Syria apart. With half a million dead, 5 million refugees and 7 million citizens who were forced to leave their homes - it seems there’s no apparent end on the horizon. The war has changed the middle east in many ways, and has affected all the neighboring countries, including Israel. But it seems that of all these states in the area, Jordan is the one who was forced to bear the brunt under the circumstances. This poor desert kingdom had to absorb millions of refugees, who literally ran across the huge border between the two countries. As a country that was itself on the brink of civil war several times in the past, Jordan now faces yet another severe challenge. Into this mess entered Rachel Delia Benaim. Rachel is a reporter and a few months ago she embarked on a risky journey across Jordan, in search for an unexpected cause of the Syrian Civil War. What she found was alarming. Lucky for us, she’s here to share her story and her fascinating insights. Photo by: William Proby
Feb 19, 2018
Episode 76 - Uri Geller: Spoon Bender and Spy
“There is no spoon.” Remember that line from the "The Matrix"? Neo walks into the Oracle’s house to discover a monk-child sitting cross-legged on the carpet. The kid holds up a spoon and begins to seemingly bend it with his mind. He hands it to Neo and urges him to realize the truth, “There is no spoon.” In August 1973, the CIA conducted a study at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. Just to be clear, this is in reality, not in the movie. That study conducted by the CIA documented the unique abilities of a young man. After 7 days of tests, the study concluded that this young man had “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous way.” Uri Geller became popular in Israel in the late 60s early 70s. Within a few years he'd become an international sensation, bending spoons for television audiences worldwide and even appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1973. That appearance was a humiliation as Uri described it and almost caused him to pack up his bags and go home for good. Uri Geller claims to have paranormal abilities, ranging from the psychokinetic to the telepathic. Of course, there is much skepticism, not excluding our own, but to paraphrase Uri’s own son: whichever way you look at this, there’s a fascinating story here! Today, here in the studio, there is a spoon. And here to bend it is Uri Geller himself. Photo Credit: David Parry/PA Wire
Feb 12, 2018
Episode 75 - 5 Years in a Cuban Prison: The Story of Alan Gross
In the fall of 2016 something truly bizarre happened in the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba. According to reports, 22 embassy staffers were suffering from mild brain damage, concussions and permanent hearing loss. Scientists and researchers are still debating the causes of these events but many suspected covert sonic attacks. In response, the US expelled two Cuban diplomats and warned US citizens not to travel to Cuba. These peculiar events took place just one year after the US embassy was reinstated in Havana and only a few months after President Obama became the first US president to visit Cuba since 1928, as part of what became known as the Cuban Thaw. The thaw marked a warming in the relations between Cuba and the US - a move which was heavily criticized by many. In the midst of all this was one American Jew from Long Island. Alan Gross was a US government contractor and social entrepreneur who traveled to developing countries to bring modern communication technology like satellites, phones and internet to the locals. His journeys led him to Cuba in 2009, where he provided local Jewish communities with various technological equipment. However, during his fifth visit to Cuba, something unexpected happened. The 60 year-old Gross was arrested by the Cuban Police. About the events that unfolded next, we will hear from the man himself. Today we are deeply honored to be joined by Alan Gross. (Photo by the White House)
Feb 05, 2018
Episode 74 - Calling BS on BDS
Soda water or still water? The big question. Here in Israel, we love our soda water. Maybe we relate to the pressure that builds up from those little bubbles of carbonation, or maybe we just like the fizz. Whatever the reason, in most Israeli homes you’ll probably find a carbonation device called SodaStream. Until 2015, this Israeli company held it’s main manufacturing branch in the settlement of Maale Adumim. This, to say the least, bothered some people. You see, Maale Adumim lies across the green line in the West Bank and is considered by most of the international community to be an illegal settlement. Starting in 2010, a series of organizations and courts, including the European Union’s highest court, came to decisions and rulings that put pressure on SodaStream for residing in the West Bank. It was easy to trace the source of this pressure. Better known for its initialization BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement sprung up in 2005 and set as its goal to end Israel’s violation of international law for the sake of the Palestinian people. Since then it has swept across platforms from university campuses to International courts. In 2015, SodaStream announced that it would be shutting down its plant in the West Bank and laying off 500 Palestinian workers. A movement that claimed to be protecting the rights and privileges of the Palestinians was suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that they had just cost 500 of these people their jobs. Bassem Eid was born in Jerusalem but today he’s a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Bassem is an ardent Palestinian human rights activist and he joins us today to talk about BDS and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. (Free photo by Odemirense)
Jan 30, 2018
Episode 73 - Obama Friend or Foe: a Recap with MK Dr. Michael Oren
“Unshakable and unbreakable”. Those two words were used by the Obama administration to describe the special, intimate relationship between Israel and the United States. When Michael Oren found himself, almost against all odds, serving as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. in 2009, he found out sooner rather than later the these relations were, in fact, very shakable, and maybe even breakable. His impossible job was to prevent that from happening. Promising change and peace, Obama entered the white house with a burst of optimism, and some might argue, arrogance. To Michael Oren, the Obama administration and its relations with Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu, shaped to be the greatest challenge of his life. In his book titled “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide” Oren depicts the almost unimaginable chain of events that took place during his 4.5 year term as an ambassador. Since this January marks one year to the end of the Obama era, we thought it was a good opportunity to recap, look at the Obama years from a distance, and discuss his legacy. Michael Oren is a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's office, Member of Knesset in the Kulanu Party and he served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 2009-2013. In a previous life, Oren also taught history at the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and was a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale and Georgetown. He is the author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction. Deputy Minister Michael Oren joins us today for the second time to talk about the Obama years from an Israeli perspective.
Jan 22, 2018
Episode 72 - #metoo and the Power to Forgive
On October 5, 2017, only a few months ago, a report published in The New York Times shook the foundations at the epicenter of America’s film and television industry - Hollywood. More than a dozen women accused the hugely successful film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, abuse and rape. These allegations brought about a wave of accusations against prominent male figures in film and TV. It gave birth to a movement named #metoo and recently another movement named Times Up both aimed at empowering women to speak up against sexual violence and misconduct. One year before this seismic report, there was a warning tremor. A tremor that was nonetheless seismic for the person reporting. A journalist from the Los Angeles Jewish Journal published an essay titled: “My Sexual Assault and Yours, Every Woman's Story.” That journalist’s name is Danielle Berrin. Danielle refrained from naming names and instead conveyed her experience, her trauma and the devastation she felt from this once idolized man. Soon it became clear that this man was the prominent Israeli journalist, Ari Shavit. Shavit apologized, begrudgingly, and stepped down from the public stage. Israel’s media world was shaken to its roots. Danielle Berrin joins us today to talk about her story, the metoo campaign and how, after the ashes settle, we might be able to build a better future.
Jan 15, 2018
Episode 71 - What the Hell is Going on in Poland?
