Warriors of the Seventh Year
Founded by Harav Binyomin Mendelsohn, Rav of the Komemius settlement, over 60 years ago, Keren Hashviis has been at the forefront of the dramatic increase in shemittah observance in recent times. Every seven years, while farms across Israel lay fallow, they work tirelessly to ensure that the heroic shemitta-observant farmers are provided with the requisite financial resources, halachic guidance, and moral support — before, during and after shemitta.
With anticipated expenses of $22 million for Shemitta 5775, they approached us to launch a mammoth, global campaign to mobilize world Jewry in support of these warriors.
Connecting mainland with farmland
People donate to a cause, to a “why”, not a “what”. Our job was to sell the relatable, not abstract facts and figures. Using a combination of authentic profiles of actual farmers, emotion-laden imagery and stirring messaging, we tugged at heartstrings all across the globe, giving those situated 5,000 miles away a close-up look at the valiance of the shemitta farmer.
The campaign told a story of trial and triumph, the fiery faith of the heroic farmer, combined with the cold reality of a year with no yield. Jews across the world grew emotionally and spiritually connected to the farmers, sharing in their struggle, supporting their perseverance.
A Rare Opportunity
To further emphasize this connection, donors were offered an unprecedented opportunity to partner in the mitzvah of shemitta. Coordinating with the foremost dayanim and legal experts in Eretz Yisrael, including representatives of the batei denim of Rav Wosner, Rav Karelitz and the Badatz Eidah Hacharedis, parcels of shemitta-observed farms were made available for purchase, adding a genuine, tangible dimension.
Emails, brochures, and other educational materials were strategically proliferated throughout North America, educating the broader Klal about the intricate laws and rich history of shemitta. Special fundraisers and initiatives were established, with actual farmers visiting communities across North America to relate, firsthand, the challenges of keeping shemitta.
It was a tremendous privilege being able to collaborate with the tireless individuals at Keren Hashviis, working for such an awe-inspiring cause. The results of such indefatigability and attention to detail were spectacularly realized. The global Keren Hashviis campaign concluded as an unprecedented success. Together, as champions of the mitzvah of shemitta, we opened up the hearts, minds, and ultimately, wallets of Jewish brethren around the world, raising an astounding $27 million worldwide.
"The marketing genius of the PTEX team helped introduce the Israeli farmer to the American audience and guarantee a successful Keren Hashviis campaign"
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Heart & Soul Overload
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