Shocked Rami

We told you back in April about this kid in Jaffa, Rami Watid who won a History of Zionism contest sponsored by the city of Tel Aviv. As you may recall, he got a certificate and a trophy for his efforts. At the time we thought this kind of sucked. I mean an Arab-Israeli kid wins a Zionism contest and all he got was some crappy stuff? This kid is an example not just to all Israeli kids but to, like, everyone! At the time I suggested we get him an XBox game console but no one sent cash and everyone seemed to have forgotten about Rami. Some of the Jewlicious posters thought about maybe throwing a party / fundraiser but then the trip happenned.

So I was on the phone talking to , President of American Apparel. He was telling me about how he was about to open a new American Apparel store in Tel Aviv. I then told him about Rami and suggested we get him a better prize, like an XBox. Charney was all “Screw that. Let’s get a laptop. At least he can use that for school.” So sure enough, we purchased a laptop for Rami as well as for his partner Gai Gutherz and this past Tuesday we invited Rami to meet our birthright israel trip at the offices of Ha’aretz.

Rami had no idea what we were up to but we let his parents, Mirriam and Khaled as well as his principal, in on the surprise. When they came in, we started off by giving Rami a bunch of crap, like socks, a rubber giraffe, an egg slicer, an espresso cup etc. Rami I am sure thought we were nuts. Then when we were done with the crap, Laya popped up with the laptop. Rami, who has obviously never Googled his name because he does not own a computer, was totally stunned. His parents were on the verge of tears and everyone present cheered loudly.

This was a totally sweet moment. Jewlicious needs to thank Dov Charney, President of American Apparel for his generosity and awesome spirit. We also need to thank Danny Yona of for helping us get the laptops and setting them up, the staff at Haaretz Online for hosting us, Israel Experts for logistical assistance and the state of Israel for being such a cool friggin place!!

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Very cool on all levels! Congratulations to Rami, just don’t waste too much time on the Internet.

    Good job, ck, and thanks to Dov Charney for his generosity.

  • So cool! David you finally have my approval. I would like a reward for being ummm a jewish super chemistry star wizard and like that dinky diploma thing just isn’t cutting it. Dov, I don’t need any fancy computer equipment, but some new threads would be greatly appreciated. I mean you should see the ugly crap I’m wearing right now. Seriously, I’m obsessed with american apparel
    and take serious issue with JM dissing sweats and casual wear. AA’s stuff is so damn SOFT and HOT.

  • OT: This is litui (Aron) saying hi from Toronto where I’m still waiting for a flight back to Calgary. It was cool running into ya, ck, at both the mega event and Kikal Rabin. TTYL.

  • wow. seriously, this is such a nice thing that you all did!
    Everything i’ve read about American Apparel’s “mission statement” and now this leads me to believe that they are a company worth supporting. Bravo.

  • Dov and American Apparel totally rocks! BTW — I’ve been buying long-sleeved t-shirts made by American Apparal for my teenage girls directly from their warehouse for a couple of years. He has apparently heard of tznius.

    I’m with Tiff — getting over-educated usually doesn’t come with lots of hardware goodies. So, Dov, I’d like some clothes, and a scholarship for a personal chef.

    Good job, ck/Dave. Now please answer my emails.

  • This was a cool thing for Charney to do (and kudos to Jewlicious for the vital assist–we’re like Jimmy Carter at Camp David). I especially love the comedy of the misdirect with the preliminary primer gifts…

    But that Jane article sticks in my craw, and (with all due respect to Dr. Janice) I’m not sure I can use the word tznius in the same sentence as his name. The clothes he produces may be great for the tznius-minded gal. But I’d urge you to dissuade your girls from taking a job at AA.

    That said, go, Rami, go!

  • The more I think about this gesture, the more impressed I become. Ck, this was a great idea on many different levels, and Dov Charney, this was not only generous, but noble.

    I hear ya, Esther, but there are many forms of teshuva and I think this one is significantly to Dov’s credit.

  • I’m all for teshuvah. In fact, hurrah for teshuvah. And I hope it was clear that I thought this was a great idea. Still, I think it might be a good idea to encourage Janice’s daughters to look for work elsewhere.

    And let me add: yay, teshuvah!

  • I’d like to chime in for a moment if I may about Dov Charney and the Jane Magazine article. We’ve written quite a bit about Charney and in that capacity I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Dov as well as Claudine Ko who wrote the article and several present and past employees at American Apparel.

    First of all, nothing Dov does is ever done without consent. Dov’s straightforwardness is refreshing and I’d rather deal with someone like him than some corporate executive in a suit who is married and fronts like he’s all respectable but who is nonetheless a predator when it comes to women who he works with.

