Messianic Multimedia in Israel: An Interview with Ygal Gitelman

Ygal Gitelman had a very practical goal in mind when he founded his business, Achva Multimedia Solutions. “I saw what Messianic organizations were being forced to pay for a quality sound system here in Israel, and it was ridiculous,” said Ygal. So he decided to do something about it.

Achva was established specifically to make advanced multimedia capability accessible to the Israeli Body of Messiah with affordable prices, custom-ordered components and expert guidance. In 2012, when Ygal took the plunge into the Israeli business world, it was a unique combination. Now, four years later, Achva is still the only company filling this niche for Israeli believers.

unnamed-2The Israeli Body benefits from Ygal’s multimedia background in several ways. His consulting, tech-support and training services enable congregations and event organizers to customize professional sound systems for their needs and get the most out of the components. Achva’s stock of name-brand multimedia devices can be rented for conferences and other special events together with freelance photographers, soundmen, DJs and musicians, giving fellow-believers access to state-of-the-art equipment without having to purchase these high-priced items on their own. And for those with the financial means, Ygal is becoming an address for providing imported equipment, including media and communication devices like computers, printers, smart phones and video projectors.

But the transition from computer technician to multimedia maven and marketer of name-brand equipment was not as easy as it might sound. “One of the first challenges was convincing the big importers of brands like Dell and LG to work directly with me,” Ygal recalled. “They’re used to high-quantity orders from the national chain stores like Best Buy, and here I was wanting one of this, and two of that.”

Persistence paid off, however, and Ygal’s prompt payment for delivered equipment gradually built trust with the high-tech giants. “Then they started getting curious about my unique requests.” Ygal’s dedication to customized integration led to orders for personal in-ear sound monitors – a great asset for worship leaders on stage, but a rare item in Israel. “Explaining why I wanted them became an opportunity to tell them about Messianic congregations,” Ygal observed, and this sometimes led to brief discussions about God and Yeshua. “After that, it was even more important than ever to maintain a good reputation as a customer,” he added, “because the Lord’s name was now associated with my business.”

What other challenges have faced Achva in its four years of operation? “Getting the word out to the Messianic community has been slow,” admitted Ygal. Besides his location in the far north of Israel, which tends to isolate many businesses from their potential market, there was initial skepticism about the quality of his service. “Israeli believers were used to working with secular businesses and their level of service. Unfortunately the experience with other Messianic businesses was disappointing.” But Ygal observed that the more prospective customers learned about what he offer, in comparison to secular businesses, the more impressed they tended to be with his solutions. “And that’s the whole point of Achva,” he said with satisfaction. He also mentioned, “I want to raise the awareness and need for Messianic organizations to support business run by local believers. Not just because we are brothers and sisters in faith, but we want to promote a professionalism, which will be a blessing for all involved.”

Despite the challenges, within half a year of its founding, Achva was providing steady support to Messianic freelancers earning their livelihood in multimedia. The word-of-mouth recommendations from them, as well as a small but steadily growing client base, have been gradually bringing in more customers. Ygal hopes to eventually become the natural choice for the Messianic community in anything to do with multimedia. For more information on Ygal Gitelman and Achva Multimedia Solutions, visit the company’s website and on-line store at: www.achvamedia.co.il.