Russell F. Robinson

Stories that Matter – on JNF’s New Podcast Series: “Israelcast”

Stories are important. They are how we learn and how we pass on our history. Stories have the ability to engage, motivate, inspire, and connect. These are a few of the reasons why we at Jewish National Fund-USA strive to tell incredible narratives originating in Israel each and every day. I am excited to announce that we have begun sharing these amazing personal tales in a way that makes them accessible to all, through our new “IsraelCast” podcast.

This is JNF’s first-ever podcast series—and the only of its kind in the Jewish nonprofit world. We are making available firsthand accounts of fascinating work performed by interesting people throughout Israel. Each episode of this new bimonthly podcast will feature conversations and in-depth interviews with writers, CEOs, startup founders, culinary masterminds, activists, modern pioneers, and everyday Israelis shaping the various landscapes that make up the unique tapestry that is Israel.

We are thrilled to introduce you to the stories that make up the fabric of what Jewish National Fund does every day on the ground in Israel. Every episode of “IsraelCast” will tell the personal experience of someone whose life has been made better by our work, and we want you to be as inspired by them as we are.

The first five episodes of “IsraelCast” are now live:

  • Episode #1: An introduction to “IsraelCast” by host Steven Shalowitz.
  • Episode #2: Is my own story with thoughts on Israel’s relevance in the world today, the drive and spirit of its people, as well as JNF’s Blueprint Negev and Go North initiatives.
  • Episode #3: An interview with Yedidya Harush, who currently serves as the community representative for Israeli residents living on the border with Egypt in an area called Halutza, established after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Yedidya updates listeners on the exciting developments taking place there and why he’s particularly excited about the Negev.
  • Episode #4: A conversation with spice master Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte, a biscuits and spice shop in New York City, and the go-to source for specialty spice blends for some of the best restaurants, bars, and chefs across the country including Le Bernardin, Chef Michael Solomonov, and PDT, among others. Lior shares his plans for a Culinary Institute in the Galilee, where he was born and raised, and talks about Israel as a food lover’s paradise.
  • Episode #5: Meet Hadas Goldman, an actress, social activist and the Co-Founder and Current CEO of the “Tarbut Movement,” an Israeli organization that brings artists from different disciplines to live and work in low-income cities throughout Israel.

Future “IsraelCast” podcast guests include:

  • Alon Ben-Gurion, the grandson of Israel’s Founding Father and First Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion
  • Arsen Ostrovsky, a leading international lawyer, diplomat, writer, pro-Israel activist, and the Executive Director of The Israeli-Jewish Congress.

New episodes of “IsraelCast” will be released every other Wednesday. Listeners can subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play—by simply searching for “IsraelCast.”  To listen to the “IsraelCast” online, please visit:

About the Author
Russell F. Robinson is JNF’s chief executive officer. Under his leadership, JNF has developed successful far-reaching programs that play a significant role in the quality of life for all Israelis, such as community development, environmental work, sustainable development of the Negev, and solutions for Israel’s water crisis.
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