    Dov’s forthrightness is quite unusual but in the grand scheme of things, what goes on in his business is nothing compared to what women have to put up with in most of corporate America. The same goes in the halls of academia – do you all have any idea how many profs sleep with their students? Janice? Will you not let your daughters go to college?

    Dov is a very unique individual – he’s built a great business based on manufacturing in the US. Who does that anymore? Everyone loves his product and his employees seem to be quite happy working there. Dov is very honest – there’s no PR spin machine behind him. We arranged this Rami Watid thing on the phone while just shooting the shit.

    So he comes off as being a little odd. But please, enough with this American puritanical crap – let he who has never masturbated cast the first stone.

    I’m waiting …

    Still waiting ….

  • Thanks ck, and if you increase my editing powers, I’ll even correct your little grammatical error.

    When are you getting back, btw? We could use some more content, all these discussions about god, dinosaurs and Jewish education are getting a bit tedious.

  • I was talking about clothes, not jobs. Sheesh, Esther! They’re trying to get through final exams this week, and be happy working as babysitters and camp counselors soon.

    But that makes me wonder — Is Dave back at work?

  • “So he comes off as being a little odd.”

    Uh, no, he comes off as being a little sick.

    “I’d rather deal with someone like him than some corporate executive in a suit who is married and fronts like he’s all respectable but who is nonetheless a predator…”

    I’d rather deal with someone who is all respectable.

  • “let he who has never masturbated cast the first stone”

    sure i’ve masturbated. just never in front of a journalist who happened to be writing a story about my life and company at the time.


  • Chazar, have you also provided a gift like this or provided employment for a large number of people? I’m quite amazed at the lack of charity and goodwill I see here in a post about a very generous act.

  • By the way, Muffti still thinks little Rami would have preferred an xbox. Specially one of the new ones coming out in October. So there still is fundraising to be done after all!

  • themiddle, i believe it should be a complete package (no pun intended) — if you’re a community builder/macher/tzedaka-giver, you should also be a mentch. i didn’t criticize all the good he’s done, just his decisions about how he is represented in the media (i.e. a sexual exhibitionistl), which doesn’t build a very positive image for himself (and by extension, his company) in my eyes. keep that shit to yourself, is what i say — if you’re gonna have a mentschy company, build a mentschy image for yourself.

  • Yes Chazar, but what if he decided to take that direction yesterday? Are you going to keep reminding him, regardless of any effort he makes, that he once wasn’t a mench?

  • i might not, personally… but the however-many-thousands of people who read the article about him will, tho’. it’s a classic line in when harry met sally — “you can’t take it back, it’s already out there!” the general public never forgives anyone for anything ever, that’s a klal gadol b’Torah if ever i saw one. besides, where is it written that he feels any remorse about having built that image for himself?

  • What he’s a bad guy cause he likes having fun? Seriously, we have a population problem… let him lend a hand. It’s fun bashing that turns ppl off from judaism. It masks the fact that most Jews are really chilled out.

  • Ooh, American puritanism. Such a typically Canadian response. I guess you can take the Canadian out of Canada but you can’t take Canada out of the Canadian, eh?

    Oh, and I’m still not sure how tznius squares with casting porn stars in commericals, but I must be one of those uptight Americans.

    But good on Dov for sponsoring this cool idea.

  • Hi, guys!
    I need your help. I’m unable to reach Michael (Kosher Eucharist) on his cell phone. All I know is that he is staying with Danny in Jerusalem. Does anyone have Danny’s coordinates? Your help is really appreciated.

  • Kol Hakavod to you guys, to Dov, and to Rami. This was the nicest thing I’ve read in a long time. Shavua Tov and Shavuot Tov.

  • Michael’s Mother…glad you you found the Rasta Zionist wanderer….remember what I used to tell my mom ( as I told you when visiting last week): If I am dead, the cornorer will call you, If I am in jail, I will call you with my one phone call, if I am sick, the doctors will call you (they want to get paid)…if you hear nothing, all is well. I know that doesn’t work for a Jewish mom, however…so let’s just say Michael’s keeping in touch about 10 times more than I ever did at his age….e.g., you are blessed. There is nothing about Michael to not have comfidence in, and I know you know that.

    And thanks for linking this post on DL, it says what I have been saying all along…we can build on similarities, differences just lead to war. Maybe you have to experience war to know the difference, I donno. ck & JL & Dov et al have just built a mountain of good will and understanding….only wish many others could be so intelligent and thoughtfull.

    Thanks in principle to all who made this happen, when and where it happened. Everything else can go to hell today, and I will still feel good for having read this post.

  • can someone who frequents here give me their idea of what zionism is? im from australia and am first born czech in austalia, im aware there was a big jewish community before ww2.
    thanks heaps

  • a. yes dave, im still alive.
    b. thats incredible. can i swear on here? id like to say that is fucking awesome, but ill keep it pg. that was awesome. 😉

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