Business Networking Group
“What started out as a virtual handshake on Zoom last December has become a real-life Rolodex of business contacts and friends we can depend on,” say Yale Dolginow and Bruce Hoberman, who have formed the Bet Shalom Business Networking Group (BSBNG). Its mission statement aptly summarizes its focus:
BSBNG allows members of Bet Shalom to be able to interact and network with other members within the congregation to create business opportunities, referrals, friendships and learning experiences that will be beneficial to both the members and synagogue.
With 20 members so far, the BSBNG is already a successful relational “small group” at Bet Shalom. The members range in ages from 28 to 78 and work in diverse fields such as real estate, labor law, art galleries, management consulting, polishing, travel consulting and marketing. Their meetings facilitate networking by learning about each others’ businesses, exchanging advice and referrals, and discussing contemporary issues that impact their occupations, clients and the community. They feature lively back-and-forth interactions and genuine interest in each member’s opinions and suggestions.
People learn how to move their businesses to the next level and enhance their “toolboxes” of resources. For example, Yale discussed how his company’s differentiation value is that as a management consultant, he always develops an execution plan to accompany a client’s business plan. And several members are now doing SWOT analyses (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
Some generate new business opportunities by referring their friends and clients to each other. For example, Robert Kramer has a friend from Israel, Ronen Shayari, who he met through the plastics business, and eventually their families became close friends, too. Robert tells the story:
“Ronen wanted to invest in a house in the US and knew that we were involved in ownership of apartments and houses, so he asked me for help in finding an investment house. About 6 or 7 years ago I found him a house in Brooklyn Park, and he bought it sight unseen, seeing it for the first time three years later when his wife Efrat and he visited Susi and me. I found him a renter family who lived in it the entire time, and we knew that they were going to move out at the end of this April. Through the BSBNG I had met Scott Gad, who owns The Frugal Broker, so I asked him to help with the sale. It went off quickly without a hitch, and for reasonably top dollar. Ronen was pleased with the price and his ROI. So this story is partly about the networking group but also about American/Israel/Jewish relationships around the world.”
But something more fulfilling is happening in the BSBNG: Members are developing new relationships at Bet Shalom. By working together and helping each other in business, and strengthened by their common bond as Jews, they have made new friendships with camaraderie and trust that translates into far more than the proverbial “bottom line.”
The BSBNG currently meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 9:15 am. If you would like to join the group, please contact Yale Dolginow or Bruce Hoberman via email at email@example.com.
– Eric Bressler, Editor