Four Marketing #Fails You’re Probably Making Right Now

Four Marketing #Fails You’re Probably Making Right Now

Running a small business or non-profit is a tough these days. The dismal economy created a lack of willingness to spend or donate. Etsy & eBay are creating online “local shops” that replace brick & mortar stores. Mobile apps are creating an easy way to shop at big box retailers over local retailers. Kickstarter & Causes are taking dollars away from local non-profits. Even Google & Amazon are testing same-day delivery of merchandise & fresh food. How do these businesses create such innovative services that attract thousands of interested customers?

It’s all marketing. Creating the perception that their services are better, cheaper & more convenient. The good news is you can do the same thing. If you haven’t re- examined your marketing, you get a big marketing #FAIL, hashtag and all. Chin up, there’s room to improve. Here’s four marketing fails to notice and improve on:

Paying for Art, Not Ads

You may have a graphic designer creating Louvre-worthy ads with the latest fonts & images but if they’re shrugging their shoulders when you ask them “what market, which outlet & how often should I place this ad?” you just wasted money. Create without strategy is simply art. Creative design with strategy & market research is marketing.

Since you’re probably not in the art collecting business, focus on finding a marketing consultant that will research your industry, analyze the SWOT out of you, and creative a marketing strategy that is cohesive, effective and measurable. Whether it’s storefront design, a brand revamp, smarter social media, or ecommerce, marketing experts will design successful strategies. Graphic designers just design graphics.

Not Measuring Response

Oh, look, your ad came out nicely. Yes, it did, thanks, you say. Did it work? Um, well. Ok, stop, that’s a big #fail.  If you’re advertising without measuring ROI, you’re just gambling. This isn’t AC; this is your business. Every ad you place should have a value proposition, consistency, an internal expectation of ROI, and a method for measuring response.

Don’t sit back and expect ads with a “great deal!” to drive traffic. Every dollar you spend on marketing should come back to you with at least a story about what worked or what didn’t work. Consistency is the key to response and ROI measurement. Follow the advice of Glengarry Glen Ross – A.I.D.A (Attention, Interest, Decision, Action). It will take a consistent, reinforced marketing effort for customers to take action. Just like stocks, marketing is an stable investment, not a one-time gamble.

Impersonal vs. Personal Marketing

Magazines, newspapers, paid email lists & websites are all “media middlemen” that let you reach their audience. Key word: their audience. It’s a good option for reaching potential customers impersonally, but is not a substitute for reaching current customers personally. Key words here: impersonal and personal.

Refocus on personal marketing. Best way? Social media. A business page creates conversation, buzz and feedback around you. And build your email list. Sending a weekly email will keep customers noticing you. Don’t just talk about sales when you communicate. Poll people. Chat with them about anything. Share highs and lows with them. Bring your in-store personal experience to them when they’re not actually in your store. Personal marketing should be primary, not secondary.

Fear of Changing The Game

Remember when Apple personalized mobile phones with the App Store? Or how about when Netflix started steaming movies online to the chagrin of Blockbuster? Saw the stories about how a Silicon Valley mobile app called Uber took over the NYC taxi business? Google it.

These brands all changed the way business is done, setting new standards & creating new opportunities. They changed the game entirely. Fast fact: everyone wins when change is created; the customer gets more for less and the business becomes the hero to the customer.

Don’t wait for your sales to go red before scratching your head. ABC. Always Be Changing. If you don’t create change, a competitor will. Run a SWOT analysis every quarter to determine where you stand against competition. Can’t change? Then freshen up your look. Customers will always be attracted to freshness. You never lose looking fresh. The end goal, though, is to match a your fresh image with new offerings as a result of change.

We’ve all been caught off guard before when it came to missing opportunities or failing to see change coming. Refocus your efforts on creating new opportunities, changing the game & communicating your unique value in smarter ways. That’s the start of a marketing #success.


henry Isaacs Marketing | 646.833.8604 | info@henryisaacs.net | www.henryisaacs.net

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SodaStream takes their brand to the Super Bowl

SodaStream takes their brand to the Super Bowl

SodaStream | Henry Isaacs | New YorkWhat’s more valuable – an ad in the Super Bowl or the teaser ads FOR the ad in the Super Bowl? According to brand management firm Kontera, both are. Especially when it comes with Scarlett Johansson.

One of the biggest campaigns to date for an Israeli company, SodaStream’s campaign has already gotten a 700% boost in brand awareness. Could be the tasty carbonated product or could be the power of Scarlett Johansson. Either way, the Jewish audience has more than one reason to watch the Super Bowl next weekend!

Check out a Behind the Scenes video of the SodaStream commercial here:

 


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


The New Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Faces of Tech & Mobile

The New Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Faces of Tech & Mobile

The Israel AppWhen most people think of the Israel tech industry, they tend to envision modern, new-age cerebral types from Tel Aviv and Haifa. Which is why media tends to notice when an innovative Ultra-Orthodox Jewish tech startup & mobile app developer like Jew IQ comes along.

