June 21, 2024
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‘The Younger Half’ Podcast Encourages Youth Dialogue

As the pandemic rages on, people are using their newfound time at home to bring to fruition ideas that once may have seemed to be pipe dreams. Young and old alike, many have taken the initiative to cultivate these ideas into small businesses and social media accounts, often seeing success.

TABC’s Josh Safran and MTA’s Eitan Isaacs are 14-year-olds from Teaneck who have taken their passion for friendly dialogue to the internet, starting a podcast called “The Younger Half.”

“It was in the midst of a very boring quarantine that we thought it would be a great project,” Safran explained. Their goal is to be the outspoken voice of the younger generation, discussing topics from sports to politics and current events.

Safran has long been fascinated by the ways in which liberal and conservative beliefs differ. After probing these ideological differences, he eventually landed on conservatism as the one which suited him best. Isaacs finds wisdom from the conversations held by his family around the Shabbat table. He explained that “hearing and, more recently, participating in these discussions about both sides of politics had me thinking about my beliefs;” with so much insightful input from his family and friends, he recognized that the beliefs he held were liberal. In light of their differences, the podcast is an outlet for their honest beliefs, a place in which conflicting viewpoints can coexist.

Since their first episode’s launch back in late June, “The Younger Half” has seen tremendous growth. “Our growth has been so significant that we are rounding the corner on over 1,000 episode plays,” Safran described.

Having reached viewers in countries like Israel, England, Singapore and Poland, they plan on bringing on guests with broader appeal in an effort to expand their reach even farther. During the summer, they had the privilege to interview Dr. Emily Erbelding, the director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). They also had the opportunity to make a guest appearance on the “You Mad, Bro?” podcast, on which they will soon appear again.

“We have a New York Times reporter scheduled to come onto the podcast in late November,” Safran said, also commenting that they’re “working on getting an influencer with over 1 million followers on social media.”

Safran and Isaacs aim to spread their passionate and informative opinions about the current times, using their creativity to showcase a “knowledgeable 14-year-old view of the world.” As Modern Orthodox Jewish students they also see the podcast as a platform on which they can discuss their support for Israel. Most importantly, “The Younger Half” is excited to empower kids like them to be outspoken and productive.

Safran explained, “We are showing the younger generation that they should voice their passionate opinions too!”

Part of staying productive calls for maintaining healthy dialogue in every way possible. “Even in our newest episode, we discuss the issues regarding guns and we present both sides,” Isaacs explained. Before each episode, the two boys meet and discuss how they could improve on their performance and contribute to a more engaging conversation. This attention to detail has enabled “The Younger Half” to amass a sizable following in a short period of time.

In all matters, administrative and topical, Safran and Isaacs try to remain calm and casual. “That, we would say, is really the goal,” Isaacs said, “to come off conversational, not argumentative.” In this time when debates often lead to divisiveness, maintaining a friendly and conversational environment is a trademark of “The Younger Half.”

Isaacs explained that “Sports come up more often than politics in conversations with friends,” so many of their episodes follow their discussions about sports. Topics like sports can bring unity to any conversation, making friends out of any two people; their podcast is all the more entertaining simply because it revolves around these relatable subjects.

“That is really what our podcast is all about—just two 14-year-old boys talking about things we are passionate about,” Safran said.

“The Younger Half” can be found on all major podcasting platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Google and Anchor. Check out their Instagram @theyoungerhalf.

By Josh Gindi

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