Author: jdonner

It’s Not Marketing, It’s Storytelling.

[su_intro]Imagine that worldwide everybody can share their own story and everybody can see it.[/su_intro]

Well this is todays reality; we now have the ability to spread culture and knowledge through storytelling online.

The possibilities are limitless and the outcome could be great. No longer will the education of future generations be constrained by geographic or cultural boundaries, because sharing your story with the world is as easy as typing some words and clicking a button. The beauty is that it is your story. It is something real, something personal and something that is true to you. Storytelling not only allows you to go back and recall past experiences, your narrative shapes and influences the perspective of your readers.

As part of my 5-month internship here in Israel with BOMAH – The Brand of Milk and Honey, I learned how to harness the power of storytelling. BOMAH uses storytelling as a new strategy to positively re-brand Israel online and fight against Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movements on campuses. The best way to fight against negative content being produced in the online world is by sharing things that are positive and personal. I’m talking, of course, about telling your story.

There is no one way to share your story.

It can be as simple as posting on Facebook or keeping a blog. I decided to tell my story in the form of an interactive program called Tour Builder. Tour Builder uses Google Earth to show people the places you’ve visited and the experiences you had along the way. It allows you to choose locations, add photos, text, and video, and then share your creation. Using this program, I created a representation of my life, my journey in Israel, and the work I’ve done with BOMAH.

Josh’s Story on TourBuilder

Stargazing in the Negev Desert

[su_intro]Stargazing in the Negev desert, my first time in Israel, I thought that this place is where I belong.[/su_intro]

That was a special moment during my birthright trip this past June. Even though I extended a couple weeks I still had not spent enough time in Israel to peruse this newfound appreciation for my peoples homeland. After graduating from the University of Colorado I decided to continue my time in Israel with a MASA organization called Career Israel. Spending 5 months in Israel while gaining valuable experience through an internship seemed to be the perfect buffer before my entry into “the real world”.

Now, over two months into the program, the stars are starting to align. Travelling the country, learning new things, meeting new people, living and working in Tel Aviv has been such a remarkable experience. I spent Rosh Hashanah with an Orthodox family in Jerusalem and I walked the vacant streets of Tel Aviv during Yom Kippur. My boss, Itzik Yarkoni, has also taken me under his wing and given me a great amount of responsibility and training.

My internship is with BOMAH – Brand Of Milk And Honey. My position as Social Media Manager has challenged me to learn this new social media age and by being “dropped into the deep end” I am gaining the experience that I need. But it is really much more than that;

I have the opportunity to positively re-brand Israel using social media, with a strategy that is focused on sharing personal stories and experiences from people who have been to Israel.

When people go on programs like birthright they get really fired up about Israel and love their time here, but soon enough every day life returns and the motivation to help the homeland is lessened. People can continue to help by changing the way others think about Israel by sharing their story with BOMAH.

I still have three months left here on my program here in Israel, so during that time I am going to be blogging about my experience working for BOMAH at different café’s around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.