Two Nice Jewish Boys and Israeli Radio

We’ve talked about how podcasting can be very beneficial for your projects. Whether it acts as a supplementary resource or your entire life’s work, podcasts are an incredible tool for educating and raising awareness. Naor Meningher and Eytan Weinstein knew this, and about a year ago, the two decided to create Two Nice Jewish Boys, a podcast about life in Israel in English. Naor, a native Israeli, and Eytan, an American oleh who has been in Israel for ten years, met at film school in Tel Aviv. Recently, they have been accepted at Ta’agid, the new Israeli radio station (like NPR) to create a new series called The Melting Podcast. The series will be similar to their podcast in that it will be for an English speaking audience and features Israeli artists who sing in English. However, the format will be shorter and much more heavily edited than Two Nice Jewish Boys. I had the opportunity to meet with them at the Ta’agid studio, talk about their experiences starting a podcast in Israel and photograph them as they recorded their new podcast!

 

Naor Meningher and Zohar Ginzburg from Trust a Lady

What inspired you to create a podcast? And why about Israel?

We are both in fields in which the fulfillment for your work is delayed. By a lot. Naor works in filmmaking and Eytan is a scriptwriter. By the time you come up with an idea, go through a million drafts, finalize, produce, direct, edit, etc. you’ve probably forgotten why the hell you decided to the project in the first place. Of course, you manage to pull through, but sometimes you just want that good ol’ Millennial instant-gratification. And we find that in podcasting. Some podcasts are larger productions, like the one we are currently producing for the New IPBC (Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation) AKA The Ta’agid, but Two Nice Jewish Boys, our debut podcast, is a more laid-back, fluid conversation format. We get an interesting guest. We sit down for about 45 minutes and talk and boom! we’ve got ourselves an episode.

Why about Israel? We live in Israel, we love it here and it’s full of super interesting people with cool stories. So, as a really nice Jewish boy once said, “Why not?”

 

Naor Meningher

How did you go about learning the technical process of creating a podcast on your own?

Naor is definitely the technical one. Studying and then later creating film, he got to know the whole world of audio from sound-recording to editing pretty well. Two Nice Jewish Boys is hardly edited, the new podcast will be. For editing, Naor uses Audacity, which is a great, easy-to-use open-source (that means FREE!) editing software. Our gear is all, top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art, latest-tech from Ali Express. That’s sarcasm. We use BM-700 mics that cost 10 bucks a pop. The only stuff that’s slightly expensive is the external audio interface and the mixer. All in all it was an investment of 500 bucks to get things rolling. Other than that, you need a website and you want to be on all the relevant social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

 

Eytan Weinstein

Now that you are at Ta’agid and working in a professional setting, what’s different?

Basically, we had to get off our asses and do some work. The podcast we’re producing for the Ta’agid is much more segmented and edited. Therefore, it’s a lot more work. Aside from the unscripted segments (interviews and musical guests), the episodes include some scripted segments as well like audio sketches. This means, we have to sit and write, edit drafts, sit to record and then edit the audio. We are also working with an external body, the Ta’agid, so while before we could do or say anything we want, now we know that we’ve got someone to answer to. With that said, they’ve actually granted us an extensive amount of independence, which is awesome!

 

 

 

How do you come up with the content for each episode?

Jen Charlton and Naor Meningher

So with Two Nice Jewish Boys, the first step is to pick a guest. Our main criteria for choosing guests is one simple question: Who do we want to hang out with and talk to for an hour? So we bounce ideas back and forth and then book them. Once we’ve chosen and booked a guest, that pretty much gives a clear direction as to what the questions will be like. So if we’re having a Member of Parliament, we know we’ll be asking about their political ideology, recent legislation, plans for the future, etc. Or if we’re having an author for exa mple, we’ll read their book, and talk about their career and their writing.

With The Melting Podcast, same goes for the guests, but with the other content, it’s a creative process. The podcast targets English speaking Olim, the Hebrew word for new immigrants, so we know that we need content that speaks to them. Just like any other creative process, we sit, brainstorm, write, trash it, write some more and in the end we’ve got something we’re not totally devastated with.

 

How long would you say it takes to get an episode ready for listening?

Two Nice Jewish Boys: About 2 hours of prep, an hour of recording and 5 minutes to piece it together and upload it.

The Melting Podcast: All in all – writing, recording and editing included – it’s about 8 to 10 hours of work per episode.

 

Eytan Weinstein

What are the best strategies for building up an audience?

It’s all about consistency. Upload good content at a consistent pace and people will start listening. There are of course ways to accelerate growth – ad campaigns on Facebook, buying ad spots on other podcasts with a similar niche audience – but those cost money. Without money, the best way to go about getting to your audience is forging relationships with relevant organizations. We have two collaborations currently. One with the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and the other with Secret Tel Aviv. Both are a direct channel to our listeners and both collaborations are mutually beneficial. We promote them, they promote us.

 

One of the Ta’agid recording studios

What are some tips and advice you would give to people interested in starting a podcast for their business?

Don’t quit your day job… yet! Do it. Dive in and don’t look back until you’ve got 100 episodes. Even if you’re not creating the most amazing podcast ever right now, you need some experience under your belt so get recording!

 

 

 

These two nice Jewish boys are currently looking for sponsors. Keep an eye out for the Melting Podcast coming out this fall!

 

 

Shani
Shani is a photographer and content creator from Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Communication degree, which she puts to good use by connecting with all the incredible Jewish organizations and the people who support them. With a deep pride in her Jewish roots and an Israeli background, Shani hopes to share the power and potential of Jewish innovation and connection with the world.