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Israel Story

83: Signed, Sealed, Delivered? Mordechai Schattner

Season 7, Ep. 7

Our new series - a deep dive into Megillat Ha’Atzmaut, or the Declaration of Independence - continues with an ardent socialist who knew how to compromise - Mordechai Schattner.

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  • A Once-in-a-Decade Announcement

    04:55
    We have some truly exciting news: For the first time in almost a decade, we're launching a new podcast. Look for Sipur Yerushalmi wherever you get your podcasts. 
  • Wartime Diaries: Noam Tsuriely

    18:38
    Some 350,000 Israelis have been called up to reserve duty since the start of the war, in what has been the largest mobilization in the country’s history. These are people who were plucked out of their homes, families and daily lives, and inserted into a totally different world, one which is in most cases - just to add to the confusion - a mere car ride away. And those transitions back and forth, between the craziness of the frontline and the veneer of normalcy at home, can be dizzying and unsettling. We’re hearing more and more about that juxtaposition now that large numbers of reservists are being released from their service, and are returning to their regular lives. One of them is Noam Tsuriely from Jerusalem. Noam’s a rapper, who recently put out his debut album and had, pre-war, a string of big time gigs all lined up. He was summoned for reserve duty on Oct. 7th, and has spent most of the last four months in Gaza. We spoke to him just as he came out of Gaza, and began his readjustment to civilian life.The end song is Kshenetse Mize ("When We Get Out of This") by Noam Tsuriely, Shachar Nahari, and Eyal Mazig.
  • Wartime Diaries: Maya German and Benjamin Fainsod

    17:27
    Today's "Wartime Diary" takes us to a place that is, under normal circumstances, one of the most visited sites in the entire country - Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo, or as it's officially known, 'The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens.' Since the start of the war, the city of Jerusalem has welcomed more than 30,000 evacuees from both the North and the South. With such an influx of people, and especially of kids, there was a real need to create new programming and activities. The Jerusalem Foundation stepped in and launched “Double Impact,” an initiative that sent tens of thousands of evacuees (as well as the city’s school children) to various cultural and recreational institutions such as museums, theaters, the aquarium and, of course, the zoo. The result benefitted not only the kids themselves, who got a day of fun and enrichment, but also the city's struggling institutions. The end song is Noah by Matti Caspi.
  • Wartime Diaries: Hugo (Uri) Wolaj

    22:06
    The war has been going on for over three months, and many of us have settled into some sort of altered routine, a "new normal." But there are hundreds of thousands of people, possibly millions, for whom nothing is normal. Hugo (Uri) Wolaj of Kibbutz Be’eri is one of them: everything about his life - his job, his friends, his family, his parenting style, everything - changed on October 7th. Uri spent more than 20 hours that day hiding with his wife and daughters in the safe room. They were evacuated to a Dead Sea hotel in the early hours of October 8th and have been there ever since. But last week he returned to Be’eri, for a rare and eerie visit to his own home.The end song is Lo Levad ("Not Alone") by Jane Bordeaux.
  • Wartime Diaries: 100 Days

    02:20
    Today is the hundredth day of the war. And, though our Wartime Diaries series continues, we want to stop, mark this day and share 100 seconds of the many voices we’ve been hearing among - and around - us, since October 7th.
  • Wartime Diaries: Charlene Seidle

    19:28
    Upwards of $1 billion in donations have been sent to Israel since the start of the war. For years Charlene Seidle, the Executive Vice President of the San Diego-based Leichtag Foundation, has been at the forefront of the Jewish philanthropic world. While the Leichtag Foundation supports various causes in the States and in Israel, their main local focus is bridging social and economic gaps in Jerusalem. They’ve given life to hundreds of grassroots initiatives and have created the ‘Jerusalem Model’ - a diverse network of social entrepreneurs, activists and leaders from all sectors around town - Jews, Muslims, Christians, religious, secular, etc. Since Charlene and her team have been nurturing and cultivating these relationships for so long, they were particularly well-situated to understand the needs on the ground in the immediate aftermath of October 7th.The end song is San Diego by Elisha Banai and the Forty Thieves.Image courtesy of the Leichtag Foundation’s Jerusalem Philanthropic Initiatives.
  • Wartime Diaries: Omer Ohana

    26:47
    The war has brought many new people into the limelight: For nearly three months we've been hearing countless stories of casualties, hostages, survivors and family members, many of whom have entered our hearts and never left. In some cases we feel like we’ve gotten to know these unsung heroes personally. One of the first big stories of the war, in that initial crazy week after October 7th, was that of 30-year-old Sagi Golan from Herzliya - a decorated officer in an anti-terrorism unit, who was killed in action in Be’eri in the early hours of October 8th. His story made headlines because Sagi was supposed to have married his partner, Omer Ohana, two weeks later, and his death brought to the fore - once again - the matter of the army and LGBTQ rights. Though the IDF has recognized same-sex partners of fallen soldiers as being eligible for full financial and emotional support since the mid-1990s, the matter had never been enshrined in law. So in the weeks after Sagi’s death, Omer led a successful campaign to legally secure the rights of same-sex and common law partners of fallen soldiers. The end song is Zachiti Le'ehov ("I Won The Privilege to Love") by Ivri Lider.
  • Wartime Diaries: Issa Kassissieh

    16:11
    It’s a sad Christmas Eve in Jesus’ homeland. The alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City, the streets of Nazareth, the churches of Bethlehem - all usually bustling with countless pilgrims and tourists from all over the world - are largely empty. There are no trees, no stars, no sparkling lights. Christmas has essentially been canceled, and not just as a figure of speech: Back in November, the patriarchs and heads of practically all the local Christian denominations issued a decree calling upon their flocks to forgo any public celebration of the holiday in solidarity with the victims of the war. But there is one man who simply cannot accept the idea of a Christmas-less year. And that man is Issa Kassissieh. The end song is Santa Klaus Higiya Le'Azza ("Santa Klaus has come to Gaza") by Shir Peled.
  • Wartime Diaries: Shira Masami

    20:40
    More than 200,000 Israelis - from both the South and the North - have been forced to leave their homes since the start of the war. Some have relocated to hotels or kibbutzim, others have opted to move in with family or friends, or else even rent apartments in entirely new surroundings. In today's episode we get a glimpse of what that reality feels like. Shira Masami is one of nearly 30,000 residents who have left the southern city of Sderot - a city which suffered a horrendous attack on October 7 - and who are now dispersed around the country. The end song is Maaleh Avak ("Raising Dust") by Teapacks.