Many fashion designers and retailers in the Jewish world are using their platforms to raise funds for Israel. I talked to a few.
Sam Rappaport, marketing director of Emporio Clothing in Teaneck, has started a campaign to help Sderot, inspired by a personal connection. Mayor Alon Davidi Sderot, visited Teaneck a few years ago on the way to give a speech in Washington and did some shopping at Emporio, a men’s fashion house.
“He’s a wonderful human being and an amazing mayor,” said Rappaport. He thought of the mayor when news hit of the tremendous destruction in Sderot. “The mayor is looking for $30 million. We want to be supportive and raise whatever we can for him to use at his discretion.” Rappaport has set up a GoFundMe campaign named “Help the People of Sderot, Israel” with a goal of raising $50,000. There’s another part to his campaign. During his visit, Davidi gave Emporio a beautiful mezuzah made in Sderot by Ethiopian women from Rokmot Embroiders, with traditional Ethiopian needlework. Emporio will be auctioning the mezuzah off and is working on the best way to conduct the auction. Rappaport said all funds raised will go directly to Davidi “for use in helping the innocent families and children of Sderot.” To donate, go to gofund.me/7e0eb80e.
Rivky Itzkowitz created Impact Fashion, a line of sophisticated, quality women’s dresses, tops and skirts for the Jewish community with an emphasis on body positivity and comfort. Her overarching purpose is to serve higher needs in the community and when the war broke out, she didn’t know where that left fashion.
“I tried to figure out what we need now and I realized a lot of people here needed something uplifting. I tried to think of what we could do to show Jewish pride in a way that was still cute and spoke to the moment.” The idea came to her on Monday: create a sweatshirt that was nice enough to wear when going out that also showed Jewish pride and could raise money in an interesting way. She reached out to branding expert and graphic designer Michelle Mozes. Working together they created three designs that Itzkowitz put up for a vote. “We had hundreds of votes, possibly up to 1,000,” she said. The winning design is being sold with 10% of the $54 price earmarked for an organization started by Hadassa Goldberg to support chayalim and their families. “They need to feel our love and support now more than ever so let’s show them and the rest of the world that Am Yisrael Chai,” said Itzkowitz, who is sending the donated funds from
purchases within 72 hours of getting the order. “So many of us feel there’s nothing we can do other than donating, sending supplies, tefillas and kabalos,” she said. “Having something you can wear feels more substantive.” Order at impactfashionnyc.com or on Instagram @impact.fashion.nyc.
As soon as the news of the attack became known in Israel, iconic fashion house Maskit closed their stores. Employees are working from home, caring for their kids or volunteering for the war. Co-owner and head designer Sharon Tal said that since their warehouses were full with their latest collection, and it seems likely the Israeli market will be closed for the next few months, they arranged to send more than 10 boxes of their beautiful new designs to families of the victims and women “who ran away with nothing and are in need of clothes.” Additionally, purchases can be made on the website www.maskit.com from outside of Israel and 10% will be donated to families near Gaza.
Aja Cohen’s Transcendent Active brand helps women navigate their busy lives with her fashionable and sustainable modest activewear collection. She is donating 10% of all sales this week to Magen David Adom. “MDA ensures that paramedics, EMTS, first responders and first-aid providers, volunteers and staff, have the training, equipment and medical supplies they need to treat all injured and ill people in Israel.” To shop in Teaneck, call (973) 768-3805 for an appointment or order at transcendentactive.com.
Bracha Schwartz is special sections editor at The Jewish Link.