Take Me Out to the Ball Game (to Support Israel)

Written by Jason Langsner on . Posted in Community News

Israel Bonds New Leadership Division in Washington, D.C., brought over 60 young professionals to Nationals Park on Sunday, July 30, to cheer for the Nats as they hosted the Colorado Rockies. Although the curly Ws didn’t get the “W” (win), the afternoon was still a huge success for another reason.

As the local New Leadership chair and a national vice-chair, that Nats game was more than just the Seventh Annual Israel Bonds Washington Young Investors Society Day at the Ballpark. It also represented more than just the quickest we have ever filled two party suites at Nationals Park.

More than these things, the day was a part of a continuum of investment in the next generation of Jewish leaders in our community — an investment showing a high rate of return.

“I joined Israel Bonds about a year ago and have been very impressed and inspired by our community’s young investors, who we consider those between 18 and 45 years old, and their commitment to supporting the development of Israel,” said Israel Bonds Washington Executive Director Adam Herman.

The Development Corporation for Israel, or Israel Bonds, as it is popularly known, is a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member broker dealer that underwrites securities issued by the State of Israel in the United States. The New Leadership Division’s goal is to help educate young professionals about Israel’s economy, to promote investment in Israel bonds, and to develop the next generation of Jewish leadership.

“By buying Israel bonds, we are helping to grow Israel’s economy and keep it strong,” said event co-chair Ariana Kaufman, 22, at the game. Kaufman encouraged greater involvement from our community. “Our Israel Bonds New Leadership group is growing and we have many events and gatherings throughout the year,” she said.

It is growing, especially in DC. Our New Leadership group’s investment in Israel increased by 76 percent between 2015 and 2016, which was the biggest increase of any community across the U.S. Eight months into 2017, we expect continued growth beyond last year’s numbers.

To attend the event, these young professionals and I were encouraged to purchase an Israel bond. Israel bonds start at just $36 online and any bond purchase allowed for attendance at the event until capacity was met. In addition to the game, Israel Bonds provided lunch from Max’s Kosher Cafe.

“In 1951, David Ben-Gurion had a dream to sell $250 million in Israel bonds over five years to help the new State of Israel,” said event co-chair Jonathan “Pano” Gartenberg, 30. “Sixty-six years later, Israel Bonds has sold over $40 billion in bonds globally; domestically they have sold over $1 billion each year over the last four years,” Gartenberg said.

We young professionals can become an army of young investors.

I have been purchasing Israel bonds for several years. I find supporting the development of Israel through my investments to be, outside of making aliyah, the most tangible and meaningful thing that a Jew can do in the diaspora to support the Jewish and democratic State of Israel. And rather than make an Israel bond purchase for my own portfolio, for this game, I decided to perform a double mitzvah — I purchased the bond and then donated it to Georgetown University, where I received my master’s degree.

I am proud to be a Hoya and to be able to support the school, which gave me a world-class education, by donating an Israel bond to it. Once the bond matures, the principal will be paid out to the school and can be used to support future students on the Hilltop.

Until then, the funds raised through the bond purchase will go towards developing the State of Israel.

By Jason Langsner

 Jason Langsner is the volunteer chair for Israel Bonds Young Investors Society in Washington, D.C., and he also serves as national vice-chair for Israel Bonds New Leadership Council.