This Pesach, support Israel by purchasing goods online

Passover is just a few weeks away, and as you gear up for the holiday, think about the difference your holiday purchases could mean if you support Israel's economy. Using the Internet is like having an Israeli mall at your fingertips. And even if your local store carries Israeli products, you can use the Internet to send gifts to family and friends in Israel. Today, a Passover guide to shopping Israel on the Web.

But before you shop on the Web, you should always take a few precautions. Any page asking for credit card or other private information should be "secure" — that is, it should have a Web address that begins with https:// If you still nervous about ordering through the Internet, try fax, phone or mail. Always note duty and shipping costs and the Web site's privacy and return policies. If you have any doubts, ask the business for references. And don't be afraid to comparison shop. Many of the products mentioned below are offered on several different retail sites. Please note that I have not had commercial dealings with the Web sites mentioned in this column so my mention of a site should not be interpreted as an endorsement.

Where to start? There are several Web sites that have done the work for you and have scoured the Web to identify Israeli sites that ship abroad. Shop in Israel — — has links to dozens of sites that sell food, wine, honey and non-edible treats, too as does Austin's Shop Israel page — www.israelaustin.

com/israelnow/shopisrael.asp The IsraelShop — www.israelshop1.

com/passover.html — sells some lovely glass, pewter and wooden seder plates, and silk and embroidered matzah covers. OnlyIsraeli — — has some beautiful Kiddush cups if you (or Elijah) are looking for something new at the seder.

Here's a gift idea for someone in Israel whom you don't know. Through the DashCham site — — you can send soldiers a toiletry kit that includes shampoo, foot cream and your own personal note that you are thinking of them this holiday.

If you never have enough haggadot at your seder, or if you are looking for a new commentary, then check out the Books

International site. At www. you'll find more than 40 different Israeli haggadot both in Hebrew-only and with translations. I was fascinated by the range of haggadot: from traditional editions with commentary by Rashi to a reproduction of the Haggadah used by prisoners in

the Gurs Camp, France, in 1941 to a "pop-up" Haggadah based on the famous 14th century German "Birds' Head Haggadah" — www.


haggadah.htm — now found in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Whether it's a trip or a Kiddush cup, marketing professional Jeff Dunetz — in an article posted at jewishissues/

jewishsociety/Buy_Israel.asp — says now is the perfect time to fight the boycotts that are hurting Israel, "Jews all over the world are about to celebrate Passover. This is a holiday that remembers that God took us out of slavery, unifying us as a people and ultimately gave us the Torah. As a people we will sit with our families at the Seder table just as we did the night before our redemption. We need to continue to act as a people when we leave the Seder table. One way is to help Israel fight this economic war. It is up to us in the Diaspora to make a concerted effort to support the Israeli economy. We must seek out and purchase Israeli made products. BUY ISRAEL."