Joel Padowitz is one of those Ultra-Orthodox Israeli tech pioneers. Heading a team of Ultra-Orthodox digital & mobile techies through his company, Jew IQ, Joel created The Israel App, a unique GPS-based tour guide & travel companion app for iOS & Android devices. Not only is The Israel App one of the most popular travel apps for Israel tourists – both Jewish and Christian alike – it was created by a group of Jewish entrepreneurs that many consider to have shunned the internet & digital age.

Coming up on two years since the large Ultra-Orthodox Internet-shunning Asifa gathering in Citi Field, the digital & tech field has, ironically, been a draw for many Ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs. With strong education & well-developed analytical skills, Jewish entrepreneurs are starting to dip into the tech field. Many see tech as one of the last untapped areas and Jew IQ has indeed recognized the industry as wide open for innovation. And innovation that can be used for good.

Here’s a brief bio on the Ultra-Orthodox creators of The Israel App.

Joel Padowitz – CEO

Joel Padowitz is a successful entrepreneur who has been involved adult Jewish education for nearly 20 years, specializing in the interface between traditional Judaism & modernity. In 2004 he founded New York-based investment bank Palladium Capital Advisors, which is one of the top-25 most active placement agents in the USA. In 2009 he founded Jew IQ which develops mobile applications, content, and curricula for Jewish education and travel.. Rabbi Padowitz gives regular classes in Jewish thought law, and previously served as a rabbi in London. He is an award-winning speaker and writer whose articles have been published widely in mainstream Jewish media. He is also the author of Triumph and Tragedy: Journeying through 1000 Years of Jewish Life in Poland. Aside from rabbinic ordination, he received his MBA from Bar Ilan University where he finished first in his class, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and was honored at the White House by President George H.W. Bush for outstanding achievements in science.

Yaakov Lehman – Project Manager

Yaakov Lehman earned a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he founded an annual 3,000 person music and arts festival. He went on to earn an M.A. in Global History from the London School of Economics and an M.A. in Global Studies from the University of Vienna, where he specialized in East Asia; Yaakov is proficient in Mandarin Chinese. He is Founder and Director of DAJUS (‘Da Jews’), an organization dedicated to publicizing the Torah values of Diversity Awareness Justice Understanding and Sustainability through creative media. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the European Union Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, the Dorot Israel Fellowship, and the Threshold Jewish Educational Entrepreneurship.  He is a certified Tai-Qi teacher, whose classes feature a unique integration of ancient Chinese body movements, Jewish mystical teachings, and group reflection on technology’s impact upon ourselves, our relationships, and our society at large.

Team

Yosef Adest – Media

Yosef Adest is a Tel Aviv-based photographer/video producer entrepreneur, who runs various creative and educational photography projects around the world. You can view more of his work at www.yosefadest.com

Dub Method – Graphics & Branding

Dub Method, a high-end creative agency, specializes in developing brand strategies, and applying them to marketing and communication components across a variety of media.  Their team is comprised of Yoel Bender and Eli Clevs, both American Olim to Israel.  www.dubmethod.com

Concept Creative – Programming

Concept Creative is the Web and Mobile division of  NetSource, an Israeli IT company.  Located in Beit Shemesh, their staff is comprised of 80% Hareidi female programmers.  http://conceptsite.co.il/

Rabbi Ken Spiro – Primary Historian & Guide

Rabbi Ken Spiro, originally from New Rochelle, NY, graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and did graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow. He has rabbinic ordination from Aish Jerusalem and a Masters Degree in History from Vermont College of Norwich University. Rabbi Spiro is also a licensed tour guide by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. He has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs such as BBC, National Geographic Channel and The History Channel. He lives near Jerusalem with his wife and five children, where he works as a senior lecturer for Aish Jerusalem.  http://www.kenspiro.com/

 


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


7 Trends in Jewish Marketing & Communications

7 Trends in Jewish Marketing & Communications

2014 TrendsIt’s 2014. And that means it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing & communications plan. Your focused on ensuring your business or non-profit is at the forefront of people’s minds in print, digital & social media channels. So here’s 7 marketing & communication trends relevant to the Jewish community you should be aware for 2014.

7 Trends in Jewish Marketing & Communications

LOCAL & HYPERLOCAL JEWISH MEDIA OPTIONS

With printing costs at all-time lows & growing populations within Orthodox Jewish communities, niche newspapers and penny savers keep popping up in Five Towns, Bergen County, Queens and Brooklyn. Hyperlocal email lists focused on communities and regions, such as eBergen BlastTeaneck Blast & eFiver (Five Towns) are adding a hyperlocal digital & social media option for advertisers as well. The end result is low cost, targeted advertising options (the trade-off is that these media options have questionable circulation & readership numbers). When creating a marketing campaign, enlist the help of an expert media buyer who understand the nuances of each media option & is able to determine what will work for you and what is a drag on your budget. (Learn More About Hyperlocal…)

THE MOBILE JEWISH ENTREPRENEUR

All you need to start a business these days is a business card, mobile device, social media page & a handshake. We’ve always known that the Jewish market was full of entrepreneurial souls but these days, with iPhones & Android devices becoming the office of choice, Jewish entrepreneurs can launch a business in days instead of months. Apps can replace office services, such as faxing, office reception & scanning, and can also conduct business, including mobile banking & credit card processing.

