Category: BOMAH Blogs

Sharing Israel’s story is the first step

[su_intro]There are countless reasons to love Israel.[/su_intro]

Maybe you’re intrigued by Israeli innovations and discoveries, from 3D printing to medical technology that gives sight to the blind (OrCam). Maybe you rock out to haDag Nachash and other Israeli bands or have a house full of Israeli paintings. Maybe you feel safer in a world that has a Jewish state, whether or not you live in it yourself.

I know that for me, the best part about Israel is its track record on human rights. The Economist’s Democracy Index, which examined 167 countries in 2012, ranked Israel as the 37th most democratic country in the world, below mostly European countries and (not surprisingly) well above every other country in the Middle East, the next most democratic being Turkey at rank 88. Israel is also the only country in all of Asia (including the Middle East) to recognize same-sex marriages and unions (same-sex couples can gain many of the same rights as officially married couples through unregistered cohabitation, and same-sex marriages conducted abroad are recognized by the Israeli government).

But whatever the reason that you think Israel is so great, it’s important that you share it with the world!

A lot of people want to help Israel, but the question is “how?” Social media is the ideal vehicle for supporting Israel; it’s fast, free, and far-reaching. Here are a few simple ways that you can utilize social media to have an impact. It only takes five minutes to make a difference!

If you have…

1 minute: Like and share someone else’s story! It takes almost no time at all to spread the word about an Israel story that’s already out there. You can find such stories on the Brand of Milk and Honey (BOMAH) website , on pro-Israel Facebook pages, and elsewhere. Helping to spread someone else’s content can be almost as valuable as creating your own.

5 minutes: Craft a good Facebook status that states concisely what you love about Israel! Try to keep it short and upbeat. Any of the topics that I mentioned above (and many others!) will help paint a positive picture of the Jewish state. Your status will be enhanced by a photograph/video that supports your point or captures a personal Israel experience. If you’re having trouble thinking of something to say, try starting with “I love Israel because…” or “Only in Israel…” If you experience any anti-Israel backlash from other Facebook users, you can contact me at for help devising an effective counterargument.

1 hour: Blog about your story! Write a few hundred words about an experience that you’ve had with or in Israel. Stress that there is more to Israel than conflict, that the country has a vibrant culture and people making the Jewish state more interesting and relatable to your readers. Make sure to talk about the ways in which Israel is similar to your home country, so that the reader can relate, but also talk about the ways in which Israel is special and unique. You don’t even need your own blog, because you can submit a story through BOMAH here!

1 day: Start an online campaign! Circulate an online petition or Facebook page, which can say something as simple as “I support Israel” but can also delve into specific reasons for supporting Israel (ranging, again, from scientific advances to human rights) or the US-Israel relationship (from military cooperation to shared values). It is often especially useful to obtain the signatures of relevant and influential people, like local politicians or the presidents of the Student Democrats and Student Republicans on campus, and to mention their support in advertising the campaign.

Whatever it is that makes the Jewish state so meaningful to you, use your passion to do something about it. Don’t just love Israel; actively work to support Israel!

6 Ways Your Story Can Change Israel’s Image

[su_intro]What happens when you type into the Google search query, “Does Israel”?[/su_intro]

Originally posted on

As you can see, it’s not so pretty. Of course, it is no surprise to see that Israel does not have the most positive image on the internet and online communities. With things like anti-Israel divestment campaigns and “apartheid weeks” on campuses across the nation, the negative Google results only continue to grow.

As with any negative, there is a positive. Post these 6 ways in to action online and we guarantee you are one step closer to turning that Google-frown upside down.

1) Tell Your Story

It all starts with you. Personal stories have proven to be the most effective strategy to positively re-brand Israel through social media outlets. Naturally, we are accustomed to empathizing with others rather than through common marketing tactics. A personal story builds a growing relationship between the reader, allowing audiences to finally be exposed to a personal and lasting connection with Israel which allows for that gradual shift in how people view Israel.

2) Share the Right Content

Finding content to post about Israel is easy if you know where to look. Instead of posting mainstream news articles about Israel, find unique content to share with your online community. Start now, search for these types of categories:

  • Heritage and Culture: History, authenticity
  • Quality of life: Personal stories and blogs
  • Tourism: Photos of travelers in Israel, articles or events in Israel, food in Israel.
  • Entrepreneurism: Technology/start-ups, medicine from Israel

3) Keep It Real

When finding a topic, it is important to try to find a common ground with your audience. Share relevant updates with friends that you know share these interests. Remember not to sound like you are trying to “market” Israel, this is personal storytelling strategy; just be yourself and keep it real.

4) Show And Tell

To be most effective and appealing, tell your story visually. Using photos or short videos are an incredible way to get your audience engaged. When posting, make sure to “tag” so you can engage a greater audience.

5) Find the Right Audience

Using the custom audience selectors (such as the friend option on Facebook) gives you the ability to choose which audience you want to see your post. Be selective by sharing with specific people, groups or networks that you belong to. You can even set up friend lists and send your post directly to them.

6) Get Personal

It is important to remember that though social media is an incredible innovation, it serves a basic human need that has existed for centuries – the need to communicate.

Taking the time for personal engagement with those posting away in your social media community is one of the most overlooked outreach tactics. Thank your followers, reply to their comments, show your appreciation, and ultimately build your reader’s loyalty.

Stay tuned to learn how to take the BOMAH storytelling strategy to the next level. In the next article, we will continue to discuss how to further engage your audience and give you the ultimate strategy on how to get people to like and comment on your stories.

