February 5, 2007 / 17 Shevat 5767
“After the misery of the war in the summer, the grant from the Jewish Agency was an unexpected bonus. It was not only the financial compensation but the morale-boosting feeling that we are not alone and have so many good friends in the Jewish world.”
Stefany Egozi, 30, first opened her jewelry studio in Shavei Zion, near Nahariya, in 2003. But in the summer she was forced to close down her business as her world fell apart.
Stefany makes distinctive jewelry from silver and gold with precious jewels embedded. Her
creations are characterized by contemporary solid designs with clean lines. To increase her income, Stefany also gave jewelry-making workshops revealing the secrets of her innovative techniques--skills she learned from a goldsmith while living in Australia.
But Stefany was forced to abandon her business in July when missiles began falling around her home and nearby workshop. Eight months pregnant, her husband was drafted into reserve army duty and she fled south to stay with her sister. With no customers for her studio, she shut down the premises and after the war she discontinued the lease; she had no funds for the rent and could not continue
maintaining the space.
“I was feeling very low when I heard about the Jewish Agency grants,” she recalls. “And suddenly, within a week of applying, I had a check for nearly $1,000 in my hands. That and the birth of my baby boy gave me new energy to start working again.”
Stefany has invested the Jewish Agency grant in new materials and is currently looking for a new and larger studio to rent.