Unpacking Israeli History


Go behind the scenes of Israeli history with self-confessed history nerd Noam Weissman. Each week, he offers a fresh perspective on some of the most controversial and interesting events in the country’s history. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what Israel is all about -- from multiple angles and viewpoints -- this is the podcast for you.

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Recent Reviews
  • davanon
    Very informative
    Great job delivering facts that are important to consider during these difficult times. What we conclude from the facts may differ but it is important to know the facts. I have recommended this podcast to Jewish and non-Jewish friends alike.
  • vickyb827
    Excellent and important
    Well-researched and accessible. The content is balanced and very important. The tone is clearly aimed at junior high or high schoolers, and I’m 55 years old, but that’s OK by me, because it’s the young generation that MOST needs to understand the history of Israel. Israeli history is long and complex. Breaking it up into discrete, focused chapters is a great idea. I intend to catch up with all the seasons. Thank you, Noam!
  • Dollymama85
    So informative
    I have always been a supporter of Israel. My first memory regarding its existence was the Olympic massacre, I was 7 years old and was so disturbed by what I saw on TV. Then, October 7 occurred and I became intent on understanding the dynamics of Israel and its “neighbors”. After several episodes I was struck by just how objective Noam is regarding his culture, despite the fact he could be excused for being defensive in light of how harshly Israel is being treated right now. I highly recommend this show to all who wish to understand the history of Israel, its people and the absolute necessity that they be enabled to live in their homeland.
  • zubarsky
    Love the nuance
    Most show and books the subject of Israel are so one sided. Noam is certainly pro Israel but also tries to been critical and empathetic.
  • SNlepore
    Well worth your time!
    In bite-sized, easily digestible segments, Noam and his crew dig in to various moments in the history of the land of Israel, with honesty, curiosity and an even-handedness that is too rare these days. I never fail to learn something new. Thanks for making this podcast!
  • Boca.NY.TLV
    Comprehensive, Balanced, fascinating
    Highly recommend this outstanding podcast which breaks down the history, politics emotions and dueling points of view of the Middle East conflict. No other source has reached this level of comprehensiveness and I have heard most of them. Regardless of your point of view you need to hear this if you have any interest in this subject
  • walterlouis422
    current crises into a historical context
    Remarkable job of putting current crises into a historical context and with a light touch! I haven’t done much laughing the last 6 months. Noam got me to chuckle with “I’m cool like that’ ,even with the existential quote "The Jewish People are a nation that dwells alone…
  • jessimurph
    I once knew so little about my own country 🇺🇸as you know so little of yours 🇮🇱 The americas ethnically cleansed the indigenous population from to sea to shining sea. I hope that from the river, and to the sea, that Palestine will be free. Humanity can win. None of us are free until all of us are free.
  • iCentaur.com
    Nerd corner
    Hilarious. It wouldn’t be real Jewish history if it wasn’t funny. The most salient fact I have learned here is that wealthy Palestinians were largely responsible for the growth of Jews in the Holy Land because they were making profit from selling their land. I believe that salvation or the Jewish state lies in Jewish secular values of civil liberty and civil right for all people. A fight over who is the heir of God’s promise to Isaac or Ishmael is destined to end in conflict and hatred. I am pretty sure that’s not what G@d had in mind.
  • eshunt
    Zionists can do no wrong
    Israel is the victim of every circumstance, everyone is always trying to get them. Yes 10-7 was wrong and hamas should be punished. Not every person in Gaza is a criminal though. It’s pathetic how much zionists scream antisemitism when they are criticized it has nothing to do with their religion and everything to do with their 30,000+ actions. If the Zionists think they have a claim because of something happened 2,000 years ago than the Palestinians have a claim for their land that was there’s 70 years ago. There is no such thing as a god so a fairytale can not promise anything to anyone. If it could every little girl is a princess. Even the little princesses Zionists have murdered in the last few decades. Israel are the bad guys not children.
  • Almost had it !!!!
