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Jewish History Matters Podcast (19)

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
100 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 06, at 09:00 AM CST
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Jewish History Matters Podcast (19)

We created the Jewish History Matters podcast to showcase key questions and enduring debates in Jewish studies and highlight their social and intellectual impact in the widest possible context. This initiative stands for the idea that we need critical thinking and historical perspective to understand our world, and that scholars should be a part of conversations about social issues that can draw on the lessons of the past. The podcast has become a platform for thinking through the diverse ways Jewish history, and history at large, matters: Jewish history offers an important lens through which to look at the treatment of minorities, pressing matters like immigration and refugees, ongoing persecution and prejudice, not to mention the development of global cultures and economies and other issues.


Since we launched the project, it's grown tremendously. But we know that it has even more potential, which is why we're asking for your support to help the project become more sustainable, more professional, and reach a wider audience. Specifically, the funds we raise will bring on a professional audio editor who can help make the podcast sound great and also produce promotional videos and trailer clips so we can share this message with as many people as possible.



After 35 Episodes...


When we launched the podcast in 2018, it was an experiment: To see how a podcast could showcase scholarship in a way that's accessible and highlights how it's important. Since then, we've published 35 episodes with leading scholars from around the United States and across the world. Topics have ranged across the entire arc of Jewish history, and we've always tried to bring it back to the central question of what we take away from Jewish life and culture and how its lessons can be broadly applied to diverse intellectual questions and social issues.


In October 2019, we surpassed an exciting milestone: 25,000 total downloads since we started the project, and 3,000 downloads in that month alone. That's a lot of listeners—but more importantly, it shows how fast the podcast is growing and demonstrates a potential to reach even more people, both within the university world as well as beyond it. 


Recording an episode in the studio.


Our Goal and Future Vision


We launched the podcast in 2018 with a small startup grant from UCLA's Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, when Jason Lustig was based at UCLA's Department of History. That's why we are asking for your support to help bring together more significant seed funding that will help us make the project more sustainable, more professional, and reach a wider audience.




We're looking to raise $8,000 to fund the costs of our current season and allow us to start planning for the future. Your support will allow us to hire a professional audio editor to make every episode sound great, produce supplementary materials that accompany each episode like a bibliography or explainer of the fundamental historical issues, and more proactively promote the podcast to broader audience with teaser clips and episode trailers. We are also hoping to bring on more guest hosts, and get them equipment so that they sound great too.


Ultimately, we want to make the project sustainable so we can continue to create and share episodes that showcase how and why Jewish history matters, as part of a bigger conversation about why the deep historical perspectives scholars offer can be a component of our contemporary social discourse. We can't wait to share what we have in store! 


Your Support Matters #BecauseHistoryMatters


We created this podcast not just because we believe Jewish History Matters. In fact, it's all history that matters, and Jewish history just showcases one small corner of a bigger set of issues. We hope that you will support this podcast project, and our efforts to make it sustainable and bring it to a wide audience, because you believe as we do that history matters.

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35 Episodes and Counting

Since we launched the podcast we've published 35 episodes. Support the podcast so we can continue publishing new conversations on compelling issues!


Make Scholarship Accessible

Each episode strives to make scholarly topics and research accessible to a wide audience. As part of that, we create a transcript to make the episodes accessible and easier to find online. Your support at this level will help us create other kinds of supplemental materials like reading lists that help to enrich the listening experience and make the podcast a resource for anyone who wants to explore Jewish history and why it matters.


Listen In

Recording an interview is only the first step to making a great episode of Jewish History Matters. Support the cost of hiring a professional audio editor for an episode! Supporters at this level and above will be added to a special email list and invited to listen to live-casts of episodes as they are recorded.


Because History Matters

We produce the podcast because we believe history matters, and that each topic we focus on in the podcast deserves attention. Producing each episode is an intensive process including research, recording, editing, and more. Underwrite the cost of producing a podcast episode: help us make the project sustainable and showcase why history matters! Each supporter at this level and above get a shout-out on the podcast episode which their generous contribution has helped to make possible.



We've experimented with producing mini-series that bring together multiple episodes on a central topic, and we want to continue to create compelling content and illustrate the dynamic facets of Jewish studies. Your support at this level will underwrite the production of three episodes, allowing us to produce mini-series on topics like antisemitism, migration, Jewish thought, and Biblical studies. Each supporter at this level get our eternal gratitude and will get a shout-out on the podcast episodes.


Fuel Our Continued Growth

In October 2018, we had about 1,200 downloads — and in October 2019, that number more than doubled to 2,987! Your support at this level underwrites our continued growth enabling us to produce new episodes and also promotional materials like short videos to spread the word about the project, or lesson plans and bibliographies that can be used in the classroom so Jewish History Matters can become a pedagogical resource too. Funders who make a tremendously generous contribution at this level will be listed,. if you want, on our website and get a shout-out in the podcast.


Season Funder

Support the production of the entire podcast season (20 episodes) with a generous donation that will fully cover the costs of recording and production. A donation at this level will radically increase our ability to spread the message about how Jewish history matters. A benefactor at this level will have our unending thanks and we will list you, if you want, on the website and in the episodes.

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