I (Naor) just came back from a ten day trip in Poland. What I saw there perplexed me. On one hand, Poland is going through massive political changes in which the far right have taken control over the country. Recently, a bill was passed that gives the right wing government greater control of the Supreme Court. Just last month, tens of thousands of anti semitic protesters marched through the streets of Warsaw shouting racist chants. On the other hand, the Jewish community is still present and actually at its prime since WW2. One memeber of the Jewish community there is Matan Shefi. Matan decided to move to Warsaw three years ago with his wife and the two still live there today. Matan works at the Jewish Historical Institute and helps people trace their Jewish roots in Poland. Today, Matan joins us to talk about his new home, his work and recent developments in Poland. Photo credit: Mazaki
Jan 08, 2018
Episode 70 - Etgar Keret and the Art of the Short Story
Size matters. Or so, at least, we’ve been told from the moment we were born: the tallest guy gets the glory on the basketball courts at school; The longest thesis at the university class stands for the quality of research and work that was put into it; A filmmaker can make 50 short films but he’ll never make it if he hasn’t made a Feature. And then there's literature: Ulysses, War and Peace, and even the Lord of the Rings trilogy - all stand for the concept of size as a quality stamp. Etgar Keret’s career, however, has been proving just the opposite. For 30 years Keret has been focusing mainly on short stories, and it’s safe to say that his technique and unique style has contributed a lot to the reshaping of short storytelling as an art form. Keret’s one of the most translated Israeli writers. His books have been translated to 37 languages. His short stories were adapted to international productions, like “Wristcutters” or the stop animation film 9.99$. Keret has published 13 books, including short stories books, comics, graphic novels, and even children’s books. He won many awards, among which the Knight Medallion for Literature in France. His debut feature film, that he co-created with his wife Shira Geffen, was awarded the Golden Camera in the Cannes film festival. And now a new documentary film about him is being released. Today 2NJB are deeply honored to host Etgar Keret.
Jan 01, 2018
Episode 69 - Haaretz Chief Editor Talks Journalism
Freedom of speech or freedom of the press has been a key ingredient of healthy democracies since, well, since healthy democracies have been around. But what does it mean to be a good Journalist? Where do we draw the lines between freedom of press and national security? How do you keep a newspaper’s ethics in check without compromising on its values? As Israel's leading liberal national daily newspaper, Haaretz and its journalists must struggle with these questions on a daily basis, particularly the person who runs the paper. So, here to help us answer those questions is Aluf Benn, the editor-in-chief of Haaretz. Aluf Benn has been published in a number of international newspapers including The NYT, The Guardian and Newsweek. He joins us today to discuss journalism.
Dec 25, 2017
Episode 68 - Viral in the Valley
If you have kids, you probably know that television is dead, or at least, dying. Nowadays young adults and kids alike spend the vast majority of their free time on Youtube, binging endless hours of free content, tailored specifically to their tastes and desires. This revolution has afforded talented people from all around the world not only the opportunity to reach huge audiences without having to go through producers and networks - but also the chance to make a living from their art. Leigh Lahav, an Israeli-American who moved from Israel to L.A 3 years ago, is probably the most successful Israeli Youtuber out there. Her short animations, usually mash ups of shows and movies from pop culture, have accumulated millions and millions of views. She has a huge community of fans and followers, and now she’s on a journey to make it big in America. Leigh joins us today to talk about her art, career and future endeavors.
Dec 18, 2017
Episode 67 - Middle East Break Down
The Middle East isn’t the friendliest neighborhood to grow up in, especially for Israel. With the cold peace it shares with both Egypt and Jordan to the persistent “state of war” it holds with Iraq and Iran, Israel is hard pressed to find a friend in its corner of the world. The USA is often seen as Israel’s big brother, its protector, its ever-loyal ally, but the United States lies thousands upon thousands of miles away geographically and lightyears culturally. So how does a country like Israel fit in in its home town? What’s its role here in the Middle East? How does a young nation forge relationships in such a harsh climate? Here to help us understand the intricacies and intrigues of the Middle East is Barak Ravid. Barak is the chief diplomatic correspondent for Channel 10 News in Israel. Before that he served as the diplomatic correspondent at Haaretz for a decade, covering the Prime Minister's Office, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defense, dealing with issues such as U.S.-Israeli relations, EU-Israeli relations and the peace process. Barak Ravid joins us today to talk about Israel’s place in the Middle East.
Dec 11, 2017
Episode 66 - Behind Bars in Iraq
Everyone loves a good adventure. Whether you're into climbing the highest mountains, bungee jumping from the highest bridges, or in my case - going to my cousin's Bar Mizvah in Delaware - a little bit of a risk can bring on a rush of adrenaline that adds that excitement we all live for. But some people take adventure to the next level. With us today is Tamara Baraaz who happens to be that kind of person. Tamara is a journalist who travels to the most dangerous countries in the world to tell the stories of the people who live there. Her journeys led her to east Ukraine, Chad, Central Africa, Somalia, and even Afghanistan, where she couch surfed, and Iraq, where she ended up in a prison. Tamara joins 2NJB to tell us about the extraordinary people that she met and the places she's seen.
Dec 04, 2017
NEW PODCAST - The Melting Podcast: Passport Control
We have a new podcast about aliyah and what it's like to become an Israeli, called The Melting Podcast. Here's the first episode! On this episode, we speak to Ilana Vaknine, AKA La La Vak, one of Tel Aviv’s funniest sex bloggers, plus live music by Quarter to Africa We produced this podcast for Kan, Israel's Public Broadcasting Corporation, and you can find it wherever you get your podcasts. Episode 2 is already out! Find all episodes here:
Nov 27, 2017
Episode 65 - Behind the Scenes of Binary Options
Over the last decade, in Israel, Binary Options has become a term that carries with it a heavy stigma of fraud and theft and is generally associated with shady people. But it hasn’t always been like that. For a long time, for many people, it was just another sector of the financial industry which was raking in A LOT of dough. It actually provided an opportunity for many people who otherwise struggled to make a living in Israel, an opportunity to make good money, fast! On the 23rd of March, 2016, Simona Weinglass, a reporter for the Times of Israel, wrote an expose of the Binary Options industry. In it, she described a world that thrived on deception, illegal activity, and ultimately on preying on the weak. Since her expose in the Times of Israel, Simona has been covering the battle against Binary Options in Israel’s Parliament. Today, the industry is well on its way to being taken down. This episode is a rerun from a year ago (ep 14) when Simona joined us to talk about this dark industry and how she came to uncover it. (Photo credit:
Nov 20, 2017
Episode 64 - The Man who Discovers Planets
For thousands of years astronomers have been looking up to the sky, trying to understand what the hell's going on up there. In the last 50 years technology has led to tremendous breakthroughs, and yet, we are still very far from solving the most essential of questions: how was all this created? Prof. Tzevi Mazeh from Tel Aviv University has been trying to find answers to these questions for over 40 years. He was a guest researcher in Harvard, and as an astronomer, Prof. Mazeh took part in many important discoveries of stars, planets and other space phenomena. Prof. Mazeh published the book “introduction to the Theory of Relativity”, and co-edited the book “Drishat Shalom”, a collection of articles about peace and justice from a biblical perspective. Prof. Mazeh was also the chair of the political jewish-left-wing movement “Netivot Shalom”. Prof. Mazeh is one of the most popular lecturers in Tel Aviv University, and apart from being a leading astrophysicist, he is also an expert in the history of Astronomy. And apart from that, he has also been teaching Talmud for many years. Prof. Mazeh joins 2NJB today to talk about his out-of-this-world career.
