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Israel & Judaism through a Fresh Lens
Israel & Judaism through a Fresh Lens

The Teachers Lounge

Ever wonder what teachers talk about when you're not around? The JU: Israel Teachers Lounge is where you get to listen in, and then join the conversation. Don't ever disconnect from Israel, the team will keep you up to date.

Click here to submit your own thoughts, responses or ideas for discussion on the podcast.

Ep. 31 - Not About the Six Day War. Honest!

Ok, so enough about the 50th anniversary already.

Alan and Mike zoom out to discuss the current turmoil in the Middle East and how it affects Israelis. While explaining their concept of the "Power Paradigm", Alan nominates Mike for President. Of something or other.

We really like this episode a lot.

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Matti Friedman on the entrenched narrative

Matti Friedman interview 

Bibi agreed to maximal peace offer that Abbas rejected 
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Ep. 30 - Midreshet HaRova Speaks!

Ever wonder what students ask their teachers? With Alan away, this episode takes place in the classroom instead of the teachers lounge. The exceptional young women of Midreshet Harova ask Mike the questions they want answered about being on campus next year.

Maybe you have the same questions, or maybe you're curious about the concerns that Jewish gap year students have about life on campus. Either way, we hope that you'll find this episode insightful and interesting.
Let us know!
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Ep. 29 - Make the Middle East Great Again

Now that the roads are back open and life has gone back to (what passes for) normal in Israel, Alan and Mike unpack President Trump's trip to the Middle East. Will there be changes to the status quo? Or is this all sound and fury signifying nothing?

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Ep. 28 - Hummus: The Movie Premiere

This year's big Gap Year event was at the Israeli premiere of JerusalemU's new film, "Hummus: The Movie". Alan and Mike decided to interview attendees with questions about gap year, the Jewish future, culture, and of course, hummus.
It's an unusual episode outside the walls of the Teachers Lounge, but we thought you might like to meet our students and colleagues and hear what they have to say. We found it to be very interesting, and hope you do too.
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Ep. 27 - What's So Funny About Ethno-National Democracies?

Its a shorter episode than usual, recorded on a break between classes. But hey, teachas gonna teach.

Alan and Mike waste no time getting politically philosophical about Israel's democracy. In what ways is it similar or different from other Western nation states? Why is is so essential to Israel's identity? Why should democracy be essential for every nation?
P.S. Why isn't anybody making a musical about Jefferson?

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Ep. 26 - Meanwhile in Gaza...

With Abbas visiting Trump, and Hamas releasing a new political document, Alan and Mike discuss their takes on the latest in Palestinian politics. 
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Ep. 25 - One Nation, Many Identities

Identity, ethnicity and nationality are complicated topics underlying much of the turmoil that we are seeing around the world. What does it mean to really be French? Or American? These questions are driving politics in those countries. Is there any wonder that Jews and Israelis face complicated questions as well?

Listener Noam was intrigued by last episode's discussion of Jewish Nationalism as the defining idea of Zionism and the State of Israel. He posted his questions on our Facebook page and even sent us a voice message! This week, Alan, Benji and Mike address those questions, and explore modern Jewish nationalism.

The Ruth Calderon webinar for the Shalom Hartman Institute can be found on our Facbook page

For a seemingly unrelated discussion that is VERY relevant, you can listen to author Andrew Sullivan discuss the complicated nature of national identity in our time, and how it is impacting global politics. It will be the topic of his upcoming article in New York magazine.

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Ep. 24 - What's a Jew to You?

Sometimes you need to put daily details aside, and get to the big ideas. Alan and Mike take on what seems like a simple question: What are the Jews? They talk about why even Jews find this difficult to answer, and why Zionism has a pretty specific answer.

Believe it or not, the Wikipedia page (its not bad!)

Listen to more episodes, and let us know what you think!
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Ep. 23 - Who Knew? Aliya Updates

Happy Yom Aliya!
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Ep. 22 - BBTV

The government might collapse because of a TV channel? BDS tourists can't come in to the country? Alan and Mike talk via skype with our political expert, Yedidya Kennard, who helps us makes sense of the headline. And he also supplies some theories about what Bibi might be thinking.
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