Numerous Jewish startups will rely on image & visibility to sell, which increases their need for marketing, PR & branding. A co-op marketing strategy with an established complementary business – such as a startup interior designer teaming with a real estate management company – is a smart option for 2014. It mimics the trend of digital companies teaming up with brick & mortar stores to gain offline customers. (How To Market Your Startup…)

CONTENT MARKETING IS WHERE IT’S AT.

We’ve all seen articles on BuzzFeed such as “10 Reasons to Celebrate Denver’s Playoff Berth” and “9 Ways to Protect Yourself In The Event Of An Alien Invasion” that may sound ridiculous. In reality, content marketing- or branded content – is highly contagious within social media. Essentially, the goal is to create content that is not only useful but interesting; similar to a business blog but without the formalities. For established businesses & non-profits, content marketing can help make your brand more approachable to the 18-32 year old demographic. Here’s how we used Content Marketing in our favor.

When creating content for the Jewish market, you’ll need to take their location, language, habits, denomination & standards before creating the content otherwise your content will be lost in translation. Relevant content marketing is a delicate balance between what you want to say and what customers want to read.   (See how you can create content marketing…)

MEDIA BUYING = AD + ARTICLE 

You used to have to pitch an article to the press in order to get it published. In these recessionary times, though, all you need to do is be an advertiser. Similar to the trend of content marketing, advertorial options & blurbs have become part of an advertising media buy – with a paid ad, newspapers & websites will throw in a free mention in their briefs or an article in their paper.

Reputable newspapers & websites will limit these articles to certain sections or online only while other media outlets will publish material all the time.  The advantage isn’t just getting free content; it’s about creating content that is worth reading. Jewish media buyers know which publications will provide free content but connect with content creators (see below) that will make your content compelling & optimized for SEO purposes (Start media buying…)

ISRAEL TARGETS AMERICANS

With sales edging higher & e-commerce websites creating more demand, Israeli companies and startups are starting to look towards the American market in more ways than just print advertising. Israel-based companies have started to sponsor events & create “satellite” offices in the U.S. as a way to attract the Jewish customer more often than just Passover or Sukkot vacation. Google Voice and Skype allows Israel entrepreneurs to create video & chat meetings with American customers, selling items from jewelry to travel services to real estate all online. As a result, more Israel companies will be looking to target Americans through more than just media buys in print. They’ll be looking for events, branding & direct sales. (Learn more…)

FROM WRITER TO CONTENT CREATOR

Just like cops moonlight as security guards, writers are using their talents for marketing purposes. As the newspaper industry staggers in the digital age, seasoned writers & editors are using their talents in the copywriting & branded content arena. Blogs, content marketing, advertising & press releases are all areas where an experienced writer comes in handy. Jewish writers in particular have a loyal established following that can come in handy when targeting the Jewish market through content.

SOCIAL MEDIA OUTSOURCING & FOCUSING

The days of merely posting up a Facebook & Twitter page are over. At the same time, joining every single social media service in existence is a huge timesink & dilutes your core network. What worked for the nascent social media audience in 2006 won’t work for a 2014 audience (Facebook turns 10 years old this year, did you know that?). Mobile devices allow customers to get content quickly and on time. News breaks in minutes and goes viral in seconds. Push notifications provide app alerts, breaking news and social media messages. Focusing social media efforts on the strongest ones for your business is the key to a successful social media strategy. Posting consistent and timely messages, video’s and content on your best networks is smarter than having one or two pieces of content on every social network.

However, employees sitting on Vine, Pinterest or GoFundMe all day long could make for highly distracted workers that are out of touch with the end goal, which is sales & marketing.In a 2012 Intuit survey, one third of business owners said they want to spend less time on social media though they know it’s valuable. The 2013 solution has been outsourcing social media; specifically, companies are outsourcing social media design, content creation and analytics. From a cost-benefit analysis, outsourcing quality social media control is a better method than hiring full-time employees or college kids. (Read more about social media…)

BUSINESS IMAGE MAKEOVER FOR 2014

Redesigning your website, brochures & advertising to suit the needs of digital customers that browse with tablets, mobile devices & iOS 7 is the first step towards a successful 2014 marketing campaign. Responsive web design with swipe navigation or one-page navigation has become the best way to reach customers on iPhone’s and iPad’s. Creating interactive brochures and business “storybooks” that resemble a magazine is a hot feature on Flipboard. Focusing on pictures & video for your marketing is more important than a PowerPoint.