Nov 13, 2017
Episode 63 - Candies from Heaven: Tales of a Jerusalem Boy
Jews have been longing for Jerusalem for two thousand years. But in the 19th century only a few were courageous enough, some might say crazy enough, to take everything and leave their homes to the Holy Land. And that's exactly what several poor Yemenite families did. They walked by foot from Sanaa to Jerusalem, only to find out that the Holy city is actually a dump. Gil Hovav’s ancestors were one of these families, and when a few generations later, Yemenite jew Moshe Hovav Married the granddaughter of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, reviver of the Hebrew language - Gil Hovav was the result. Gil grew up amidst a clash of cultures, which took place in a city torn apart by wars and religion. His fascinating childhood is the subject of his autobiographical book, Candies From Heaven, which was just now released in English. Gil is one of Israel’s greatest experts in food and food culture. Gil has been a regular guest in every Israeli household for over 20 years. He’s a pioneer of the televised cooking shows here in Israel. He’s a food journalist and author of many cooking books and some novels as well. Gil joins us for the second time to talk about his amazing childhood in Jerusalem.
Nov 06, 2017
Episode 62 - When the World Fell Apart: 100 Years to WWI
Since 2014 the world has been commemorating 100 years for the Great War, World War I. 16.5 Million people lost their lives in that war, and its results changed the world forever. Among many influences, the one that is most relevant to the Jewish people, is the liberation of Israel - then Palestine - from the turkish occupation, and the beginning of the British Mandate. This November we’re also commemorating 100 years since the Balfour Declaration. Signed by the British foreign minister Balfour, that document led to the fact that we're sitting here right now with Kobi Hubara... Koby Hubara has been filling up pubs and venues with his popular history lectures throughout Tel Aviv, for years. He’s a researcher of history, a writer and a publicist, and he’s with us to talk about the war we know almost nothing about, its affect on the Jewish fate and and how it reshaped the world.
Oct 30, 2017
Episode 61 - Drags to Riches
A few months ago Tel Aviv celebrated Pride month with a glorious parade. This annual event has already become a tradition and attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over Israel and from across the globe to this tiny Mediterranean city. Indeed, Tel Aviv is known as the Pride capital of the world, but that status was not bestowed upon it, but rather earned. When you come to think of it, it’s not obvious that in a religious, conservative country like Israel, such a vivacious sub-culture of LGBT would flourish. And yet, it does. Uriel Yekutiel is maybe one of the biggest international symbols of the Israeli LGBT community. As a renowned performer, Yekutiel is tearing up the stages of Tel Aviv’s night life. As a dancer and an actor, he's been creating viral video clips for years, and in 2015 he even danced with Bar Refaeli in a commercial. Yekutiel’s videos are young, fun and provocative. Yekutiel also led the revolution of mizrahi-themed gay parties, and apart from that, he devotes much of his time to social causes, like the struggle against suicide in the gay community. Uriel Yekutiel joins 2NJB to talk about his fascinating life and career.
Oct 23, 2017
Episode 60 - Let's Talk Bibi
It can be safely said that Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most controversial figures in Israeli politics. He’s seen by many as the savior of the Jewish people while many others consider him the antithesis to everything democratic and Israeli. He’s worshiped, he’s cursed. He’s praised and he’s ridiculed. One thing is for sure, no one is indifferent to Bibi. It’s only fitting that such a leader would be embroiled in corruption charges for most of his political career. Most recently, the cases nicknamed cases 1000 through 4000 have intermittently surfaced in the headlines here in Israel and around the world. Cigars and champagne, German submarines, secret deals for favorable coverage, conflicts of interest, conflicts of interest, conflicts of interest. However, Netanyahu is also held up as one of the great leaders of our time. He’s hailed for taking a hardline against some of Israel’s staunchest critics and most hostile enemies. His international diplomacy is unrivaled in the Israeli political sphere. His free market capitalism and the policies he set in motion during his tenure as Finance Minister are credited by many with restoring Israel’s economy after the Second Intifada. So it’s about time: we need to talk about Bibi. Lahav Harkov is the Senior Knesset Reporter and Analyst for The Jerusalem Post. She’s often invited to lecture on Israeli Government and Politics in Israel and abroad. The BBC, France 24, Sky News and many others have sought her insights about breaking news. She’s published articles in Commentary, The New York Post, Tablet and Makor Rishon, just to name a few. And she was recently recognized by the JTA as the 5th-most influential person on “Jewish Twitter.” Lahav Harkov joins us today to help tackle the man that is Bibi… not literally. (Photo credit: the Kremlin)
Oct 16, 2017
Episode 59 - The Arab Zionist from Umm al-Fahm
Palestinian Arabs are 20% of Israel’s population. They have the same rights and obligations like every Israeli: they vote, pay taxes, they get social support and medical insurance, and their children go to public schools funded by the state. But what do Israeli arabs really think about Israel? If you ask the Arab members of parliament, the answer will be contempt: contempt from the discrimination which they claim goes way back to the beginning of the state, from the fact that Israel is occupying territories in Judea and Sameria, and from many other reasons. Those Members of Knneset serve in the Israeli parliament, but they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel as home to the Jewish people. But do those members of parliament represent all Israeli Arabs? In recent years, more and more Israeli Palestinians promote another voice, a voice that says - I’m an Arab, and I’m zionist. But how could those two statements coexist? Yayha Mahamid was born in Umm Al-Fahm, one of the largest arab cities in Israel. A city which is not well known for it’s sympathy towards the country of which it’s a part of. Nothing in Yahya’s path led him to be like any other Umm Al-Fahm-born kid, and his direction towards hatred was a clear one. But at a young age something happened which has led him to see everything differently, and to become, as he defines himself, an Israeli-Arab-Zionist. Since then Yahya has devoted his life to fight the BDS movement around the world, as part of the Stand With Us organisation. He joins 2NJB to talk about his view on life in Israel. A little about StandWithUs: Stand With Us (SWU) is a sixteen year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization. Through fellowships, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their campuses and communities about Israel. We also played awesome music by Folly Tree!
Oct 09, 2017
Episode 58 - The Man who Slept in Hitler's Room and Infiltrated Guarded Refugee Camps
When people talk to journalists, they tend to be extra careful as to what comes out of their mouths. It takes a whole new level of journalism to penetrate into the depths of the soul of a person - you have to smoothen your way in, create intimacy, have a drink or two together, and then, and only then - maybe you’ll get a glimpse into the what someone really thinks. Tuvia Tenenbom has made this practice an art. Tuvia was born as Haredi in Israel to a German speaking family, but eventually moved to the States where he founded the Jewish Theater of New York, which is currently the only English speaking Jewish theater at the Big Apple. He wrote 16 plays for that theater. As a columnist, Tuvia’s essays were published in the most highly esteemed papers out there, including a column in De Zeit, Germany’s leading newspaper. In recent years Tenenbom has devoted his time to write books. His very unique genre is a non-fiction, journalistic, humoristic, books which describe the journeys that Tuvia embarks on - “I sleep in Hitler’s Room”, his debut book, depicts his journey throughout Germany, talking to Germans, sometimes pretending to be a German himself, hiding his Jewish identity. In the book “Catch the Jew” Tuvia pretends yet again he’s a German journalist, thus infiltrating the highest ranks of Palestinian regime in the Territories, to find out what the Palestinians really think about Israel and the Jews. His third book, “The Lies They Tell”, described a painful journey throughout the United Stated, when Tuvia goes to places in America, so deprived of government or God, that no one knew still exist. Tuvia’s upcoming book will unfold his adventures at the refugee camps in Europe. 2NJB is thrilled to have Tuvia Tenenbom with us.
