MEOR rabbi starts podcast to broaden Jewish influence

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By Kaitlyn Hopkins
For Mitzpeh
@khopkins3

Rabbi Ari Koretzky’s new podcast aims to introduce the Jewish community to inspiring Jewish men and women making a difference in the world.

Titled “Jews You Should Know,” the podcast’s first episode was released on August 22, and has since featured distinguished guests such as Eric Fingerhut, who is the International Hillel president and CEO, and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.

Koretzky is the executive director of MEOR, a Jewish U.S. student organization that aims to inspire, educate and empower the next generation of Jewish leaders, according to its website.

Though the podcast has no direct relation to MEOR, Koretzky explained that he did meet many of the people who he plans to interview from his job on campus and the connections that he has made from his professional life.

Koretzky also originally came up with the idea for his podcast through the people he has met from work. He explained that in the past he brought many notable Jewish men and women to campus to speak to students, and started to think about how it would be cool to conduct in-depth interviews with these people. Additionally, Koretzky has always been a big fan of podcasts and thought it would be great to start one.

Even though his podcast just recently launched, Koretsky has had this idea for a while. When asked about what he did to start his podcast, he said that he made a feeble attempt to start it a few years ago, but was unsuccessful. He wanted to restart and try again, but was unsure of how to begin and needed an extra push to get started.

His friend Rabbi Jacob Rupp had just launched a podcast at the time titled “Lift Your Legacy” in which he interviews different rabbis. According to his website, Rupp hopes that by conducting these interviews he can bring famous people in the Jewish sense and bring them to the public.  Koretzky was interviewed for this, and during the interview, Koretzky mentioned that he had this idea for a podcast. After encouragement from Rupp, Koretzky started to develop his podcast.

Koretzky said he produces his podcasts “totally in house.” By creating all of his content at home instead of in a studio, he not only saves a great amount of money, but it also teaches all of the rudimentary skills he needs to eventually make his podcast more professional, and bring it to the next level.

Though his podcast is still very new, Koretzky already loves how this has become a creative outlet for him

“You know, I’ve been working on campus for many years. We have an amazing operation and a lot of fun things going on and we are creative and we are ingenuitive and we do new things and try to stay fresh and dynamic,” he said. “But this is like a completely different thing, and it really is forming itself. Hopefully, it will take on a life of its own.”

The “Jews You Should Know” podcasts are progressing at a steady rate with no sign of slowing down or stopping soon. Koretzky already has several interviews that have not yet been released, and a list of over 100 people that he wants to target and reach out to for future episodes.  

Students said they are excited about the new podcast. When asked if she would listen to the podcast,  sophomore criminology major Erin Esterson said, “Oh absolutely. It definitely seems like something I’d be interested in.”

“I think I’d give it a shot,” said junior computer science major Ryan Weissman. “I’m not a big podcast person. But if it’s a big thing in the Maryland Jewish community I might check it out.”

Koretzky said he is excited as to where its future lies. He is hoping to create something that is equally accessible to every English-speaking Jewish person in the world, regardless of their experience or observation level of the religion.

Koretzky’s podcasts are available for download on iTunes and can be listened to on his website: http://jewsyoushouldknow.libsyn.com/

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