Sample Speech

Israel at 70… it’s the miracle of our time.

It wasn’t very long ago that we would have been met with looks of derision if we claimed that one day, Israel would be an innovation powerhouse, with more technology start-ups than any country in the world except for the United States. Or that the world’s leading companies – Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, would be opening innovation hubs in Israel. Or that Israel in fiscal 2016 would be a country with one of the world’s strongest currencies. Israel at 70 is a nation on the move with no sign of slowing down! We hear and reads so much about the modern-day paradigm of “Innovation Israel.” But few of us know that one of Israel’s first economic innovations was creating the concept of an Israel Bond.

“The State of Israel, for Value Received, Hereby Promises to Pay the Owner…”

With these words, the State of Israel began a promise to investors when the first Israel bond was sold in May of 1951. Israel pioneered the issuance of a savings bond to its diaspora as a form of economic partnership.

Since then, Israel has always made interest and principal payments on Israel bonds, demonstrating that a promise made is a promise kept.

You might think that a financial product offered by the State of Israel for over 66 years, with a perfect record of repayment, would be familiar to almost everyone. Certainly, you might think it would be very familiar to most everyone in Jewish communities. But we are constantly surprised when we ask the simple question, “What do you know about Israel bonds?”

Even some who have heard about them sometimes conflate an Israel bond with a charitable donation, another way to help and show support for Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So…what exactly is an Israel Bond?

First and foremost, an investment product issued directly from the State of Israel. Let me make that clear from the outset: an investment. It’s quite literally putting a piece of Israel in your investment portfolio. It’s a direct connection to Israel. How direct? Well, when you buy an Israel bond, you make your payment directly to the “State.. of…Israel.” Not Israel Bonds.

Not the Israel bonds organization… directly to the State of Israel.

When you invest in Israel bonds, you are making a loan to the State of Israel. And Israel uses the loaned money to help strengthen almost every part of its modern, innovative and diverse economy.

In return for the loan, the State of Israel agrees to pay interest to you, the bondholder, and repay the loan at the end of its term.

By buying an Israel bond, you are making a direct investment in the State of Israel. Your investment benefits you and Israel.

“The State of Israel, for Value Received, Hereby Promises to Pay the Owner…”

Think about that crazy promise for a moment. Today, it’s easier to imagine Israel making and keeping a promise to repay the owner of a bond. After all, creativity and out-of-the-box inventiveness have made the country a hub of financial, industrial and high-tech growth.

But in may 1951, Israel was a very different place. Economically disadvantaged. Fighting for survival, right in between the War of Independence and the Sinai War. No real natural resources to speak of. A virtually non-existent infrastructure.

Yet, despite every challenge, David Ben-Gurion championed the notion of Israel Bonds. He believed that Israel could not only float a bond issuance, but also pay back every single dollar loaned to the new nation. In those early years, not many bond buyers really shared Ben-Gurion’s opinion. History tells us that many early investors felt they were making a donation of another kind; and that Israel would not have the ability to repay the money.

But Ben-Gurion and other architects of the Israel bonds program were undeterred. The Israeli Treasury placed an ambitious goal of selling $25 million dollars in the first year. To the government’s shock, first year sales skyrocketed to $52 million.

But the promise was yet to be tested, Some called it reckless; a crazy promise, an unrealistic dream.

Many said it would be a miracle if they ever saw their money again.

Well, it was Ben-Gurion who famously said, "In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles!" I wonder what he would have thought seeing the modern incarnation of the Israel bonds program that he signed into existence in 1951. Worldwide sales now routinely surpass $1 billion per year, and total worldwide sales since inception have surpassed $40 billion. And growing every day.

The bold promise to pay back, in full and on-time, continues to be accomplished. Israel’s economic innovation called an Israel Bond continues to this day, an unqualified story of success that is the envy of many other countries around the world with diaspora communities, such as India, Greece, Spain, and others.

The strength Israel derives from the Israel Bonds program and the country’s emergence as an economic and innovation leader are not unrelated. Israel Bonds are defined not only by investments, but by the connection that is made and reinforced when we add Israel to our portfolios.

It’s about more than positive numbers on a balance sheet.

It is a message we send to the people of Israel, to the world, and to the financial markets, by the very existence of the State and by the broad base of Israel Bond purchasers.

What is that message?

That when you invest in State of Israel Bonds:

• You are making a real and personal connection with Israel

• You are demonstrating to yourself and others that you have faith in that great country and its people

• You are recognizing that the emotional connection and faith you feel can empower a financial investment that benefits both your own long-term goals and Israel’s future.

That recognition and participation shows the leaders and leading companies of the world that Israel has a strong economy and a vast network of reliable investors. And yes - in contrast with typical investors - we stand with Israel during times of trouble.

At the end of the day, despite the numbers – and they are impressive numbers – it’s not about the mass of Israel bonds sales. It’s about the connection, the real meaning of a bond. It is something that binds us together as one, in common cause, in our love for Israel and its people. Beyond the financial rates of return, this connection is the real payment, the real dividend, the deeper value.

The very first Israel bond signed by Ben-Gurion in May of 1951 read:

“The State of Israel, for Value Received, Hereby Promises to Pay the Owner…”

As bondholders, as investors in Israel’s future, let us make a Promise as well:

That our connection is unshakeable;

That our bond with Israel is unbreakable:

And that we stand with Israel now and forever.

Please fold down your tab on the Israel Bonds tab card.

Make the connection. No matter the amount. Fold down any tab and be counted.

Thank you for your very kind attention.

We wish you, your family, loved ones and the people of Israel a peaceful, sweet and prosperous new year.

Shana Tova U Metukah!


Raquel Benzacar Savatti
Chief Executive Officer and the entire staff of Israel Bonds

Israel bonds must be held to maturity. Canada-Israel Securities, Limited disclaims the right to the exclusive use and registration of the Crest of Israel. This is not an offering. Investment amounts, interest rates and maturities available on all bonds will vary according to current offerings by the State of Israel. Rates, terms and bond issues as listed and/or advertised are subject to change or be discontinued without notice. As with any part of your financial plan, you should always consult with your financial advisor and/or accountant to ensure the plan is suitable for your situation. E/OE.

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