Ester Ambalu and her husband Jacob, owners of Ambalu, a jewelry business in Roslyn Heights, have a tradition of giving back. They use their business to help Long Island charitable organizations raise funds by designing exclusive pieces to raffle or auction off at events.
Ambalu designed a special piece of jewelry for the Women’s Fund of Long Island Annual Breakfast, which will take place at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury on Oct. 8. The piece is titled “Women as Bamboo” because it demonstrates the strength and flexibility that women show in their lives.
They have also created a signature jewelry line for the American Heart Association’s “Life is Why” Ball, which will be held on May 8 at the Museum of American Armor, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., in Old Bethpage. The collection features a heart with a “Y” shape inside it to represent the ball’s theme. In addition, they have designed a necklace of rhodolite garnet surrounded by diamonds set in white gold for the raffle grand prize.
Esther learned at a very early age that giving is woven into the fabric of everyday life. She was born in Afghanistan, where she lived until the age of 12. She then moved to Israel for several years and after that came to the United States. In Afghanistan, the poor knocked on doors to ask for food every Friday. Esther was first in line to give them food. She would tell her brothers and sister that “giving back is not a decision, it is part of life.”
At that time, Esther’s family received a beautifully wrapped gift from a friend from Israel. The item was an unusual shape and no one in the family knew what it was. They placed it in a glass cabinet beside other treasured china and gifts.
When they moved to Israel, they found out that their unknown treasure was actually a carrot peeler.
Esther keeps this story with her and treats every item like it is a magnificent treasure. “It can be the smallest stone,” she said, “but to the person who owns it, the value is priceless.”