    This man does not understand history
    I figured I would try this out since getting bombarded with ads for this podcast. It is truly embarrassing, the host has absolutely no understanding of how the region came to be in this predicament, it’s pure Israeli one-sided propaganda that doesn’t even try to fairly cover the issue. Don’t waste your time!
  • JSjodin
    Loving your Lessons
    Thank you for bringing so much knowledge about the history of this area and it’s people and making it interesting. You have a gift for teaching❣️
  • ETJ
    Intellectually honest, thought provoking
    I’m OBSESSED. I love learning about history, especially Israeli history, but this pod takes it to a whole new level. The show is very well done and incredibly thought provoking. It’s intellectually honest and asks the hard questions. Thank you to Noam and the team!
  • Allon Health & Wellness
    Thoughtful and fascinating
    I love this podcast. A clear and helpful look at the current events through a historical lens. Thank you!!
  • caswanky
    Great podcast!
    I am not Jewish, but I am very interested in the history of Israel. I have been listening to this podcast for two days and I will continue until it’s done! Thank you! It’s excellent
  • OldTomtomUser
    My favorite podcast
    After experiencing virulent antisemitism from close ex-friends in the past few years, I had already begun a deep dive researching Judaism and Jewish history. On Oct. 7, the virulence of Jew hatred online ratcheted up by a couple of orders of magnitude and I needed facts at the tip of my tongue to be able to hold my own against accusations of all the atrocities the DARVO gaslighting has convinced the world that Israelis have done. Unpacking Jewish History is concise, cogent, fact-based, evenhanded, and entertaining — exactly what I need. From the background I get from this podcast, I know how to direct my reading. I know how to counter low-information accusations. Thank you for putting this podcast out, it is a huge public service to the entire Jewish community. I’ve started at the beginning and am systematically making my way through, using the podcast to launch deep dives in my reading. Bless you for helping me fill the holes in my Israeli history knowledge.
  • Motherrivki
    The podcast is a great learning tool for different views on Israel and the different marks of its history.
  • EZ History Nerd
    Deep dive into Israeli history
    Excellent overviews of important moments from Israeli history, good, bad, and ugly. The presenter is open about his biases, and goes out of his way to show other perspectives. The narration, pacing, and writing of all the episodes are superb. Highly recommended!
  • rockabilly55
    Well researched, balanced and truthful
    Although the podcast skips around in time a lot, I’ve gotten amazing insights and you history about Israel that I had never heard of before. I strongly recommend a listen!
  • MIchael Baruch
    Clear, Concise and Engaging
    It’s like reading a book you can’t put down. I thought it was a glitch in the podcast app when I saw every episode had a check by it. Have I listened to all of episodes already? I’ve learned a lot and have told several of my friends about your podcast. Also, your work has spurred my interest into other areas of Jewish history, social, political and cultural. Most importantly, what does it mean to be a Jewish person. Although, my journey is years-long, I am really at the front of it. Thank you for sharing your heart. Am Israel Chai!
  • Rsk5041
    3:35 PM
    Podcast is always organized well researched The podcaster is a great lecturer He gives examples of what he is talking about to make sure information is being understood I love the passion as he delivers the podcast
  • aw196812
    Great podcast
    Such a fast, easy and engaging way to learn about Israel’s history. Just started season 3, and lovin’ it. So interesting - Noam is the best! I’m learning without trying in such a fun way!
  • Anonymous 99246
    Meticulous research, engaging storytelling, an nuanced approach to complicated subject matter
    As someone who keenly follows the complexities of Israeli history, I’ve found “Unpacking Israeli History” by Noam Weissman to be an exceptional podcast. Weissman, with his meticulous research and engaging storytelling, offers listeners a comprehensive dive into the intricate and often convoluted events that have shaped Israel. Each episode stands out for its balanced and nuanced approach. Weissman’s ability to dissect complicated events without bias is commendable. He masterfully navigates through the layers of history, offering multiple perspectives which are essential for a complete understanding of the region’s past. The podcast not only educates but also challenges listeners to consider all sides of a narrative. This is crucial in a subject where history is often colored by intense emotions and political stances. Weissman’s objective presentation encourages open-mindedness and a deeper comprehension of the Israeli narrative. In a world rife with polarized views, “Unpacking Israeli History” could serve as a bridge towards greater understanding. If more people were to engage with such balanced explorations of history, acknowledging the legitimacy of competing narratives, it could indeed foster a more conducive environment for peace in the Middle East. Weissman’s podcast is a step in the right direction, promoting knowledge, empathy, and dialogue.
