From the Global President & CEO
Reflections on an Unprecedented and Historic Year
Israel Bonds Global President and CEO
While it has become almost a cliché to say 2020 was a most unusual year, there is no denying it presented challenges that were both unprecedented and formidable.
For Israel Bonds, the path forward in the face of the pandemic was the most unique in the organization’s 70-year history. It necessitated completely rethinking a well-established business model predicated on events of all sizes, in-person interactions and robust High Holy Day appeals. Undaunted, in March we presented a detailed plan to Finance Ministry officials, proactively requesting permission to increase our 2020 goal.
I am proud to report that, in an exemplary display of teamwork and determination, the global network of Bonds lay leaders, staff and supporters throughout three continents collectively expressed faith in Israel by investing $1.8 billion in Israel bonds.
The historic achievement was put into heartfelt context by then-Finance Ministry Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu, who expressed his sentiments by saying, “We know you invest because you truly care about the future of Israel and you believe in us to make it happen. You put your money where your heart is, and we share your vision.”
It is gratifying that the accomplishments of 2020 were also praised by leaders across Israel’s political spectrum. They included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, in recalling Bonds visionary David Ben‑Gurion, said, “Even he, Israel’s founding prime minister, could not have foreseen the extraordinary success of Israel Bonds.”
In looking ahead to the coming months, we do so in a spirit of optimism. The Abraham Accords, now encompassing four Arab nations, herald a new era in the Middle East. Game-changing Israeli innovation proceeds unabated. And, despite adversity, Israel’s economy continues to be resilient. Over the course of the pandemic, ratings* agencies Moody’s, Fitch and S&P all affirmed their ‘stable’ outlooks for Israel. We can be proud that Moody’s cited “an active Diaspora bond program (Israel Bonds)” as a factor in its assessment.
Throughout 2021, we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Israel Bonds, taking pride in the dynamic Jewish state our organization has helped make possible. As we do so, I ask lay leaders and staff alike to join as one in a rededication to the mission for which Israel Bonds was established – expanding our base of support to include investors of all ages, demographics and backgrounds, broadening and deepening the level of participation. Together with your own Israel bond investment, put friends, family members and colleagues in touch with their regional Israel Bonds office to facilitate their purchase.
This would be a rewarding gift to all of us and, most especially, to Israel, as we celebrate seven decades of Israel Bonds. After all, building the Jewish state is a collective undertaking, and together, we can lay the foundation for a future of limitless potential.
Thank you all.
(*Israel bonds are not rated)
Photo credit: Shahar Azran