Yishai is Israel’s only English-language broadcast-radio talk show host (106.5 FM Galey Yisrael). In 2013, the Yishai Fleisher Show began live simulcast on the Nachum Segal Network reaching a large Jewish audience in the New York, New Jersey area. Yishai is a contributing editor at JewishPress.com where he has published radio, video, and written content. His analysis and commentary have been featured on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, Xinhua, MTV, Sipa Press, and Fox News TV. Yishai has been a guest on various mainstream as well as Jewish-themed American talk radio shows. His articles have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, YNET, WND, INN, and more.
Yishai is the founder and director of Kumah, a nonprofit organization in Israel and the United States that works to educate the public about Israel, dispel myths and stereotypes about Israel and the Middle East, enhance connection to Israel through media projects, and to strengthen the Jewish character of Israel through renovation of historic sites (The Tomb of Yishai and Ruth in Hebron and Jewish property on the Mount of Olives), publications, legislation for the Knesset, and Aliyah activism.
A dynamic lecturer, innovative thinker, and knowledgeable political analyst Yishai speaks to audiences in Israel and internationally. Yishai is sensitive to the diversity of his audience. He encourages a positive dialogue through a personal and emotional approach rooted in facts and analysis – always giving time and consideration to divergent audience opinions. Between 2010-2012, Yishai spoke in 14 American states and 2 Canadian provinces, including addressing the Canada-Israel Inter-Parliamentary Group, a bi-partisan group of Texas state representatives and senators in the Capital Building in Austin, policymakers and analysts in Washington DC, many synagogues (Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative), community events organized by large organizations, such as JNF, Friends of the IDF, and Hadassah, as well as smaller groups such as Artists for Israel (Boston) and Americans Against Terrorism (Denver), three Jewish high schools, and 12 college campuses including Boston College, University of Chicago Law School, York University in Toronto and many more.
Yishai has delivered lectures and seminars on topics as diverse as Middle East and Israeli politics, health, medical systems, and outdoor recreation in Israel, personal values and enlightenment, film reviews, aliyah, branding and marketing of Israel, and more.
Previously, Yishai was Director of Israel National Radio (Arutz Sheva) for seven years where he built the station into one of the largest independent providers of radio content on Israel and the Middle East. He produced “Eye On Zion with Yishai Fleisher” – a mini-documentary TV series that appeared on the ShalomTV cable television in North America in 2010-2011. Yishai taught a weekly Torah class at the renowned HaKotel Yeshiva in 2011-2012 and his text based series on the Tanach is available online.
Born in Haifa to Russian refusenik scientists who escaped to Israel in the 1970s, Yishai’s childhood was spent speaking Russian at home, and Hebrew and Arabic while playing, in day care, or at school. Yishai’s parents moved to the US when he was eight years old and he grew up in New Jersey attending Frisch (a Jewish day school).
At age seventeen, Yishai chose to return to Israel. Yishai became a lone soldier (a young person serving in the Israeli Defense Forces while his family is residing in another country) when he enlisted in the IDF Paratroopers at the age of eighteen. In 1996, while serving in Southern Lebanon, a Hezbollah roadside bomb went off and injured Yishai seriously. After a two month recovery period, he returned to his IDF Paratrooper Brigade.
After being injured while on IDF active duty, Yishai returned to the US to pursue post-secondary education. He completed an undergraduate degree in Political Science at Yeshiva University and received his Juris Doctorate from the Cardozo School of Law with a focus on international law.
While living in the United States, Yishai taught in the children’s Jewish education program at the reform Temple Emanu-El in New York, and worked on the media response team at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He conducted research at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and led four Birthright trips to Israel. In 1999, Fleisher founded the not-for-profit Kumah and embarked on a campaign of pro-Israel education and outreach with a focus on promoting North American Aliyah – immigration of Jews to Israel – to encourage and support those ready to make the transition to life in Israel. During the organization’s first decade of work, Yishai has increased Kumah’s focus on education and outreach about Israel for a global audience using radio, TV, articles, and live speaking events.
Yishai married a Texan and fellow Cardozo law school student, Malkah Bernath. Their wedding was held in Hebron in 2002. Together they emigrated to Israel following graduation in 2003. The Fleishers moved to the Jewish settlement of Beit El where they lived for seven years. Yishai served in the second Lebanon War as well and while living in Beit El for seven years he was a member of the rapid response anti-terror team. He continues to participate in the reserves in a Paratrooper battlefield unit.
Yishai and Malkah moved to eastern Jerusalem in 2011 where they currently live on the Mount of Olives with their two children.