28 episodes

Looking for stories from Israel? The weekly podcast will be an interview style show where we introduce our audience to newsmakers and intriguing Israelis. We’ll meet characters from across industries — academics, actors, athletes, artists and archaeologists -- and even alien hunters. Subscribe to "Our Friend from Israel."

Our Friend From Israel Our Friend From Israel

    • Society & Culture

Looking for stories from Israel? The weekly podcast will be an interview style show where we introduce our audience to newsmakers and intriguing Israelis. We’ll meet characters from across industries — academics, actors, athletes, artists and archaeologists -- and even alien hunters. Subscribe to "Our Friend from Israel."

    Episode 23: Tamar Geller, celebrity dog trainer

    Episode 23: Tamar Geller, celebrity dog trainer

    If you ever watched Oprah, you know she's a dog lover. And one of the reasons Oprah loves her dogs so much? They're well behaved. And she has Tamar Geller to thank for it. Oprah calls Tamar a life coach for dogs and their people. The talk show icon convinced Tamar to write a book about her dog training techniques and it instantly shot up the New York Times bestseller list and was translated into multiple languages.

    Once she appeared on Oprah, Tamar was everywhere – even becoming the resident dog expert for the Today Show. Tamar has since become a dog trainer to the stars. Her list of celebrity clients reads like a who's who of Hollywood: There's Ellen DeGeneres, Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Seacrest, Kelly Ripa, Owen Wilson, and Reese Witherspoon. Drive by her Los Angeles home and you might see Kyle MacLachlan picking up his Jack Russell-poodle mix or Pat Sajak dropping off his Australian sheepdog.

    In addition to her hourly training, pet owners can also send their dogs to her Hollywood home for a doggie vacation. In her free time, she also gives back – with non-profit initiatives that help juvenile prisoners and those with PTSD overcome their challenges through dog training. In today's episode, you'll hear how studying wolves in Israel led Tamar to become a dog behavior expert, how the relationship with our dogs can help us become better humans, and how a desperate housewife introduced Tamar to Oprah. All that, plus find out how Tamar can train your dog over Skype.

    For behind the scenes access to our show, including sneak peeks of future episodes, please join the "Our Friend from Israel" Facebook group. For additional notes, photos and a transcript of this episode, please visit www.ourfriendfromisrael.com.

    • 51 min
    Rebroadcast: Episode 7: Brian Blum, book author and business reporter

    Rebroadcast: Episode 7: Brian Blum, book author and business reporter

    The California-born Brian Blum moved with his family to Israel in 1994. Once there, he merged his twin loves of technology and writing and became a business journalist, and his work appears throughout the country. In 2012, he and his family became enamored with an Israeli electric car startup called Better Place. The company had an ingenious idea.

    Ten years ago, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi was on list after list of the world's most innovative young entrepreneurs. He appeared on magazine covers and was invited all over the world to present his vision for the future of electric cars. In a sense, Shai Agassi was Elon Musk before Elon Musk. Agassi's company had an audacious plan. At the time, people were reluctant to buy electric cars because they were afraid the battery wouldn't last all the way to their destination. Sure, they could do short errands, but what if they wanted to drive long distances? How would they charge their car? And more to the point, even if they could charge their car, they'd have to wait several hours for the battery to work again. (Plug-in technology for fast charging at an affordable price didn't exist yet.) Agassi's Better Place company had a solution. Brian Blum was a Better Place customer and decided to write a book about the company. In this week's episode, we visit Blum's Jerusalem home to discuss the Better Place story. Plus: The bizarre reason why most people who bought the car – including Blum – had to return it.

    For behind the scenes access to our show, including sneak peeks of future episodes, please join the "Our Friend from Israel" Facebook group. For additional notes, photos and a transcript of this episode, please visit www.ourfriendfromisrael.com.

    • 41 min
    Rebroadcast: Episode 1: Avi Loeb, alien hunter and chair of Harvard's astronomy department

    Rebroadcast: Episode 1: Avi Loeb, alien hunter and chair of Harvard's astronomy department

    Dr. Avi Loeb is the chair of Harvard's Astronomy Department. The Israeli-born theoretical physicist is a graduate of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, a school that was founded by one of his heroes, Albert Einstein. Indeed, he followed Einstein's path to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Loeb has published more than 500 scientific papers. Time magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space.

    Loeb is the chair of the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory Committee. That's a $100 million project to find a new Earth for humans. Yep, you read that right. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is an advisor as was physicist Stephen Hawking, before he passed away in March of this year. The heavily funded group is actively searching for alien life with the hopes of asking the aliens if we could move to their planet in the event that something happens to ours. Crazy stuff, we know.

