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Brand Judaism: The Masterbrand to Reposition Israel and Jews Across the World

Why the answer to positioning Israel today in not found in an examination only of Israel. It is something larger.  

 In today’s global landscape, Israel’s brand faces unprecedented challenges. The rise of extremism, polarized views, and a surge in antisemitism have created a complex environment where reshaping perceptions is increasingly difficult. However, an innovative solution may lie in leveraging the unifying power of Judaism itself. By branding Judaism and its values as a master brand which is an interconnection of religion, a peoplehood and a nation, we can recast Israel and its global Jewish communities in a positive light, fostering understanding and combating misconceptions. 

 Why We Need to Move Beyond Former Initiatives 

 Despite substantial investments in initiatives like Brand Israel and Start-Up Nation, global perceptions of Israel remain largely negative. the Free Palestine movement has won, framing Israel predominantly through the lens of conflict and occupation. What people don’t understand however is the fact that these are in conflict with traditional Jewish principles. Efforts to highlight Israel’s achievements in science, technology, and innovation have failed to significantly shift these perceptions.  Of course the rich, white colonizers are successful! Boycotts of Israeli products continue to escalate, indicating the current limitations of former branding strategies to address the complexities of Israel’s image and identity. Proof in point is the loss of stature even on the “brand Level.” 

 Moreover, current initiatives to solely focus on “country branding” will not be sufficient for a number of reasons. They tend to focus on facts about the accomplishments and institutions, not the people.  Not feelings. Again, the narrative outside of Israel for the hostage rescue is on the Palestinian casualties that were caused AS WELL as the return of the hostages.   

 Leveraging Brand Judaism: 

 Amidst this backdrop of challenges, there emerges a compelling solution: Brand Judaism. This concept proposes the celebrating Judaism to rebranding of Israel and its global Jewish communities under the unifying umbrella of “Judaism.” But not Judaism as we hear about it in the Jews and social media. Let’s get people to understand our belief system and present it in a way that creates common ground. After all, Judaism is at the root of Christianity and Islam, a fact that few people know, while Jews, albeit less religious than other denominations, do understand this.   

 Jewish values are at the root of western civilization and are found throughout the Old Testament.  By embracing Jewish values  as a master brand, we can reshare perceptions by focusing on “ways of living” outlined in the Old Testament that are common sense and often lacking in the world today.For example, one lesser-known core value is that Jews don’t proselytize. There has never been a movement to recruit the world to Judaism.  And that’s precisely why Israel are not colonizers.  It all comes back to core values. 
Judaism is also a religion of action –it is up to us to take action beyond the West Bank. 

 Finding the common ground by celebrating the shared values and beliefs that bind us together, with Judaism at their root, we offer the possibility to move beyond individual differences and opposing points of view. It offers an inclusive platform that resonates with diverse communities, including Muslims and the oppressed. By reframing the narrative around Israel through the lens of Judaism, we can reframe Israelis and by doing so, Israel. 

In fact, our history as slaves in Egypt is another core piece of Jewish culture. We identify as an oppressed people, as seen in our Passover rituals.   

Judaism encapsulates a Hierarchy of Feelings: 

 Groundedness: Reasonable, common-sense communication. Common Ground: Shared values and beliefs. Higher Ground: Aspirational insights and the overarching brand idea that Judaism offers something everyone desires—civil discourse and dialogue. 

Aspirational Values of Judaism: 

Judaism offers aspirational values rooted in Old Testament principles that transcend geographical and ideological boundaries. These values include family, intellectual discourse/debate, individual rights, and the sanctity of human life. By emphasizing these shared values, we can reframe the narrative around Israel and foster understanding among diverse communities. 

Shared Values Across Communities: 

 Evangelical Christians, Israeli Jews, American Jews, Muslims, and Gen Z share common values that can serve as a basis for dialogue and mutual understanding. Civil discourse becomes the key to finding common ground and fostering empathy among these groups. 

 Civil Discourse as a ‘Product Demo’  –the way we behave and lead  

 Demonstrating values through interaction and discussion is essential for showcasing the aspirational values of Judaism. Examples of statements that reflect a commitment to civil discourse include acknowledging civilian suffering and minimizing casualties despite provocations. 

 Activation Examples: 

 Initiatives like “Don’t Hate Debates” would promote civil discourse, explain the Israeli perspective, and educate beyond superficial optics. Practical actions, such as organizing forums, discussions, and educational campaigns, can engage influencers and thought leaders from target demographics. These initiatives serve as tangible proof points for showcasing the aspirational and high – minded.  values of Judaism and fostering understanding among diverse communities.  

 Only by understanding Judaism can you understand the true character of Israel, because that is the source and heartbeat of the country. And any messaging about Israel that sidesteps the core values of Judaism can be easily misunderstood and reframed by the enemies of Israel.  

 

About the Author
Robin Lemberg is a globally recognized leader in branding, strategy, marketing, and communications, renowned for her obsession with understanding people and translating that insight into big ideas that simplify complex challenges. Robin has led an expansive career spanning leadership roles at iconic organizations and for global brands such as PepsiCo, Credit Suisse, Interbrand, BBDO TBWA (formerly BDDP), Mercer (formerly Corporate Decisions, Inc) and Disney, and her own consultancy, The Branding Partnership, then XN Partnership. Her strategic thinking informed Effie and Lion awards among other industry accolades. Robin also helped to develop the Disruption methodology and write its launch book while at BBDP/TBWA, which has made a big impact on the branding and marketing industry. In recent years, Robin has combined her marketing expertise with a degree in nonprofit executive leadership to positively impact social issues through the application of marketing principles and strategic planning to international, domestic, and local NPOs. She is on the Board of Human Services in Greenwich, CT and serves as an advisor to other organizations. Robin is also passionate about passing the marketing torch on to Gen Z by inspiring new ways of thinking about strategy to catalyze change. Robin splits her time between Connecticut, New York City and Paris and is a proud parent to Gen Z kids.
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