This Week From Israel: A New Government, Upheaval’s Place in Israeli History, and more!

Hosted by IZZY founder Josh Hoffman, This Week From Israel is a podcast that publishes new episodes every Tuesday!

Listen directly below, as well as on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Breaker, and Pocket Casts.

Episode Rundown

Topic of the Week: Israel’s New Government

If you’ve been following the news from Israel recently, then you probably know there is a new impending government that will likely end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 14-year run as the Prime Minister of Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu, like most politicians, is not all bad and not all good. There are many shades of grey, some to be proud of and some not so much. There’s a word for this: It’s called life. And in life, we must often make choices with imperfect options.

The problem which I see with Israel’s recent political landscape is that we are searching for the “perfect” candidate to become Israel’s next prime minister, yet he or she naturally doesn’t exist, which is why Bibi Netanyahu has continued to be elected. Basically, Israelis have been saying with their votes that they’d rather have Bibi (who many believe has worn out his welcome) than deal with imperfect change.

Yet change is never perfect, and staying in the same place as an alternative to dealing with imperfect change isn’t good for anyone. The path to career or financial success is often the same way, and it reminds me of my path to creating IZZY.

Many people look at me as the founder of IZZY and say, “Wow! Incredible! How’d you do it!” What many of the people don’t realize is that I went through years of trials and tribulations, exploring different businesses and opportunities, some successful and some not. But the one constant among them all was that each one gave me more confidence, courage, and experience that I ultimately converted into IZZY.

I never stayed in the same place for too long, especially if I felt it wasn’t working. I was agile, proactive, and vigilant, but I also gave each one a real chance, and didn’t give up even when the first or second step didn’t appear to be successful. And it is because of these trials and tribulations that IZZY came to life with 20,000 subscribers strong. Again, it was not despite or in spite of these trials and tribulations, it was because of them.

This is the mindset and approach I hope we can take here in Israel, and for those around the world who are rooting for Israel’s development and growth. While this new impending government is not perfect by any means, and while the change that comes with it will likely be messy, we must give it a real chance, and hope for its success, while being agile, proactive, and vigilant regardless of the outcome.

A Weekly Hebrew Lesson

Mahapach (mah-hah-pach) is the Hebrew word for “upheaval,” but in Israeli society it means so much more.

In 1977 the right-wing Likud political party, then headed by Menachem Begin, won the Knesset elections by a landslide, creating seismic ramifications and effectively ending the left wing’s unrivalled domination over Israeli politics. Likud’s electoral victory signified a fundamental restructuring of Israeli society in which the founding socialist Ashkenazi elite was being replaced by a coalition representing marginalized Mizrahi and Jewish-religious communities, promoting a socially conservative and economically liberal agenda.

When news anchor Chaim Yavin, known as “Mr. Television” in Israel, went on air to announce Likud’s historical victory in 1977, he started the newscast by simply saying: “Ladies and Gentlemen, mahapach.”

Mahapach is the Hebrew title of a new documentary about Menachem Begin’s incredible life, produced, written and directed by Jonathan Gruber, and executive produced by Rob Schwartz.

The word mahapach also shares the same root as mahapechah (mah-hah-peh-chah, meaning “revolution”) and hafuch (hah-fooch, meaning “opposite” or “upside down”). Funny thing about the word hafuch, it’s also the word for cappuccino in Hebrew, as in cafe hafuch. Why? Because a cappuccino is essentially an “upside down” coffee.

Someone Special – Tamar Pross

Half-Australian, half-Israeli, and a longtime nomad, Tamar Pross became obsessed with learning how to quickly, seamlessly, and enjoyably immerse herself into the local culture and lifestyle. After moving 18 times across four continents, Tamar returned to Israel and set out to rediscover the country she once called home.

Along the way, Tamar met Efrat Chen, one of the most sought-after Hebrew teachers in Israel, and the two teamed up to create Citizen Café, with the goal of providing Israel’s growing community of internationals with an opportunity to become more successful, engaged, and connected to an otherwise unfamiliar culture in Israel.

I met Tamar through a mutual friend around 2017, because Citizen Café was looking for a marketing consultant at the time, and I was running my client-service marketing business. We started working together, and then I became a student at Citizen Café’s Hebrew school. Tamar is one of the most motivated, delightful, charismatic people I’ve met in Israel, and Citizen Café’s Hebrew school allowed me to go from basically conversational to almost totally fluent, thanks to their (dare I say) revolutionary, highly intuitive teaching method.

Be sure to connect with Tamar Pross on LinkedIn.

One Good Thing

Israel has a new president: Isaac Herzog.

In Israel we have both a president and a prime minister. The president is largely a ceremonial figurehead role, with executive power resting with the Legislature (the Knesset) and the Prime Minister. Israeli Presidents are elected by the Knesset for a single seven-year term.

Isaac Herzog, nicknamed “Bougie,” was a longtime Israeli politician and most recently the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. He is also the son of former Israeli President Chaim Herzog, which makes them the first parent-child presidents in Israel’s short history.

His father founded one of Israel’s largest law firms — Herzog, Fox & Ne’eman — and his mother Aura was the founder of the Council for a Beautiful Israel.

Isaac will be inaugurated as the 11th President of Israel on July 9th.

Tune in every Tuesday for a new This Week From Israel episode, and be sure to check out previous episodes as well!

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