In an effort to spur presently stagnant business and economic activity in Israel’s battered South, Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkowitz has reached out to southern business owners to market their products in Jerusalem.
Noting the “difficult days of the war” southern inhabitants have faced for over two weeks, the deputy mayor called for increased solidarity by encouraging Jerusalem residents to purchase southern wares.
“As part of solidarity right now, I am trying to lend a hand of support for the people of the South and soldiers,” he said. “I’m in contact with different authorities in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Sderot, among other cities, to get a list of businesses whose products we can arrange to buy from far away, so they can provide their services in Jerusalem and continue to make profits.”
To that end, Berkowitz (Jerusalem Awakening) said he is compiling a comprehensive list of all the South’s businesses, including descriptions of their goods, contact information and website addresses, so consumers in central and northern Israel can buy directly during their time of need.
“Some of the businesses have already responded and are happy, so we are hoping to arrange an event in Jerusalem next week where people can learn about their products and buy them from here,” he said.
Moreover, Berkowitz said he is also working with hotels in the capital to request discounts for southern residents seeking to find relative peace and quiet.
“I have asked hotel owners to lower prices for families, and a lot of them are responding well and are already offering special discounts,” he said.
Berkowitz said the hotels presently offering discounts include the King David, Avraham Hostel, Olive Tree Hotel, Dan Panorama, Dan Boutique and Prima Park Hotel, among others.
Berkowitz said Jerusalem Awakening is also sending hundreds of care packages to soldiers in the South, including underwear, socks, toothbrushes, toiletries and shirts.
“They already have enough food, so we wanted to send them other necessities,” said.
On Sunday, Berkowitz added that Jerusalem Awakening is sending a number of actors for children and elderly southern residents, to help brighten their mood.
“If we can make them feel a little better during this difficult time, then it is more than worth it,” he said.