web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Israeli Jewelry Entrepreneurs Give Back to Ethiopian Community

The company’s employees are mostly immigrants who have come to Israel from places like the United States, Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia.

Ethiopian students learning jewelry-making at Yvel's Megemeria School of Jewelry and Art.

Ethiopian students learning jewelry-making at Yvel's Megemeria School of Jewelry and Art.
Photo Credit: Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

Orna Levy is a fourth generation Jerusalemite whose family has been in the jewelry-making business for the past 100 years. Orna and her husband Itzik Levy, an immigrant from Argentina, created the Yvel company in 1986, and their jewelry line—featuring pearls, sapphires, diamonds and other gems—is internationally known. Today, Yvel (Levy spelled backwards) manufactures its jewelry in Israel and exports to 650 retail outlets on five continents including Neiman Marcus. Katy Perry, Rihanna, Maria Sharapova, Scarlett Johansson and Isla Fisher have been seen wearing Yvel-designed jewelry at celebrity functions and on magazine covers.

The company’s employees are mostly immigrants who have come to Israel from places like the United States, Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia. The Levys’ business philosophy is firmly rooted in social responsibility and philanthropy.

“Itzik’s father lost all of his family’s savings in a bad business deal upon arriving to Israel,” explains Orna. “Itzik has never forgotten this and has always aimed to strengthen weaker immigrant populations in Israel.”

This is why Itzik and Orna celebrated Yvel’s 25th anniversary in 2010 by establishing the Megemeria School of Jewelry and Art, which offers professional training in jewelry crafting and design to new Ethiopian immigrants.

Partnering with the Association for Community Empowerment (Yedid), which assists Israelis in becoming self-sufficient members of society, the Levys opened the school within the Yvel complex, outside Jerusalem. The school gives the students, who are all recent immigrants from Ethiopia, jewelry-making training followed by employment opportunities in the Yvel factory once they complete the program.

While learning the jewelry trade, including gem-setting, gold and silver-smithing, and the design process, the students also receive Hebrew lessons, family budget and management training, math courses, and Israeli cultural lessons. For many of the Ethiopian students, who had little if no formal education back in Ethiopia, these supplementary courses are critical for a better integration into Israeli society and finding employment.

Yedid’s executive director Sari Rivkin says that the first graduating class of Megemeria has produced a special collection which was inspired by the immigrants’ personal and collective journey from Ethiopia to Israel. “Many of the jewelry designs feature words from the students’ native Amharic language. This is a very unique social enterprise,” Rivkin explains.

Once the students graduate and take the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor certification exam, they can begin working at Yvel’s Design Center either in jewelry design or in sales and administration. For the graduating class this year, eight will continue on with Yvel, making and selling jewelry, with profits helping to cover their salaries and the costs of the school.

Abbito Einalem, an Ethiopian student who came with no background in crafting jewelry, now looks on proudly at a pendant she has created, inscribed with the Amharic word desta, which means happiness. “I want to continue in this profession in the future,” she says. “It has given me so much already.”

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israeli Jewelry Entrepreneurs Give Back to Ethiopian Community”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority child terrorist. "Don't shoot. I am a child."
Netanyahu May Allow Soldiers to Shoot at Terrorists
Latest News Stories
Palestinian Authority child terrorist. "Don't shoot. I am a child."

Another rash of life-threatening firebombing and rock-throwing attacks has prompted Israel to think twice about abandoning soldiers and civilians as sitting ducks.

Children play at the Oz VeGaon park built in memory of three young Jewish boys who were abducted and murdered by Arab terrorists.

Pressure from Gush Etzion leaders has convinced Ya’alon to authorize a site in memory of last year’s three kidnap-murder victims.

.

As reported earlier, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s grandfather’s grave on the Mount of Olives was desecrated overnight by Arab vandals who destroyed and burned numerous graves. The Mount of Olives is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world.

Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 world powers—a group that includes three Western European nations—pose for a group photo in Vienna, Austria, following the July 14 announcement of the Iran nuclear deal. Credit: U.S. State Department.

British liberal and leftists largely support the deal, though there are some center-left figures who oppose the agreement,

(JERUSALEM) – Beekeepers from across Israel delivered their honey products to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin this week in light of a festive event held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for the upcoming Jewish New Year. A delegation of the Israeli Honey Council, which also included a three-generation family of children, parents, and grandparents in […]

Vice President Joe Biden is embarking on Florida to push the Iran nuclear deal while also checking out his chances as a possible presidential candidate in the 2016 Democratic primaries.

COGAT says, Hamas forcibly took control of warehouses of building materials and confiscated the contents to serve the needs of the organization.

It’s apparently a little boring sitting in the opposition.

Police report that 16-year-old Hagit Prezberg of Petach Tikva has been found safe.

Arab vandals smashed and burned tombstones, bushes and trees in the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery Tuesday night.

A nasty anti-Semitic image turns up on a VISA debit card issued by the largest bank in Norway.

Fragile pages of possibly the world’s oldest Qur’an could pre-date the birth of Islam’s founder, prophet Mohammed.

Three Reps and two Senators announced their support for the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Bringing your own sandwich to a restaurant would appear as the height of chutzpah, but not any more—at least not at Lunchbox…

State Dept, seems surprised when being told how many Americans live in Judea and Samaria.

He says he still has not made up his mind but that Obama will win the magic number of 34 to override a veto.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Israeli beekeepers, dressed in their white protective uniforms, are hosted by President Reuven Rivlin and First Lady Nechama Rivlin in the President's Residence in Jerusalem, August 30.

(JERUSALEM) – Beekeepers from across Israel delivered their honey products to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin this week in light of a festive event held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for the upcoming Jewish New Year. A delegation of the Israeli Honey Council, which also included a three-generation family of children, parents, and grandparents in […]

A dolphin in Eilat

Not satire: Hamas released a warning to its members to be cautious of further encounters with dolphins.

“I still wait to return,” Hodaya Giat said, “I still have hope that someday we can return to the beaches, to our homes.”

On board were 32 families including 95 children and 53 singles, of whom 12 will be joining the Israel Defense Forces.

The Temple Institute is working together with an Israeli cattleman to raise a red heifer in Israel.

The Israeli wetlands are among the 2,208 Ramsar wetland sites from across 169 countries around the world.

“The idea of adapting the unit actually came from our soldiers who recognized the need for it in the field,” explained Captain Dr. Lev.

The House of Bishops, led by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, overwhelmingly defeated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions resolution.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-jewelry-entrepreneurs-give-back-to-ethiopian-community/2012/11/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: