Russ Roberts on Israel and Life as an Immigrant | Conversations with Tyler
In a unique crossover episode with EconTalk, Tyler Cowen converses with Russ Roberts, the president of Shalem College in Israel.
The discussion revolves around Roberts’ experiences as an immigrant, the intricacies of establishing a new university, and the nuances of Israeli society, culture, and military service.
We have a very strange business model… we lose money on every student and we make it up by volume… we give all our students a stipend that covers their tuition and a good chunk of their living expenses. – Russ Roberts
The Unity Amidst Political Fractiousness in Israel
Despite the fractious political environment, there is a sense of unity in Israel, largely attributed to the external threat faced by the country.
The potential impact on Israeli social life if the army becomes less central is a topic of speculation.
Podcasting from Israel
Podcasting from Israel, while logistically challenging due to the time difference with the U.S., offers unique perspectives and insights into Israeli society and culture.
The Role of Newspapers in Israel
Newspapers hold a more significant role in Israel than in the U.S., with multiple newspapers available for sale in Jerusalem.
This highlights the importance of print media in Israeli society.
The Emotional Connection to Israel
Residing in Israel can foster a stronger emotional connection to the country and its culture than anticipated.
This connection can be likened to the emotional response of immigrants who pass their citizenship tests in America.
There’s a big conversation going on… about whether Israel should continue with the draft or go to a model closer to the United States of a volunteer army. It’s an enormous socializing experience here for the young people to go through that. – Russ Roberts
Religious Experiences in Israel
Living in Israel can profoundly impact religious experiences.
Prayers for the state of Israel and the Israel Defense Force feel more visceral in Israel, and exploring different parts of the country can lead to a deeper connection to the ancient Jewish presence.
The Quality of Israeli TV Shows
Israeli TV shows are of high quality, with a long-form storytelling format that is compelling.
Despite the U.S.’s larger population, there are more Israeli shows that are worth watching.
Living in Jerusalem
Residing in Jerusalem can be a unique experience, with everyday urban streets feeling special without needing the historical significance of places like the Temple Mount.
The city’s cultural and religious diversity adds to its charm.
Relating to The Odyssey
The themes of travel, adventure, and the pull of home in The Odyssey can resonate with the experiences of immigrants in Israel.
Having two homes can lead to a dual sense of belonging and identity.