It is a little known fact that much judaica and Jewish gifts are actually made in India and China. Until recently, these items were almost universally just imported into the USA and distributed through almost all the major judaica importers. However, since the more recent encouragement to buy things that are made in Israel, a practice has arisen with a few companies whereby they import judaica from India and China into Israel, and then export it out from Israel selling it to those who don't know as "From Israel" when in fact it is not Israeli at all. Understandably, there are many many Israeli artists that are upset by this practice, since there are stricter regulations for manufacturing, including the use of children in adult employment.
Plus, the quality of workmanship is higher in Israel, and these artists continue to struggle while the other products dominate the market. It may be that you cannot find what you want that is made in Israel, and of course there is no need to feel that you cannot buy other products, but if it is important to you to support Israeli artists and manufacturers, then don't be afraid to ask WHERE the item you are looking at is actually made, and BY WHOM so that you are an informed buyer! Here are a few reasons to "Buy Made In Israel": 1. Although you may pay a little more for genuine "Made in Israel" Judaica, you will get better quality. 2. When you buy Judaica made in Israel, you are supporting the artists who live there. The tourism industry in Israel is very weak right now, so any support you can lend to Israel really does make a huge difference.
Remember, it is multiple small drops of water that make up a lake or an ocean. 3. Judaica from India and China is sometimes cheaper, but some of it is made by children who are working long, unacceptable hours. If you're buying something for a religious purpose, why would you buy it from a child who is being overworked & not protected by employment laws? 4.
Judaica that is actually made in Israel is often of a much higher quality Remember, there is a big difference between "from Israel" and "made in Israel." At Studio Shofar we recognize that there is some judaica that is not easily available from Israel, at least not at prices affordable to many; in addition, there are many Jewish artists living in America, Canada and elsewhere who make beautiful judaica, whether tallits, jewelry, Shabbat items, or more. When you shop for judaica products, look for stores that let you know up front whether or not an item was made in Israel. For example, some use an Israeli flag next to Israeli-made products.
This makes it easy for you to make educated decisions in your purchases.
Adam Barnett works for Judaica Resources, Inc., dba. Studio Shofar Judaica & Gifts, and hopes to help educate the judaica market to better understand judaica products in general. Visit his website to learn more about Israeli-made Jewish giftsand other judaica items at www.studioshofar.com