The Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association named eight pillars of the diamond industry “Israel Diamond Industry Dignitaries” at its annual awards ceremony, held on July 24 in Ramat Gan. The honorees each made important contributions to the development of the Israeli industry. Those honored were:
• Chaim Even-Zohar, 61, noted industry analyst and publisher of Diamond Intelligence Briefs
• Josef Herskovits, 82, diamond exporter who began as a polisher in 1947
• Eliahu Cohen, 91, the first worker in the first diamond polishing plant in Israel
• Simcha Lustig, 71, leading diamantaire who held a series of public posts, including Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute 2003 – 2006
• Yuval Meiri, 80, who began in 1942 at the age of 14 as a polisher and continued in diamond manufacturing until 1989
• Uri Kanner, 80, who worked as diamond cleaver and marker, and later founded his own manufacturing company which now employs his sons and grandchildren
• Efraim Raviv, 69, who served as Israel Diamond Controller from 1981, and as Managing Director of the Israel Diamond Institute from 1987 until the end of 2006
• Eliezer Rott, 78, who began as an expert diamond polisher of small stones, manufacturing up to 1,500 stones per day.
The awards were presented by Moti Ganz, president of IsDMA and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association. Joining him in presenting the awards was Avi Paz, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. Israel Minister of Social Welfare Itzhak Herzog was the guest speaker.
Simcha Lustig spoke for the honorees, noting that they belonged to two groups–those who paved the way for the industry to prosper, and those who contributed through industry institutions for the good of all.