Oct 02, 2017
Episode 57 - The Israeli Modern Family According to MK Merav Ben Ari
Merav Ben Ari became a Kenesset member in 2015, as part of the Kulanu party. Before that she served at the Tel Aviv city council and took charge of the portfolio for promoting youth. But the fame came long before that, when she participated in the Reality Show “In Search of a Leader” and won the first prize, 5 million NIS. In late 2016 MK Ben Ari publicly revealed her decision to give birth to a child on her own, with the assistance of a friend, and thus exposed Israeli society to the concept of modern, single-parent parenthood. In a relatively conservative country, this was a courageous act that was followed by very emotional responses from all parts of Israeli society. Ben Ari’s work in the Knesset is focused on the cost of living, educational issues and gay rights. She’s quoted in an article as saying: “I believe in the two states solution, but it’s not why I’m in the Knesset. I’m here for social issues.”
Sep 25, 2017
Episode 56 - Haaretz Columnist Throws Right Hooks at Left-wingers
Anyone who’s visited Tel Aviv has walked down the famous, sometimes infamous, Allenby Street. It’s hard to miss this road that crosses Rothschild Blvd, runs by the entrance to the Carmel Market and leads to the Beach Promenade. Today, it’s a must see tourist attraction. But not so long ago, Allenby was still on the social fringes of Tel Aviv. Gadi Taub’s best-selling novel “Allenby”, named after the street itself, sheds light on the gritty underground scene of Tel Aviv - from its shadier dance bars to its strip clubs and brothels. Taub’s book was later turned into a TV series for Channel 10. But Gadi Taub’s resume does not end there. He received his PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University and is a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has written extensively for various new publications including Haaretz, Yedioth Aharonoth, Maariv and more. Taub also wrote the novel “The Witch from Number 3 Meltchet Street” which too was adapted for the screen. Gadi Taub joins us today to talk about his life, his career and maybe a bit about his ideas.
Sep 18, 2017
Episode 55 - Grammy Award-winning Hip Hop Violinist Miri Ben Ari
Today we have the privilege to talk with Miri Ben Ari, aka the Hip Hop Violinist, and probably one of the most famous and influential Israelis to hit the contemporary international music scene. Miri was born in Tel Aviv and where she grew up playing classical music since the age of 5. Her encounter with world renowned violinist Isaac Stern brought her towards the violin, and ever since then her romance with this instrument flourished. Following her military service in the IDF string quartet, she moved to New York to study jazz. She played gigs and worked hard and after some time it all paid off, when Jay-Z noticed her talent and invited her to play with him. She then went on to extraordinary accomplishments like playing with Wyclef at Carnegie hall, co-writing Jesus Walks with Kanye West (which got her the Grammy) and being featured in four tracks on his debut album, releasing her own debut album The Hip Hop Violinist, Performing on David Letterman’s late night, performing for Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House and the list goes on and on and on. In addition to all that, Ben Ari has devoted her life to social causes. She is a UN ambassador of Music, and Her NGO Gedenk has set as its mission to educate American youth about the Holocaust. We are so honored to have Miri Ben Ari with us today.
Sep 11, 2017
Episode 54 - How did an Israeli Graphic Novelist Meet the Most Wanted Man in Italy?
Today we’re joined by Assaf Hanuka, co-author of “The Divine” together with his brother Tomer and Boaz Lavie. “The Divine” received the prestigious International Manga Award in Japan. Assaf’s work has been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time and Rolling Stone and his most recent graphic novel “The Realist” was awarded the 2016 Eisener Prize. He joins us today to talk about his inspirations, his career and his successes, which weren’t reached without a fair share of struggle.
Sep 04, 2017
Episode 53 - The Unorthodox Orthodox Member of Knesset
Before becoming a Knneset Member in 2015, Rachel Azaria got her BA in Psychology and Humanities and a Master’s in conflict resolution and peace studies. Her master’s thesis dealt with how the first israeli settelers percieved themselves. After graduating, she committed to various social causes - in Green Course, where she acted against polluting plants, and other social organisations, where her activity focused on aiding women who struggle to receive a gett, the state's religious and only divorce, from their husbands. From Azaria’s public activities her road was short to politics, and in 2008 she founded the Yerushalmim political party and was elected to city council. In the following years she encountered many political struggles on the council, but ultimately she also served as a deputy mayor of Jerusalem. In 2015 Azaria joined Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, and was elected to the Knesset shortly after. She’s served as a knesset member ever since. MK Azaria joins 2NJB for a political discussion of the current issues which face her and the nation as a whole.
Aug 28, 2017
Episode 51 - Two Nice Jewish Boys, One Year Special
Exactly one year ago today episode one of 2NJB was released. Eytan and Naor reflect on favorite past episodes, tell nice stories from behind the scenes and discuss future endeavors. We also played bits from the following episodes: Episode 21 – 2001: A Lebanese Odyssey with Jonathan Elkhoury Episode 32 – Forever Pure: Between Sports and Racism in Jerusalem’s Soccer Team with Maya Zinshtein Episode 13 – Giuseppe Giordano of “Da Peppe” – Tel Aviv’s Godfather of Pizza Episode 20 – Putting Holocaust Denial on Trial with Prof. Deborah Lipstadt Episode 19 – Noble Prize Laureate Prof. Robert J. Aumann Talks Game Theory Episode 22 – Uri Geller: Spoon Bender and Spy
Aug 16, 2017
Episode 50 - Bolsheviks, Antisemites and Toothless Grits-Slurping Welders
"The interesting thing is that Jews in the States, [...] in Canada and in Europe, are the ethnic group that is most prone to hate crimes and racially motivated attacks... They are by far the most persecuted against ethnic group in the west. [...] Far more than the black community, far more than Muslims." Beside for being the production designer for the 2009 MTV show Dj & the Fro, Roy Iddan writes a political column for NRG, one of Israel’s leading news outlets. He’s written for Israeli film and television as well, and interestingly enough for several political campaigns including that of the Likud party in 2015. Roy Iddan supports a return to classical liberal economics. But what does right-wing mean to him? Naor and I racked our brains thinking of who could best answer that question. You guessed it. With us here today is Roy Iddan to talk about the right wing in Israel.
Aug 09, 2017
Episode 49 - The Wonder Woman of Cyber Space
"I'll tell you what I know for a fact: [...] in the last couple of years, social media has been a very important element in any election around the world, in any political process around the world and in the past year [...] security researchers have uncovered that there are many ways to subvert digital and social media, by creating Twitter bots, armies of Twitter profiles that are fake and actually help create an echo chamber of messages which are, maybe, pro one candidate..." -Keren Elazari, hacker, cyber security researcher and first Israeli woman to speak on Ted When we hear about cyber attacks, systems getting hacked and ransomware, we usually imagine a bunch of masked hoodlums in a dark basement, probably on the outskirts of Moscow, plotting to bring anarchy upon the world. What we seldom imagine, though, are a bunch of intelligent, successful computer scientists in a luxurious office, looking for security breaches, hacking into systems, and sometimes even taking part in cyber warfare. Keren Elazari was a geeky kid in the 90s when she discovered, at a very young age, that her peculiar hobby actually has a name: hacking. It wasn't long before she was participating in international hacking conventions, serving in a secret military intelligence unit, and finally receiving grants to conduct research in her field. Keren Elazari was the first ever Israeli woman to lecture on TED. She's an analyst and cyber researcher at Tel Aviv University, and her articles were published in many international magazines. We're very excited to have her here today to talk about cyber security and hacking. Photo by TED
Aug 02, 2017
Episode 48 - Ayn Rand: Is There a Value to Being Totally Selfish?