Overall, it’s important to ensure your brand’s image & logo looks as relevant for 2014 as it did in 2005. Creating a badge, Favicon and Icon for your company is an important branding technique for being seen in browser windows & in social media; a badge is just as important as a logo! Designing social media components that are consistent with your advertising, brochures & website are often overlooked areas of design. With social media threatening to replace traditional websites, remaking your look for the digital age should be on your marketing budget for 2014. (Learn about a brand makeover…)


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


Wonder Bread: Soft. Delicious. Nutritious. and KOSHER! (but will it catch on?)

Wonder Bread: Soft. Delicious. Nutritious. and KOSHER! (but will it catch on?)

Wonder Bread is KosherEver pass by the bread aisle and have the Wonder Bread logo & colors catch your eye, only to be turned back by the questionable Kosher certification of the Triangle K? You need not put the loaf down anymore.

Wonder Bread has gained OU Kosher certification in the New York market, according to The Jewish Week of New York’s Food & Wine website. Apparently, after Hostess Brands went bankrupt and sold off their reputable brands, such as Twinkies & Dolly Madison (Twinkies recently made a reappearance on store shelves though not with any Kosher certifications), the Wonder Bread went to Flower Foods, which, according to the OU, is a “very old & important OU account” and has a strong line of Kosher-certified products such as Nature’s Own and Home Pride breads. The result is that Jewish mothers & families can now try the bread they’ve desired to try ever since they were kids!

Will Kosher customers respond to the new Wonder Bread option, though? Depends on which Jewish consumers Flower Foods will try to target. In the mainstream New York Jewish marketplace, there are already dozens of Kosher breads available, both national (such as Home Pride) and Jewish start-up brands (such as Mehadrin Bakery) as well as the store generic brands (such as Shoprite & Fairway Market brands), so the marketplace is already well stocked. However, Jewish consumers very much enjoy the novelty of trying new Kosher iconic brands (remember the Kosher consumer’s craze & fall over Subway, the desire for Oreo’s & the long agonizing wait for Skittles?) so there will be a nice surge in sales at the very beginning, especially now that the Jewish holidays are over and school is in full swing for the next two months until Hanukkah.

The Orthodox market has generally opted to stick with brands that are baked by Jewish bakeries because of “pas akum” issues (pas akum, bread baked by non-Jews, could pose some problems according to Jewish law: see the rundown of “Pas Yisrael” laws & products here) but the OU brand is the king of Kosher certifications for the Orthodox Jewish consumer (OU does stand for Orthodox Union after all). With OU certification, Wonder Bread has definitely secured the highest Kosher certification covering all Jewish consumer markets but it remains to be seen if it’s too late in the game to get Kosher families to switch their bread. And, occasionally, even Jewish bakeries slip up in their high Kosher standards (see our article on Zomick’s).

The main marketing & PR goal for Wonder Bread will be trying to get Jewish customers to “give a second look” at Wonder Bread and try it out. Many Jewish shoppers have become used to simply bypassing the red, yellow, and blue bubbles logo on the bread shelf in favor of other brands so getting those same customers to take another look and discover the OU logo is key to getting new Jewish customers (Hebrew National had the same Kosher certification issues although meat products require a much more stringent Kosher certification approach). Apparently, Wonder Bread must taste extremely delicious so keeping customers shouldn’t be a problem…. they just have to get over the habit of not putting it in the basket! The Jewish customer is a loyal one and, having large families, price conscious about their groceries, so a marketing campaign that incorporates a coupon or discount to try out Wonder Bread would be a smart move.

Although it’s a crowded playing field, we definitely welcome Wonder Bread to the Kosher marketplace! May your stay be like Oreo and not like Subway!


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


Booker Taps Ties to Jewish Community in Senate Race (WSJ)

Booker Taps Ties to Jewish Community in Senate Race (WSJ)

Cory Booker Jewish MayorAs you saw in our previous post for the New York mayoral election and courting Jewish votes, the Jewish community may be small in numbers but don’t disregard their influence. Looking to take over the late Frank Lautenberg, Cory Booker, a popular name in Jewish circles, has become a strong candidate for the New Jersey Senate seat. Who does he turn to for the votes? The Jewish community.  As his go to source for all-things-Jewish, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the type of Rabbi that is political, closely tied to the modern Jewish community, and nationally recognized for his popular (and controversial) opinions on sex, religion, and lifestyle. Sounds like a perfect candidate to take Cory Booker to the next level. 

Booker Taps Ties to Jewish Community in Senate Race

Newark Mayor’ Draws on Longtime Connections in Bid for Lautenberg Seat

By HEATHER HADDON

He regularly reads verses from the Torah. He once addressed 700 congregants at a friend’s bar mitzvah. In 2011, he took his parents to Israel for a “trip of a lifetime.” And he is a staple at seder meals during Passover.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker

He is Cory Booker, the African-American, Christian mayor of Newark.

