A drive along Israel’s Herzliya-Tel Aviv highway reads like a who’s who of the biggest names in hi-tech, with their logos prominently displayed on various office buildings. Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Samsung, Cisco, and more have offices as well as research and development centers in Israel.
In fact, according to the US State Department, American firms account for nearly two-thirds of the more than 300 R&D centers established by multinational companies in Israel.
Not only is Israel home to those multinational corporations, but Israel is pulling its weight in its own right, with 117 companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange. The country even has a government body – the Innovation Authority – whose sole purpose is to fund incubators for early-stage start-ups and to help facilitate their growth.
Why do I support Israel? It's not just for the money
Although the headlines about Israel may seem worrisome at times, the following reality remains the same: Supporting Israel through Israel Bonds is a no-brainer to me. That sentiment resonates as strongly today as it did before, even during these times of disagreement.
Warren Buffett and other famed entrepreneurs have chosen to invest in the one place Jews can truly call home. However, for me, the most important ingredient in that formula remains the meaning, not the money.
As co-founder of hotels.com and other ventures, I’ve chosen to invest in Israel not only for financial reasons, but also for deeply personal ones. When I invest in Israel, it is not only a financially sound decision, but also a meaningful investment at a spiritual level.
My Jewish identity is integral to who I am and how I operate on a personal and professional level. From a business perspective, the Jewish people are fortunate to have guidance in the Bible and Talmud regarding how to successfully conduct business. For example, customer service is often complicated, but Jewish texts simplify matters by teaching that we should treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. As such, we put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. This is the ultimate customer service standard.
AS A CHILD and adult, I always sought ways to continue to support Israel, and I found the perfect cause a few years ago, when I was invited to a parlor meeting at a friend’s home. That’s where I was first introduced to Israel Bonds. I was intrigued by how Israel built much of its diverse economy through the sale of over $1 billion in Israel bonds worldwide annually.
Being a lawyer, I took home the State of Israel’s prospectus to learn more. I was impressed at the story of how then-prime minister David Ben-Gurion figured out a way to raise funds in America by offering bonds denominated in US dollars directly when no bankers would back an issuance.
I was impressed by that out-of-the-box thinking and loved the idea of supporting Israel while receiving the funds back at maturity, and even receiving a strong rate of interest. How many organizations offer a meaningful way to support Israel that also provides a great investment opportunity?
Investing in Israel Bonds was intuitive. But most of all, while growing up, I was inspired by the people – the organization’s lay leaders who care so much about Israel, and devote their time to the cause of helping Israel build its economy in good and bad times alike. The people of Israel also made a lasting impression.
Every Israeli I spoke to cared so much about their country, and they each had a unique story. Whether it was a young adult serving in the IDF, or older citizens who survived the horrors of the Holocaust, each had compelling reasons why Zionism meant so much to them. It presented a stark contrast to the apathy that I often saw back home in the US, where liberty, freedom, and safety were often taken for granted.
Israel can, and will, continue to be a place of growth. Israel Bonds is an organization that offers a meaningful and smart way to invest in the Jewish homeland. Helping perpetuate the Israel miracle while receiving strong rates of interest and your principal investment back is a winning formula. Israel Bonds registered representatives are always available to give you more information and figure out the right investment for you.
Even though I know a thing or two about travel, don’t take my word for it – see it for yourself. Walk through the streets of Israel and experience its sacred sites. Witness coexistence unfold before your eyes. Hear about the success stories of the start-up nation.
Then, take your commitment a step further. Whether it be through Israel Bonds or other causes, support Israel – and help the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland flourish, prosper, and grow. It’s not just about good business. It’s about securing a future for Jews around the world.
The writer is a member of the National Board of Directors of Development Corporation for Israel/Israel Bonds. He is co-founder and president of Travel Funders Network, and previously co-founded the Hotels Reservations Network, which became hotels.com and getaroom.com, which became part of Booking Holdings/Priceline. He has authored two books: The Biblical Secrets to Business Success and The Savvy Traveler.