• Kobi Tour Guide of Israel

Pearls, Wine, Zionism and Social Justice: The Story of Yvel

Updated: Jun 26

The highlight of my day out today in the Judean Hills was clearly the Yvel Design Center. This little "jewel" sits in the old town of Motza, the first modern Jewish agricultural community in the Land of Israel, which dates back to 1860 and sits just outside Jerusalem.

As an immigrant, Isaac Levy wanted to be able to help other new immigrants. Today over 90% of their 100+ workers are immigrants from 23 different countries. That was not enough for Isaac and his wife and partner Orna, however, so they created the Megemeria School of Jewelry & Art which has trained Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in various aspects of jewelry making such as goldsmithing and silversmithing. The graduates make their own unique designs based on their Ethiopian Jewish culture and all profits go back into the program. At the visitors center they have a section dedicated to the Ethiopian Jewish story - including some of the famous Ethiopian coffee. The bonus part of the place is that they renovated part of an old home from Motza which included a wine cellar and they now have their own wine as well as wines from the Judean hills (yes, for tasting).

Check out the photos of some of their award-winning designs as well as the site itself. And don't forget to watch the videos (below) to hear both their amazing story as well as the incredible initiative called Megemeria (Genesis) which they have created to help Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.

To see the rest of my day out, including stops at the grave of William Shakespeare, the 9/11 Memorial, Israel's shrine to Elvis, orchids, battle sites and old synagogues, check out my post here: https://www.tourguideofisrael.com/post/tour-guide-on-tour-pearls-orchids-wine-elvis-the-bard

Of course if and when you come [back] to Israel, it will be my pleasure as a tour guide of Israel, to introduce you to this little Jewel of the Judean Hills.

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