The Jewish Telegraph, 9 December 2016
By Adam Cailler
ISRACTION DAY is going global for its third year. Having been started in 2013 by North West Friends of Israel and Sussex Friends of Israel as a way to promote Israel to the wider community, NWFoI co-chairman Raphi Bloom told of the pride which the Manchester Jewish community should feel. He said: “We’re making a difference in the battle to fight the delegitimisation of Israel.
“Since NWFoI was formed two years ago, we have chalked up many achievements — and this is one of our biggest yet — Manchester has led the UK in many respects.”
Taking place on Sunday, December 18, people are urged to go to a local supermarket and buy items made in, or imported from Israel to donate to the wider community. Donation centres in Manchester have been set up at the Maccabi Centre, Prestwich, Whitefield Synagogue and at various supermarkets. Details of donation centres in Leeds, Liverpool and Scotland — and of the celebration event in Manchester on the Sunday (5pm) at Maccabi — can be found at israction.org. “This is a time of giving and charity,” added Mr Bloom.
“It’s a perfect way for families to engage in a positive action. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, this is your opportunity to show your support for Israel, fight the antisemitism of the BDS movement, beat the boycotts and help those in need.”
The day, which has often been described as a “buycott”, will this year be launched across north America, thanks to a partnership with StandWithUs. Mr Bloom continued: “Donations have already started to come in from places such as San Francisco, which shows how grassroots advocates can lead with ideas and innovations. The partnership with StandWithUs is a game-changer.
“By having its American chapters and campus reps take IsrAction across North America, we are reaching hundreds of thousands who will buy Israeli food and donate to the needy,” he said.
“IsrAction is a great way for all the family to get involved in supporting Israel, beating the BDS and helping the needy. It is real tikkun olam — healing the world. It’s the season of giving so let’s help the poor and needy in our communities, whatever their religion.”
StandWithUs Israel director Michael Dickson said: “From the capital of Israel, literally the city of peace, what better way is there to stand up for Israel, fight boycotts and help our communities.
“We are proud to join our UK partners on this important day.”