"If thinking is the most important thing you have, then what you want to feed to your machine, that does the thinking, are facts - not lies. Lies are distortions, anti-facts; they disrupt the function of the human mind. [...] The idea of a post-truth era would be her [Ayn Rand's] idea of the end of the world." -Dr. Yaron Brook, Director of the Ayn Rand Institute Ayn Rand. As you read that name, half of you are thinking about Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged and how much it changed your life and the other half has already stopped listening. But regardless of your views, it’s undeniable that as a philosopher, Rand has left an enduring mark on the world. Her philosophy of objectivism preaches something called rational self-interest which maintains that as individuals we are innately selfish beings and that selfishness, however counterintuitive this might sound at first, should be the highest value of our morality. Sacrifice, in her opinion, is evil. But before we mislead you anymore about the philosophy of Ayn Rand, let us introduce Dr. Yaron Brook. Dr. Brook is the Director of the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine California and he joins us today to talk about Ayn Rand, her life and philosophy.
Jul 26, 2017
Episode 47 - From Game of Thrones to Genius, Ania Bukstein is Taking on Hollywood
"When Game of Thrones aired last year, I went to L.A [...] and I met the casting team for Genius. And she told me: Listen, I have an audition for you. And I taped for Mileva, for his [Einstein's] wife. Then, a week after, I got a phone call: come to London to meet Ron Howard. [...] I met with Ron and I read for him and I didn't get the part. I cried for a month... Maybe two." Not too many people can write Game of Thrones on their acting resume, and probably only one Israeli. Anya Bukstein grew up in Moscow in the time of the USSR. She moved to Israel with her parents at age 8 and began her acting career at age 12 with her performance in the Israeli film A New Country - a performance for which she was nominated for an Ophir Award, Israel’s most prestigious acting accolade. Since then, Anya has had quite a few acting gigs, both on stage and on the screen, most recently performing alongside Jeffery Rush in National Geographic’s Genius, a drama series about the life of Albert Einstein. Singing and playing the piano since childhood, Ania decided to expand beyond the screen and in 2013 she released 8 tracks on her eponymously named debut album. She’s released a few successful singles with world renowned DJ Offer Nissim and she's now finishing up her second album. Today we’re talking to Anya Bukstein and we’ll try to steer clear of any Game of Thrones spoilers.
Jul 19, 2017
Episode 46 - Topol is Still a Fiddler on the Roof
"We would get them to smile. And obviously every few years we had a war. There were times that we performed 4-5 times a day, either it was a place where there were 8 or 10 soldiers, and sometimes even 1000. And in my time, we never used microphones. We screamed. When I finished my service I had a neck wider than my head." Long before Gal Gadot, Topol was the first and only Israeli international superstar. His path to fame started in 1964, when he starred in Kishon’s film Sallah Shabati, the first Israeli film to be nominated for an Oscar, and for this role he received a Golden globe. From there, his road to the role of Tevye was short. He first portrayed him in West End in London,and then in the 1971 Norman Jewishon Hollywood adaptation. For this role he also received a Golden globe and was nominated for an oscar for best actor. As he continued performing on stage, he starred in numerous films, including James Bond, and appeared on British Prime time television.
Jul 12, 2017
Episode 45 - IsraAID: Providing Disaster Relief Around the Globe Part I‏I
“You have this city, it’s called Tacloban, it had about 250 thousand people. And a small wave hit it. Small, i say because the Japan tsunami [...] was about 130 feet high but here we’re talking about a small wave, about 15 feet, came in and the first thing it did is kill about 5,000 people in the city and leave their bodies throughout. But people don’t think about the aftermath. The aftermath is where you get a multiplying effect [...] the ripples. [...] Then to make it better, the cherry on the cake is that you have three maximum security prisons there. When the water starts to rise the guards have to make a decision: open the gates or let them drown." *** Last week we uploaded an episode with the inspiring and diligent Ophelie Namiech in which she told us about her work with IsraAID and the 5 years she spent in the freshly independent country of South Sudan from 2011 to 2016. This week we’re talking to Voni Glick, Co-CEO of IsraAID, to hear more about the organization as a whole, about its history and about his involvement. Voni was born in Israel but quickly became a classical nomadic Jew, moving to France with his family when he was only two, winding up in Canada and finally returning to the Jewish State in 2011.
Jul 05, 2017
Episode 44 - IsraAID: Providing Disaster Relief Around the Globe Part I
Since its foundation in 2001 IsraAID has provided emergency assistance and long-term national infrastructure rehabilitation in many disaster-stricken countries around the world. What distinguishes IsraAID from other NGOs, is that while they help these traumatized countries rebuild their communities, they place an emphasis on strengthening the national entities rather than providing direct assistance. Ophelie Namiech really wanted to make Aliyah but that wasn’t her only dream. Ophelie also longed to provide humanitarian aid in the war-torn African country of Sudan. IsraAID enabled her to fulfill both these dreams. Living and working in the newly independent country of South Sudan for 5 years, Ophelie became well-acquainted with the work involved in disaster-relief. She also came back with a story or two. Tune in to hear Ophelie share her amazing experiences with 2NJB.
Jun 28, 2017
Episode 43 - What is Israeli Food?
Everybody who comes to Israel adores the food - it's colorful, diverse and multi-cultured. As Israelies, we grow up eating Tunisian, Romanian, Iraqi and Italian food, and many other cuisines - sometimes all in the same week. And for us it's quite normal. So normal, perhaps, that we rarely stop to ask ourselves: Is there even such a thing as Israeli cuisine? To try and answer this question, Two Nice Jewish Boys called upon the master of Israeli food, Gil Hovav. Every Israeli household has been eating from Gil's plate for over two decades. He's starred in numerous televised cooking shows and food documentaries. He is a man of the world, an author, a lover of Hebrew (and Arabic!), the great-grandson of Ben Yehuda (the reviver of the Hebrew language) and above all - one helluva mench. Join us for a gastronomic episode. We also played an amazing song by Hagar Levy! Check her our on Youtube or Bandcamp.
Jun 21, 2017
Episode 42 - Social Innovation: When Values and Startups Meet
For most Israelis, innovation means high-tech, angel investors, an exit and boatloads of cash. Truth is, though, Innovation can come in many forms. Startups make profit out of innovation, by identifying problems and offering solutions. But what if innovation were to be used not as a means to make profit, but rather a tool to achieve social goals? Irad Eichler chose this path exactly, by establishing a relatively large non-profit organization, Shekulu Tov, that works with the state and offers rehabilitation services to those in need in order to help them return to the work force. For his achievements, Irad was recently awarded a prize by the U.N. He joins us to talk about social innovation. We also played a beautiful song by The Fine Marten!
