The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh held the inaugural event for its new Jewish Business & Professionals Network on a Downtown rooftop, under a sunny sky, Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Daniel Friedman and Colin Rosenberg, co-chairs of the new group, hosted the cocktail hour at Reed Smith LLP. They each addressed the group formally, along with attorney Jeff Letwin and Federation President and CEO Jeffrey Finkelstein, as well as mingled with the crowd.
The primary function of the network is “to provide the opportunity for Jews to network with other Jews,” Rosenberg said, “and foster an atmosphere where business can get done among Jews in the community that might not happen otherwise.”
A diverse crowd of professionals ranging from lawyers to real estate brokers, small business owners and employees attended the program.
Attaining such professional diversity is a goal of the JB&P network, Rosenberg said.
“There have been groups like this for lawyers, for doctors, but never for the community at large,” he explained. “The purpose of this is to unite the community as a whole, and that was the impetus for bringing the group together.”
While the event drew a sizable turnout, Rosenberg said the fledgling group could draw even larger crowds in the future. Since it is mostly younger professionals starting out who look to network, he said they encourage more successful community members to take part as well and help younger Jewish professionals develop networking skills.
He added that the group hopes to host future networking events that focus specifically on mentoring, because established community members can get involved and give back by guiding newcomers in their given careers.
He noted that such people have valuable wisdom and stories to share that would benefit up-and-comers and in turn, the Jewish community as a whole.
If successful, Rosenberg said, such mentors could eventually form a small committee that would serve as an offshoot of the main group.
Coming up, the JB&P is expected to host a green, or sustainable energy-focused event in December, which would be open to people in the energy sector as well as professionals looking to discuss sustainable energy on an individual level and in business practices.
(Abby Gordon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)