Israel Bonds sells more than $200 million in bonds since Saturday, mostly to local and state governments

President and CEO of the organization say the bonds are a critical way of helping Israel’s economy, which is already struggling with the outbreak of war

Israel Bonds has sold more than $200 million worth of bonds since Hamas’ deadly massacres in Israel on Saturday, with most going to state and local governments, the organization said on Thursday.

“When people ask me what can I do? I tell them we have a mission and one of the best ways to express our support for Israel is by giving the government of Israel the necessary budget that they need to win this war,” Dani Naveh, Israel Bonds president and CEO, told eJewishPhilanthropy.   

At least $150 million of the bond purchases came from U.S. states and local governments.  States that invested in Israel Bonds this week include Ohio, Illinois and Florida. West Palm Beach County, Fla., purchased $25 million in Israel Bonds.

Ohio state Treasurer Robert Sprague said in a statement: “Now is the time to stand with Israel. For 30 years, Israel bonds have been — and continue to be — a strong investment for the Ohio Treasury. We’re proud to make this $20 million purchase and provide desperately needed liquidity to Israel as they fight against these heinous acts of terrorism.”

Saturday’s attacks and the outbreak of war has already affected the Israeli economy. Earlier this week, the Bank of Israel announced it would sell up to $30 billion of foreign currency on the open market, the central bank’s first-ever sale of foreign exchange, in order to stabilize the shekel. The already struggling shekel fell more than 2.8% this week, to 3.97 New Israeli Shekels to the dollar, its lowest level since February 2016.

“Thousands of Jews from all over the world have been expressing their support for Israel by also purchasing bonds for themselves and on behalf of various organizations such as hospitals and emergency service organizations,” Naveh said.

Larry Olschwanger, chairman of the National Campaign Advisory Council of Israel Bonds, said he’s been buying Israel Bonds for other people for years because they are a “double impact, double mitzvah.” 

“When you buy a bond in someone’s name, they get a good investment,” Olschwanger, who works in the metal recycling business in Dallas, told eJP. He said in the past few days, through Israel Bonds he’s contributed to the Israel Defense Forces, Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah. Olschwanger said he has also used Israel Bonds to contribute to areas unrelated to Israel, such as his children’s American universities.