We believe that the journey to self discovery is led by inquiry, and that’s why our podcasts ask big questions and dissect complex topics by unpacking all things Jewish.
Kfar Qassem is a small bucolic city northeast of Petach Tikva. It is also the little-known site of the first salvo of the Suez Canal Crisis. On October 29, 1956 – as Israel prepared for war with Egypt – an IDF commander made a decision that would permanently scar Israel’s Arab community. Today, we tell the story of the 49 Israeli citizens murdered at Kfar Qassem.
This episode is dedicated to them.
Ibrahim Abdalhadi Himad Isaa, 35
Abed Muhammad Abdalhadi Isaa, 9
Abdallah Ahmad Himad Isaa, 15
Talal Shaker Abdallah Isaa, 8
Abdallah Sliman Isaa, 90
Ahmad Muhammad Sous Freij, 35
Ali Uthman Ali Tah, 30
Muhammad Abed Samaha Asi, AKA Abu Samaha, 50
Ghazi Mahmoud Darweesh Isaa, 20
Muhammad Abdalraheem Isaa, 50
Fathi Uthman Abed Isaa, 12
Uthman Abed Himad Isaa, 30
Saleh Mahmoud Naser Amer (age unknown)
Mahmoud Abdalghafer Rayan, 35
Mahmoud Abdalrazeq Sarsour, 16
Ali Nimer Nuwwara Freij, 17
Saleh Salameh Ahmad Amer, 40
Salim Ahmad Basheer Budeir, 50
Abdallah Abdalghafer Budeir (age unknown)
Abed Salim Saleh Isaa (age unknown)
Atta Yacoub Abed Sarsour, 26
Riyad Raja Hamdan Dahoud, 8
Jamal Salim Muhammad Tah, 11
Jumma Muhammad Abed Sarsour, 17
Mousa Thiab Abed Freij, 18
Abdalkarim Salim Nuwwara Freij, 14
Saleh Mustafa Ahmad Isaa, 17
Abdalraheem Ismir Budeir, 25
Ahmad Muhammad Jouda Amer, 17
Jumma Tawfik Ahmad Isaa, 16
Mahmoud Khader Jaber Sarsour, 27
Yousef Muhammad Ismail Sarsour, 52
Muhammad Salim Khader Sarsour, 15
Muhammad Ali Thiab Sarsour, 35
Abdallah Muhammad Abed Sarsour, 14
Safa Abdallah Usus Sarsour, 45
Amne Qasem Tah, 50
Khamise Faraj Muhammad Amer, 50
Zaghlouleh Ahmad Basheer Isaa, 45
Hilwe Muhammad Odeh Budeir, 65
Fatme Dahoud Sarsour, 30 (nine months pregnant)
Unborn child of Fatme Dahoud Sarsour
Fatme Mustafa Khamran Isaa, 18
Fatme Mahmoud Budeir (Age unknown)
Fatme Saleh Ahmad Sarsour, 14
Rashika Faek Ibrahim Budeir, 14
Zeinab Abdalrahman Ahmad Tah, 45
Latife Dahoud Khamran Isaa, 12
Bakriya Mahmoud Ismail Tah, 14
Mahmoud Muhammad Habib Masarwa, 25
Hey, it’s Noam. I’m excited to share that, as of this week, Unpacking Israeli History is officially back with Season 4! On this podcast, we take a deep dive into some of the most intense, historically fascinating, and often misunderstood events and stories surrounding Israeli history.
As in past seasons, we’ll be exploring exciting, intense, and complicated topics. Like, you’ve heard of Hamas, but what is their ideology and why does it matter? Who was Anwar Sadat, and how did his historic trip to Jerusalem change the future of the Middle East?
And we’re opening the season with one of the most difficult stories in Israeli history, the heart-wrenching story of the Ma’alot massacre of 1974.
In May 1974, over 100 Israeli high school students went on what was supposed to be a fun field trip in honor of Israel’s 26th birthday, exploring northern Israel and sleeping under the stars.
But the three Palestinian terrorists who sneaked in from Lebanon had other plans… This is the story of the Ma’alot massacre. It’s a story of horror and blood. But it’s also a story of hope and resistance. A reminder that every hour of our lives matters. This episode is dedicated to the memory of the victims.
Hasibah Shala, 27
Yosef (Jojo) Cohen, 45
Fortuna Cohen, 38 (7 months pregnant)
Unborn child of Fortuna Cohen
Moshe Eliahu Cohen, 4
Sylvan Zerach, 27
Ilana Turgeman, 15
Zvia Mor-Yoseph, 15
Rachel Aputa, 16
Yocheved Mazoz, 15
Sarah Ben-Shim’on, 15
Yona Sabag, 15
Yafa Cohen, 17
Shoshana Cohen, 17
Michal Sitrok, 16
Malka Amrosy, 15
Aviva Saada, 15
Yocheved Deri (age unknown)
Yakov Levi, 17
Yakov Kabla, 17
Rina Cohen, 15
Sarah Madar, 15
Tamar Dahan, 16
Sarah Sofer, 15
Lilly Morad, 16
David Madar, 17
Yehudit Madar, 16
We’ve talked this season about some big characters like Josephus, Napoleon, Shabbetai Zvi. This week, meet Babatha. She was a wholly unremarkable woman, except for the world she opened up for us through the documents found in her abandoned handbag…2,000 years ago. This week, Schwab and Yael explore gender and rights, Roman bureaucracy and the many legal systems in 2nd century Judea, and the value of a good handbag.
Every community has its weirdos. And in 17th century Amsterdam, the Jewish community’s resident weirdo was Uriel D’Acosta: converso, refugee, passionate Jew, and… dangerous heretic?
Join Yael and Schwab as they explore D’Acosta’s controversial legacy — from his influence on Spinoza to his ostracism at the hands of the Dutch Jewish community. And decide for yourself: what lessons does the story of Uriel D’Acosta hold for us today?
How did a nice Jewish boy wind up a Christian apostle? Meet Saul/Paul of Tarsus, the man responsible for, well, Christianity.
Like Jesus, Saul was a Jew. But unlike Jesus, Saul preached a completely modified version of Judaism. A version that eventually transformed into the Christianity we know today.
Yael and Schwab ask, why are we talking about Christianity on a Jewish history podcast? When did Christianity become a distinct religion from Judaism? And why should Jews care about early Christian history?
In December of 1950, a construction worker happened upon a cache of old milk tins buried in the Warsaw Ghetto, the contents of which upended our understanding of the Holocaust.
The tins held the second of three caches of the Oneg Shabbos archives: a collection by ordinary people turned archivists who risked their lives to preserve the darkest moment of Jewish history. Among the photographs and diary entries, concert tickets and poems, lay the collected sermons of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, also known as the Piaseczno Rebbe. In this episode, Yael and Schwab ask, what can we learn from Rabbi Shapira’s works? And what debt do we owe to the brave Oneg Shabbos archivists?