July 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Empowering Our Wallets: Backing Jewish and Israeli Businesses

As we continue to daven, send supplies to the IDF and participate in countless chesed opportunities, we know that all of these make a tremendous impact. One thing I have begun to be conscious of is how I spend money. As someone that usually looks for a good deal, these past two weeks have been the first time I have driven further to pay more (yes, the Valero gas station in Tenafly is owned by an Israeli family).

Sadly, many have been spending all their energy boycotting businesses and sharing information about businesses that don’t support us. That is what our oppressors do. Let’s do better, let’s focus on who we should support, not on those that we shouldn’t. And what better place to start learning about wonderful companies and businesses than from the very list our enemies have created to boycott us.

Yes. I spent this past week studying the BDS list and I felt inspired and humbled to be part of the Jewish people. I learned a lot about large companies that I was not aware of. I am here to share some of my findings with you.

I learned that Puma, an athletic company, sponsors the Israel Football Association (IFA). As I learned this, I vowed that next time I am ordering sports attire, I will order Puma. I also learned that HP (both HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard) are on the BDS list as they provide services and technology to the Israeli army and police stations. I unknowingly purchased an HP laptop during the back to school sales this year, but would make that same decision intentionally next time.

I discovered that many of the cars that we drive use Israeli technology as Israel is a leader in driverless car technologies. BDS states to boycott Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Mercedes, Porsche, Tesla, Volswagen and Volvo. I say we try to support these companies when we can. I learned that Les Wexner, founder of the L brands, donates heavily to the IDF and other Israel funds. His stores include: Bath & Body Works, Pink and Henri Bendel. I also learned that Simon Cowell is on their list as he has donated to the IDF. I always knew he was the best American Idol/America’s Got Talent judge.

There are so many other companies I discovered through this list and I hope to continue to share pro-Israel companies and businesses with you all. Through the darkness of an antisemitic BDS boycott list, I found hope and pride in my people. At the beginning of their list of medications to boycott, they write, “Fun Fact: Israel saves lives! Israel saves lives! Israel saves lives!!” I sat there and smiled, yes we do!

And that is exactly what will always be the difference between them and us. We celebrate life, they celebrate death. We bring light, they bring darkness. I urge all of us to continue spreading light and spending our energy on all the virtuous businesses and people all around us.


Leah Respler can be contacted at [email protected].

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