Haute couture charity

19-year-old New York gap-year student to host ‘Reuth Runway’ benefit.

Tamara Freudenstein (photo credit: Courtesy)
Tamara Freudenstein
(photo credit: Courtesy)
How does one combine gorgeous garments and generosity? By attending Reuth Runway, a charity event and professional fashion show with the proceeds going to benefit Reuth Medical Center.
The show – taking place Monday night at the Avigdor 22 Hall in Tel Aviv – will feature fashions by Israeli designers Yaniv Persy, Efrat Kalig and Dorin Frankfurt, and a raffle after the show includes prizes ranging from weekend getaways to jewelry from designers Rona Pfeiffer and Ilana Sama.
19-year-old American Tamara Freudenstein, who previously raised over $50,000 for the Reuth Medical Center with a fashion show in her native New York last year, hopes to replicate her previous fundraising success, this time in Israel.
“Two summers ago I interned at Reuth with 11 other girls and every morning we’d get up, we’d see patients, we’d shadow therapists, we’d hear lectures from doctors and it was an amazing experience. People always have a hard time picking a charity or even focusing on one charity so I think Reuth is a good one,” said Freudenstein. “My grandmother was good friends with one of the founders of the hospital when it was called Women’s Social Services.
The connection from my grandmother went to my dad and now me. I’m continuing the legacy.”
After interning at the physical therapy ward of Reuth in high school, Freudenstein decided she wanted to spend her gap year before college working in Israel as part of the Bar-Ilan Israel Experience. Currently she works as an intern with a celebrity stylist in Tel Aviv, but still wanted to find a way to contribute to Reuth. Since January she has been working to organize the event with the help of producer Smadar Ganzi, which has included researching the designers she wanted to be featured in the show, choosing a venue and selecting hair, makeup and models for the show. One of the ideas behind the show is to cater to a conservative crowd while still being chic.
“I have a certain aesthetic. Contemporary, trendy yet sophisticated. I’m one of those girls that can wear skirts past the knee but make it a trend,” said Fruedenstein. “I love that look and I really try to keep everything appropriate.
Especially with the hospital having a religious crowd.”
The seed money for the event comes partly from Reuth and partly from Freudenstein’s family. With 300 people already set to attend the show, she is hopeful that this second fashion show can out-raise the previous fundraiser’s $50,000 earnings. The evening will start at 7:30 p.m. with a half an hour of mingling, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, followed by the runway show and then finally the raffle drawings.
Although putting on the charity fashion show has meant months of work, research and stress for Freudenstein, she is elated that the show is coming together, gushing over the lovely clothes and venue. While the event itself will be beautiful due to her hard work, it is well worth it to help support the hard work that doctors and therapists do every day at Reuth Medical Center.
“We were in the physical therapy room one day. The patient was having a very hard day and she broke down.
The physical therapist stopped, looked her right in the eye and said, ‘You don’t get to quit. This isn’t over. You don’t get to give up. And then she continued, with a little grin on her face. She continued to work harder in physical therapy,” recalled Freudenstein. “[The therapists] don’t only come to clock in and do their job. They come to save lives and enhance these people’s lives. That’s what so important about this hospital.”