You are a high-tech inventor looking for funding. You are a real estate broker looking for buyers. You are a new lawyer in town looking to connect with other professionals. You are a seasoned professional looking to mentor and give back as well as connect.
The Network of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) takes networking to the next level by creating a group where business and professional people of all types – both male and female – can meet and mingle. While JFFS has had groups for various business and professional endeavors, The Network will bring them all together.
Launching on March 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, The Network aims to connect Orange County’s most influential Jewish professionals and business leaders, creating extraordinary opportunities to expand the reach of both business and philanthropic ventures. It provides a gateway to get involved in an area of interest, bring along family members and friends and collaborate on projects that benefit individuals, companies and the entire community, according to Doris Jacobson, JFFS director of community philanthropy.
“The Network of JFFS will offer exclusive opportunities to engage with business and industry leadership, as well as peers from the real estate world, financial services, high- tech, law, medical services and beyond,” Jacobson said. “Professionals of all industries and career levels are invited to attend the top-tier programs of The Network.”
She added, “Whether you’re in the field for 30 years or just starting out, this is the group for you. You can come together with like-minded people who care about their careers and care about the community at the same time.
Co-chairing The Network are Bernie Labowitz, who has been the chair of the JFFS real estate division, and Howard Mirowitz, who has chaired the Montefiore Society, an organization of financial professionals. Both men have had successful careers while engaging heavily in philanthropic endeavors. Both have also been involved in the Solomon Society, which is for men only.
“I’m a firm believer in networking,” said Labowitz, who described the shopping center business in which he is involved as “a business of relationships.” As chair of the JFFS Real Estate Council, he was responsible for quarterly meetings with featured speakers, in which people would “talk, generate business and create philanthropy for JFFS.” He added, “The primary purpose was networking, but we all knew we were doing it for the community.”
Labowitz realized that there was overlap between the members of the Real Estate Council and the members of the Montefiore Society. Additionally, he said, “People in Orange County are so far apart geographically that we want to give them every reason to come together and join forces.”
Mirowitz said that the Montefiore Society used to get more than 100 people at meetings, but he wanted to incorporate people in other sectors – medical device, pharmaceutical, high technology, legal and others – into the networking mix. “Each individual networking group gave people a chance to connect with people in the same area or field of endeavors, but now people can network with customers, clients and financiers.”
He concluded, “The Network is a comprehensive group for creating business connections for people involved in philanthropy. We create more value with the added networking capabilities. We encourage all business and professional people to come and give us a try.”
The Network fits in with the mission of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), Orange County: to bring together the people, the partners and the resources to care for people in need, to build a vibrant community and to sustain and enhance Jewish life. It is designed to have a broad appeal to peers, customers and mentors in business and professional endeavors of all kinds while encouraging people at all levels of their careers to become involved in the Jewish community and balance their careers with their philanthropic efforts. JFFS hopes for an eclectic mix of professionals who affiliate with one another while creating a greater sense of community.
The Network launch event is on Wednesday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m., at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. Couvert is $50 with advance reservations, $65 at the door and includes heavy appetizers, pasta bar, wine, dessert and great networking. For more information, contact Doris Jacobson at (949) 435-3484 or TheNetwork@jffs.org.