The U.S. Senate candidate has immersed himself in Jewish culture and serious Judaic study for two decades, ever since he had an accidental meeting with an ultraorthodox Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi. And now, Mr. Booker has tapped those Jewish connections in his campaign to fill the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who was Jewish and helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Jewish causes—and with a cancer-research center in Jerusalem bearing his name.

Mr. Booker, 44 years old, has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from prominent New Jersey Jewish leaders, and nearly $120,000 from the pro-Israel NORPAC political-action committee since January, campaign filings show.

Many Jews familiar with Mr. Booker are impressed with his knowledge of their faith.

“He could put many of us to shame,” said Lori Klinghoffer, a New Jersey Jewish philanthropist and president of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.

The three other Democrats running in the Aug. 13 primary also count ties to the Jewish community. Most notably, the widow and children of Mr. Lautenberg—who sponsored a 1989 amendment that helped hundreds of thousands of Jews in Soviet countries flee persecution to the U.S.—have endorsed Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone.

[image]Peter J. Smith for The Wall Street Journal | Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

The Lautenberg family members are vocal critics of Mr. Booker’s candidacy—including his outreach to Jews.

“With Cory Booker, he’s a very good speaker and a very good salesman,” said Josh Lautenberg, the late senator’s son. “I don’t feel like Cory Booker is authentic in what he’s selling.”

A spokesman for the Booker campaign—who declined to address Mr. Lautenberg’s son’s claims—said the candidate’s Jewish studies have enriched his Christian faith and “reinforced his belief that there is much more that connects us than divides us.”

Jewish elders in New Jersey believe Mr. Booker is sincere.

“I have had ample opportunity to gauge the depth of his Jewish knowledge, and it is genuine,” said Rabbi Clifford Kulwin, who leads the 3,000-member Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, N.J. He has known Mr. Booker for years.

Newark was once home to a large Jewish population, with tens of thousands living there in the early 20th century. But Newark’s Jewish population dwindled significantly after the city’s 1967 riots.

Throughout New Jersey, roughly 397,400 people, or 6% of the population, identify as Jewish, tied with New York state for the highest percentage in the country, according to a 2007 study by the Pew Forum. New Jersey is home to growing Orthodox communities in Teaneck, Passaic, Lakewood and Linden, along with Reform Jews throughout the northern and central parts of the state.

It is a significant section of voters and donors—especially in a race that will likely see low voter turnout—that Mr. Booker’s three Democratic rivals aren’t discounting.

State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, one of the Democratic candidates, grew up as one of the few African-Americans living in Newark’s Weequahic neighborhood, a South Ward section that was predominantly Jewish.

“I definitely have excellent relationships with the Jewish community,” she said.

All the Democrats in the race have reached out to Jewish groups, said Ben Dworkin, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. Mr. Pallone and Rep. Rush Holt, another candidate, have strong records on Israel, and Ms. Oliver is well-known, he said.

Mr. Booker’s Jewish knowledge has proved particularly intriguing, Mr. Dworkin said.

Mr. Booker was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and now belongs to Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark.

Mr. Booker stumbled into his Jewish studies when he was at Oxford, when he attended a 1992 Torah celebration thrown by the L’Chaim Society student organization.

He began studying Judaism with the group’s Hasidic rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, and Mr. Booker later became the organization’s president at Oxford.

They continued their Jewish studies together after both men moved to New Jersey.

“We’ve studied thousands of hours together,” said Rabbi Boteach, an Englewood resident who said he advised Michael Jackson on spirituality and is the author of unconventional books such as “Kosher Sex.”

As mayor, Mr. Booker keeps a Torah on his desk, among other religious books. He can read some Hebrew, but isn’t conversant. He will often use Jewish parables when talking about political struggles.

“At the end of the day, I am a man who loves faith,” said Mr. Booker, during a speech before Mercer County Democrats last year, where he discussed bringing his parents to Israel in 2011.

Mr. Booker has spoken to dozens of Jewish groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a strong pro-Israel lobbying group.

NORPAC has hosted several fundraisers for his campaign—and more may be on the way, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, NORPAC founder and chief executive of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division.

NORPAC also has supported Mr. Pallone with $10,000 in contributions this year, according to campaign filings.

But Mr. Booker is the candidate that many Jewish voters have embraced, said Richard Gordon, an attorney from New Jersey and past president of the American Jewish Congress.

“Cory Booker is someone we have watched grow up,” Mr. Gordon said. “There was a tremendous amount of pent up excitement about what his future was going to be.”

Write to Heather Haddon at heather.haddon@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared July 29, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Booker Taps Jewish Ties In Senate Race.


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What's The Deal?Sometimes the best way to describe Jewish and Kosher is through a presentation that covers some of the burning questions out there. So we created one that helps say exactly what people are thinking and wondering. Yes, it may be a bit self-serving (we are a business after all!) but some of the slides show how the Jewish and kosher market is a group you don’t want to overlook these days!


