July 18, 2024
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Middlesex Networking Event Expands Presence of NJ Jewish Business Alliance

By Harry Glazer

Dignitaries at the NJJBA Middlesex event.

When a business starts a new initiative, it is likely to expect modest returns at first. Success just doesn’t happen overnight. Usually, it takes a while to build up a new product line or service.

Someone should tell that to the New Jersey Jewish Business Alliance (NJJBA).

The NJJBA held its first Middlesex County networking event in Edison on June 13 at the King Palace Banquet Hall. The event attracted an enthusiastic audience, with some traveling quite a distance to participate, and it featured four high-ranking political leaders who spoke to the group.

Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch speaking.

Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky, executive director of Bris Avrohom Chabad Center in Hillside, said that he frequently attends NJJBA events and “came to connect with people.” And from a Chabad viewpoint, the evening was a clear success, as he could be seen later that night in a corner, helping another attendee put on tefillin.

Douglas Dubitsky, a financial representative of Certified Financial Services in Paramus, said that he came to meet a new “mix of people” and for “an opportunity to get involved.” He finds the NJJBA “good for my personal and professional interests.”

East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen speaking.

Milla Liberson, an accountant with OnPoint Business Solutions, Inc. in Montclair, came to the event because she is looking for small businesses seeking help with their bookkeeping, and had heard good things about NJJBA’s networking activities.

One of the guest speakers, Mayor Jonathan Busch of Metuchen, told the crowd that “we’re working hard to bring inclusivity to our town.” He works as a public school board attorney and, when he became mayor, Metuchen had a 20% vacancy rate in its business district; under his leadership, they’ve reduced that rate to 4%. He said that Metuchen has created a very favorable business environment and he celebrated the fact that the town was named a Great American Main Street of the Year for 2023.

Mayor Brad Cohen of East Brunswick, another featured speaker, said: “Middlesex County is an extraordinarily lucky place to be, if you want your business to grow.” He is an obstetrician by profession and said that he went into medicine for the same reason that he pursued elected office—to help people achieve better outcomes. He shared that East Brunswick has improved its business climate by transitioning the once-lucrative business corridor, which was fading, to bring in more entertainment and services industries, which are now flourishing.

Assemblyman Sterley Stanley.

Assemblyman Sterley Stanley (District 18) addressed the room and invited people to call his office if they need assistance with any business-related concern. His staff can help locate New Jersey state programs that provide support.

John McCormack, Mayor of Woodbridge, greeted the crowd and noted the “very accommodating business environment” they’ve developed in his town.

Larry Brody of Monroe, the owner of Sleep Right Products, LLC and creator of the Presto Day Bed, a patented truck accessory that is a folding bed for a day cab tractor, shared that he came to the event because “I want to meet and connect with other business people in the area.”

Attendees at the event.

Liran Kapano, partner and COO of DK Solutions in East Brunswick, and a lay leader of the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, shared that he heard about NJJBA at a Federation event and decided to try it out.

“I thank the New Jersey Jewish Business Alliance for holding this program,” said Barbara Ungar Esq., who heads a solo practice law firm in Edison. “As a small law firm, which is expanding in the post-COVID-19 era, I was offered an amazing networking opportunity here to meet local mayors and to discuss the legal needs of the public and the Jewish community. I look forward to other similar programs and panels planned for the future.”

Audience members listen to a speaker.

The NJJBA is passionately focused on providing its members with invaluable opportunities such as referrals, introductions, networking, and educational conferences. For more information on NJJBA, visit their website at www.njjba.com

Harry Glazer is the Middlesex community editor for The Jewish Link. He can be reached at [email protected]

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