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Wednesday, October 05, 2022
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During my 10 years as an educational recruiter for The Joel Paul Group, I never ceased to be amazed at how unanimous the comments were, by clients and candidates alike, when the name Joel Paul first came up in conversation. They ranged from “I know Joel Paul. He got me my first job” to “I remember Joel Paul from my first trip to Israel.” I concluded that out there in the Jewish world the list of those who had benefited from the activism and kindness of Joel Paul, now celebrating his 80th birthday, was endless.

Founded in 1986 and originally known as Joel Paul and Associates, the mission of the firm is to assist nonprofit organizations, agencies and academic institutions achieve maximal success by employing the best-qualified professionals in the field to further grow their organizations. The Joel Paul Group (JPG) offers unparalleled experience in working with nonprofit boards and management teams helping them “strike a critical balance between strategic objectives and budgetary imperatives… all with a focus on meeting stakeholder requirements.”

Through a national networking process of identifying qualified candidates, both professionals as well as lay leaders, JPG has placed many hundreds of candidates in all areas of the nonprofit world. Over the past double-chai years, JPG’s placements have included university presidents, heads of school, and hundreds of CEOs and CFOs of major national Jewish organizations including “American Friends of” many Israel-based nonprofits.

Before founding JPG in 1986, Paul was a notable presence in the Jewish communal world through his extensive youth work and his organization of national Jewish youth programs which are still flourishing until today. After graduating from Boston University, Paul founded the New England region of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), organizing 28 chapters in five New England states from 1962 to 1964. In 1968, he was named associate director, youth bureau community service division of Yeshiva University, overseeing synagogue youth work, informal education, synagogue programming and community organization. In 1971, Paul was named Hillel director and Jewish chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1973 was promoted to regional director, Hillel Foundations of Greater Philadelphia, a position he held for 15 years. From 1976 to 1984, Paul designed and coordinated an Israel travel experience for thousands of undergraduate students.

Paul’s leadership roles in the area of Jewish organizational life are equally impressive to his work with youth. He served as a member of the professional advisory committee of YU’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, as well as president of the Philadelphia Association of Jewish Agency Executives. In 1985-1986 he served as fundraising consultant to Philadelphia’s Albert Einstein Medical Center and Moss Rehabilitation Hospital. He also served a term as national vice president of the Religious Zionists of America.

It soon became clear to Paul from his extensive experience in fundraising, synagogue and communal service, and organizational leadership, that he was constantly being approached by individuals for assistance in securing positions within the Jewish community. As he had amassed a huge network of professionals and lay leadership from his many positions, he realized that he would be able to assist qualified individuals in their searches. And thus the JPG was launched.

To date, the JPG has become synonymous with Jewish placements in the U.S. and even occasionally in Canada and Israel. Paul has been invited to myriad conferences and conventions to share his experience in recruitment and placement.
From 1995 to 1998 he served as a community organization and fundraising consultant to the president of the University of Haifa.

In 2009, William Hochman of Fair Lawn bought the JPG and assumed the role of CEO, appointing Paul as president. Hochman had just come off a corporate position on Wall Street where he served as a vice president of sales for Standard & Poors. He was intrigued by the mission of the JPG as in his private life he had served in many Jewish communal organizations including the executive committee of the Sinai Schools, board of directors of Yavneh Academy, and president and board member of Congregation Shomrei Torah in Fair Lawn among others. Hochman is now marking his bar mitzvah year at the JPG.

Since COVID, the JPG is now run remotely from both Edison, New Jersey and Boca Raton, Florida. The JPG employs six full-time recruiters and continues to be the go-to leaders in Jewish nonprofit placements.

In heading the JPG, Paul and Hochman have together taken upon themselves the wisdom and philosophy of the Rambam in Mishneh Torah, Gifts to the Poor 10:7.

“The greatest level that has nothing above it is to strengthen the hand of a Jew who has become poor and give him a gift or loan or create a partnership with him or make up some work for him, so as to strengthen his hand until he does not any longer need to ask others for help. And about this it is said, ‘and you shall strengthen the hand of a stranger and a resident and he shall live with you,’ meaning strengthen him until he no longer falls and becomes needy.” (Leviticus 25:35)

For further information about the all-inclusive services of the Joel Paul Group, go to www.joelpaul.com. or email [email protected] or [email protected].

By Pearl Markovitz

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