Haboydem: Enjoy the pictures!
Haboydem (whimsical Yiddish for “Attic”) is a Second Hand Clothing Store, right around the corner from Kanyon Hadar, a trendy shopping mall in Talpiot Jerusalem. Now a few of your favorite things will become someone else’s overnight, in good style and in a most dignified way, as the store employs people often going through transitional periods of their lives. It doesn’t just have hip Clothing; it has a vision, and a mission. Judging by the happy smiles I saw on the faces of everyone working there, and by the beautiful clothes I spotted on the racks, it does look like in one fell swoop, Haboydem fulfills its dual purpose. Haboydem is the brainchild of Elie Lederman and his friend Guy Avihod. Elie is an old friend and a delightful blast from the past: I used to see more of him in his single days (when he used to joke that his middle name is Gible, which made him eligible, get it?) and my earlier married ones, as his lovely sister Shoshie lived in my building for many years. I recently saw him at a Shabbos Table in Raanana at my relatives’ home, and he urged me to come and see his exciting new gig, Haboydem, the next day in Jerusalem. I added to the project’s intriguing name my memory of Elie as a larger-than-life kind of guy who infuses all he says and does with his enthusiasm and his heart of gold, and I just knew I had to meet him the next day at Haboydem. What happened the next day is, well, I fell in love with Elie’s project, and Guy and everyone working there. I just know a winner when I see one. Giving temporarily troubled people a new lease on life though work and make them gradually self-sufficient, even as you help others less fortunate get some basic necessities: What could be nobler?
Elie is an inspiring individual who runs a multi family wealth management practice, with a strong emphasis on empowering his clients in how to understand and manage their own financial affairs. He chooses his clients and works only with families who are committed to a strong philanthropic ethic. His longstanding community involvement has a distinct flavor of rehabilitation as a recurring theme. This is exemplified in part by his pioneering work in conjunction to the Yarkon rejuvenation program http://bitly.com/1Cqqsoj and his active promotion of Ezra LeMarpeh’s Rehabilitation Center in Sderot http://bit.ly/1zuoC7d among many other activities. He always seeks to be on the cutting edge of social change and his support and active involvement in this project are natural outcomes for this exciting blend of business and social entrepreneurship. So, do you want something done? Give it to a busy person, preferably a devoted, charitable and kind one like Elie Lederman, whose infectious laugh and enthusiasm do wonders for all around him. The idea couldn’t fall in better hands.
Haboydem is an idea whose time has come.
To be sure, thrift shops and second hand clothing stores abound in the US and beyond, but the novelty here consists in making such a place a fun hangout dominated by hopeful and positive mood. Please read on and see how many people have turned their lives around because of them, and how you too can get involved. You’ll be amazed to see how happy you will make someone with stuff you are discarding. Just make sure it is clean and in good condition, and give it to Haboydem: Drop it off, have it picked up, ship it out, any way that is convenient to you. Haboydem’s devoted staff will do all the rest: sort out the mountain of bags that come in all day long, whip the clothes into shape, display them attractively. Haboydem needs everything you can give: not just clothes, but funds to cover costs like trucks and salaries, and secure more locations. Help Elie and Guy help countless people get their lives back on track, without stigma and without begging. Planning a date or a party? Look into Haboydem! Have fun clothes, good food and caring friends, will travel!
I asked Elie a few questions about how Haboydem came to be, and let him give me his candid answers.
Whose brainchild was Haboydem?
Haboydem is the brainchild of social entrepreneurs Guy Avihod and Elie Lederman. Guy had pioneered a culturally-based rehabilitation tool in the creation of a yeshiva for people recovering from mental illness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amrbUGmb6jQ. Elie Lederman is a successful businessman who is focused on social change.
Together they looked at many models to develop businesses that could answer the need to create employment training opportunities for people who having difficulties finding a job in the competitive market. Haboydem is a mix of social entrepreneurship, rehabilitation research, and a great passion for social justice.
Who had the vision for Haboydem?
