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One of the themes I discuss frequently with clients is the concept of aligning one’s money with their values. After all, money is a tool to be able to achieve the life we want and support the causes about which we care. Accumulating more wealth for the sole purpose of having a larger bank balance is an empty pursuit that will not lead to satisfaction.

In today’s antisemitic and hostile environment, many clients have been asking me the best way to “invest” in Israel during these difficult times. Thankfully, there are multiple wonderful ways of accomplishing this goal. The below list is by no means exhaustive, but a good starting point for many investors.


1. You can invest your time by VOLUNTEERING in Israel: Not every investment is financial. In fact, volunteering may be one of the most impactful ways of investing in Israel. I’ve been told by Israelis that volunteers from around the world are in strong demand. In particular, there is a need for volunteers on farms, to pick crops. With so many Israelis currently serving in the army, extra hands to help the country’s struggling farms are vital. In fact, I was speaking with an Israeli-based attorney last month who has taken time off from the practice of law to volunteer with his family on a nearby farm. The possibilities for volunteering are endless. Contacting your local rabbi or the Jewish National Fund may be a good starting point to connect you with the most appropriate volunteer opportunity.

2. You can offer your financial support through giving TZEDAKAH: There are many worthwhile causes to help Israel, soldiers, hostages, the wounded, and so forth. Israel also needs supplies for the IDF and others involved in the war effort. Great causes to consider include general support to the people of Israel, displaced residents of southern and northern Israel, equipment for hospitals, trauma services, victims of terror, emergency operations and recovery efforts, and the women and children holding down the home front. For specific suggestions for allocating your tzedakah dollars to support Israel, consider exploring the UJA website or reaching out to them directly as they have already given over $50 million to various Israeli causes.

3. You can EDUCATE students, politicians, and co-workers about Israel: University campuses have become a hotbed of antisemitism and pro-Hamas propaganda. Most young students are driven by emotions, catchy slogans, and the popular grievance du jour, rather than by truth. However, students who are armed with knowledge can calmly explain their position to any receptive audience. While there are undoubtedly students who are antisemites, there are likely many who are just ignoramuses and would be open to learning and the exchanging of ideas. The Anti-Defamation League and StandWithUs have some pointers on their websites on student advocacy for Israel and how to have an impact on campus.

There are also other ways of advocating for Israel. This may include peaceful rallies and writing letters to your local politicians. While it may feel like our elected officials have their own agenda, the reality is they like their jobs and can’t totally ignore their constituents. The power of respectful and consistent communication, letter writing, and rallying is a great way to get their attention and illustrate the issues that are important to the community that they represent.

4. You can invest in Israeli debt by purchasing ISRAEL BONDS: One method of investing in Israel is by purchasing bonds from Israel. Fundamentally, bonds are a way for an investor (i.e. you) to lend money to an entity, such as a company, municipality, or country, to invest in their infrastructure. In return for the privilege of borrowing your money for a set time frame that entity will pay you interest. Since interest rates have gone up, the rates on Israeli bonds are more attractive today than they have been in a decade or longer. The best way to buy Israeli bonds is by going to the Israel Bonds website. Please speak with your financial advisor to ensure it makes sense for you.

5. You can invest in ISRAELI COMPANIES: The best way to invest in the Israeli economy is through publicly traded stocks. This can be done by purchasing individual stocks of Israeli based companies or by utilizing a mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that buys those companies on your behalf. There is a myriad of fund companies that provide these products including BlackRock, VanEck, ARK, and BlueStar. As with the purchase of Israeli bonds, it’s important to discuss with your advisor what product is appropriate in your portfolio based on your goals and risk tolerance.

Additionally, one creative way of supporting Israel indirectly is by making an effort to invest in companies that proudly support Israel. A helpful way to identify those companies is by researching who antisemitic groups, like BDS, have blacklisted and recommended divesting from. Counteract those recommendations by making every effort to buy products from those pro-Israel organizations.

6. You can also DIVEST from companies who don’t support Israel or are ambiguous about their denunciation of terrorism: I imagine many readers of The Jewish Press do not wish to support companies who are anti-Israel or are more sympathetic to the message of a terrorist organization like Hamas over a democracy like Israel. While refusing to support these businesses is the opposite of investing, redirecting your funds from causes that harm Israel to those that benefit Israel is also an important method of aligning your money with your values.

7. You can invest more effort in DAVENING and LEARNING TORAH: While the aforementioned suggestions are a way of materially supporting Israel, it’s important to remember that the most powerful tool available to each one of us is spiritual. The ability to daven or learn Torah in the merit of our soldiers, hostages, and victims of terror is crucial. When times are bad, even folks who are not religious or spiritual often find comfort and power in the ability to ask for help from Hashem. At the end of the day, the fate of the hostages and the success in eliminating Hamas is not really in the hands of the IDF, the United States, or the intermediaries that are negotiating for an end to this war. The ultimate decider is G-d. A direct appeal for His assistance, guidance, and protection during these challenging times is the best investment we can all make.

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Jonathan I. Shenkman, AIF® is the President and Chief Investment Officer of ParkBridge Wealth Management. In this role he acts in a fiduciary capacity to help his clients achieve their financial goals. He publishes regularly in financial periodicals such as Barron’s, CNBC, Forbes, Kiplinger, and The Wall Street Journal. He also hosts numerous webinars on various wealth management topics. Jonathan lives in West Hempstead with his family. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter/YouTube/Instagram @JonathanOnMoney.