Battling BDS 1 Box at a Time

Battling BDS 1 Box at a Time

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

There’s a new way to fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and support Israeli small businesses at the same time.

With assistance from a Kickstarter campaign in May that raised $60,000, a team of Israelis launched the Israel Box, delivering a selection of fun Israeli products that can be shipped anywhere. The items’ value exceeds the cost of the box.

“We came up with the idea for the Ibox because about a year ago there were a lot of talks about BDS,” Ibox co-founder and creative manager Yossi Dray said. “We wanted to give anyone who is pro-Israel around the world a specific tool to support the Israeli economy. Instead of attacking the BDS, we are helping to support Israeli small business.”

During Chanukah, the Israeli Consulate General to the Southeast in Atlanta is giving away a couple of Iboxes on Facebook. To enter, look for the consulate’s post about the contest and post pictures of your lighted chanukiah.

The Ibox costs $70 and is available on Jewish crowdfunding platform Jewcer. Dray said his team switched to Jewcer from Kickstarter because of a lower commission.

Ibox has raised more than $82,000 on Jewcer.

Each box contains items that enable you to see, hear, touch, feel and taste Israel. The box might include apparel, olive oil, jewelry and handmade soap.

More than 700 Iboxes have been sent out, with more on the way, but the company has issues.

“We’re struggling today because myself and my partners don’t have a larger organization or a lot of capital behind us. We borrowed a lot of the money from home,” Dray said. “There’s only a certain amount of budget we have for things like advertising.”

A competing Israeli gift box called Blue Box launched around the same time as IBox.

Eventually, Dray said, the goal is to make the IBox a bimonthly, subscription-based service instead of a one-off purchase.

“If you want Israel to come into your home every other month, the Ibox a great thing,” Dray said. “You are supporting small Israeli businesses directly. It’s a new way to support Israel and oppose the BDS. Even if you don’t buy an Ibox, you can support our mission by buying Israeli items directly.”

read more: