Simcha Lustig, Former Chairman of IDI, dies
RAMAT GAN, Israel, April 28, 2009 – Simcha Lustig, former Chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute
Group of Companies (IDI), an outstanding diamantaire and leader of the Israeli Diamond Industry, has passed away suddenly at the age of 71.
Throughout his long career, Simcha Lustig was active in public service to the Israeli Diamond Industry and served in many key positions in the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA).
From 1973 – 1992, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Israel Diamond Exchange, reaching the position of Vice President and presiding in place of the President on many occasions.
Mr. Lustig was also an active member of the Board of Directors of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. In February 2008, during the Third International Rough Diamond Conference, Simcha Lustig was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli Diamond Industry, and was honoured with a standing ovation by the audience.
In July 2008, Simcha Lustig was awarded the title “Dignitary of the Industry” by the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. IDI Chairman and IsDMA President Moti Ganz said, “Simcha Lustig was a visionary and a leader. He believed in the industry and its people, and he was willing to invest great efforts in realizing his vision.
Simcha Lustig Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
During his term as IDI Chairman he played a key role in strengthening the Israeli industry’s relations with the global diamond industry. His legacy will remain with us always.” IDE President Avi Paz said, “Simcha Lustig was a hero of Israel; he was a hero in battle, a hero in business and a hero in leadership.”
Simcha Lustig began his career in the diamond industry in 1958, when he joined the family business, which was one of the first diamond polishing plants in Israel. Later he founded his own company, Moshe Lustig Diamonds (Paldico 1942) Ltd. — named after his late father — and concentrated on Far Eastern markets.
This company became one of the three largest exporters of polished diamonds from Israel. Mr. Lustig held a partnership for fifteen years with Marvin Samuels of Premier Gem Corporation of New York, called Lustig – Samuels Diamond Manufacturers, to manufacture large diamonds for American and Far Eastern markets. Simcha Lustig was a DTC sightholder for many years.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1937, Mr. Lustig volunteered for the paratroopers unit in the Israel Defense Forces, and was seriously injured during his military service. Confined to a wheel chair since that time, Mr. Lustig led a most courageous struggle to maintain an active lifestyle.
He was a table tennis champion, as well as a member of the Israeli basketball team, and won a bronze medal in the Paraplegic Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964. Simcha Lustig showed a vibrant spirit and love of life. He was man of the world and travelled widely.
He was active in a variety of non-profit organizations, especially those devoted to children and the disabled, and he donated readily to needy causes. Mr. Lustig was also a devoted family man. He leaves behind his beloved wife Naomi and daughters Ronili, Daphna and Tamar.