Q&A with Avraham (Bumi) Traub, Honorary President of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association and founder of A.B.T. Diamonds Lt.
The Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA) is a long-standing industry association whose members account for more than 90 percent of the diamonds manufactured in Israel. Bumi Traub is a veteran diamond polisher who over the course of decades in the Israeli diamond industry served twice as IsDMA’s president before being named honorary president for life in 2013. He recently discussed with Rapaport News several trends affecting both the Israeli and global industry and where he sees the industry headed moving forward.
What is IsDMA and what distinguishes it from the other diamond industry organizations in Israel?
IsDMA is an organization that was established in 1940, before the Israel Diamond Exchange even existed. The bulk of IsDMA members are diamond polishing factory owners and the primary purpose of the organization is to represent their interests. Although the membership has become more diverse in recent years, they are IsDMA’s core membership.
The organization’s responsibilities include dealing with the banks, representing the industry in talks with the government about taxation and economic incentives and promoting the adoption of new technologies.
When I first became president of IsDMA in 1993 it had 103 members. Today there are about 185 members in the organization.
What was your first job in the diamond industry?
I began as a student because you cannot become a diamond polisher without the proper training. Afterward, I became a polisher, then a manufacturing subcontractor and then a primary manufacturer. I have been on every rung of the ladder in the diamond polishing industry.
How long does it take to become a professional polisher and is the industry attracting a new generation of people in Israel?
There is no exact time period. I began in a class of 10 and three of those 10 became professional polishers. Not everyone can be a doctor and not everyone can be a polisher. As a polisher, I continued to learn and gain knowledge over 18 years.
Picture Israeli Diamond Industry.