By  on January 14, 2005

NEW YORK — The awards dinner for Israel’s Shenkar College on Monday at Cipriani on East 42nd here couldn’t help but have a political undercurrent given the state of affairs in the Mideast.

The benefit, staged by the American Committee for Shenkar College, supports the design school, which has over 2,000 students, many of whom focus on fashion, textiles and jewelry design.

“The school is expanding rapidly,” said R. Stephen Rubin, chairman of the college’s board of governors.

Rubin declined to say how much money was raised, but said the funds would help encourage diversity at the school based in Ramat-Gan.

“A lot of it is going to go to scholarships for Palestinian and Iranian students — people who are good at design, irrespective of race, creed,” he said.

Deborah DeFusco, co-chairman of the dinner and president of Mimi Maternity & Destination Maternity at Mothers Work Inc., said, “Education around the world in our industry is necessary and makes us all stronger.”

Rhonda Brown, president and chief executive officer of footwear, accessories and the retail group at Jones Apparel Group, received the International Entrepreneur Award.

Other honorees included Joe Falowitz, Freda Greenbaum and Michael Greenbaum from ANoseForClothes; Jeffrey Schwager of Jeffrey Schwager sales, and Zvi Yemini of Zag Industries.

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