What Happens on Social Media – Stays on Google

[su_intro]As part of my internship for Career Israel as the Social Media Manager for BOMAH – The Brand of Milk and Honey I attended the CIC Public Diplomacy Workshop at Bar Ilan University.[/su_intro]

The CIC is a prestigious program that trains outstanding students in the fields of public diplomacy and spokesmanship, and provides them with the skills necessary to represent Israel in the international sphere. The topic of the workshop was “How to Positively Rebrand Israel.”

The first speaker was Dr. Raanan Gissin, a former senior advisor for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. His presentation focused on methods to combat the de-legitimization of Israel against BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) and Israel apartheid movements. The tactics that Dr. Gissin suggested involved changing the image of the Arab / Israeli relationship through Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s), Media and International Institutions.

The key takeaway seemed to be that by sharing positive images and promoting Israeli good deeds to the public (e.g. Humanitarian Aid in the Philippines) would facilitate a re-conceptualization about Israel. Dr. Gissin also believes that a constant flow of positive media, with the rapid spread of technology to uneducated populations will enable the upcoming generations to conceptualize Israel through more than just one lens.

The second speaker was Itzik Yarkoni the founder of BOMAH – Brand of Milk and Honey. Itzik’s presentation focused on using Social Media to combat anti-Israel publicity and teaching the BOMAH strategy of storytelling to connect people to Israel.

Itzik began his presentation by asking a volunteer from the audience what finger she would use to ring a doorbell (drawn on a whiteboard). As you might have guessed she used her index finger. Itzik then explained how youth today are so engaged with technology (smart phones) that when asking a young person the same question, the most common answer was the thumb.

This concept coincides with the idea that the Internet and Social Media are now the most relied on sources of information for our youth and the next generations. Instead of doing research at the library people can simply use Google Search for all the information they need.

The point to be made here is that Israel is losing the battle on social media. The majority of content that appears when people search about Israel is skewed information that leads to a negatives perceptions of Israel.

During the workshop a young woman asked the question, “So what is the message?” According to Itzik the message is that stories peak a genuine interest from your followers and by sharing your experiences you allow people to see Israel in a unique and different light, from your perspective. Storytelling is an extremely powerful communication tool that publicly illustrates the personal aspect of Israel, a technique that is not reflected on the media.

Another participant answered,

“That’s the magical thing, this is your message. Nobody is telling you what message to convey, it is what ever you want to tell.”

Itzik gave examples using the storytelling strategy to combat BDS, apartheid week and other anti-Semitic actions on Social Media and explained why positive content is more effective than negative content. “People want to know what you think and what your personal feelings are about your experience.”

BOMAH offers a new strategy for the pro-Israel online community by using storytelling on Social Media. The goal is to reach new audiences through storytelling so that they can experience the personal side of Israel.

The workshop concluded with an activity where everybody worked in groups of two with the task of brainstorming an idea for a post that would combat anti-Israel content on Social Media using storytelling. There were many creative ideas that were presented; I especially liked one that played off the BDS creating the BBS – Bountiful Beer for Students organization.

It was a very special and rewarding experience to be able to participate in the workshop. I had the opportunity to meet and brainstorm with graduate students that understand the necessity and are passionate about re-branding Israel.

The tools are there for everyone who wants to spread awareness. The battle against the de-legitimization and boycott against Israel can be fought though being proactive, staying positive and sharing your story.

Social media diplomacy workshops with Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor program

[su_intro]BOMAH is pleased to have run a social media workshop with the Erwin & Martha Samson CIC Public Diplomacy Workshop & Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor and AICE earlier this week.[/su_intro]

We discussed how to engage both students and community, as well as methods for sharing information and spreading awareness about Israel through social media.

The Visiting Israeli Professors program has played an instrumental role in spurring the growing support for Israel studies on U.S. campuses. It has brought more than 60 professors to 40-plus U.S. campuses, offering more students more opportunities to study Israel through a variety of lens including the environment, history, immigration, literature, law, media, medicine, political science and sociology, among others. Participants at the conference this year included Hanan Alexander, AICE Advisor Board, Sharon Aronson-Lehavi, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor, Shlomo Avineri, AICE Advisory Board, Mitchell Bard, Executive Director, Boaz Mismuth, Foreign Affairs Editor, Anat Gilboa, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Eitan Gilboa, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Leah Kinberg, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Moshe Ma’oz, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Tikva Meroz-Aharoni, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Adi Portughies, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor Professor, Maurice Roumani, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Zach Scheinerman, Publicity Director, Yuval Sinai, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Michelle Stein Teer, Media Trainer, Gerald Steingberg, CLSFF/AICE Advisory Board, Miri Talmon, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, Joshua Teitelbaum, AICE Advisory Board, Israel Waismn-Manor, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor,. Michael Widlanski, Schusterman Visiting Israel Professor, and our own BOMAH Founder Itzik Yarkoni.

The visiting scholars program provides “greater insight into the legal, cultural and educational impact of this unique history that blends East and West, religious and secular and traditional and modern. These different perspectives on Israel will bring a new dimension on the Jewish State to the students and faculty on U.S. campuses, as well as those interested in Israel and the Middle East in the greater campus communities.”

It was a pleasure to work with these professors on how to use social media to further their stories, both inside and outside the classroom. We give the tools to tell an Israel story, now all you have to do is experience one and share it with the world!

[stag_button url=”” style=”light-blue” size=”small” type=”square” target=”_self”]AICE Conference Participant Bios 2013-2014[/stag_button]