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Arizona Is Fertile Ground for New York Matzo (New York Times)

Arizona Is Fertile Ground for New York Matzo (New York Times)

Arizona Hasid
Arizona Hasid

The Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community always ensure the highest standards for Kosher products that matter to them, even the seasonal ones like matza. The Satmar Jewish community, as featured in this article, has been known to go above and beyond in religious observances, even more than what the Yeshivish and Modern Orthodox communities deem acceptable, be it in modesty standards, religious transportation, or male/female interactions. When it comes to matza, however, that fastidiousness is a good thing. The holiday of Passover has some very strict rules on how to celebrate the holiday appropriately and that’s represented by the intense process of making matza… which obviously starts with the wheat fields.

Not even the ritual selection of an Etrog on Sukkot is as intense a challenge as ensuring matza is made within 18 minutes without any excess water touching it. All this work for a dry cracker that the Jewish community has to eat for eight days a year? We expect nothing less. 

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Arizona Is Fertile Ground for New York Matzo

By 

YUMA, Ariz. — Here, on a Christian farmer’s land five miles from the Mexican border, lies the holiest of fields for some of New York’s most observant Orthodox Jewish communities. Wheat harvested on these 40 acres is destined to become matzo, the unleavened bread eaten by Jews during the eight days of Passover.

It is not an everyday plant-and-pick operation, and the matzo made from this wheat is not everyday matzo.

Yisroel Tzvi Brody, rabbi of the Shaarei Orah synagogue in Borough Park, Brooklyn, stood at the edge of one of the fields on Monday, stooping to rub a grain of wheat between his wrinkled thumb and index finger. Removing his glasses, he brought the grain close to his eyes and turned it from side to side, like a gemologist inspecting a precious stone.

“It is to ascertain that it’s not sprouted,” Rabbi Brody explained. “If it has, it’s not valid.”

For seven weeks, while the wheat grew in scorching heat under impossibly blue skies, two men clothed in the traditional black and white garments of the Hasidim stayed in a trailer overlooking the crop, to be able to attest that the wheat, once matured, had been untouched by rain or other moisture. Workers were prohibited from carrying water bottles in the field. Dust danced in the air as the wind blew, but unpaved roads could not be wet while the wheat was growing. The goal was to prevent any natural fermentation from taking place in the grains before they were milled into flour and the matzo was baked, sometime in the late fall.

Tradition calls for keeping watch over the matzo from the time the wheat is milled. Ultra-Orthodox Jews have carried that practice several steps further, guarding the grains before the wheat is harvested to ensure they are not overripe or wet from rainfall. That can be a challenging task on the rainy East Coast. Nonetheless, one segment of the Satmar sect, the largest Hasidic group in the United States, grows its wheat there, following seasonal weather forecasts to search for areas where rain is least likely to fall right before the wheat matures.

Five years ago, another Satmar group began shifting its wheat-growing operation here, where rain is rare at this time of year. That opened a new front line in the competition for the most rigorous standards in the production of matzo. (In a taste test, though, The Brooklyn Paper chose neither, picking instead matzo made by the Pupa and Zehlem Matzoh Bakery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is run by Hasidic Jews of the Puppa sect. It is said that they, too, have used Yuma wheat.)

Samuel Heilman, a professor of sociology at Queens College of the City University of New York, whose research focuses on the social ethnography of Jewish Orthodox movements, said the competition between the two Satmar groups — each led by one of two brothers — was about one-upmanship.

“One is always looking to be more authoritative than the other,” Professor Heilman said, “and one of the ways they’re making this happen is over matzo — our matzo is more kosher than yours, we’re more scrupulous and careful over matzo baking than you are.”

Zalman Teitelbaum is the younger of the brothers and a rabbi in one of the Satmar congregations in Williamsburg, where many of the sect’s members live. The bakers who follow him use East Coast wheat.

Aaron Teitelbaum, the older brother, is the chief rabbi of the Satmar community based in the village of Kiryas Joel, N.Y., settled by his great-uncle, Joel Teitelbaum, the dynasty’s founder and its grand rabbi. Wheat used there comes from Yuma.

On Monday, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum got something close to a rock star reception when he paid a visit to the farm, straight from New York, to bless the wheat harvest. Rabbis and congregants at the farm formed a tight knot around him, taking pictures and jostling for a chance to touch him.

Rabbi Brody, clad in a bekishe, a traditional ankle-length black coat, approached Tim Dunn, the farm’s owner. “How many degrees is now?” he asked.

“It’s about 108 degrees,” Mr. Dunn told him.

Rabbi Brody sighed.

Mr. Dunn remembers a call five years ago from a man who asked if he had any interest growing kosher wheat. He said yes, without any real idea about what working with ultra-Orthodox Jews would require. The first lesson came when his wife reached to shake hands with a visitor and the man, a rabbi, pulled back. (By custom, men and women are to avoid touching, unless they are related.)

Many more lessons followed. For example, no matter how many times Mr. Dunn cleans his equipment, the rabbis will come by and clean it some more. The purpose, they told him, was to rid the machines of every bit of dirt, a painstaking task that often includes blowing air into the tiniest nooks and crevices.

