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Jews You Should Know

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Welcome to Jews You Should Know, introducing the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know.

Welcome to Jews You Should Know, introducing the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know.
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Welcome to Jews You Should Know, introducing the broader community to interesting and inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in our world. Some are already famous, some not yet so. But each is a Jew You Should Know.




Episode 045 - The Entebbe Hero & Aleh Negev Chairman: A Conversation with Doron Almog

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Doron Almog hunted the Munich Olympic terrorists, was the first soldier to land in the raid on Entebbe, and ultimately rose to head the Southern Command in the Israel Defense Forces. But nothing in his storied military career could prepare him for the birth of his severely impaired son, Eron, in 1984. After mourning the loss of what he had always expected and hoped for, Almog eventually shifted gears, and began researching options to treat and care for his child. He...


Episode 044 - The OU President: A Conversation with Mark (Moshe) Bane

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Few individuals can juggle a high profile legal career and one of the most consequential lay positions in the Jewish community, but Mark (Moshe) Bane does precisely that. As both Chairman of the Corporate Restructuring division of Ropes and Gray and President of the Orthodox Union, Bane synthesizes his roles as a professional and activist with sophisticated aplomb. Enjoy his unique blend of aspiration, advocacy and idealism, and be inspired to do more for the Jewish...


Episode 043 - The Matan Kids Founder: A Conversation with Meredith Polsky

ABOUT THIS EPISODE As a young girl growing up in Westchester, NY, and as a student at the University of Michigan, Meredith (Englander) Polsky never imagined she would one day be running a national organization advocating for and training about children with disabilities. But after a chance encounter with one special child on the first day of Camp Ramah one summer, she had a "light-bulb moment" that catalyzed a dream and a journey. Today, Matan Kids runs an incredible array of training...


Episode 042 - The One-Armed Sniper: A Conversation with Izzy Ezaguai

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Izzy Ezaguai grew up in a regular Jewish family in Miami, Florida. But his adult life has been anything but "regular"; while serving in the IDF, a rocket attack destroyed Izzy's arm. He knew, however, that his life would not be derailed, that he would not only resume living but would return to once again serve his country. After intensive rehab and quite a bit of persuasion, Izzy found himself back in service, and in fact elevated his skills and his unit status to...


Episode 040 - The Simon Wiesenthal Dean: A Conversation with Marvin Hier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE A product of mainstream Jewish schools on New York's Lower East Side, Marvin Hier was an unlikely candidate to launch a global movement memorializing the Holocaust and combating anti-Semitism. But after a promising career in synagogue rabbinics and high school education, an empty building and a call from Frank Sinatra changed it all. Hear Rabbi Hier's riveting tale of growth and passion: from his charming New York childhood, to his pulpit in Vancouver, and ultimately...


PSA: Summer 2018 Special Announcements

Listen here for information about the Jews You Should Know Summer 2018 Israel Podcast Tour. Support the tour here: And recommend guests by contacting the show:


Episode 039 - The Chassidic Judge: A Conversation with Ruchie Freier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Ruchie Freier's conventional religious background did not foreshadow the activism and professional achievements of her adult life. But to hear her passionately describe her life and community, it is precisely those values that have galvanized her in these activities. As the first female chassidic judge elected in New York - and perhaps worldwide - she has been a trailblazer for years, helping kids-at-risk in the community, founding an all-female EMT brigade, and a...


Episode 038 - The Moishe House Founder: A Conversation with David Cygielman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE As a student at UCSB in the 1990's, David Cygielman would never have dreamed he would one day be running one of the most active young Jewish organizations in the world. But a "chance" encounter with then-80-year-old psychiatrist, inventor and philanthropist Morris Squire (OBM) altered his trajectory and set in motion a revolution in young adult Jewish programming. Moishe House currently operates at over 100 locations in more than 20 countries, and growing. In this...


Episode 037 - The British Stand-Up Coming: A Conversation with Ashley Blaker

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Ashley Blaker grew up in a traditional Jewish home in the London suburbs, attending a private school and eventually Oxford and Cambridge as well. Along the way, he stoked his interest in writing and performing comedy, ultimately earning his big break at the BBC, where he worked alongside some of the most eminent comedians in the country. Ashley later came out from "behind the camera" to develop his own performances, built largely around observational humor of the...


Episode 036 - The Wall Street Journalist: A Conversation with Greg Zuckerman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE The son of an Ivy League professor with an early penchant for Wall Street investing, Greg Zuckerman never imagined he would one day be writing about stocks and not trading them. But through a circuitous series of personal events - including stints planning banking conferences, organizing college campus tours and writing for an obscure financial trade journal - he eventually found his unique calling. Zuckerman has spent a career breaking stories, profiling colorful...


