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Setting Up A [Your Town] Stands With Israel Group
Step by step instructions
By Shlomo Phillips © July 21, 2015)
KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Avoid the inclination to complicate matters by setting up a non-profit organization, applying for needless permits, etc. In most parts of the country permits are not required for public rallies, for strolling the streets etc. -- make sure your group does not block the sidewalks. It is usually more effective to ask for forgiveness than permission. Comply with police instructions unless they are oppressive (in which case make sure the participates realize if you plan to violate the law ahead of time). Seek peace with all stores and government officials.
Begin as a simple group of individual concerned citizens. If you are a legally established group you will encounter many unnecessary legal and organizational hassles. Synagogues, churches, etc. should be encouraged to support, host, and financially assist as needed these efforts, but local groups are advised to do their good works as individual citizens rather than as representatives of their various groups. In this way local [Your Town] Stands With Israel Groups will be more open to people of all and no religious belief systems. America Stands For Israel is for ALL Americans and our allies regardless of religion etc. Superfluous issues should be avoid. Let stand together on THIS issue.
This guide is written to encourage a single individual (YOU) who is starting with nothing but emuna (faith). These suggestions can be easily modified for groups etc.
STEP ONE: Define your focus and purposeDefine your purpose. This can change as events develop. There are various reasons why you may want to organize for Israel:To oppose college and university hate groups like the BDS movement: Campuses across the nation have become hotbeds for antisemitism. Unite your fellow students to stand for Israel.To counter an anti-Israel event:
Our Chico Stands With Israel group began to counter protest a years long bimonthly BDS protest of the local Target store for selling Israeli products including Soda Stream:To make a general public stand in support of Israel:
"Heard that Shlomo Phillips announced on Friday that the anti-Israel protest in front of Target in Chico California that has been going for ~5 years is finally finished. Many people had complained to store management as individuals (including yours truly), but it took organized action to make it happen. Speak up & speak out as my grandpa would say! Thank you Shlomo and Ahuva Phillips! -- Wendy Diamond of Congregation Beth Israel
After successfully ending the local BDS Target protests we began our Strolling for Chico campaign. This is where a group of activists and supporters stroll through local areas carrying Israeli flags, signs, etc. publicly demonstrating their support for Israel.
STEP TWO: Organize:Connect with like-minded people:Join our America Stands With Israel Group and let us know what you are doing. Share your area so that you connect with other.
DO NOT SPAM other groups but when appropriate post links to our America Stands With Israel Group.
Share the information with your religious leaders and fellow congregants.
Once you decide on a plan let everyone know about it!
E-mail or phone every local organization you can think of. Don't limit yourself to people like you. I'm Jewish. When my wife and I began Chico Stands With Israel it was just us. We notified our congregation but we also invited the local CHABAD (the two local Jewish organizations. I also sent out around 50 e-mails to local churches, to the Sikh gurdwaras, to the county GOP and Tea Party groups, to groups activist biker groups etc. I sent in letters to the editors of local papers. I notified the TV and radio outlets and so on. Our first rally consisted of four Jews (my wife and I and another unaffiliated couple) and about 40 Christians from two congregations. In time others got involved
Try and get clergy support and participation.
Encourage synagogues, churches, senior centers, VFW and other places to hold We Stand With Israel events. Invite speakers, show movies etc. Make videos and audio pods of the events and post them to social media.
STEP THREE:Just do it!For more information on what YOU can do join our America Stands With Israel Group:BE AWARE that antisemitism is on the rise in many areas. Only you can decide what is safe. Make sure a loved one or friend knows where you are, what you are doing, and when you should be back. If something feels unsafe to you Don't Do It! We are not looking for martyrs.
Show up! Even if no one else comes, at least you are standing!
As locals see you taking a stand for Israel some of them will probably join you, if you keep at it. For this reason we suggest doing pro-Israel events at least once or twice a month and letting people in your area know your schedule. Doing events more often than this can lead to "burn out."
- Go for a walk carrying an Israeli flag.
- IF you are Jewish dress like a Jew. For instance men can wear tzitzit and kippot regardless of your movement affiliation if any.
- IF you are a non-Jewish supporter wear a tee-shirt, a themed ball cap, a lapel pin, etc.
- Remind people that there are Jews living in the area! Many don't know this and it is harder to support BDS etc. once you realize that you have Jewish friends and neighbors who are good people!
Boycott Jew Hatred!