Are you the descendant of European Jewish grandparents who spoke to you in a language nobody fully understood? Did you make inferences based off Bubbe’s cheek-pinching that “sheyna punim” must have a positive connotation? You aren’t alone. Even today, we reference the Ashkenazi language of Yiddish when speaking to our parents, children—and apparently, other business professionals!
A Macher is Yiddish for “one who makes”: an influential person, a fixer, a person who gets things done.
As documented by the Macher’s Mark Breakfast on June 26th, the Jewish Federation’s inaugural NextGen event for business professionals at The Center Club in Costa Mesa, movers and shakers are widespread in our community.
How does one become a Macher? Is there a secret process to acquire the skill sets necessary for success? Perhaps a BuzzFeed list outlining key elements to becoming an influential entrepreneur?
In our fast-paced world, it often seems impossible to catch up with other rapid-moving parts of society and make things happen ourselves. Taking a step back to evaluate the triumphs of others and establishing where we stand in our respective professions is a start.
The confusing, often difficult concept of opening ourselves up to the possibility that our predecessors might have encouraging, powerful words is something few make reality.
Fortunately, Macher’s Mark provided professionals five to 15 years into their careers the opportunity to absorb what their elders had to say.
The concept behind NextGen’s Macher’s Mark was simple: bring young Jewish professionals together in order to combine collective resources, help develop careers, build and foster relationships and further our already affluent community.
When NextGen board members congregated over 60 professionals into one room, the magic of community took place. Pairing networking with access to advice and mentorship from a panel of driven and down-to-earth industry-leading professionals made Macher’s a spectacular event.
Co-chairs Adam Miller and Marc Garelick successfully compiled a unique panel to share their stories and offer advice about overcoming difficult situations such as juggling parenthood with demanding careers and making decisions that will positively affect their community, not just their wallets.
“I believe there are many Jewish people in our community in the 30-something age range who have no connection whatsoever,” said Garelick, a family lawyer and sponsor of Macher’s. “I’m hopeful that this group can help bridge that gap and attract them to become more involved with philanthropy and our community.”
A unique characteristic of Macher’s Mark is that the group is open to all professions. The impact was evidenced by the group’s reaction.
Veterinarian Matthew Singer said, “I’ll definitely be attending more meetings as I find it a great way to get a different perspective on the decisions I can make both professionally and in life.”
“I enjoyed listening to stories and experiences of people who weren’t triumphant when they started. They showed that you can be successful in life even if you had a rough start,” noted real estate professional Giselle Frixione. “We need more events like this one more often.”
David Samson, a commercial deposit banker at Umpqua bank and sponsor of the event, said, “Macher’s Mark was a brilliant way to connect with other Jewish professionals. I enjoyed hearing stories and getting advice from the panel and being able to interact with them. The format of the event was a great mix of mingling and Q&A which kept the event interesting, and not just a sit-down. I look forward to more of these events and the next panel of speakers!”
Are you looking to become a Macher yourself? Don’t be a schmuck. Go schmooze with NextGen’s group for professionals, and make your Bubbe proud.
For more information on upcoming events please visit, www.jewishorangecounty.org.
Adam Chester is a contributing writer to JLife magazine and the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at Jewish Federation and Family Services.