A new addition to the school curriculum is encouraging Israeli pupils to opt for the Shahar brand of chocolate spread, eat Pri Hagalil canned goods, and put fresh cherry tomatoes in their salads. The program, which focuses on buying Israeli goods, also teaches the children about leading Israeli innovations like the flash drive, ICQ, and drip irrigation.
The new program, launched by the Education Ministry and the Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry, is intended to instill in pupils a sense of pride in Israeli industry and products and convey the message that if Israelis don't buy locally-produced goods, employment will drop and families won't be able to make a living.
Under the slogan "We Are Blue and White," activists will visit schools and run study days dedicated to stressing the importance of buying "blue and white" goods.
The lessons include activities; audiovisual presentations; and card games that teach children to look for the "Made in Israel" label and distinguish between Israeli and imported goods. One question asks the pupils to choose between the Israeli Shahar brand of chocolate spread and a foreign brand.
Another presentation informs the children that "the people who work at the Pri HaGalil canning factory pack the sweet corn that we all love, and earn money to support their families."
The "We Are Blue and White" program was launched as a pilot program last year, and is slated to reach 50,000 pupils each year. According to Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry Deputy Director General Yanon Elroi, "Despite recent calls to boycott Israeli products, the Blue and White program sees teaching Israeli children to choose Israeli products as a top priority."
"Today's children are tomorrow's industrialists and consumers," Elroi added.
Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon said that the ministry was investing great effort in increasing awareness of the importance of buying Israeli goods, "which contributes to the economy, the society, and employment."
"We believe that sending this message from a young age will yield results, and as the kids take on the idea, they will influence their parents."