A map created by UK pro-Israel grassroots IsrAction Day founders, Sussex Friends of Israel in Brighton and the Manchester-based Northwest Friends of Israel illustrates the surprising world-wide reach of the initiative in 2016.
JNS.org — An annual global initiative calling on the public to buy Israeli goods and donate them to local charities during the holiday season will soon be launched in collaboration with an American organization for the first time.
Organizers hope that this year’s IsrAction Day — which aims to not only do charitable work, but also to fight the international boycott, divestment and sanction movement by supporting Israeli companies — will be the biggest yet, with the addition of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel education and advocacy organization that will lead American efforts through its many chapters across the US.
“One of the things we are so proud of is the Israeli spirit of giving back to the country. In that spirit, we’ll use it to BIG (Buy Israeli Goods). Now more than ever, we need you to show your support for Israel and Buy Israeli Goods and continue to do so as part of IsrAction Day 2016,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, in a statement.
IsrAction Day was founded in 2014 by two UK organizations, North West Friends of Israel and Sussex Friends of Israel. By 2015, the initiative had been adopted by many of the country’s other communal Jewish groups, and by the following year, it had spread to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, France and Germany.
“This is a time of giving and charity,” said the initiative’s co-chair, Raphi Bloom of North West Friends of Israel. “It’s a perfect way for families to engage in a positive action. Go to a mainstream supermarket — frequently the targets of boycotts — buy Israeli goods and then donate them to Jewish and non-Jewish charities,” Bloom said.
IsrAction Day will be held on December 18.