May 20, 2024
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Project Ezrah Job Fair Set for August 2

Project Ezrah, a social services program native to Teaneck provides financial relief to its participants by helping them find jobs, build up their resumes, manage their finances and help them ace interviews. On August 2, Project Ezrah is hosting its second annual job fair at the Young Israel of Teaneck.

The first job fair, which took place last summer, included a resume review with five talent and HR specialists who provided immediate feedback to those who signed up. “Regardless of the industry you’re in,” said Jeff Mendelson, Project Ezrah’s director of employment, “if you give your resume to a stranger, they should be able to tell who you are.” All the more so, many of the volunteers stayed in touch with the people who sought their aid.

Mendelson also noted that he and his colleagues “are saving people and their lives” by setting up the job fair and providing the necessary resources. Project Ezrah also hosts a variety of industries, ranging from banking, real estate and healthcare: Each company has a set of positions for which they are hiring.

Mendelson stressed that the job fair is the optimal time for job seekers to make connections with all types of people and companies, even with industries that may not interest them at first glance, because “people got hired from the job fair, sometimes after being referred to other companies that weren’t present.” It is always important to seek out a connection. Last year’s job fair, he said, was particularly successful because of the inherent value of networking and personal referrals.

Aside from introducing candidates to a wide range of recruiters, the fair’s main goal is to provide help and resources to all types of people, including entry-level workers, “but also accomplished people who are searching for a different industry—people who are good at their jobs but not good at job searching,” said Mendelson.

Project Ezrah’s mission focuses on a few main areas of assistance: financial aid, job searches and a baby gemach—a fundraising program for parents or guardians in need of financial assistance, providing them with diapers and specialty formulas, among other things.

Project Ezrah’s participants are provided with three intensive financial assistance programs, depending on their needs. First, the Partner Program offers financial assistance to those who cannot afford basic necessities. Project Ezrah’s representatives manage accounts and draw a budget to help those who are struggling. Second, the Boost Program offers those in challenging circumstances budgeting and financial assistance until they get back on their feet. Finally, the Spark Program offers aid and eligible services for those who cannot cover large or unexpected expenses; the program has a wide range of pro bono services, mental health specialists and other forms of assistance.

Right now, with inflation on the rise, Project Ezrah’s services are much needed across the community. Many families struggle to make ends meet, and Project Ezrah offers relief by the Rambam’s guiding principle, “The greatest tzedaka is helping a person become self-sufficient.”

Part and parcel of Project Ezrah’s assistance is the Ezrah University, a series of classes, boot camps and seminars taught by industry experts. These classes aim to better prepare people for the job market and offer financial literacy classes for newly married couples. The workshops present a list of options, including family budgeting, college budgeting for young adults and retirement preparation. Project Ezrah reaches the entire community, taking everyone’s needs into consideration.

The organization aims to reach as many people as possible, and its website is full of different job listings and opportunities, connecting people to employers directly. Everyone is invited to join the fair to find an option that works for them.

To sign up for the job fair, visit www.ezrah.org


Rina Shamilov is an intern for The Jewish Link and a Brooklyn native. She is a rising junior studying English literature at Stern College for Women.

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