One day after returning home from a particularly grueling day, he felt the pain of not being present with his family and started asking himself what he most wanted from life.
He surprised himself and his secular Jewish family by deciding to make aliyah and move his family to Israel. They arrived in 1978 and established their home in Galilee. There, Shimon and his family connected deeply with their Jewish heritage and, within a month, started keeping Shabbat and became religiously observant!
When Shimon and his family arrived in Itamar, it was a bare hilltop with stunning views of Samaria and little else. The families who settled in Itamar faced multiple challenges, from security to lack of infrastructure and jobs. Shimon and others worked odd jobs and often traveled great distances to find employment.
After some years of living in Itamar, Shimon felt the whisper of his calling. Inspired by his location close to the Mountain of Blessing, in 1993, he established Perfumes Itamar. Shimon's goal with Perfumes Itamar was to return to Israel's biblical roots and prepare perfume using only natural ingredients.
He began by researching and developing the various elements that formed the incense the High Priest used in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It so happens that his community is named after Itamar, the son of Aaron, the High Priest and brother of Moses, whose burial place is on the Mountain of Blessings! When Shimon presented the idea to his rabbi, he was advised that the time was not opportune for his incense.
Undaunted, he turned his eye to creating cosmetics for daily use. In an interesting full circle, he was able to utilize his background in Botany and Chemistry!
Against all odds, he developed his own unique and proprietary formulas for face and body creams, deodorants, serums, and perfumes.
While their products have US FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approval to sell to the United States of America, they don't sell through stores because that would significantly and prohibitively increase production costs.
The family especially loves it when customers from Israel and abroad visit Itamar and purchase from the small shop in front of the lab. He does have a website but explained that he and his family sincerely prefer personal encounters with the people who love his products. It is a highlight when Lev Haolam members from around the world stop by to see him in Itamar!
Shimon has been connected with Lev Haolam since its inception.
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