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March 03, 1978 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-03-03

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Friday, March 3, 1918

Israel's Diamond Industry Is Expanding

rm Zionist Organization


MAT-GAN — Men of
all ages and descriptions
dart about a gym-sized hall
whose northern wall is all
windows, from floor to ceil-
ing. Some appear to be en-
gaged in verbal arguments
coupled with wild gestures,
while others sit on both
sides of long tables, huddl-
ing over some obviously ab-
sorbing matter.
This is the trading floor of
the world's largest diamond
exchange and Israel's
biggest export industry.
Like the state itself, the
diamond industry of Israel
was just an idea 40 years
ago. However, when the low
countries were overrun by
the Nazis, the few shops
started by Belgian and
Dutch immigrants in Eretz
Yisrael became the only
source for diamonds for the
free world.

Since then the industry
was on the brink of ex-
tinction on several occa-
sions. It was only thanks
to the devotion of a few
fanatics that a steady
supply of rough
diamonds, a must for a
viable economic sector,
was assured.
After a long struggle, the
Diamond Syndicate even
took the unprecedented step
of allowing Israeli clients to
purchase only the quantity
required during the man-
power shortage caused by
the Yom Kippur War. The
normal practice is to remove
a customer from the exclu-
sive list of 270 firms receiv-
ing a direct supply when he
refuses to accept his allot-
Just a decade ago the Is-
rael Diamond Exchange
moved from its modest
Tel Aviv _premises to the

new headquarters on the
outskirts of Ramat-Gan.
Today, the original 28-story
building is like a giant on
the rampage. Soon to be
connected by a two-level
bridge is another magnifi-
cent structure built on the
former site of the Maccabi
football stadium, which will
almost triple the original
capacity of 250 offices de-
voted to trading in
Another building of 15
stories is nearing comple-
tion to the north and the
New Diamond Club started
a 'Couple of years ago will
erect its own multi-story
premises in the near future.
The actual manufac-
turing is done in shops
scattered around the dis-
trict, in Tel Aviv,
Natanya, Bnei Brak,
Jerusalem, and several
development towns. In
all, about 15,000 people

the gig

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Amihai Paglin, Begin Adviser

Amihai Paglin, Premier
Menahem Begin's adviser
on counter-terrorism, died
Feb. 25 at age 55 of injuries
he sustained in an au-
tomobile accident Jan. 28.
His wife, Zipora, was kil-

Robert Slutzky

Diamond Exchange

work in the diamond in-
dustry, which means that
,provides a livelihood
for about 60,000 in all.
The leaders of the indus-
try are, working hard to as-
sure that Israel remains in
the lead among the diamond
trading and producing cen-
The shortage of skilled
labor is being overcome by
the increasing use of auto-
mation. A polishing
machine introduced by the
syndicate has been im-
proved and is now produced
locally. In addition, the
Diamond Research Insti-
tute located at the Haifa
Technion has developed an
automatic sawing machine
for diamonds.
The latest laser technol-
ogy is employed in cutting
diamond crystals and in
removing-ugly, black im-
perfections which reduce a
diamond's value. One firm
specializes in treating
diamonds with atomic bom-
bardment in order to
change unattractive coloi-s
to lovely hues of canary yel-
low, golden brown, green,
blue, etc.
The existence of the
diamond industry is also
a base for the develop-
ment of related branches,
such a _ s the exchange for
other precious stones
and the manufacture of
synthetic star sapphires
and rubies, the cutting of
emeralds and the pro-
duction of finished fine
In a way, the diamond in-
dustry has done for Israel
what the watch industry ac-
complished for Switzerland.
Both countries lack natural
resources and have to de-
pend On the genius of their
In the case of the Jews, it
was the prohibition to own
land that made them con-
centrate in such trades as
diamond polishing in
medieval Europe. Little did
they dream that this tradi-
tion will some day become
so important in the economy
of a free Jewish state.

Robert Slutzky, a builder
and founder of the Florida
Condominium Association,
died Feb. 23 at age 63.
Born in Saginaw, Mr.
Slutzky resided in Detroit
and Windsor prior to retir-
ing to North Miami, Fla. He
was a member of the Florida
Condominium Co-Op
Executive Council.
He leaves his wife, Rae;
two sons, Arnold of South-
field and Jerry of Far-
mington Hills; three sisters,
Mrs. Morris (Edna) Lasser
of Lakewood, Calif., Mrs.
William (Pauline)
Kadushin of Southfield and
Mrs. Oscar (Lillian) Skol-
nek of Miami Beach, Fla.;
and five grandchildren. In-
terment Detroit.

Soldier Statesmen

The government of Yitzhak
Rabin included three
former generals (Rabin,
Yigal Allon. and Chaim
Bar-Lev). Menahem Begin's
government includes five
(Moshe Dayan, Ezer Weiz-
man, Ariel Sharon, Yigael
Yadin and Meir Amit.)

It is against the law in Il-
linois for a conductor to col-
lect fares without his hat on. L

led in the accident, and his
son, Nuriel, who was driv-
ing, remains in the hospital
with injuries.
Mr. Paglin, a native of Tel
Aviv, joined the Irgun at an
early age. He soon became
known for his military ac-
tivities against the British
and was made operations
chief of the Irgun.
Among other actions, he
helped confiscate arms from
British camps and partici-
pated in planning the bomb-
ing of the King David Hotel.

Burnett Thoryn'

Burnett Alfred Thoryn,
an active member of Bnai
Brith; died Feb. 26 at age
Born in Louisville, Ky.,
Mr. Thoryn lived 15 years in
Detroit. He was a past pres-
ident of Cleveland's Met-
ropolitan Bnai Brith Coun-
cil and in Detroit was past
president of Maurice Zeiger
Lodge of Bnai Brith.
A member of the Michi-
gan Drug Travelers Associ-
ation, Mr. Thoryn was af-
filiated with Standard
Drugs. He was a World War
II veteran, and served in the
medical corps of the Air
Force. He resided at 10744
Lincoln, Huntington
Mr. Thoryn is survived by
his wife, Marjorie; two sons,
Michael of Wheaton, Md.,
and Louis S.; and a daugh-:
ter, Wendy.


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