Photo Credit: Bar-Ilan University
Podcast App

What do the new power grid in the United States and the neurons in our brain have in common? Can religious relations be used to bridge the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Is giraffe kosher? What strategy was used to capture a fortified city in antiquity? What has happened on university campuses in America such that the existential identity of our children is sometimes being threatened? Bar-Da’at, a new podcast app launched by Bar-Ilan University, features talks and lectures in English and Hebrew by faculty members on these and scores of additional topics, providing access to the University’s intellectual capital to people around the world.

Recorded predominantly in Hebrew, the app currently offers 130 tapings in ten content categories, such as Influencing Tomorrow, Law and Order, Body and Mind, Society and Economy, and English. The English section features scholars such as Dr. Baruch Barzel, of the Department of Mathematics, on “Networks”; Dr. Ilana Blumberg, of the Department of English Literature and Linguistics on “We Are All Narrating All the Time”, Prof. Jeffrey Woolf, of the Naftal-Yaffe Department of Talmud on “Jewish Survival”, and Prof. Adam Ferziger, of the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, on “Intermarriage and the Emergence of a New Category of Jewish Identity”. Prof. Jonathan Rynhold, of the Department of Political Studies; Prof. William Kolbrener, of the Department of English Literature and Linguistics; Dr. Ben Mollov, of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences and the Graduate Program in Conflict Management; Prof. Ari Zivotofsky, of the Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center; Prof. Aren Maeir, of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology; and Prof. Ed Greenstein, of the Zalman Shamir Bible Department are also featured in the English section.

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Additional content (in Hebrew) focuses on topics such as medical marijuana and science and longevity, whether the Rambam was ahead of his time, whether the cure for cancer may be found in our bodies, the criminal brain, and more.

“We are delighted that we’ve created a channel that enables us to transfer our vast academic knowledge in a variety of disciplines such as exact sciences, life sciences, humanities and social sciences. The podcasts are available to anyone, anytime, anywhere,” said Bar-Ilan Chief Marketing Officer Naama Gat.

Podcasts can be produced immediately on trending subjects, turning the app into a kind of academic news channel. During the coronavirus crisis, for example, the University introduced recordings dealing with the issue from different angles such as faster diagnosis, screen addiction, family WhatsApp groups, network modelling and disease transmission, and more.

Bar-Da’at may be downloaded for free from Google Play and the App Store.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.