An Israeli "This American Life"

Israel Story began as a fun experiment for a group of friends. It started when a friend of Mishy Harman downloaded episodes of This American Life for Mishy to listen to as he drove across the United States prior to returning to Israel after college. As the story goes, by the time he reached Mississippi, he was daydreaming about creating a similar show for an Israeli audience. The Hebrew version – Sippur Yisraeli – then led to the English version – Israel Story – which is currently in its third season. But why read about it? Listen to Mishy Harman introduce the very first episode of Israel Story, along with his special guest, This American Life’s Ira Glass.

  • Based on this clip, what type of stories do you think Mishy wants to tell?
  • What makes a story interesting? What techniques do you hear Mishy using to make his stories interesting?
  • If you were to create a podcast series, what type of stories would you want to tell? Who would you interview, and what would you ask?

Herzl 48: An Address With Many Stories

"Herzl 48" was the first live radio show created by Israel Story created to introduce audiences in the United States to their program. Based on the idea that Herzl Street is the most popular street named after a famous person in Israel, the crew traveled around Israel to gather stories about the people who live at Herzl 48, the metaphoric intersection of the founding father of Zionism and the birth of the modern state. The seven stories captured here demonstrate how diverse and hegemonic the people of Israel have become since 1948.

  • What story most interested you, and why?
  • Whose story was surprising, and why?
  • How would you imagine doing a project like this with your family or community? What address would you choose and why? What stories might you hear?