    For behind the scenes access to our show, including sneak peeks of future episodes, please join the "Our Friend from Israel" Facebook group. For additional notes, photos and a transcript of this episode, please visit www.ourfriendfromisrael.com.

    • 26 min
    Episode 22: Ayelet Fishbach, popular psychology professor and expert on human behavior

    Episode 22: Ayelet Fishbach, popular psychology professor and expert on human behavior

    In 2016, Dr. Ayelet Fishbach, a social scientist who researches human behavior, published a study that showed that people who eat the same food are more likely to get along. So if you're on a date, order the same dish as your companion. Or if you're at an important business lunch, look at what your colleague is eating.

    That's just one of the many of Dr. Fishbach's studies that have made headlines. Almost all of her research falls under the category of motivation and incentives. How can we better stick to our New Years resolutions? What's the best way to cope with deadlines? What's the best way to convince someone to give to charity? Why do good people sometimes to bad things? It's this wide breadth of topics that has made her psychology classes some of the most popular at the University of Chicago business school. She's now taken her show on the road, and is spending the year teaching at Yale University.

    On today's episode, we chat with Dr. Fishbach about her many fields of research including how to impress your boss, how to make new friends, and why donating blood is better than donating money.

    For behind the scenes access to our show, including sneak peeks of future episodes, please join the "Our Friend from Israel" Facebook group. For additional notes, photos and a transcript of this episode, please visit www.ourfriendfromisrael.com.

    • 42 min
    Episode 21: Inna Braverman, named one of the most influential women of the 21st century

    Episode 21: Inna Braverman, named one of the most influential women of the 21st century

    Inna Braverman was named one of "10 of the most influential women of the 21st century," alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey." Her story starts in the Ukraine on April 11, 1986. Two weeks after her birth, the nearby Chernobyl Power Plant exploded and sent radioactive material across the landscape. To this day, it remains the biggest nuclear disaster worldwide. Less than 200 miles away, baby Inna had trouble breathing from the pollution and went in respiratory arrest. She was announced clinically dead. Luckily for Inna, her mother is a nurse and rushed to the crib to help. She gave her baby mouth to mouth resuscitation until the ambulance arrived just in time. Inna survived.

    She's is now doing something quite remarkable and is using her second chance at life to give back. Learning from the Chernobyl disaster, Inna has launched a company that harnesses energy from a totally unique place. Sure, we've heard of wind energy and solar energy, but Inna has found something she claims is even better: Wave energy. She launched Eco Wave Power, a company that has figured out a way to take the energy from ocean waves and convert it into electricity. Her drive, passion and clever thinking have made her a celebrity. She's given a Ted Talk and was named to Wired Magazine's list of “Females Changing the World." CNN chose her for their "Tomorrow's Hero" series and she named one of the world’s “100 Makers and Mavericks." On today's episode, 32 years after the seminal disaster that forever changed her life, we chat with Inna about her upbringing, about wave energy and about the responsibilities of being a role model for today's young female entrepreneurs.

    For behind the scenes access to our show, including sneak peeks of future episodes, please join the "Our Friend from Israel" Facebook group. For additional notes, photos and a transcript of this episode, please visit www.ourfriendfromisrael.com.

    • 31 min
    Episode 20: Oz Pearlman, mentalist and 'America's Got Talent' finalist

    Episode 20: Oz Pearlman, mentalist and 'America's Got Talent' finalist

    Oz Pearlman is an Israel-born mentalist and magician. While he had some measure of success in the early part of his career, he became instantly famous during the 2015 season of "America's Got Talent" on NBC. Week in and week out, he impressed the judges – Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel. His routines, where he read their minds and baffled the audience, left everybody gobsmacked.

    Out of the more than 10,000 acts that applied to be on the show that year, Oz Pearlman would continue in the competition all the way to the finale – coming in third place. And while he may not have won the grand prize, the adoring TV coverage propelled him into the pop culture stratosphere. After the show aired, he became a regular on daytime TV, appearing frequently on The Today Show, the Rachael Ray show, Dr. Oz's show and much more. NBC is even considering giving him his own show. He's now in high demand, performing hundreds of shows a year all across the globe. On today's episode we visit Oz at his home in New York City to discuss the meteoric rise in his career, how running marathons helps his magic and the way his performance style is like jazz. Plus, he reveals why he sends his wife a postcard from every city he visits.

    For behind the scenes access to our show, including sneak peeks of future episodes, please join the "Our Friend from Israel" Facebook group. For additional notes, photos and a transcript of this episode, please visit www.ourfriendfromisrael.com.

    • 45 min

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