YVEL - ABSchool
The ABSchool of Jewelry & Design offers Ethiopian immigrants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the art of jewelry making and diamond setting. Graduates will go on to work for the YVEL company or for a new social enterprise, called Megemeria. YVEL and YEDID are working in partnership on this unique project.
YVEL Jewelry Design
Yvel Design Studio was founded in 1986 by Isaac and Orna Levy, and continues a century-old family tradition of creating exquisite, top-of-the-line jewelry. Yvel's founder, Isaac Levy, was born in Argentina in 1958 and immigrated to Israel with his parents in 1963. Aware of the difficulties associated with moving to a different country, coupled with his own childhood memories as a new immigrant, Levy vowed that should he ever have the chance to make a difference in the way that that immigrants to Israel are embraced, , he would happily do so.
Partnership with YEDID
This opportunity indeed presented itself when Isaac and his wife established The ABSchool of Jewelry and Art—a unique school for jewelry-making and crafting, founded in September 2010. The school has been established out of Mr. and Mrs. Levy's faith in the centrality of a respectable occupation and income source in the lives of men and women in general and those of immigrant populations in particular. It is this faith which has brought Yvel and YEDID together.
Students of the ABSchool of Jewelry and Art learn the basic tools of gold and silversmithing, gem-setting, design processes, and other professions related to jewelry design and manufacture. The program of study includes a preliminary program of 9-12 months. The preliminary course gives an introduction to the many elements of jewelry making and is designed to bring participants up to a level where they will be able to undertake an approved 5-month course in jewelry-making of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, after which the students will take the Ministry certification exam.
Students, all recent Ethiopian immigrants, receive mentors who are already working in Yvel to coach them throughout the period of study. While learning the trade, the students receive supplementary classes in order to give them the tools to become equal, socially involved citizens and to positively influence their families, communities and even Israeli society overall.
These supplementary classes include:
· Hebrew lessons in order to cement their Hebrew and enable them to fully integrate into the workplace as well as function on a day-to-day level as Israeli citizens;
· Family Budget Management Training – This course empowers participants with the skills necessary to develop and adhere to personal and family budgets. Sessions led by a trained financial management facilitator explore how to budget and prioritize expenses, enlist family cooperation and augment income.
· Weekly lessons in Israeli history and geography in order to gain familiarity with the country.
Megemeria: A Unique Social Enterprise
Upon graduation, students will be offered work in one of two businesses.. Graduates may begin working at Yvel's Design Center either in jewelry design or in sales and administration. Alternatively, they will begin an internship “Megemeria”, a newly launched social enterprise that sells the work of the students and provides additional income to the school. Ultimately, Megemeria will employ many of the school’s graduates and will become a self-supporting business.
YEDID’s role is to enable and further the development of the school and its social enterprise. YEDID’s strong associations with government offices and philanthropic organizations allow the social enterprise to operate to the point of financial self-sustainability.