Israel. It’s inspiring, it’s frustrating, it’s confusing. Understanding our feelings towards the Jewish State is challenging. So, we’ve decided to create The Critically Zionist Podcast — a podcast for critical Zionists who see Zionism as critical. Our podcast is an open and honest approach to Israel — our philosophy being that for Israel to overcome the issues it faces, it needs to first understand what those issues are and why we continue to struggle with them.
Join us, Shuki and Noam, for candid conversation on the major issues facing Israel and Zionism today. Each episode tackles an issue facing modern Zionism in both an approachable and in-depth fashion.
This conversation began when we made aliyah together in 2011 to Kibbutz Saad. These discussions took us through our army service, working in the fields and hiking the Israel national trail together. We want to share the perspectives we’ve gained throughout our journey to shed light on these issues, all over our favorite Israeli beers.
The Critically Zionist Podcast models itself after the daily juxtapositions of Israeli life. The most famous example of this is found in two of Israel’s most important days of the year, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut (Remembrance Day and Independence Day). One day, we are mournful for lost loved ones who fell in battle or terror attacks; the next day dancing in the most joyous Israeli dancing festival of the year. Our podcast balances appreciation and admiration of Israel’s past leaders with an understanding of the complicated legacies they have left behind. We look at contemporary issues and influencers on Israeli politics and society and assess their behavior honestly, avoiding the political agendas that too often divide society. We are thankful that the country rests according to the Jewish calendar and angry that it refuses to recognize your liberal Jewish beliefs as a valid expression of Judaism.
We’ve experienced a lot in the past 10 years living in Israel. Our own aliyah story combines the rosy world of kibbutz life: working in irrigation to help the desert bloom; alongside the fear of incoming rockets from Gaza, beginning the day we arrived at Kibbutz Saad. We want to share our experiences with those interested in hearing what it’s like in Israel. We’re confident that our input can make it a little easier to relate to this crazy place we call Israel.
I’m Shuki, an Israeli tour guide for Hartuv Tours (check out my virtual tours at TOI’s Israel Unlocked!) married to Abi and Abba to Maayan. I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, am a die-hard Blue Jays fan, Dead Head, and beer and whisky enthusiast. We live in Tel Aviv and are active members of the Havura Tel Aviv – an egalitarian minyan in Tel Aviv.
I’m Noam, a die-hard Zionist, married to Liraz and Abba to Geffen. I grew up in Chicago, have been a Cubs fan since 2nd grade (Thank you Mrs. Pikelny), and am currently the commissioner of Israel’s first 16-inch softball league. We live in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood and there we helped found Kedem – a new egalitarian minyan.
You can find our podcast on Apple, Spotify, Anchor, or search for “The Critically Zionist Podcast,” wherever you listen to podcasts. Make sure to subscribe to get updates when we release new episodes. You can also like and follow our page on Facebook and subscribe to our channel on YouTube, to see shorter clips of the episodes we post.
Please send us your thoughts, feedback, questions, and suggestions for future episodes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shuki and Noam