If you don't listen to a podcast (or eight), your coworker probably does--or your best friend, or your brother, or your grandma. Podcasts are the medium du jour, though the term itself--barely a decade old--is already a bit outdated. For the uninitiated: The word "iPod" (remember those?) and "broadcast" are the roots of this portmanteau--a democratized form of radio-show production available to anyone with a microphone, Internet access and the right software. Podcasts have proliferated as a popular, portable way to consume everything from news to storytelling to comedy on your computer, smartphone or tablet--or, yes, your iPod, if you still have one of those lying around--via streaming or download from the podcast's website, iTunes or your podcast app of choice. Jewish podcasting in particular is having a moment, broadening in recent years from a selection of Torah study and sermons to an eclectic mix of history, humor and more.
Haven't found a reason to jump on the podcast bandwagon? We're here to help, with a list of some of the best Jewish podcasts out there and why you should tune in. (All are available for download from the iTunes store.)
CAN WE TALK?
One of the newest kids on the Jewish podcast block is this monthly program that debuted in January. Clocking in on the short side for podcasts at under 20 minutes each, its five installments so far are newbie-friendly introductions to podcast programming. Hosted by Nahanni Rous, "Can We Talk?" is produced by the Boston-based Jewish Women's Archive, a national nonprofit that highlights the lives and stories of notable Jewish women. The first episode, aptly named "The Pilot's Pilot," tells the stories of two 1940s-era Jewish women pilots; the second explores the Jewish roots of the 1971 seminal women's health book, Our Bodies, Ourselves.
(IS IT) GOOD FOR THE JEWS?
This weekly dispatch from a San Francisco basement rechristened "The Twilight Lounge" comes from 50-something friends Larry Rosen, a self-described "ambivalent Jew," and Eric Goldbrener, a "fierce Jew," who pose that perennial question while discussing some unexpected topics. "The idea was that we can have an hourlong discussion on anything and ask if it is good for the Jews," Rosen told the Jewish weekly j. "We talk about the Middle East, but I also wanted to talk about Elvis, sandwiches and yoga." Was western U.S. migration good for the Jews? What about Han...