The first Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the West Bank

I remember clearly how excited we were when B&J ice cream arrived in our small town.

One of the highlights of my childhood was going with my father to get ice cream at Mordechai Goodman’s pizza in Efrat. This was in the mid-’90s. There were only two flavors to choose from, cookie dough or cookie cream but it was one of the most difficult choices we were forced to make ūüôā

I remember clearly that someone complained about the high price of the ice cream (10 shekels for a small individual cup/stick), Mordechai answered that he insists to offer the best ice cream that is available on the market! Mordechai Goodman was proud to be the sole provider of B&J ice cream in the west bank. His pizza shop was open to anyone who was seeking good pizza and ice cream.

This special treat was only available to us for a special reason.

My father wanted us to join him for a 45 min Talmud class with Rabbi Shurin and his way to get my brother and me excited about this was by taking us for pizza and ice cream afterward. The class started at 7:30 PM and ended at 8:15 PM. Although Rabbi Shurin was kind and friendly, the other participants were adults and it was impossible for us to follow. These 45 mins lasted forever! Despite the challenges, Pizza & B&J motivated us to keep on going. This was our routine from the age of 10 to 13, twice a week!¬† I specifically remember enjoying the ice cream even during cold winter nights as we simply didn’t agree to give up the opportunity to have this yummy treat.

Today, 25 years later, I look back at these memories with a smile.

Isn’t this what ice cream is about?! Can’t we leave these basic fun experiences away from politics? Does anyone believe that these boycotts will help bring peace to the region? Can you imagine the executive meeting held at the B&J corporate headquarters where they make a decision to prevent Jewish kids from having ice cream!?!

In the name of liberalism and progressive values, we are spreading hate and racism. Complex issues are turned into populist chanting.

This is a slippy road that may lead to terrible outcomes.


About the Author
Elkana is an entrepreneur and business manager with a deep passion for education. Since 2007, Elkana has been in the field of experiential education and social entrepreneurship, focusing on community building, social awareness, humanities, and Jewish identity. Elkana currently resides in Rockville, MD, together with his wife, two daughters, and son.
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