May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Frisch Senior Creates Fund-Raising Campaign to Benefit Cancer Charities

Dinner conversation at the Carmi house in Teaneck often revolves around business and chesed activities. Some children might roll their eyes and then fasten them on their iPhones. But Leeron Carmi, 17, a senior at Frisch High School, has a different response. She listens. And after listening to nightly conversations about the family’s Bernie Mev shoe design and manufacturing business, charities her mother volunteers for, and the ideal of using business to help people, she put all those dinnertime themes together into a project of her own.

“My parents talk about the impact business can have on people, and that got me thinking,” Carmi said in an interview with the JLNJ, at Medici in Englewood, also owned by her parents Itamar and Rachel Carmi. “I looked at the shoes we make, woven with elastic, and I thought, we can weave the world together.”

Weave the World Together became the theme of Leeron’s campaign. One hundred percent of the profits for the brand’s “Catwalk Braid” flat ($59.95) in silver/rose gold or pewter/fuchsia are being donated to two organizations that bring together people who need help with those who want to give it. Sharsheret (www.sharsheret.org) is a support group for young Jewish women facing breast or ovarian cancer. Women who have been in their shoes guide them from diagnosis through treatment. Carmi has gotten to know Sharsheret first by hearing about her mother’s volunteer work for the group’s annual luncheon, and then by volunteering herself. MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation (www.MyLifeLine.org) creates websites to connect volunteers with cancer patients who can’t perform the tasks of daily living, like preparing meals or driving to appointments.

Carmi has done all the work to plan and execute Weave the World Together. “My parents gave me the platform and said, ‘We’ll help you out but this is your project,’” she recalled. She gave herself a crash course in learning how to research, create, implement and promote her fund-raising campaign.

Each pair of shoes sold comes with a bracelet and information card about the campaign. Carmi is using the social media skills that come naturally to today’s teens to manage a Facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/BMWTWT) and an Instagram account for Weave the World Together. She hopes people will start to send in photos showing them wearing the shoes and bracelets.

Rachel Carmi is the designer for Bernie Mev shoes. She studied fashion design in Israel and then went into industrial product design. When she met and married her husband, Itamar, she transitioned to shoes. She has also designed a new handbag line being launched this year.

Mrs. Carmi said she began taking the shoes to the company’s 1500 accounts during the summer and has gotten “amazing” response; over 2000 pairs have been purchased in the United States and internationally by retailers including Zappos, Dillard’s, and a variety of specialty boutiques. In the last few weeks, as shelves have been stocked, sales have taken off.

Leeron expects an even bigger response in the coming weeks as women are reminded that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. New shoes with a donation to support cancer patients are a perfect fit.

By Bracha Schwartz

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