Episode 035 - The Pioneering Israeli Newswoman: A Conversation with Sivan Rahav-Meir

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Sivan Rahav-Meir is a true anomaly in Israeli society: a popular TV news anchor, commentator and columnist, but also a fully and publicly observant Jewish woman. Growing up in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb of Herzaliya, Sivan had a penchant for interviewing others from the age of six, beginning with her classmates and teachers, and eventually branching out to broader society. She became a "child star," appearing on youth programs, interviewing prime ministers and...


Episode 034 - The Birthright Israel CEO: A Conversation with Gidi Mark

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Taglit-Birthright Israel is perhaps the most successful modern Jewish program, having to date brought over 500,000 Diaspora Jews to visit Israel for life-changing experiences. Its CEO and professional visionary, Gidi Mark, joins us this week for a deep-dive into the inner workings of this revolutionary organization. Along the way, we learn about his past and his passion for making the Jewish world a better place. -------------------- ABOUT THIS PODCAST Jews You...


Episode 033 - The Friends of the IDF (FIDF) CEO: A Conversation with Meir Klifi-Amir

ABOUT THIS EPISODE As one of the most decorated generals in the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. General Meir Klifi-Amir has served his country and his people for almost four decades, rising steadily in rank from his youthful beginnings in the Paratroopers. Perhaps the only Israeli general also married to a general, General Klifi, as he is affectionately known, is as invested as one can possibly be in the fundamental values of service and protection. After several terms as national security...


Episode 032 - The Israeli Ambassador to the United States: A Conversation with Ron Dermer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Any supporter of Israel will recognize the name Ron Dermer. As Israel's ambassador to the United States, he has represented the State and its Prime Minister - his long-time mentor Benjamin Netanyahu - with tremendous skill and passion. In this interview, Ambassador Dermer shares his personal story as a youngster in Miami, Florida, a college student at the University of Pennsylvania, a graduate student at Oxford, and a political operative working in Israel under Natan...


Episode 031 - The Winter Olympian: A Conversation with AJ Edelman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE What is a nice Jewish boy doing flying down an Olympic ice-track, competing for the Israeli National Team in the obscure sport of Skeleton? In AJ Edelman's view, at least, redefining what it means to be a Jew in sport, defying near-impossible odds and generating tremendous pride for his country. Born and raised in Boston, MA, a hockey goalie growing up and through his university days at MIT, AJ was always a gifted athlete. But not until a chance encounter with his high...


Episode 030 - The Founder: A Conversation with Bob Diener

ABOUT THIS EPISODE As a second year law student, Bob Diener dipped his toes into the entrepreneurial waters, finding a niche in the travel industry. He never looked back. In the 30 years since, Diener, along with partner Dave Lipmann, founded and later With Torah Judaism as his template, he found a way to both do well and do good - building trust with employees and customers, supporting myriad organizations through his philanthropic work, and authoring his...


Episode 029 - The Nobel Critic: A Conversation with Brian Keating

ABOUT THIS EPISODE The Nobel Prize is regarded as the pinnacle of scientific achievement in almost any discipline. Unless you are Brian Keating, a brilliant astro-physicist who nearly won the Prize, and now stands as one of its fiercest critics, advocating for reform. Brian Keating, a professor at UCSD, began his astronomical career as a 12-year-old "principal investigator" - gazing into space through his $80, Sears-purchased telescope, funded by a generous grant from the "M-O-M...


Episode 028 - The Chassidic Psychiatrist: A Conversation with Abraham Twerski

ABOUT THIS EPISODE Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski may be the individual most responsible for destigmatizing mental health and addiction treatment in the Jewish world. Author of 84 (!!) books on psychological topics as well as innumerable titles on Jewish wisdom, he is one of the most widely-read and admired personalities in the global Jewish community. In this episode, Dr. Twerski takes us on a journey through his childhood in Milwaukee, his early psychiatric work and founding of Gateway...


Episode 027 - The 50-Year Harvard Law Professor: A Conversation with Alan Dershowitz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE The name Alan Dershowitz conjures images of OJ Simpson, Natan Sharansky, and many other famous personalities and cases. After hearing this interview, it will also remind you of a brilliant but restless young mind in post-War Brooklyn, a first-in-his-class Yale Law School graduate, a 50-year Harvard professor, a passionate defender of Israel and advocate for domestic judicial reform, a Jewish socialite with friends including Benjamin Netanyahu, Robert Kraft and Larry...


Episode 026 - The "Next Darwin": A Conversation with Jeremy England

ABOUT THIS EPISODE It's not often you meet someone who has attended or taught at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, Princeton and MIT...but that is precisely what Jeremy England has done in his young career. Already hailed at the "next Darwin" for the implication of his work on "origin-of-life" theory, he is much more interested in the "next mitzvah" than such sensationalist or speculative projections. Growing up in New Hampshire to a Survivor mother and Lutheran father, Jeremy was culturally...