Jun 15, 2017
Episode 41 - Selling a Show to Nickelodeon at 40
Gili Dolev wasn’t especially studious as a young kid growing up in Binyamina. However, one of his teachers saw his potential and helped him pave his way to a successful career in animation. The road was not so easy. There were ups, downs, twists and turns but eventually, at 40, against all odds, Gili sold the first Israeli kids animation series to an international TV network, Nickelodeon. Two Nice Jewish Boys had the privilege to sit with Gili and talk about his work, his career and the deal that changed his life.
Jun 07, 2017
Episode 40 - Six Days of War that Shaped the Middle East with MK Dr. Michael Oren
This month we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War - a war, it seems, that shook the Middle East and reshaped Israel forever. In Israel the war is spoken of almost as a legendary tale, whereas for the Palestinians it's remembered as the event that brought upon the occupation. For that reason, and many others, it is still one of the most controversial events in Israel's short history. Deputy Minister Dr. Michael Oren has a rich biography. He was an historian teaching in Harvard, Yale and Princeton. He also taught in Israel in both Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United States and today he serves as a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's office. He is also the author of several books including "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East." 2NJB had the honor to sit down with MK Oren for a special talk commemorating the war and the great victory.
May 31, 2017
Episode 39 - The Yeshiva Kid Who Made It Big... In China
Dr. Shmulik Hess was only a 13-year-old Haredi Jew when he stumbled upon the piece of literature that would change his life. As he was walking down a street in his hometown of Tzfat, Shmulik found a book about the history of World War II. This sparked a chain of events which led Shmulik to become Dr. Hess, a secular medical entrepreneur who eventually started a company that helped millions of Chinese fight Diabetes. Dr. Shmulik Hess is the CEO of Valin Technologies and he joins 2NJB to talk about his amazing life story and his inspiring career.
May 24, 2017
Episode 38 - Traveling the Holy Land with Gal Mor
During April 2017 a record breaking of 349,000 tourists visited Israel - the highest number per month since the establishment of Israel. From the vast Negev desert to the vivacious cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, to the Tuscanesque hilltops of the Galilee, indeed, the land of Milk and Honey has a lot to offer the world traveler. Yet for the traveler coming here, the country's small size can be misleading - there is so much to do and to see, that even a two weeks trip is hardly enough. Gal Mor, one of the co-founders of the famous Abraham Hostel chain, has been a world traveler for most of his life. He joins Eytan and Naor to talk about tourism in Israel, backpacking culture and more. (Photo: Ben Luria)
May 17, 2017
Episode 37 - Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman and the Discovery that Changed His Life
Progress entails change. However, the establishment generally rejects change. This is the challenge that pioneers face in all fields and this was the challenge that Professor Dan Shechtman faced upon his discovery of quasiperiodic crystals, or quasicrystals. Ultimately, this discovery would lead Dr. Shechtman to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011 but not before a long and often arduous journey. Professor Dan Shechtman was kind enough to invite 2NJB to his home to talk about his life, his career and of course, the Nobel Prize.
May 10, 2017
Episode 36 - Mai Shbeta, the Jewish-Israeli-Muslim-Palestinian Peace Activist
She's a sort of "peace incarnate". A representation of what comes of abandoning hate and sectarianism for love and unity. Mai Shbeta is the daughter of a Jewish Mother and Muslim father. According to Jewish religious law, she's a Jew. According to Islam, she's a Muslim. However, often the members of both faiths choose to see her as an outside - they see the differences rather than the similarities. This reality has driven Mai Shbeta to spend her time working diligently towards peace. She's presented at the World Economic forum in Davos in 2011 and, recently completing a law degree at the Bar Ilan University, she has her eyes set on the advancement of Human Rights. Mai joins 2NJB today to talk about her life and career.
May 02, 2017
Episode 35 - Holocaust Memorial Day Special with Yad VaShem Chief Historian Prof. Dina Porat
Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day, commemorates the 6 million Jews who perished in the genocide. However, in order to prevent the crimes of history from repeating themselves, we cannot simply remember, we must learning from them. We must study the past and compare it to the present. Professor Dina Porat does exactly that at the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry. Every year on the eve of Yom Hashoah, the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University publishes its Report on Anti-semitism. Professor Porat is also the chief historian of Yad Vashem, Israel’s National Holocaust Museum and she joins Two Nice Jewish Boys in this episode for a special on Anti-semitism and Yom HaShoah.
Apr 24, 2017
Episode 34 - AIPAC, Weed, and Two-state Solution with MK Tamar Zandberg
Meretz, one of Israel’s left-wing, social-democratic parties, was formed in 1992, winning 12 parliamentary seats in that year’s election. Over the years the party has sat on both sides of the aisle, even joining the ultra-orthodox Shas party in Yitzhak Rabin’s 1992 Labor-led coalition. Today, Meretz is part of the opposition and holds 5 seats, one of which is held by Tamar Zandberg. MK Zandberg was elected to the Tel Aviv city council in 2008 as a member of Meretz. She was a key figure in the 2011 social protests, during which she led, along with other council members, Meretz’s withdrawal from the city council coalition. Zandberg was elected to the Knesset in 2013, and today she is one of the most well-spoken and thought-provoking Kenneset Members. She joins 2NJB to talk about the future of Israel’s left.
Apr 19, 2017
Episode 33 - Israel and Germany: An Unsettled Past with Eldad Beck
The words ‘Germany’ and ‘Israel’ probably raise many differing connotations in various people’s minds but one probably stands out among them all: the Holocaust. Germany-Israel diplomatic ties began in 1952 when Germany finally offered to pay reparations to the survivors of the Holocaust. For obvious reasons, this relationship was not without its fair share of trials and tribulations. Over the years the challenges have persisted, often exacerbated by events such as the massacre of the Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic games in Munich. As the chief correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth in Germany, Eldad Beck has become well acquainted with German internal politics, diplomatic affairs and public opinion. He has written two books on the subject of Germany: “Germany, at Odds” and his most recent “The Chancellor”. Beck joins 2NJB to talk about the two countries’ strained relations and his career as a journalist. (Main photo by Chocolatemedia)
Apr 12, 2017
Episode 32 - Forever Pure: Between Sports and Racism in Jerusalem's Soccer Team with Maya Zinshtein
The year is 2012 and Beitar Jerusalem, the favored soccer team of Israel's right wing, is on its way to its first national title in years. Quickly climbing the rankings from week to week, the team can almost taste the sweet flavor of victory and national pride. However, Beitar’s owner, Arkady Gaydamak, has other plans for the team - plans that will shock the players, the fans, the entire Israeli soccer community and the nation as a whole. Stretched to its limits along racial lines, the story of Beitar Jerusalem is a sort of microcosm of Israeli society. The team prides itself on its racially pure past and present roster and its right-wing Zionist political alignment. Maya Zinshtein, director of the film “Forever Pure” which follows the team through its most dramatic crisis, joins 2NJB to talk Israeli soccer, politics and filmmaking. Plus great music by Quarter to Africa!
Apr 05, 2017
Episode 31 - Tokyo Vice: A Jewish Journalist Against the Yakuza with Jake Adelstein
To many of us, Japan is still a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Mysterious of all is the Yakuza, Japan's notorious crime organization, which has been growing and spreading dread for decades. When Jake Adelstein, a nice Jewish boy from Minnesota, decided to leave everything behind and follow his passion and fascination to Japan, he didn't know much about the Yakuza either. But soon enough, he learned more than he'd ever imagined he would. Pursuing a career as a Tokyo investigative crime reporter, he wrote in Japanese for one of the country's most prestigious newspapers. Jake visited Israel recently for the first time, as a guest of Penn Publishing, who just printed his 2010 book Tokyo Vice. The book tells the mind boggling real-life incidents that took place throughout Jake's impressive and dramatic career. 2NJB sat with him to talk Japan, Yakuza, and journalism.
