June 2, 2024
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June 2, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Attending the AI Summit in Teaneck

(l-r): Presenters Israel Romand of Montebello Media; Danielle Wozniak, VP of global strategy at YU; master of ceremonies and influencer Joe Apfelbaum of Ajax Union; and Joseph Varghese of Success Circles.

Last Sunday, I decided to head to Teaneck’s Glenpointe Marriott to attend my first-ever AI (artificial intelligence) Summit, and I was determined to learn as much as I could about the topic of AI. I also went to educate myself a bit more about how businesses large and small from within and without the Jewish community were integrating and approaching AI. And yes, I confess that I also went there to see if there could be any benefit to The Jewish Link from AI.

As a bit of a futurist and sci-fi fan, I have long been enamored by the possibilities that advanced machine or artificial intelligence could offer to a business like The Jewish Link, and what I saw and heard at this conference was certainly intriguing. However, I do wish to assure our readers and staff that I strongly doubt that AI software will ever be fully responsible for writing our original articles, our features, our opinion pieces, our divrei Torah, and for setting the tone for how our paper looks and feels, but there is no question that there could be an expanded role for intelligent AI tools or software. I definitely see smarter, better AI software helping our editors, writers, sales staff, production staff, and even me, all do our jobs more quickly, more productively, and hopefully, better. And yes, I truly believe that some of what I was hearing will certainly change the way many businesses, including The Jewish Link, operate.

When I walked into the conference, the first speaker I heard from was Danielle Wozniak, the VP of global strategy and development at Yeshiva University. She spoke about what YU is offering today in the fields of AI and technology, and I have to admit that I was blown away by how many courses, certificates and master’s degrees YU Global is offering in the related fields of AI for business, AI for financial management, and executive education including AI strategies for leaders. The offerings are way too many for me to list them all here but please check YU Global out at global.yu.edu. I was happy to see how strongly YU is competing in this space and with an emphasis on quality, affordability and also, marketability.

After the first session, I went over to the YU Global table and struck up a conversation with Wozniak and Beth Chesir, director of enrollment management, and they gamely tried to convince me to take a basic AI course offered for a very reasonable cost. I didn’t take them up on it but it definitely piqued my interest. We also discussed who YU Global is aiming for today, which of their offerings are unique, and how The Jewish Link can be a partner in these efforts. It was a productive discussion, for sure.

After that, I ran into Moshe Heller, who many in our community may know as an owner of Yeshiva League Pass. Moshe and his team have been working hard for the past few years on a startup company called AnyWayPay which, simply put, offers any business the chance to share all its available payment methods (Zelle, Venmo, Paypal, etc.) in one simple link. It’s a pretty interesting concept and I wish Moshe much success with it. Check it out at: anywaypay.com

I also happened to meet my first cousin by marriage, Dov Kreitzman of Clifton, who just launched a brand new company called Noteably that he hopes will revolutionize clinical note taking in the healthcare field. His new app is now being trialed and is getting solid reviews. Check the new company and app out at: notablysimple.com, and feel free to reach out to Dov as he is looking for strategic guidance and funding.

It was a very active and productive few hours for me, and one of the lines that stayed with me enough for me to print here was stated by conference master of ceremonies and moderator Joe Apfelbaum, a relatively well known and respected author and business leader who is the CEO and founder of Ajax Union, as well as the founder of evyAI. Joe explained that everyone in the workforce needed to get comfortable with working with AI systems, and that the only people whose jobs are in full jeopardy will be people who are not comfortable and knowledgeable about working with AI. It was a sobering thought and remains so for me.

This conference was organized by a very dynamic and ambitious young man by the name of Mordechai Lunger who I have come to know a bit over the past few years. Mordechai is an inveterate and impressive Orthodox entrepreneur who started in the real estate world, transitioned to the business events and networking space and has run a good number of events such as the SMB Sales & Marketing Summit and the Media Expo in venues all over the Northeast and Florida. And his ambitions are not small, not at all!

Mordechai just told me about his biggest and most ambitious ever event coming up in August—the first-ever National Business Expo on August 21, set to take place at the Meadowlands Expo Center. He is truly dreaming large and is hoping that many of the larger Jewish-owned businesses will want to market themselves, their services and their products to like-minded individuals. I think this is a huge challenge to pull off well and, in fact, I even told him so, but he is undeterred. I wish him much hatzlacha! Check out the event site at: NBXNow.com

To the AI world takeover—here we come!

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