I am a Jewish craftsman, and when I go to my local Judaica shops, I see something that bothers me; wooden Judaic items like shtenders, etrog boxes, grogers etc…. made in China. Just for the record, I have nothing against the Chinese, Koreans, or Japanese as a people. I just don’t like seeing items things that we use in a synagogue (Shul) made by non-Jews. Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking, but think about this on a larger scale. I wonder how many of our Judaic items are made in other countries, in factories where people make pitiful wages.
Now let’s take another step up. How many thousands of American’s have lost their jobs to cheap foreign labor. Once again; yes, yes, I know what you are thinking, “the companies would go out of business without the cheap labor”. My response is, “well how come the cost of my shirts never goes down when they go overseas? I understand this is a huge topic with many different facets.
How do we deal with this? I would like to see more people buy local, handmade, or homemade products. There is a web site called Etsy.com. Here is their mission statement: Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell and Live Handmade.
We should make an attempt to put down these foreign made items just because they are cheaper. When you buy, sell and live handmade, you support your community and the economy by putting and keeping more American’s employed. What goes around comes around.