Friday, May 07, 2021

‘Buy Israeli Stuff’ (B.I.S.) Theme to Spread Throughout Community

With mounting pressure from BDS rising across the world to increase economic and political pressure on Israel by boycotting Israeli companies, The Young Israel of Teaneck’s (YIOT) sisterhood decided to spearhead a community-wide initiative this Purim. Much like the central theme of the Purim story, v’nahafoch hu, the YIOT sisterhood called for an anti-BDS theme to this year’s mishloach manot. In collaboration with The Irving Place Minyan of Long Island, each package will come sealed with a B.I.S. logo proudly displaying “Buy Israeli Stuff….because the answer to a Boycott is a Buycott.”

“Our community feels a deep love for Israel and a growing frustration over the recent barrage of attention the BDS movement has received and the impact of its message on the Israeli economy. We brainstormed this idea and immediately grew excited about turning the tables and supporting businesses that have been affected by the boycott of Israeli goods,” said Allison Mell, sisterhood president of The Young Israel of Teaneck.

In light of the current wave of attacks on innocent Israeli civilians, which has slowed down visiting tourists buying goods, as well as the impact globally the BDS movement has made on Israeli companies, a few Country Club community members came up with this idea as a way of patronizing businesses from afar.

After reaching out to fellow sisterhood presidents, six local synagogues will be on board with the “Buy Israeli Stuff” theme, including Ohr HaTorah, Beth Shalom, Arzei Darom, Bnei Yeshurun and Beth Abraham, while several others agreed to include Israeli products within their packages. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the sisterhood is excited about presenting a unified front across Bergen County to share and spread the important idea of not only supporting Israel, but also taking a stand against those who seek to destroy us as they did many years ago in Shushan.

The YIOT sisterhood held several meetings where board members researched Israeli products that would fit into our theme and ultimately shared our product ideas with the other sisterhoods. While each synagogue ultimately chose what to include in their individual packages, YIOT’s will include products made in Israel by companies such as Elite chocolates, Ceremonie teas, Kibbutz Ein-Harod honey, Barkan winery, Tan’Ta candy and Man wafers. Each mishloach manot will come in blue and white packaging and be sealed with the customized “Buy Israeli Stuff” logo.

“I am exceedingly proud of our sisterhood for spearheading this important project, which displays our support for the State of Israel at this critical time,” noted Rabbi Binyamin Krohn of The Young Israel of Teaneck. “There is no better time to rally one Jewish community in support of another than Purim, and our sisterhood has found a creative and impactful way to do just that.”

The Young Israel of Teaneck will distribute the Israeli-sourced mishloach manot packages to the membership of approximately 230 families this Purim, and hope that the message of our solidarity with Israel, through our support of their home-grown products, will make an impact for these small businesses affected by the BDS boycott and uplift their spirits this holiday.

By Deena Rosenberg