Israeli Podcast Stages Live Shows in New York, Miami

Israel Story mini-tour kicks off tonight at the Jewish Community Center in New York.

IsraelStoryA pair of live shows in New York, followed by two more in Miami. That’s the Valentine’s Day-inspired schedule for Israel Story, a Holy Land podcast inspired by Ira Glass’ This American Life.

The program’s “LOVE” tour kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan:

In this intimate love-themed live show, the Israel Story team delves into the fumbles, fears, triumphs, and troubles of love. We’ll hear about set-ups gone awry in the West Bank, successful “stairwell shidduchim” in Jerusalem, an Israeli-Palestinian gay love story and much more. As always, the show will include live radio, storytelling, musical theater, videos, and many, many other ways to say “I love you.”

The quartet of Israelis responsible for this wonderful dual Hebrew and English-language podcast will follow with shows at Union Docs in Brooklyn (Feb. 12), North Miami’s Jewish Community Center (Feb. 15) and the University of Miami in Coral Gables (Feb. 16).

If you’re not familiar with Israel Story, a timely way to get primed is last year’s Valentine’s Day English episode (pictured). And here’s a bit more background on the show:

Several years ago, a group of four young Israelis – friends since childhood – got to work making a Hebrew-language radio show inspired by This American Life, the public-radio show two of them had grown to love while living in the United States. On the airwaves in Israel all that was available was talk radio and music, and the guys wanted something to listen to that was akin to the Ira Glass-hosted program with which they’d become obsessed. So, though they had never before made a radio story, they rolled up their sleeves to create what eventually became Sipur Israeli.

In 2014, the men – Ro’ee Gilron, Mishy Harman, Yochai Maital and Shai Satran – decided they wanted to make their show available to English speakers, too. They went back to many of the people they had interviewed for stories and spoke to them again, this time in English, for a miniseries… on Tablet magazine’s Vox.

Check out all English-language episodes here.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.