As rockets fall on Israel, I’m proud to see the Boston community showing support for peace in the Middle East. Aside from rallies, I celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of this small but mighty country through support of her talented, quirky and innovative artists. Here are some creative outlets to show your support for Israel and its wide array of talented artists in this difficult time:
Israel on Etsy: Within the millions of vendors on Etsy, there are some great Israeli designers and artists. Check out clothing by Oshra Designs (from Haifa, Boston’s sister city), insanely creative hats by costume designer Maor Zabar, and funky leather accessories by Ayelet Shachar, just to name a few.
Artcity: This is an online hub for contemporary Israeli art and crafts. From lively jewelry-like pieces by Tamara Ben Avraham and Noa Liran to whimsical papier-mâché sculptures by Sigal Yaron to thought-provoking sculptures by Mira Maylor, you can shop, browse, comment and get a true taste of the Israeli artistic sensibility.
Haviv Art: I had the pleasure of connecting with this talented husband and wife duo on a Birthright trip in 2012. Together they create beautiful sculptures and decorative bomb shelters throughout Sderot—their home, musical heart of Israel and epicenter of much of the Gaza aggression. Check them out on Facebook for a dose of positivity and beauty in a place that gets a bleak wrap these days.
#timesofisrael on Instagram: Follow this feed for an up-to-the minute and beautiful real-life look at Israel. No rockets can trump these gorgeous beaches, markets and people.
Behance: Started by local Jewish boy Scott Belsky, this is the ultimate site for artists throughout the world to feature their work. I’ve found many Israeli artists make use of Behance, including character game designer Ariel Belinco (who hooked me with cartoon renditions of the white rabbit from “Alice in Wonderland”), cartoon maven Ido Yehimovitz and Baku Magazine illustrator Sveta Dorosheva (hailing from Rehovot, along with many of my cousins!).
Emek Refaim: There are many wonderful shops and galleries on Emek Refaim, the main drag of this Jerusalem neighborhood, known in English as the “German Colony.” One of my favorite stops on every trip is Set Gifts, a store with a Judaica collection that far exceeds most American options (although locally Kolbo does a decent job).
Rockets into Roses: Their tagline, “Support Israel by turning terror into beauty,” just about says it all. They sell hand-sculpted roses, candlesticks and menorahs made from kassam rockets that landed in Israel, and a portion of every sale goes to building bomb shelters in Israel.