Mar 29, 2017
Episode 30 - Europe's Refugee Crisis: an Inside Look with Maya Rimer
The Refugee crisis in Europe, though seemingly distant and even sometimes obscure, is now actually more severe and relevant than ever. Every week thousands of immigrants are rescued from the Mediterranean, as many more enter from the east by any means possible. In Turkey, millions of refugees, held back by Erdogan, await the opportunity to cross the border. As Europe is divided by the question of how to handle this influx of millions of immigrants, the situation in the refugee camps continue to exacerbate. But amidst this crisis there are rays of light and one of those rays are the many volunteers from all over the world who come to assist these migrants in need. Maya Rimmer recently returned from a period of 3 months working in refugee camps in Greece. Just before going back there, she came to tell 2NJB about her experience. We also played some great music by the Wild Willows. Photo credit: Espen Rasmussen
Mar 22, 2017
Episode 29 - FAUDA: the Israeli Netflix TV Hit with co-creator Avi Issacharoff
From HBO's In Treatment to Showtime's Homeland, Israel has become a prominent exporter of quality content for the American television industry. As an emerging studio, Netflix wasn't about to miss out. They set their eyes on Fauda. Fauda is one of the most successful and critically acclaimed Israeli TV shows in recent years. It tells the story of Doron, a member of a covert anti-terror unit in the Israeli military, whose world is split in two, between his undercover identity and his life back home. Three months ago, Netflix acquired Fauda for global distribution. Avi Issacharoff, Fauda's co-creator and an analyst of Middle Eastern affairs for Walla News and The Times of Israel, joins 2NJB to tall about the show and its worldwide success.
Mar 15, 2017
Episode 28 - Midburn, Israel’s Burning Man Festival with Itamar Cohen
Every year under the sweltering sun of the Negev Desert, a city forms for just 5 days. This city is called Midburn. Inspired by the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert, Midburn is currently the 2nd biggest “burn” event outside of the US, boasting 8,000 people in 2016. The community of people which gather each year have a fascinating story and a bona fide culture. Itamar Cohen, Midburn’s Head of Operations, joins 2NJB to talk about what it takes to be a “burner”. We also played amazing music by Ziv! Photo by Sharon Avraham
Mar 08, 2017
Episode 27 - Unholy Matrimony in the Holy Land with Jessica Fishman
The right of return for the Jewish people states that anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent may become a citizen of the State of Israel. The reasoning: this was the criteria by which the Jews were persecuted under the Third Reich. On the other hand, if you want to have an ordained marriage in the State of Israel, the par is set a little higher: your mother must be Jewish. This dissonance leads to an inevitable rift in Israeli society: people who live here as lawful citizens, but are unable to legally marry their partner. Jessica Fishman, author of the new book “Chutzpah and High Heels”, joins Two Nice Jewish Boys to share her story of Aliyah and talk about her devastation at the hands of this little known discrepancy in Israeli law.
Mar 01, 2017
Episode 26 - A Month with Trump: The Israeli Perspective with Oren Nahari
Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign was sprinkled with promises that resonated strongly with many on Israel’s right. From reversing the Iran deal to a more lenient settlements policy and moving the embassy to Jerusalem, these campaign promises turned into expectations on November 8, 2016. The question now is will Israel's right ultimately be disillusioned or rejoice in Trump’s success? Oren Nahari joins 2NJB to talk about Trump’s first 30 days from the Israeli perspective. Nahari is head of the foreign news desk at Walla News and is the author of several bestsellers including “World History Atlas: a Chronology of the Human Race”
Feb 23, 2017
Episode 25 - Scoops of Hummus to News Scoops with Shen Liberman
Shen Liberman is the head of the Culture Desk at Channel 10 News. She started her career as a radio anchor for Galatz, Israel’s military radio (it’s a thing). From there, she continued on to 7 years of exile in the barren wastelands of New York and Los Angeles. Between serving hummus dishes as a waitress, staying in the most luxurious hotels and interviewing celebrities, Shen built an impressive career as a journalist. This week Shen joins Two Nice Jewish Boys to share her tales of the media world here in Israel and abroad.
Feb 16, 2017
Episode 24 - Lincoln and the Jews with Professor Jonathan D. Sarna
This Sunday is the birthday of the iconic 16th American President and it turns out that Abraham Lincoln was in fact a pretty good friend of the Jews (at a time when it wasn’t necessarily so popular to befriend the “Hebrews”). Abraham Jonas, who the president himself described as his “most valued friend”, was first to advise Lincoln to run for president. Issachar Zacherie, foot-doctor and spy, alleviated many a pains on Lincoln's feet but also helped the president secure his second election. These, and many others, are a testament to the important relationship between Lincoln and the American Jewish community. In celebration of Lincoln's 208th birthday, Two Nice Jewish Boys visited the Giv'at Ram campus of the Hebrew University for a special episode with Professor Jonathan Sarna. Professor Sarna’s newest book “Lincoln and the Jews” is a fascinating biography examining the former president’s close ties with the Jews of his time. The historical narrative is accompanied by Benjamin Shapell’s vast and gripping collection of rare documents and photographs which really transport the reader in a way that few historical non-fiction books manage to do. Tune into our latest episode to hear about all this and more.
Feb 09, 2017
Episode 23 - MK Sharren Haskel: A New Generation in the Likud Party
MK Sharren Haskel joined the parliament not too long ago, in late 2015. Nevertheless, she's managed to do quite a bit in the last year and a half. Haskel, the youngest MK of the Likud party, is the flag-bearer for the cannabis bill which was long opposed, and recently endorsed by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. In addition to being an active member on several Knesset committees, Haskel works diligently on issues such as public diplomacy, the environment, health care, and animal rights. Returning from the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, Haskel sat with Two Nice Jewish Boys to talk about her life and service as a Knesset Member.
Feb 02, 2017
Episode 22 - Uri Geller, Spoon Bender and Spy
Episode 22 - Uri Geller, Spoon Bender and Spy by Eytan and Naor
Jan 25, 2017
Episode 21 - 2001: A Lebanese Odyssey with Jonathan Elkhoury
Jonathan Elkhoury was only 9 years old when he fled Lebanon with his mother and brother in 2001. The family reunited with Jonathan's father, an ex-officer of the SLA (South Lebanon Army) who had sought refuge in Israel the year before. Today Elkhoury is a proud Zionist and the spokesman for the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum. 2NJB sat with Jonathan to talk about his amazing life story. Today we also feature the amazing song Dissipating Dream by Telalit!
Jan 20, 2017
Episode 20 - Putting Holocaust Denial on Trial with Prof. Deborah Lipstadt
Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s amazing story has been recently adapted into the beautiful Hollywood movie “Denial” starring Rachel Weiss. She sat with 2NJB as we spoke about Holocaust Deniers, her career and the life-turning event that unfolded as she was sued by Holocaust Denier David Erving.
