join our mailing list:

JTFN Summer Podcast Recommendations

Hey there, summer! As you catch up on your work, decompress from the year and debrief your programs, consider adding some inspiration to your daily grind. We’ve collected our office’s favorite podcasts… that have to do with Judaism, nonprofit work, Jewish education, and ways to inspire your life. From the Jewish (Teen) Funders Network office to yours, we hope your summer is relaxing and full of personal development. L’hitraot!


From Melissa Rosen, Senior Manager, Matching Grants & Special Initiatives at the Jewish Funders Network

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text 

Why do I recommend it? The podcast’s ethos is to read the books we love as if they were sacred texts. It helps us create time in our week to think about life’s big questions, and helps us apply the lessons from our favorite fiction to real life. Each week, the podcast explores a central theme through which to explore the characters and context, but is always grounded in the text. Reading it in community and using different faith traditions’ methods of text study helps us understand the texts and the lessons more thoroughly.


From Seth Chalmer, Director of Communications at the Jewish Funders Network

Hateshuvah im Doron Fishler [The Answer with Doron Fishler] (Reshet Osim Historiah) 

Looking for ways to improve your Modern Hebrew comprehension? Listening to Israeli podcasts is an obvious choice. “Hateshuvah (The Answer)” is a fun and lighthearted look at… well, everything. Host Doron Fishler answers questions from audience members like, “If you added up all the money in the world and divided it equally among all people, how much would each person get?”; “Why do we drive on the right side of the road?”; “Why does unhealthy food taste good?”; “Why do men have nipples?”; and more. Fishler answers each question as thoroughly as possible, and then doesn’t stop, moving past straightforward answers in order to investigate the assumptions underlying the questions, and stopping along the way for fascinating digressions into history, science, language, and more. Fishler’s intimate and funny delivery is part of the joy of this thoroughly charming podcast about the things you didn’t realize you’ve always wondered.


From Seth Chalmer, Director of Communications at the Jewish Funders Network

Hadar Institute Online Learning (Hadar) 

Catch some of the most insightful and inspirational Torah learning available by podcast, featuring the Hadar faculty. Some episodes are recordings of live lectures, classes, and panel discussions, tackling big ideas and thorny questions of Jewish life, modern life, ethics, relationships, theology, and more. But don’t miss Dena Weiss’s weekly divrei Torah on the parasha as well, which are usually remarkably fresh, original, and deeply wise. Weiss takes a psychological and relational approach to each parasha, drawing on the riches of the rabbinic textual tradition to help us connect the weekly Torah reading with some of the biggest and most intimate personal challenges we face.


From Wayne Green, Director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network

Oprah Super Soul Conversations 

Professionals should listen as Oprah uses very smart questions to draw out the experiences of the interviewee. In addition, some of the podcasts reflect on the importance of giving back to community.


From Alana Hollander, Community and Special Projects Manager at Jewish Teen Funders Network

Secrets of the Most Productive People, by Fast Company 

We are all so BUSY! How do we reframe some of our thinking, address some of our bad habits and actually find that work-life balance we are all looking for?  A podcast, by Fast Company, a digital and print media publication that focuses on innovation and change within business, media and technology, "Secrets of the Most Productive People" offers great hints and tips.


From Samantha Anderson, Vice President, Philanthropic Engagement & Executive Director, Center for Jewish Philanthropic Excellence at the Jewish Funders Network

It's Who You Know! The Podcast 

It’s great for Jewish communal professionals to network, and this podcast is a virtual networking experience. Each week, Michelle Malkin brings a new guest who provides nuggets of wisdom and thought provoking ways to grow as a Jewish professional.


From Seth Chalmer, Director of Communications at the Jewish Funders Network

On Being with Krista Tippett (On Being Studios) 

For many years, Krista Tippett has been drawing out the world’s wisest and deepest thinkers to confront hard questions about faith, science, human nature, and, especially, love. Jewish educators can drink deeply from the well of On Being: the content illuminates new, ancient, and always relevant questions for Judaism and other peoples and systems to wrestle with. But even leaving the content aside, Jewish educators and leaders have much to learn from Tippett and her guests about how to ask good questions, how to interpret people generously, how to learn from every human being, and how to give yourself fully to the present moment.


From Wayne Green, Director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network

Judaism Unbound 

This podcast has a range of topics about Jewish life and issues impacting our community. For program leaders, this podcast provides thought provoking topics and uses Jewish ideas, concepts and texts to explore and navigate the conversations.


From Danielle Segal, Senior Program Manager at the Jewish Teen Funders Network

Unorthodox, hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz, Tablet Magazine.

Get your weekly fix of Jewish-themed news in this entertaining, funny and informative podcast. The three hosts seamlessly present interviews, news and informal discussions on a range of topics and there is never a dull moment on the one hour-ish long format. If you're looking to brush up on current affairs, listen to a guest speaker, or hear unique perspectives on Jewish thought and culture, you have come to the right place!

Please note, this podcast contains adult content.


From Seth Chalmer, Director of Communications at the Jewish Funders Network

HevriaCast: Talking with Awesome Creative Jews (Hevria) 

It’s what it says on the tin… and that’s a good thing! Host Elad Nehorai sits down with Jews who live robust Jewish and robust artistic and/or otherwise creative lives, to discuss their processes, their experiences, their challenges, and their inspirations.


From Danielle Segal, Senior Program Manager at the Jewish Teen Funders Network

How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz, NPR

Each episode in this engaging podcast features a different entrepreneur who guides the listener through their story: where they grew up, how they started their first business,  their challenges, and their successes. Hosted by Guy Raz, he compassionately interviews his special guests, asking the questions that we the listener were hoping he would ask! Be inspired by amazing determination of each guest, and take notes on interesting networking and entrepreneurial techniques. If you are starting your own Jewish teen program, this podcast just might give you the oomph to take your idea to the next level. There is even a smattering of Jewish entrepreneurs in the mix: George Zimmer, Bobbi Brown, Arthur Blank, Ben & Jerry, to name but a few!


From Seth Chalmer, Director of Communications at the Jewish Funders Network

Imaginary Advice (Ross Sutherland) 

British writer and educator Ross Sutherland shares poems, short stories, confessional personal essays, and assorted (indescribable) writings on this utterly original, immaculately produced and sound-designed, sometimes dark, and always delightful podcast. Sutherland uses language games or odd language challenges as launching pads for his writing — what if you mashed together four very different obituaries into a coherent whole? What if you rewrote “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by replacing every noun with the word 8 lines below it in the dictionary? — but somehow his results always manage to achieve not only phenomenal laughs but also profoundly moving emotional depth. Educators should consider it a masterclass in creative possibility, and Jewish educators in particular should thrill to the possibility of finding their own ways to use games or challenges around Jewish texts as Sutherland-style launching pads for poetic experimentation.