Jewish founders of D'vash Organics make historic deal in UAE

Together, they'll produce the world’s first date-based super brand.

Brian Finkel (photo credit: SHEV SHATZMAN/NEFESH B'NEFESH)
Brian Finkel
Famous Californian vegan date syrup maker D’vash Organics has signed a historic partnership deal with the world’s largest date manufacturer, Dubai-based Al Barakah Dates Factory.
Together, they'll produce the world’s first date-based super brand.
Brian Finkel, CEO of D’vash Organics, who is currently living in Israel, pointed out that the company’s Jewish and Israeli roots were no barrier to closing a deal with their new Muslim partners.
"We couldn't be more excited to partner with Al Barakah. This partnership will give us the necessary tools to create a wide range
of products from syrups to snacks,” declared Finkel.
David Czinn, President of D’vash Organics, said that their “two days of marathon meetings were peppered with discussions of the similarities between Arabic and Hebrew, Jewish and Islamic theology, and kosher and halal dietary restrictions."
"The sense of genuine warmth, mutual respect and trust was palpable throughout our negotiations, with both sides eager to emphasize our commonalities rather than our differences to bring the best quality date products to consumers worldwide,” he said.
Finkel added that the normalization between Israel and the UAE also eased the making of this partnership.
"The recent peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, which enabled me to take a direct, three-hour flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai for these meetings, certainly played a role in making conversations like these possible," he said.
"Any hesitation, discomfort or uncertainty that may have accompanied these types of encounters in the past has dissipated entirely - virtually overnight - thanks to the Abraham Accords," said Finkel.
Thanks to this new partnership, D’vash will be able to develop its business via retail, wholesale and e-commerce, both throughout the US and internationally.
D’vash is Hebrew for “honey” and most biblical scholars agree that it refers to date honey rather than bee honey. It’s one of the seven indigenous species of the Holy Land.
The D’vash founders met while studying abroad in Israel, where they developed the idea of bringing date syrup, an ancient Middle Eastern delicacy, to the United States.
During a post-high-school year at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi in Jerusalem, Finkel and classmate David Czinn enjoyed culinary adventures throughout Israel.
After college, Czinn established Fruigees, a successful organic fruit-and-veggie snacks business. Finkel, meanwhile, studied business at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School and went on to become a financial consultant.
So when Finkel’s eureka moment hit in early 2016, he telephoned Czinn to solicit his opinion.
“He said that [date honey] had very limited availability in the United States and could really be huge because, in addition to being delicious, it has a lot of the characteristics that health-conscious consumers are looking for today,” Finkel related.
“It’s vegan, organic, locally sourced, fat-free and gluten-free, and contains significantly less sugar than honey, agave nectar and maple syrup," he said. "Unlike bee honey, date nectar can be safely consumed by kids under the age of two, and it’s also lower than other sweeteners on the glycemic index.”