Much to our excitement, this week’s Vox Tablet interview with Amos Oz is the podcast’s 400th episode. Vox Tablet was started as The Nextbook Podcast, and was created by Blake Eskin and Curtis Fox in 2005, back when Tablet Magazine was Nextbook.org. Sara Ivry came on as host in 2006, a few months after Julie Subrin became the producer.
Since then, the podcast has featured conversations with writers, scholars, musicians, food afficiandos, retired heads of state, judges, rabbis, tour guides, journalists, poets, and more, along with reported pieces offering slices of Jewish life from across the United States and around the world.
In honor of this milestone, Ivry and Subrin have put together a list of some of their favorite episodes:
Aunt Linda’s a Singer: Memoirist and performer Janice Erlbaum tells a funny, poignant story about family dysfunction at a cousin’s wedding.
Madeline Albright’s War Years: The former secretary of state leaves behind diplomacy to have a frank discussion of her childhood, how she came to learn her family was Jewish, and what happened to her Czech relatives.
Deli Blues: A dispatch from Greenville, Mississippi, where a congregation that can barely gather minyan has been holding an annual deli-lunch fundraiser for nearly 130 years.
Funny Girls: Comedian Cory Kahaney’s “J.A.P. Show” celebrated American Jewish female comedians who came before her. Kahaney discusses (and we hear archival bits!) the legacy and sly humor of Jean Carroll, Totie Fields, and others.
Paper Chase: Sara Ivry speaks with YIVO’s Jonathan Brent about Yiddish writer Chaim Grade, whom Brent says is to Vilna as William Faulkner is to the American South.
The Solipsist: Man Booker winner Howard Jacobson is warm, funny, and whip-smart in discussing Kalooki Nights, a dark novel about a British Jew conflicted about his identity. Plus he reads an excerpt so very well.
Blessed Bluegrass: A profile of the wonderfully talented but little known Orthodox bluegrass singer Jerry Wicentowski, by Jon Kalish.
Remembrance Day: How are Rwandas to memorialize the genocide that took place in 1994 that left nearly a million Tutsis and sympathetic Hutus dead? Gregory Warner finds out how Holocaust remembrance helped in the process.
Wonderstruck: Musician Basya Schechter sings, and talks with humor and honesty about what led her to music, and to the poetry of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
Her Body, Her Self: Poet Joy Ladin speaks about her decision to undergo gender reassignment and how such a move forced her to confront the Jewish community and her notion of god.
What was your favorite episode of Vox Tablet? Let us know in the comments section.