Jan 12, 2017
Episode 19 - Noble Prize Laureate Prof. Robert J. Aumann Talks Game Theory
Nobel Laureate Professor Robert John Aumann talks game theory, a bit of politics and much more with 2NJB. Listen, like and share!
Jan 05, 2017
Episode 18 - Two Jews and a Druze with Daniel Sal
2NJB hosts the very funny Daniel Sal to talk about Druze, Birthright and the best Kanafeh in Israel. We also have music from the very talented Sasha Daniel. Listen, like and share!
Dec 29, 2016
Episode 17 - Negotiating Peace in the Middle East with Gilead Sher
Gilead Sher, Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, talks to Two Nice Jewish Boys (that's us) about the 2000 Camp David Accords, his books and much, much more. Listen, like and share. Follow him on Twitter @GileadSher His latest book הקרב על הבית is available (in Hebrew) here: And his book The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations 1999-2000: Within Reach, here:
Dec 22, 2016
Episode 16 - Mendy Cahan makes Yiddish Great Again
Mendy Cahan joins Two Nice Jewish Boys to speak about his lifelong relationship with the Yiddish language, how he rediscovered its wonders and struggles to preserve its heritage. Join us for an unbelievably touching and thought-provoking account of a man who carries the torch for an almost forgotten language. Yung Yiddish's Facebook page:
Dec 14, 2016
Episode 15 - Benji Lovvit, A Stand Up Guy
Aliyah is a comic gold mine. Ask Benji Lovitt, who joins us to talk comedy, Israel and some other really offensive stuff we’re all a bit sorry we said (mostly Eytan)... but hey! It’s recorded! Benji's Facebook: And website: We also played the amazing song 'He' by Trust a Lady (Zohar Ginzburg) Facebook: Bandcamp:
Dec 08, 2016
Episode 14 - Behind the Scenes of Binary Options with Simona Weinglass
Simona Weinglass, investigative reporter for The Times of Israel, offers us a glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes of the Binary Options industry in Israel. You need to hear this! For her original exposé on the industry: And for more of Simona Weinglass:
Dec 01, 2016
Episode 13 - Giuseppe Giordano of "Da Peppe" - Tel Aviv's Godfather of Pizza
Two Nice Jewish Boys… and a Pizzaiolo! Giuseppe Giordano joins us to talk about pizza, life in Tel Aviv and the two legendary pizza places that he opened and closed throughout the years. Episode 13 - 24.11.16
Nov 24, 2016
Episode 12 - Jen Charlton the Canadian Jewish Troubadour
A funny podcast in English about Israel. Eytan and Naor about life in Israel and life in general. Today we have Jen Charlton with us! She is a gifted musician, she lives in Jaffa, and she's CANADIAN. She performed LIVE three of her songs! *** What we talked about? -Jen's path to music and Judaism -Musical education in Jewish homes -Life in Israel vs. life abroad Jen's website: Her Bandcamp: Her Facebook: Episode 12 - 17.11.16
Nov 17, 2016
Episode 11 - Inside Israel's Startup Industry with Doron Nir
A funny podcast in English about life in Israel. *** Today we are THREE nice Jewish boys, because we've had our first guest! The awesome Doron Nir, an entrepreneur, a podcaster, and a cool cool guy. Doron's podcast (for Hebrew speakers): *** What we talked about? -Is Israel the "Startup Nation"? -Doron's journey with his startup Happy Sale. -How to become a successful entrepreneur in Israel. Episode 11 11.11.16
Nov 11, 2016
Episode 10 - Crimes, Shame and Punishments
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. What we talked about? -The Ari Shavit scandal, Israeli men and sexual harassments. -The new Hillary mails and Anthony wiener. -Deputy MInister Ayub Kara's Italian scandal. Episode 10 - 3.11.16
Nov 03, 2016
Episode 9 - Israel and Cyber Warfare
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. *** Today featuring spectacular music by Malik feat. Yaara Levi, and Amit Shaked feat. Korin Alal! *** What we talked about? -Tinder and STDs. -The Stuxnet Virus, Israel and cyber warfare. -Facial cleansing for men - legitimate? Episode 9 - 27.10.16
Oct 27, 2016
Episode 8 - The Exodus According to Eytan
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. Today featuring great great music by Bad Bad Hats. Like them on Facebook! Their albums are on Bandcamp also! What we talked about? -Naor's voyage to the UK. -What the Jewish holiday of Sukkot's all about. -Book recommendation - 'Lies Everyone Tells' by Tuvia Tenenbom. Songs we played: It Hurts and Midway by the Bad Bad Hats. Don't forget to buy the albums by Bad Bad Hats on Bandcamp: Episode 8 - 21.10.16
Oct 21, 2016
Episode 7 - When Israeli Girls Fell for Justin Trudeau
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. Today featuring incredible music by Hadass Laher and Echo! Like them on Facebook! Follow them on Youtube! What we talked about? -How was Rosh HaShana, and what is it all about. -What's with Americans and Apple products? -All that went down during Shimon Peres' funeral. Don't forget to buy Echo's new amazing album on Bandcamp: Episode 7 - 6.10.16
Oct 06, 2016
Episode 6 - The Palestinian Poem of Chaos
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. (We said it's episode 7 but it's actually 6. Yes, we're morons) What we talked about? -The Israeli Oscars, Miri Regev and Mahmud Darwish. -The Yom Kippur concert that was canceled in Tel Aviv. -How would the American return policy cause a zombie apocalypse. -The debate between Trump and Clinton. Episode 6 - 28.9.16
Sep 27, 2016
Episode 5 - That Siren is Just a Drill
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. This week featuring sublime music by Russo & Weinberg! (Also a special appearance by the local war siren, but don't worry, it's just a drill). What we talked about? -Experiences from recent concerts we went to. -Shimon Peres' stroke and why is he a Founding Father to us. -Coupons, FOREX and binary companies in Israel. Songs we played: "Travel" and "Wake Up" by Russo and Weinberg. Facebook: Bandcamp: Youtube channel: Episode 5 - 20.9.16
Sep 20, 2016
Episode 4 - Tales from Romania
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. Today featuring great music by Omri Dagan and The Wild Willows! What we talked about? - Tales from Romania. - Eytan has moved back to Tel Aviv! - Following the train crisis - are we a Jewish state or a democracy? Songs we played: "Find Me a Place" and "Love Me" by Omri Dagan and the Wild Willows. Facebook: Bandcamp: Episode 4 - 15.9.16
Sep 13, 2016
Episode 3 - I Will Not Support Your Kickstarter Project
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. What we talked about? - Fouad Ben-Eliezer's passing and the mess he left behind. - The Israeli taxi drivers. - Kickstarter projects - just say no. Episode 3 - 31.8.16
Aug 31, 2016
Episode 2 - In Quest of a TLV Apartment
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. What we talked about? - The salmonella food crisis in Israel. - Finding a decent apartment in TLV. - Differences between the US and Israel. Episode 2 - 23.8.16
Aug 23, 2016
Two Nice Jewish Boys - The Pilot!
A new Israeli podcast in English. Eytan and Naor talk about Israel, life in Israel and life in general. What we talked about? - Gal Gadot and Israeli actors trying to make it in the States - The elections in the USA as perceived from here. -Olympics - 44 medals to the USA vs. 2 to Israel. Should we give up? Pilot - 17.8.16
Aug 16, 2016