  • RichardMLT
    Thank you!
    This is an excellent podcast. I knew nothing about Israeli history until I listened to the ENTIRE set. Given all of the difficult events in Israel recently I really appreciated learning about many of the major historical events. Current events are depressing but the POV of the presentation gave me hope for the future of Israel.
  • waiters 84
    Best podcast on Israeli history
    I am Jewish and only thought I knew Israeli history. When I started listening to the episodes, I realized I knew very little about Israeli history. This podcast gives you a balanced account of the important events in Israeli history that had an impact on why Israel needs to exist and why Israel needs to defend itself. Highly recommend this podcast to anyone that wants to learn.
  • david walker21
    Wonderful show
    I am not Jewish but know enough to realize that Jews have been persecuted throughout history. This very informative podcast walks through the history of Israel both good and bad in a very interesting manner. Keep up the good work!!
  • MarylandTransplant
    Super informative and fun
    You know that great history teacher in High School we all had who made tough subjects come to life? The one who told us about events we’d never heard of before and challenged us to re-examine our assumptions about other events? The one who actually made learning fun and created a bright spot in the otherwise dreary day of high school? That’s this podcast. Noam is informative and down to earth while being a fun goofball who clearly loves talking about Israel. He’s also thoughtful and balanced and honest about Israeli’s mistakes. I love this podcast and I really appreciate the care that Noam and his team put into producing such great episodes.
  • gmil in md
    Just amazing
    I am Jewish. I thought I knew a lot about Israel and being a Jew. However Noam and the team at unpacked have taught me so much more. Things I thought I knew about and things I never knew about. This also isn’t a biased podcast, instead it is a transparent examination of the events that have shaped modern Israel.
  • GonRoss
    Great Bite-sized History Lessons
    The podcast provides a great way to learn all Israeli history. It gives you all the information, all the background, that you need to understand all about each subject. The short format is really helpful to be able to digest the information.
  • Israel Is home
    Love love love
    Even though he launches each episode with the tone that feels a little too much like he’s speaking to a child, I get into it! Very fun. Learning lots of history.
  • Michelle Clifton, PhD
    Educators unite!
    Unpacking Israeli History with Noam Weissman is nothing other than incredible. He is such an passionate story-teller, historian, and humanitarian! I love his podcast because he approaches the questions charitably, interprets views contrary to his own without contention, and fairly represents multiple sides of an issue…plus he’s pretty funny to boot! As an academic who works in US prisons, I deeply appreciate the one time he is simplistic—when he says education is the antidote. I have listened to 3 episodes on my morning runs, and I will not stop until I hear all that he has to say because it is history I need, and want, to learn. Thank you Dr. W!
  • Alana0104
    Great podcast
    Noam and his team do a fantastic job of breaking down Israeli history into short segments and explain the nuance of the situation. Noam is a true historian and understands and explains that there are facts and there is also historical narrative based on who told the story and their own perspective or agenda. Highly recommend listening from the beginning.
  • morzoe
    A master class of Israeli history!
    I am very much enjoying this. As an American Jew, I always thought that was well-read regarding the history of Israel and our major conflict in the region. Unpacking Israel genuinely fills in the gaps. I have a better understanding of Israel and have been recommending this podcast to many other people who want a far better understanding of the situation we find ourselves in currently.
  • Houston Tailor
    Very good podcast! Am a RexyPod fan here and this podcast meets my standards for extreme nerding and nuance. The episode on the revival of the Hebrew language in modern times is especially good for the linguist in me.
