“Am Yisrael Buy” Now Available for Download on Smartphones
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J., Sept. 30, 2014 — A free application (app) for those who want to support Israel by buying Israeli made products has just been unveiled, downloadable on all major smartphones including Apple, Android and Windows Phone.
The new app, Am Yisrael Buy, was created by Rabbi Daniel M. Cohen, spiritual leader of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, N.J. “There is an international movement called BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — aimed at boycotting Israel and its products,” said Cohen. “The movement demonizes Israel and has, as some of its leading proponents, anti-Semites whose ultimate goal is the destruction of the State of Israel. When I learned there are BDS apps that make it easier to boycott Israeli products and goods and spread their hatred, and then found there was no commensurate pro-Israel app, I just had to act. That was the impetus for creating Am Yisrael Buy.”
Initially Rabbi Cohen turned to some of his colleagues in the rabbinic community to see if they would join him in helping to promote an app for Israel. Once they agreed, he contacted a developer to help him create the app. The developer had some good ideas but was moving too slowly, so Rabbi Cohen decided to create it himself using a template-driven app development software tool. He taught himself to use the interface and Am Yisrael Buy was born.
The app offers a list of Israeli made products and where to buy them, as well as additional ways to support Israel. “As I was putting together the list I realized there were other ways to support Israel, so I added a section with some of the media outlets that cover Israel, outlets that help expose media bias against Israel, and included a number of ways people can donate to pro-Israel organizations,” added Cohen.
Still in its grassroots stage, Rabbi Cohen is hoping to find someone with the development skills and monetary backing to take the lead in improving the app, making Am Yisrael Buy even more powerful and effective.
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel is a vibrant Reform congregation located at 432 Scotland Road in South Orange, N.J., that offers Jewish preschool, Religious school, teen programs, lifelong learning for adults and a full complement of religious services and cultural programs each month. TSTI serves member families from Maplewood, the Oranges, Livingston, Millburn, Short Hills and surrounding areas. For more information, visit www.tsti.org.