One part of the vision came from the people we met. We spoke to hundreds of people dealing with mental illness, who told us what they need in order that they could find a better job. The second part of the vision came from our wish to engage as many mainstream people. For this reason, the store was designed by a top Israeli designer, Dror Zunz – to be a cool place for people to hang out, and not to be stigmatized as a “rehabilitation” or “chesed” place.
Might you open more Haboydem locations?
We are looking to become a household name with shops all over the country. It is our hope to have 10 Haboydem locations in the next 5 years.
How does the stuff get to your Haboydem Location?
We get most of our stuff from regular people from all over.
At the moment, people can drop clothes off in the bin outside the shop. We also have created a network of “ambassadors”, like Shai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCS4dQFS_eQ, who collect clothes in their communities and deliver to Jerusalem.
We are working to establish more bins and collection drop off points, and we are looking to buy a van and have drivers, who will collect the clothes.
We receive donations from all over the world. Just last week, one of our friends from Gibraltar brought 2 suitcases of clothes they collected in their community, and are planning a large collection drive and a shipment of a container. Soon, we are to receive a container of clothes from Canada.
In the future, we hope to get donations of surplus new clothes from large clothing manufacturers in Israel and overseas.
Where do the proceeds from Haboydem Sales go?
The proceeds of the sales go to pay the salaries of the workers, and of the professional staff. Any surpluses are reinvested in the enterprise, which will fund more training programs and future expansion.
How was the Haboydem idea received?
The community response has been amazing. Everyone feels empowered to do good together. We have become a magnet for good ideas, and we are very open minded and inclusive, so we can expand our partnerships with whoever wants to contribute.
We are open to contributions of clothes. Retailers are distributing goods to us, and in fact this first store’s fitout was contributed by Tamnoon, the retail chain who was renovating their store in the neighboring Kanyon Hadar.
We are looking for more partners who will contribute the infrastructure for new stores. Our major role will be to harness this positive community spirit.
Are you welcoming shipments from abroad? If so, what might the logistics be?
We are looking to get coordinators in cities around the world, who would collect the clothes in their communities (with a 5$ donation) to cover the shipping costs to Israel.
How are you getting the funds to run Haboydem?
A large percentage of our funds come from the sales of the clothes, but we would not be able to open the stores without the donation of seed money from angel social investors, such as Elie & Hindy Lederman. We also receive money from the Ministry of Health for providing rehabilitation services.
Are you reaching out for more funds?
We do need more funds and are trying to obtain more donations to help us expand the infrastructure in the form of a collection van and more stores. We also seek funds to help us create job training courses for our workers, to help them secure better paying jobs than just minimum wage ones.
What are upcoming plans to make the space exciting and inviting?
We have opened a coffee corner for our customers, with luxurious vintage couches. Also, we plan to host various activities after hours, including parenting courses, art classes and parties. We are geared up to hosting karaoke parties. These events also create awareness of the program, as people bring clothes and can also buy as well.
How will you mitigate the fact that Haboydem is in a somewhat foreboding-looking street, and make it more inviting?
We have created a collaboration with a local art school to draw on the wall of the store, and create a series of photos to be displayed on the main streets in the neighborhood. We also must fund more advertising to make sure people hear about us and find us. Also, there are visual enhancements under way, with communication with the suppliers in the mall around the corner from us, The Kanyon Hadar, who are very excited about our new enterprise.
In addition to your own history, how does Guy’s history lend itself to the idea of Haboydem?
Guy Avihod has grown up in the US, and was a VP of marketing in a large wheelchair company, he also received his rabbinical accreditation (smicha) from the Chief Rabbanut in Israel. He is currently on track to complete his PhD in Social Work, with a specialization in mental health. His business background, which is grounded in public relations, and his academic aspirations, together with his religious background and passion for social justice found a home in Haboydem.
Please share the link of your lovely saleslady discussing her new job, and any other interesting related links
See article in Jerusalem Post: http://bit.ly/1wAWqwI
See Pictures http://bit.ly/1AHNfP0
Haboydem Project: http://bit.ly/1zuY7hE
Sderot Project: http://bit.ly/1K7mbKQ