Jewelry. wine and philanthropy are not usually bound together, but at Yvel you can see beautiful handmade jewelry, meet the immigrants who have been trained to create it, and also enjoy delicious Israeli wines.
Yvel is a luxury jewelry brand whose distinctive creations feature nature’s most treasured resources. It was founded by Orna and Isaac Levy in 1986, and its name is a mirror image of their family name. They specialize in creating masterpieces using organic pearls together with diamonds and other valuable gemstones, set in 18k gold. They have boutique stores in New York and Miami and their jewelry is featured in top fashion magazines around the world.
However, the uniqueness of Yvel is its commitment to the idea of giving back to society. Their jewelry is crafted by skilled artisans who have been trained by the company in order to give opportunities to new immigrants to Israel. Isaac’s challenging childhood experiences as a young new immigrant inspired him and his wife to seek ways to help other newcomers to succeed in building new lives in Israel.
In 2010 the Levys opened their jewelry factory near the town of Mevasseret Tzion, which was the landing pad for thousands of new immigrants to Israel. The Megemeria School of Jewelry & Art within Yvel provides professional training and employment opportunities to Ethiopian and other immigrants. Megemeria means “genesis” in Amharic – the native language of Ethiopian Jews – because it offers its students the opportunity for a fresh start in life and a job in the Yvel workshop, to ease their integration into Israeli society as proud and contributing citizens. Today, over 90% of Yvel’s employees are immigrants from 23 countries.
Visitors to the Yvel Design Center can meet the students and artisans and hear their story. The Center is located at Motza on the main Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem highway, and it was designed around a winery that was built over 160 years ago. Visitors from all over the world enjoy learning about Yvel’s unique jewelry, visiting their ground-breaking school and workshop, and then tasting a selection of Israeli wines from local boutique wineries in their vintage wine cellar.
The beautifully designed visitor’s center offers you an opportunity to learn about the different types of natural and cultured pearls that are used in the Yvel jewelry collection, and to see the stunning array of pearl and gemstone jewelry that is produced in their workshops. Here you can also observe the students at work, and have the opportunity to purchase their unique handcrafted jewelry to help support the continuation of the school.
Find out more about the Yvel Design Center on their website www.yvel.com, or talk to Shatour about organizing a VIP tour and wine tasting on your next trip to Israel.