  • Finding Normal
    Concise, factual, well-presented. Keep up the good work!
  • Great for De-Cluttering
    Thank you
    I am a Jewish American who cries daily watching helplessly, from afar, my Jewish brothers and sisters being slaughtered abroad… watching nothing but misinformation, disgusting justifications and basically all news outlets turning a blind eye or worse, villainizing Israel. I wanted to find something like a concise, intelligent podcast that can provide history, context and clarification for my community who knows little about the history of my Jewish community. So that I could share this with them and help them to understand what’s actually happening and to tell the difference between reporting and propaganda. I’m happy to say that I have found that podcast. And I wish I found it sooner. From the bottom of my heart, Noam, thank you. -Gina Ellen
  • Dean salleyman
    Excellent balanced full context history
    Love this podcast, I’d only had a very biased viewpoint on Israeli history up till now . This podcast answered all the questions I had. Covering the disturbing elements sensitively. Couldn’t recommend more if you want to learn something beyond the black and white headlines.
  • BluebloodRedneck
    Get the stories behind the Story
    This podcast rocks! The team has done their research to give us an in depth/deep dive into Israeli history. The listener learns about behind the scenes players in historic events. The listener hears about the narratives at play in events. The listener has the contexts in which to understand the stories. The good, the bad, and even the ugly make it into each story.
  • planday
    Love it
    Great podcast.
  • ffpnovikov
    Great podcast
    Factual yet humorous. Love it!
  • Max, Sermon Snippets Podcast
    Love the Depth!
    This is a high-quality production that goes in-depth into the nuances and conflicts of Jewish history and life. As a Christian, I love learning about Israel and the way Noam presents the information is enjoyable to listen to. Thank you for producing this podcast!
  • ZevYaacov
    Shalom Noam, Unpacking History (Israel) is very informative especially for me, a JBC. This has affirmed my knowledge of Jewish history and encourages me more to want to share with my fellow Jews and non Jews in Israel’s history and formation. Toda.
  • Ballyhoolygirl
    Very informative, but the host is simply incapable of objectivity. Ruins it for me.
  • info-seeker
    easy to comprehend. informative. and engaging host. a must to add to your library.
  • Aimtolearn
    Declaration of Indepedence, Israel at 75, Yom Kippur War
    I’ve only listened to 4 episodes so far, but they are amazing! Thank you, Noam for bringing the history to life and for presenting different sides. Sometimes tough to hear the “other perspectives”, but we all know they’re there- just weren’t “taught” them. Love your enthusiasm and jokes!
  • nick bartholomew name
    must listen, simplifies the complex
    The production is excellent and the host, Noam, is an expert and a mentch. They explain very complex subjects, as simply as possible, using detailed and sympathetic analysis. One of my favorite podcasts.
  • FrancesLVM
    Great show
    Great show and host. I feel the other reviewer, maybe host could speak a little more calmly but I understand his passion when telling stories. I appreciate this podcast. I think it’s informative, well researched, interesting and really original.
  • brucesimian
    To “urgent “ sounding
    Host talks too fast and intensely. Hard to take for a whole show. Not everything has to sound so urgent
  • RLRicki
    Perfect for me and maybe you too
    I am an American Jew (or a Jewish American) and I have spent my life feeling love & connection for Israel but not actually knowing that much. Words like “intifada” and “Munich” and “green line” sort of sounded familiar to me but I didn’t have a clear picture in my head of the whole story. Also, I’m in general a left-wing sort of person, but when it came to Israel my mind (uninformed as it was) shut down and my feelings just roared incoherent rah-rah Israel nonsense. But I knew that wasn’t who I wanted to be. This podcast is SO HELPFUL for exactly where I am and what I need to learn and how I need to learn it. Noam Weissman is clear without condescending; concise without obfuscating complexity. Thank you, Unpacked team. Kol hakavod.
  • Debg216
    Amazing podcast
    Super informative and so inspiring!
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