The Women’s Division of Israel Bonds Atlanta hosted designer Elie Tahari for a runway fashion show at his boutique store in Phipps Plaza Oct. 24. Bonnie Berk and Kim Kopelman co-chaired the event, which touted the importance of power and rewards of women acting on the practicality and “win-win” benefits of investing in Israel Bonds.
Kopelman was outfitted in a stunning two-piece ice blue brocade Tahari Gigi ensemble and welcomed the crowd with, “There has never been a better time to get involved in Israel Bonds … women have the energy and mobilization. So increasing participation is our goal.”
She recognized Ed Goldberg, Southeast chair of Israel Bonds, for his support.
Brad Young, the executive director for the Southeast regional office of Israel Bonds, was also on hand.
Southeast region Israel Consul General Anat Sultan-Dadon reminded the group that daughters are the cornerstones of society. A mother of three daughters herself, Sultan-Dadon recalled the role of Golda Meir in shaping the modern state of Israel. “The Knesset is 30 percent female and the consul generals are 20 percent female.
We must continue to make strides. Since 1951, Israel Bonds has made Israel stronger and able to become a superpower. Bonds are another form of the bond between the Jewish community, Israel and the diaspora.”
Berk praised the state of Georgia for its stance against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and strong business ties with Israel, noting the $34 million in Israel Bonds in the state’s portfolio.
“Jewish women are a dynamic force,” she said.
During the cocktail hour, former DeKalb County CEO Liane Levetan said, “I worked with now Gov. Brian Kemp to co-sponsor the state Senate bill to enable the purchase of Israel Bonds in the state pension fund. Tonight, I bought a bond for my great-niece’s bat mitzvah!”
Donna Gordon, manager of rehabilitation therapy at Emory University Hospital Midtown, joked, “My husband bought a bond for tonight because I told him he had to.”
Tahari took the stage and was intimate in sharing that although he was raised in an orphanage in Israel, it was a happy time and he does not seek sympathy. He came to New York with $100 and slept in Central Park or a shelter, working as an electrician until he started giving fashion advice to one of his clients while working in the garment district. “Thanks to G-d,” he said.
He took audience questions and shared about fashion:
Future styles: Women are getting more casual and away from pretty dresses. “We see torn jeans and sneakers, not elegance. Though dressing up is more to my personal taste, I think hemlines are going longer and land below the knee.”
He takes inspiration from all walks of life in New York City: architecture, street scenes, thrift shops and antique shops.
When he started designing, he rolled out one style at a time starting with $2 tube tops. He said, “You know I have no formal education nor even high school diploma, and I still don’t read well, Hebrew or English.”
In his design process, everything is centered around the fabric. He likes cashmere, silk and wool, and thinks the “A-line” flatters most women.
Tahari acquires fabric from Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Japan. Production is done in Vietnam and China. He noted, “The U.S. factories went out of business. It costs $30 to do in the Orient what costs $80 here. We need small hands to work with silk. Inventory is still a gamble. What we don’t sell ends up at T.J. Maxx.”
Israel Bonds rep Jacqueline Miron helped Tahari draw door prizes, and all attendees left with Tahari perfume.
To get involved or inquire about the new women’s Israel Bond charm pin, contact Miron at Jacqueline.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-857-1065.