June 22, 2024
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June 22, 2024
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Jewish Entrepreneurs Network and Learn at Tribeworks Conference in Staten Island

Moshe Kinderlehrer, left, Jewish Link co-founder/co-publisher, with Robert Safren, executive director of The Jewish Entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs are a special breed. They have a conceptual idea about a product or service and they work incredibly hard to bring their plans to fruition. Jewish entrepreneurs often face additional challenges on their way to success. Hundreds of entrepreneurs from across the United States gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island on December 6 for a conference designed just for them.

Organized by Tribeworks, a collaboration of national and global Jewish organizations that provide tools for business owners and career seekers, the event offered business resources for entrepreneurs of all levels. Titled “Business Resources … From Legacy to Leading Edge,” the conference provided seminars in trending topics such as ChatGPT and artificial intelligence; basic critical skills workshops covering sales, financial and staffing techniques; networking opportunities; business booths, and more.

The day was full of opportunities for entrepreneurs, from the opening presentation by Dr. Noam Wasserman, dean of the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, to the final workshops and networking gatherings at the end of the day. “Six months in the making, and now seeing the actual event come together for the benefit of so many is an incredible sensation,” said Deborah Lewitter, Tribeworks’ event coordinator.

William “Wes” Shields (Synthminds.AI) presents.

The first series of breakout sessions included Keith Roberts and a discussion of EOS (entrepreneurial operating systems) and real world implementation using systemic approaches. Financial planning for business optimization was covered in a panel with Gershon Margulis, Carol Soman and Rivka Moskovits, while Heshy Friedman moderated a discussion on “Digital Marketing: All the Tools You Need.”

Moshe Kinderlehrer, co-founder and co-publisher of The Jewish Link, was glad to attend the event. “I always enjoy coming to Tribeworks to network, mingle, and learn about what’s going on in the Jewish business community … and I really enjoyed the sessions on AI at this year’s Tribeworks; it was a highlight of the day for me. Tribeworks has become part of my annual business calendar and I try to make a point of attending every year.”

Robert Safran, executive director of The Jewish Entrepreneur (TJE), has been the mastermind and driving force behind these events, which have become a greater necessity due to the economic impacts still being felt from the COVID shutdowns. “Entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges amid uncertain business environments,” he said. “The ability to learn from subject matter experts and from peers while networking is invaluable.”

Coach/sales trainer Jeff Goldberg’s workshop.

Asher Brooks, co-founder of the Theorist agency, attended the conference with his two partners and said he was delighted with the opportunities to connect, network and learn from experts.

Tribeworks is more than an annual event—there is a full website chock full of resources. Training opportunities in computer skills, a video library, business evaluation tools and more are available for job-seekers and entrepreneurs. Dr. Danielle Wozniak, YU Global, and Joseph Frasko, Aurora Capital Group, were on hand to show users how to make the most of the available materials. Nik Davidson, a consultant and management specialist, shared business and organizational tips.

Lisa Schneider, fractional CPO and product strategy consultant, spoke about the benefits and limitations of ChatGPT and presented cautionary examples of how over-reliance on AI and ChatGPT can have unexpected and adverse effects on a desired outcome. Data input has a direct correlation to the final product and often has surprising biases and errors.

As much as our daily lives have changed since October 7, employment opportunities in Israel have been even more severely impacted. Companies have closed their doors as their employees were called up for military service or because of the lack of tourist and customer traffic. Ilana Nolte, of the newly formed Israel Employment Cooperative (IEC), spoke during lunch to introduce a needed initiative. The IEC serves to facilitate connections between English-speaking Israeli freelancers and employers who have experienced substantial work losses due to the conflict, with individuals from Canada, the United States and around the world who wish to offer assistance.

Dr. Noam Wasserman, Sy Syms School of Business, and TJE’s Robert Safren with attendees.

Afternoon sessions included critical legacy topics by Naftuli Kraus and Eric Adelman on “Hiring and Retaining Great Talent.” No business enterprise can thrive without the right people in the right positions. Tips on finding that “fit” were presented. Eliot Spiegel showed the audience that they can “Create a Fearless Mindset in Your Business,” which is applicable to all levels of experience.

For many people, the presentation by William “Wes” Shields was their first introduction to artificial intelligence. Shields, principal and founder of Synthminds.AI broke down the concepts into easy-to-use segments that taught how past experiences provide the data to guide machine-based decision making. So engrossed were attendees, their questions extended well beyond the timeframe given. Attendees don’t have to worry about being only able to attend one session at a time. The conference admission price includes links to tapings of the one-hour sessions.

The formal events concluded with longer workshops by Jeff Goldberg (“Sales Relationships”) and one on EOS with a team led by Evan Blumenthal, as well as the opportunity for additional networking, visits to trade show business booths, and informal mentoring.

Dr. Noam Wasserman’s presentation.

Lawrence Margolin, proprietor of Kiddush Kiddush catering, found many benefits to attending the conference. “Networking and making connections are always good. The sessions were all helpful, particularly the workshop led by Jeff Goldberg and the session by Eliot Spiegel.” He described Spiegel’s motivational session, which showed how to take an outcome that is not positive and turn it around and focus on the good, as demonstrating skills that could be used on a sales call or in attendees’ personal lives. “It was hard to believe Goldberg’s session was over two hours long,” Margolin continued. “The time flew by with entertaining, yet informative, material. What was said confirmed and reinforced what I have learned in 22-plus years in the field, but also showed the importance of people skills and provided food for thought.”

Tziona Viezel, program manager at TJE, who has worked in the mentoring match arena for two years, said, “It’s always exciting to meet so many of our mentees and mentors in person, and to be in a room of people who are eager to network and learn about tools for improving their business. Collaborating with our amazing partner organizations at Tribeworks is a great reminder of how many members of our community are passionate about offering vital services that make a real difference for Jewish business owners and professionals. There was a great energy in the room, and I’m looking forward to the next Tribeworks event.”

Barry Schwartz (RustyBrick), William Harris (Elumynt) and Heshy Friedman (Azurite Marketing) at their presentation on digital marketing.

As Mendy Green of Emruld Media summed up on his Facebook page, “All you need to connect with winners is attend a Tribeworks event with a good attitude.”

For more information about the IEC, visit: https://www.israelemploymentcollective.com/; for Tribeworks, visit: https://www.thetribeworkshub.org/, find The Jewish Entrepreneur at: https://tjenetwork.com/

(r-l) Dr. Danielle Wozniak, YU Global, and Joseph Frasko, Aurora Capital Group.


Ilana Nolte of the Israel Employment Cooperative.
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