“When I meet prospective clients, I tell them, if I can meet these guys’ standards, I can meet anybody’s standards,” said Mr. Dunn, who grows 12 varieties of wheat on his farm. Some is shipped to Italy, where it is used to make pasta. Some goes to a laboratory that develops new breads.

Matzo is made from soft white wheat. Once harvested, that wheat must be brought to a warehouse before dark, and when it is transported, the top of the truck that carries it must be covered.

After the grain is cleaned and packed into containers, which are sealed by the rabbis, it is shipped by train to Elizabeth, N.J., then taken by trucks to Orthodox bakeries in Brooklyn and Kiryas Joel.

Rabbi Eli Hershkowitz, who manages the Satmar Central Matzoh Bakery on Rutledge Street in Williamsburg, said the dough is kneaded and rolled by hand and baked in wood-fired brick ovens. It is how it was done centuries ago in Eastern Europe, where Hasidic sects trace their roots, and how it is also done at the Congregation Satmar Matzoh Bakery three blocks away on Broadway, which is run by followers of Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, the competition.

A one-pound box of Passover matzo costs about $25; “$14 to $15 is just the cost of labor,” Rabbi Hershkowitz said.

Baking will begin five months before the holiday, which starts on the evening of April 14, 2014. Rabbi Hershkowitz estimated that the Orthodox bakeries of Brooklyn would produce between 80,000 and 100,000 pounds of matzo using Yuma wheat. A family might consume about 20 pounds over eight days, he said. “We’re large families.”

At noon, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum climbed onto a combine and started the engine to begin the harvest. A Hasidic man was at the wheel. Mr. Dunn’s son, Kirk, who is studying agronomy at the University of Arizona, rode by his side as the combine lumbered across the field, gathering grain, the rabbis cheering from the sidelines.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 9, 2013

An article on June 29 about arid wheat fields in Arizona that have become the front line in the competition between two ultra-Orthodox sects in the production of matzo misidentified the source of an article about a matzo taste test. The Brooklyn Paper conducted the test and then wrote about it; the article was not by the Jewish blog Vos Iz Neias?, which published The Brooklyn Paper’s article without crediting it. The article about the wheat fields also misstated the relationship of a rabbi, Joel Teitelbaum, to Aaron Teitelbaum. Joel was Aaron’s great-uncle, not his uncle.


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


Hummus Empire Sabra Is Trying To Infiltrate Man Caves Across America (Business Insider)

Hummus Empire Sabra Is Trying To Infiltrate Man Caves Across America (Business Insider)

Sabra Hummus
Hummus’ Wingman

Hummus, a wonderfully healthy garbanzo bean dip popular in Israel, has made serious inroads into the American public’s consciousness. It’s even starting to become mentioned in healthy circles as often as salsa and guacamole. Now, according the Bloomberg News article and Business Insider, Sabra, a leading Hummus purveyor, is trying to branch out and become less of a unique “Middle Eastern dip” and more of an American household staple.

Will it happen? Well, hummus could be more expensive than salsa and less versatile than guacamole, but there’s a cure for that: cookbooks & recipes. If Sabra Dipping Company designs a recipe blog for hummus, households will see hummus as more than just for dipping; thus, hummus would become more of a household staple. Also, getting men to switch to hummus means getting them to think healthier so focus a campaign on healthy men to start. Forget ketchup – pass the hummus anyone?

See their commercial here and read the article below:

Business Insider

Hummus Empire Sabra Is Trying To Infiltrate Man Caves Across America

MICHAEL THRASHER JUL. 2, 2013, 12:58 PM 1,644 7
sabra hummus chicken wing

The CEO of Sabra Dipping Company wants hummus to be the new salsa for male sports fans.Bloomberg News reported that Sabra CEO Ronen Zohar recently approved the company’s first nationally televised commercials in the U.S.

That commercial features a chicken wing being dipped into hummus.

In further evidence that Sabra is trying to break into man caves, it will also be the National Football League’s official dip sponsor this coming season.

Sabra’s greatest challenge is overcoming its image as a niche health food.

But Zohar is confident people just need to try his product. “Most of the people in the U.S. never tasted hummus,” Zohar told Bloomberg. “You have to change their mindset that even if the name is strange and the brown color of the hummus is not as appetizing, it tastes wonderful.”

According to Nielsen, 18% of U.S. households have tried hummus.


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604


How Israel (the “Start Up Nation”) Lost A Major Start Up

How Israel (the “Start Up Nation”) Lost A Major Start Up

A Better Place... no more.
A Better Place… no more.

 

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Reposted from The Jewish Week:

Israel’s Electric Car Crashes And Burns

The demise of Shai Agassi’s Better Place rattles a ‘Start-up Nation’ accustomed to success.

Tel Aviv — In recent years, theBetter Place electric car startup and its visionary Shai Agassi have been synonymous with the daring and genius of Israeli tech entrepreneurs. The story of its founding even served as the introduction to the best-selling book “Start-Up Nation.”

