Recently, Israel has been faced with many challenges over and above the often, daily terrorist attacks, BDS boycotts, anti-Semitism, and more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel has faced the greatest challenge of all—lack of tourism—one of the largest creators of jobs in the nation. With the only major airport—Ben-Gurion International—shut down to incoming tourists for nearly 10 months in 2020, and continuing on into 2021, this has left a major sector of Israel’s population completely joblessness!
While no one in Israel has been unaffected, for those who rely on tourism directly or indirectly for income, these past months have left them in a dangerous position. Basic necessities, including food, have become luxuries…
More than donations that feed the body but do nothing for the emotional or long-term state of those who are physically able to work if given the opportunity… these families need hope. They need to have a return of purpose!
When someone is struggling, unable to feed themselves or their children, it is easy to want to provide that food directly; be it with food boxes or feeding programs. Yet, for those who want to work, and need to work again, giving food only serves as a temporary stopgap…
It does not address the underlying issue. A need for income. A need for overcoming their setback.
Yes, some people physically cannot work and need food and other necessities. Holocaust survivors. The elderly. Orphans. And many others. But most who can work, want to work. Most people want to not only feed their families but also to provide for all of their needs. To have purpose. To hope again!
This is why buying products that are made in Israel matters so much. Because it provides more than the money necessary to buy food, it provides hope. It gives these people purpose… and it allows their businesses to grow!
Yet, the effects go far beyond even these families… it helps the entire nation of Israel. Purchasing made in Israel items brings economic increase into the land providing taxes for securing and maintaining the nation. It even provides jobs for more than those whose products are bought; it employs drivers, those who produce the raw materials used in the products, designers, and so many more…
Yes, donations still matter. People still need food when they cannot work.
Buying made in Israel products is more than simply purchasing a beautiful new olive wood cutting board or any other nice present for someone. Buying made in Israel products brings hope, restores purpose, feeds families, and blesses and protects Israel!
One Family’s Story:
We cannot know exactly how many families have stories such as this one, but sadly it is likely all too common. With even fewer being able to work their way out…
The Qiesieh family—four generations living together—had a thriving olive wood carving business for years. They would produce thousands upon thousands of carved olive wood products each year which would be bought by shops and then sold to tourists. But when restrictions and ultimately complete closure came to tourism, orders came to an abrupt halt—completely stopping…
No one living in Israel had much need for their products, particularly during difficult times, and no one living outside of the country had access to them. They had the tools, the olive wood, the skills, the time, and the will to carve out products, but what good would any of that be without customers?!
With a family of four generations… with the wives, children, parents, and grandparents of two brothers… it did not take long before food became scarce. The women began to forage for herbs and plants. The family sold olive wood—their source of income—for meat. And while hopefully it would not have happened, starvation or a complete selling off of their source of income could have become a reality…
Yet, thanks to My Olive Tree’s representative in Israel and the support of people like you, this is no longer an option. My Olive Tree is putting their products on our website, providing them with opportunities to sell their beautiful wares! With this chance to do what they love they are able to provide for their family… they are filled with renewed hope and purpose!
Qiesieh family members sit in their workshop, meticulously preparing their first order of olive wood cutting boards for My Olive Tree
Qiesieh family members sand olive wood cutting boards for My Olive Tree
This may be a serious story, yet it is one we find over and over again throughout Israel! Families across the country had no way of knowing their livelihood would be cut off so abruptly after generations had done their work successfully—had honed their skills over lifetimes. No one could have prepared well enough to withstand what for many has been a year of total joblessness…
With purchases of their products through My Olive Tree, the Qiesieh family does not presently need to worry about hunger or joblessness. Yet, they still need people to place orders if they are to maintain their business and family until tourism returns to normal…
They, like so many families struggling to get by, people need to understand why made-in-Israel products matter! To buy these products so jobs can be brought back to Israel. So, stories like this one end, not in hunger or lack, but in prosperity, purpose, and joy!
If YOU would like to purchase a hand-carved olive wood product from the Qiesieh family these products are currently available:
- Cutting Board | These beautiful, live edge cutting boards are hand-carved by the Qiesieh family out of olive wood
- Honey Pot | Standing approximately 5” high, these honey pots—complete with lid and dipper—are hand-carved out of olive wood by the Qiesieh family
- Mortar & Pestle | This impressive set has a mortar of approximately 6” x 6”; both the mortar & pestle are hand-carved by the Qiesieh family out of a solid piece of olive wood
- Kiddush Cup | Useful for Sabbath blessings, holiday meals, & communion, these cups are hand-carved out of olive wood by the Qiesieh family
- Mezuzah | Commonly placed on the doorpost(s) of homes with a Scripture inside, these hand-carved mezuzahs are made out of olive wood by the Qiesieh family
- Dreidel | Typically used during Hanukkah, this dreidel is hand-carved by the Qiesieh family out of olive wood
- Be sure to check out our STORE regularly as more products from this family will soon be available!
If YOU would like to purchase other products that provide jobs in Israel these products are currently available:
- Passover Gift Box | Filled with food, artwork, and other goods out of Israel, this box not only helps prepare you for Passover, but also helps families and businesses prosper. In your box you will receive these products from Israel: Passover matzah; charoset; Turkish coffee—made in Israel despite the name; two olive wood communion cups; one ram’s horn; and an unframed watercolor print of Israel. Along with these, you will receive two products not produced in Israel: a Passover Haggadah and a bottle of the King’s Oil anointing oil.
- Passover Seder Plate | This colorful seder plate, made of 100% melamine, was designed in Israel for use during the Passover seder
- Salad Serving Set | This olive wood salad serving set is made in Israel
- Dead Sea Moringa [120 count] | Grown in the Dead Sea region of Israel, Moringa is considered by many as the most nutrient-rich plant food source found on earth, naturally contains Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, and all of the Essential Amino Acids [for more information visit My Olive Tree’s website]
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil | This 13.5oz tin of olive oil is made of extra virgin olive oil that is harvested in Israel near the Sea of Galilee—first cold press is made on the original day of harvest
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Bitan Family Grove | The Bitan family has worked their land in the Negev region of Israel for generations, but due to boycotts of Israel-made products, their family struggled to keep their land. Thanks to those who planted olive trees on their land through My Olive Tree they are now able to sell olive oil as they continue to keep and work their land!
- At My Olive Tree we work hard to add new, made-in-Israel products to our STORE—be sure to visit it regularly so you do not miss them!