Friday, June 05, 2020

What a time for a start-up! Yet it makes sense that Marla Rottenstreich and Melissa Jerushalmy are forging ahead with M2, their new event and marketing company launched just a few months ago. The partners have a history of developing new ideas, creative thinking, and innovative plans that help clients get their message across to their target audiences. M2 is applying fresh thinking to build innovative programming that keeps clients and audiences together in this time of social distancing, with new plans ready to roll when normal life returns.

Rottenstreich has worked with Jewish nonprofits for 15 years. “I realized that I had a specific skill set I wanted to hone in on,” she said. “I find success in bringing an event to fruition by integrating all the moving parts from building an idea, through creative execution and marketing.” Through the years, she had occasions to work with Jerushalmy and realized they would make a powerful team together. “Melissa has a different part in running powerful events,” said Rottenstriech. “She has 20 years of experience in multiple organizations planning parties and events, and understands the value of engaging volunteers. M2 is the synergy of two powerful skill sets coming together to help schools, shuls, and organizations.”

Rottenstreich is understandably proud of Ohel’s 50th anniversary gala last November, which she helped to produce. In an action-packed program, a buffet dinner was followed by the emcee, filmmaker Brett Culp, who gave a TED-style talk and as he weaved through the audience interviewing Ohel leadership. This was followed by videos of the honorees. Then Culp and CEO David Mandel sat onstage for a discussion about Ohel’s work. Individuals who are integral to Ohel, including staff, volunteers, clients, parents, and foster care graduate, were then called to the stage. The program concluded with a short but powerful video.. All in a tight 90 minutes.

With in-person events on hold, M2 is being tapped by clients to make virtual dinners complete with videos of the honorees, logos, and websites. “Many agencies rely on dinners to raise money for scholarships,” said Rottenstreich. “We’re creating new ways to do that virtually and making all the marketing materials. You always need a plan B.” For a recent virtual dinner, M2 created a game, asking fun questions about the school and honorees. They even had singing and toasting together through Zoom. “It’s simultaneous and interactive—we can’t feed everyone but we can feel like we’re hanging out with each other.”

And when the dove returns to the ark with reports of negative Covid-19 tests throughout the world, M2 can put into motion some plans that are now on hold. The team has been working with an agency in Israel that runs vocational programs for the special needs population. M2 proposed that instead of creating video, they fly students in to do a live cooking demo and then visit Jewish communities in food trucks. For a trade show that wanted to have food for kosher participants, M2 proposed putting together a “kiddush-like hospitality suite” that not only provides food but does it in the context of a display of the company’s products.

An organization that promotes Jewish identity among teens asked M2 for ideas about programming that would speak to a large group of teens on their level. M2 proposed a virtual reality trip to Israel. The teens would put on VR glasses and go to a Shabbos meal, tour Jerusalem, and visit the kotel. “This could really spark an interest in kids,” said Rottenstreich.

M2 is available to create marketing materials for small businesses and organizations, including schools and shuls, as well as full scale events. “We have preferred vendors contract lawyers and access to the best rates,” said Rottenstsreich. “We do A-Z event management and have marketing vision. We are realistic about what to do and how to meet everyone’s budget.”

For more information, email [email protected] or call (646) 785.7453.

By Bracha Schwartz