From Israel to You
Thank you so much for organizing this sales event,” a grateful Israeli vendor told Paula. “You helped me pay my rent this month.”
Paula Joffe, a member of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), just smiled. She was thrilled to be able to help.
Born and raised in New York City, Paula developed a strong love for Israel through her work as the chairman of the Philanthropic Leadership Council for Philadelphia and executive director of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce for the Central Atlantic region.
She is keenly aware that one of the factors affecting Israel today is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a worldwide campaign organized for the sole purpose of undermining the Jewish state’s economy. Some college cafeterias have gone so far as to boycott hummus because it is made in Israel.
To help Israeli businesses, Paula began her own business—encouraged largely by readers of Israel My Glory.
It all began several years ago when Bill Sutter, then executive director of The Friends of Israel, asked Paula to speak at a pastors’ conference to explain how people can support Israel. Bill also wrote a companion article for Israel My Glory.
Paula was overwhelmed with letters and emails from people saying how much they love Israel. The experience so deeply influenced her that she decided to start a business that would deal directly with Israeli companies.
Through various twists and turns, she was eventually introduced to Israeli jewelry designers interested in marketing their beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the United States.
Today Paula handpicks items from Israeli designers and sells them on her website, FromIsraelToYou.com. She also markets the jewelry at conventions, trade shows, Friends of Israel events, and numerous other venues. Paula fondly recalls arriving at a Friends of Israel prophecy conference more than an hour early to find a line of people waiting to make purchases.
She uses 12 vendors from Israel. One of her vendors from Galilee not only makes fashion and Judaica pieces, but also religious jewelry. Some of the crosses, for example, are crafted from Roman glass dating back to the time of Christ.
Paula had some suggestions for others who, like her, want to help stimulate the Israeli economy. She recommended seeking out Israeli products at local stores, asking a store manager what Israeli products the store carries, requesting specific items, and choosing Israeli-made products over those from other countries. She said there are even many clothing items made in Israel.
Buying Israeli products directly impacts the lives of those who live there. “Give your dollar some meaning,” she said. “Give your money a voice!”