As people throughout the diaspora look to support the people of Israel in any way they can, Facebook groups are popping up to lend a hand. Whether it’s providing financial support, collecting donations or shopping directly from Israeli stores, these provide tangible ways to help Israelis who have had to shut businesses or who have been displaced due to the war.
One Facebook group – Israeli shops to purchase from – very quickly rose to more than 1000 members within a week of formation. Liran Weiss opened the group just after the war started. Membership is currently sitting at more than 10,800 people from all around the world.
“I set it up in order to assist these designers to make a living,” Liran wrote to The AJN from Israel, explaining that from the beginning, artist Ronit Peter has been assisting with the set-up and management of the Facebook group.
“The street shops are closed and a lot of people around the world want to support Israel in many ways. This is one way. To purchase from us is a much better way than to donate money.”
For the past few years, Liran, along with his wife Osnat, has managed a community of more than 14,000 Israeli Etsy shop owners.
The pair help others build their own brand and show them how to run their Etsy shops effectively.
Artists, jewellery creators and clothing designers are invited to share their products through the Facebook group along with a link to either their online store or their Etsy store so people all around the world can purchase goods.
Things being sold through the Facebook group include mezuzot, homewares, uniquely Israeli jewellery, artwork and even some goodies for pets.
The response has been huge. While vendors post their listings, plenty of potential purchasers are also calling for certain goods, particularly Judaica that can’t be purchased outside of Israel and a lot of uniquely-Israeli jewellery.
Many vendors are also selling merchandise that they’ve specifically created for the current situation, including Bring Them Home t-shirts and prayers for peace and the IDF soldiers to put in your home as wall art.
Above all else though, every vendor has expressed their appreciation for the group and for those purchasing.
“It’s heart-warming to see so many people around the world purchase from us and help us to keep working,” Liran said.