But with the announcement of Better Place’s closing this week, Israel’s tech community and the country as a whole have been trying to come to grips with the most spectacular flameout of a private Israeli technology venture ever seen.

Not only does it tarnish Israel’s startup brand, the implosion has reverberated throughout the world of “clean technology” companies and automobiles with renewable energies.

“The sad thing about it is this project was really associated with our national brand. It was a great story,” said Jonathan Medved, a venture capitalist who is the chief of Our Crowd Ltd., and a former partner in Israel Seed Partners. (Medved was not an investor in Better Place.) “As a country we had skin in the game. This is not just a loss of the investors, employees and suppliers; we all share in this loss.”

Barely a year after the Better Place cars hit the market and after burning through nearly $1 billion in venture capital investments, the company’s investors — chief among them Israeli business tycoon Idan Ofer — decided they could no longer underwrite the company.

Agassi, the charismatic young Israeli tech executive who was the heart and soul of Better Place, was selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in 2009.

It was Agassi who sold Israeli President Shimon Peres and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the idea of making Israel a pilot market to test a car that was supposed to upend the auto industry and free the world from dependence on gasoline producers.

But as chief executive, he is also bearing the brunt of accusations of widespread mismanagement and dubious business strategy that led to the squandering of the Better Place investment war chest. He left the company in October after a falling out with the Better Place board — the first sign that the company’s future was looking dim.

In the days following the announcement of Better Place’s liquidation on Sunday, there have been endless postmortems and debates about what went wrong.

Did the company lose focus on its all-important pilot market by simultaneously seeking footholds in bigger countries like Australia and China? Or did it not expand and build up infrastructure fast enough?

Was Israel’s expensive market for automobiles, concentrated in the hands of a few powerful importers and dominated by leasing companies, really the ideal pilot market? After selling about 1,000 cars in a year, could Better Place have done a better job at marketing in a country in which many saw it as a national project?

And finally, did it raise too much money and suffer from bloat, or did it underestimate the amount it would need in its coffers to fight big automotive makers and energy companies?

Despite the myriad problems, owners and others who had tested the battery-fitted Renault Fluence praised the driving experience.

One venture capital investor insisted that Better Place still had a positive impact by shaking up the automobile and energy industries, and focusing attention on shifting away from gasoline-fueled cars.

“Better Place was taking on big auto and big energy,” said Jeff Pulver, the founder of Vonage and a venture capital investor. “They needed a logarithmic amount of more money. I look at this as a positive failure not a negative investment. If I look at where the world is going, Better Place proved you could have a vision and make it happen. Maybe next time they will have deeper pockets.”

However, Pulver acknowledged, “From the public relations perspective, if it turns this company into the largest failure in a startup, it will stand out in the record books. But it was a big idea, and they had to do everything they could do to make it big.”

Better Place’s investors and a group of customers are now battling in court over the company’s liquidation. The startup made a promise to Renault to buy 100,000 cars by 2015 — an example of Agassi’s boldness. The company must deal with customers who paid some $30,000 for cars and prepaid tens of thousands of dollars up front for electricity service that may become unusable if there is no one to operate the company’s switching stations.

Jacob Ner David, a Better Place car owner and serial entrepreneur who is managing partner Jerusalem Capital I, said the company did not inform customers until the morning it filed for liquidation.

“The customers were the big believers. To everyone who spent 125,000 shekels [$33,000] and prepaid for four years of electricity, it was a big decision,” said Ner David, who faulted Better Place for forgetting it was a startup and allowing itself to become bloated from its cash. “The people who are really getting screwed are the customers, and they are the ones who stepped forward.”

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Yosef Abramowitz, who pioneered the establishment of solar energy fields in the desert of southern Israel by establishing Arava Power, said that oil giants and autocratic regimes that export oil are the big winners from the Better Place collapse.

He noted that while the core vision of Better Place could still be implemented, investors are likely to be more demanding and barriers to entry will be higher.

“There was a moment in time when it was believable that Israel could lead the way to become the first carbon-neutral country on the planet,” Abramowitz wrote.

“The crash of Better Place is a sad day for Israel and for ‘Start-up Nation’ because the concept and brand so associated with making the world a better place through a business has failed.”

Medved, the venture capitalist, said he was trying to take the setback in stride. After nearly two decades on the international map of high-tech development, Israel needs to take a mature approach to the Better Place failure by realizing that startups involve failure as well as success. Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs need to learn the lessons and move on rather than bemoan Better Place, he suggested.

“A sign of maturity is not just how do you celebrate your big wins, but how do you deal your big losses. You should obviously reach conclusions about what lessons can be learned,” Medved said.

“You don’t get colossal wins without colossal failure. Anyone who doubts that Shai Agassi will be back is wrong.”


Henry Isaacs Marketing | Isaac Hyman, Founder

 www.henryisaacs.net | info@henryisaacs.net | 646.833.8604