In the bustling streets of Tel Aviv, a small but impactful initiative has taken root within the JLIC Tel Aviv community. Born out of a desire to support families with loved ones serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), this initiative, spearheaded by two passionate individuals, Aryeh and Yonatan, who live in Jerusalem and have a close connection to the Tel Aviv JLIC co-directors, has grown into a heartwarming project that not only brings joy to military families but also supports local artisan businesses. The project was realized in part thanks to the funding and generosity of our local shul partner, Ben Yehuda 126.

Aryeh, the owner of a boutique winery, and Yonatan from Sourdough Mazal creating packages for Military families while Connecting Small Businesses.

Aryeh, the owner of a boutique winery, and Yonatan, who recently made aliyah and who has a deep passion for sourdough, may run micro businesses, but their hearts are undoubtedly grand. Together, they conceived the idea of creating beautiful Shabbat packages for miluim (reserve duty) families, turning their dreams into a reality that extends far beyond their individual endeavors.

What started as a modest endeavor quickly gained momentum within the JLIC Tel Aviv community, resulting in 40 carefully curated Shabbat packages for the first week’s delivery. The project not only encouraged the participating vendors to exceed their initial plans but also provided much-needed financial support for each small business involved.

Creating Impact

The initiative’s impact is threefold, addressing crucial aspects of community well-being:

  1. Supporting Small Local Businesses: In a world often dominated by large businesses, the JLIC Tel Aviv community’s initiative shines a spotlight on the value of small, local businesses. By collaborating with artisans like Sourdough Mazal, Amsel Wines, Shoresh Body & Soul Botanicals, Michal Berman Art, and Rising Sap Botanicals, the project not only showcases the diversity of local talent but also helps these businesses thrive.
  2. Supporting Families who are serving in the IDF: Military service is an integral part of Israeli life. Now with many people serving in the Gaza war the family members on the home front often face challenges. The Shabbat packages, filled with handpicked products from local businesses, not only provide tangible gifts but also serve as a meaningful gesture to acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices made by these family members.
  3. Lifting Everyone’s Spirits: The power of community-driven initiatives lies in their ability to uplift spirits. In the midst of challenges and uncertainties, the Shabbat packages offer a ray of positivity, fostering a sense of togetherness and support. The collaboration between businesses, artists, and community members creates a ripple effect of joy and goodwill.

The small businesses who were part of the packages for the military families.

Shop Local

The list of small and local businesses contributing to the Shabbat packages reads like a celebration of creativity and entrepreneurship:

  • Sourdough Mazal (@sourdough_mazal): Jerusalem’s first and only organic sourdough microbakery, handcrafted by Yonatan Rahmani in Baka.
  • Amsel Wines (@amselwines): Boutique small batch wines from the Judean Hills, crafted by winemaker Aryeh, a resident of Baka, Jerusalem.
  • Shoresh Body & Soul Botanicals (@shoresh_body_and_soul): Herbal products and remedies from the Binyamin Hills, Neve Tzuf, curated by Nicole Cohen Yechezkel.
  • Michal Berman ( A local artist and art therapist using her talents to connect people through art, especially those in the IDF who have experienced trauma.
  • Rising Sap Botanicals (@risingsapbirth): Run by Alana Rahmani of Baka, Jerusalem, offering herbal teas and remedies made with organic ingredients for women and their families.

As the success of their Shabbat packages resonated throughout the JLIC Tel Aviv community, Aryeh and Yonatan found themselves immersed in enthusiastic discussions about the future. Over a glass of some Amsel Wine, they pondered exciting growth plans and brainstormed new package options for various holidays and events throughout the year. The duo, fueled by their passion for supporting local businesses and bringing joy to military families, envisioned expanding their initiative beyond Shabbat deliveries. Aryeh and Yonatan’s entrepreneurial spirit ignited plans to create a diverse array of packages that would not only celebrate the richness of their community but also provide continuous support to local artisans.

A sample of the packages sent to the military families and Connecting Small Businesses.

To learn more about this heartwarming initiative or to contribute to a Shabbat package for a miluim family, interested individuals can contact Yonatan on WhatsApp at 051-277-2800. Your support can make a significant difference in brightening the lives of military families and bolstering the resilience of small local businesses. In the heart of Tel Aviv, a community comes together, proving that even the smallest acts of kindness can have a profound impact on the lives of many.

To learn more about JLIC programing in Tel Aviv reach out to JLIC co-directors: Rabbi Joe Wolfson or Corinne Shmuel

Reach out to any of our Directors to learn more about JLIC and our local programming.