When the Jewish Business Connection of South OC (JBC) was formed earlier this year, it was envisioned as a place where members of the Jewish community could grow their businesses, find new opportunities and connections, network within a safe and friendly community, and connect with other business owners and professionals. Many people have done just that – and learned a thing or two from speakers and from one another.
At every meeting there is an introductory session, a talk about the kabbalah of business, a speaker, and then a chance to break into circles to schmooze and network. Sometimes those schmoozing sessions lead to jobs and other opportunities.
“JBC’s mission is to contribute to the Jewish Community of Orange County through business networking, outreach, and educational programs,” said Alexandra L. Kaplan, MBA, SPHR, a business consultant who works for Mark Kamin and Associates. Kaplan founded the group, along with Rabbi Zalman Marcus of Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo, which provides the venue for the monthly meetings. Rabbi Marcus provides a perspective on the spiritual side of business.
According to Kaplan, “By fulfilling our mission, we are creating a stronger sense of community, creating a more stable financial position for families within our community, and assisting with professional and business opportunities. We, as a Jewish business organization, are stepping up to support businesses and the business environment in our community. The real solution lies in creating new, productive, and profitable business relationships, and in strengthening our community ties. We are out to create a business networking structure that would support and strengthen our community, and whose members look out for the economic needs of each other, and support each other. We provide a unique business networking environment, a spiritual approach to business and money, and a forum for business education.”
On November 3 JBC hosted Ivan M. Rosenberg, Ph.D., president and CEO of Frontier Associates, who spoke about “The Dance of Sales.” Rosenberg said that sales is a conversation for serving the customer and that a conversation consists of listening (not just what one hears but the whole perception) and speaking (not just what one says but all messages one issues). The concept of sales is like a dance, he said, because it is more effective when one partner leads, rather than dominates. To improve sales effectiveness, the paradigm of sales in which people operate must be changed, according to Rosenberg, who interacted with the group and asked people to list the valuable ideas they had gleaned from the presentation.
Rabbi Marcus believes that JBC is an element of Chabad’s outreach. During the introductions, the rabbi always says he runs a health spa. “If there’s a need, we’re here to fill it,” he said.
JBC meets at the Chabad Jewish Center of Mission Viejo, 24041 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo. For more information, contact Alexandra L. Kaplan, MBA, SPHR at (310) 922-6871 or firstname.lastname@example.org – and bring plenty of business cards.