By COLlive reporter
Photos Shalom Burkis
During the Kinus Hashluchim this year, a popular workshop featured ‘Balebatim,’ three successful Jewish businessmen who gave insight into the world of the Chabad supporter.
The businessmen led a panel to share ideas with Shluchim on how best to network and fundraise in their communities.
Rabbi Shmuli Levitin, of Chabad Young Professionals of Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ, introduced the session by playing a sicha where the Rebbe spoke about how helping another Jew physically will ultimately bring them closer spiritually. So, too, assisting people in connecting them with others who may be interested in their service or product helps them physically, and that will draw them closer spiritually as well.
The panelists were Josh Abhesara – Founder of Wonderfield Studios, an advertising agency that specializes in the real estate market; Motti Belsky – a prestigious real estate equity broker; and David Pilchick – the founder of a successful security equipment company. The panel was emceed by Nesanel Gancz, Business editor at Ami Magazine. After giving each panelist a chance to introduce themselves and share their journey, Gancz asked them to draw on their business experience to advise the Shluchim in areas of their work that resemble what Shluchim deal with. Here are some highlights from the questions and their answers.
How can a Shliach expand his network?
Josh: “Every Shliach has tremendous value. Your abilities, your skills, the amount that you know; these are things that you shouldn’t take for granted. When you develop close connections with people they will realize that about you and those connections are the best thing you can do to expand your network.”
Motti: ‘If you see that someone isn’t responding to your attempts to bring them closer, don’t expend all your time and effort on trying to get them; Work on furthering your network and they will come around eventually.”
David: “When you show someone that you care about them, they want to become closer to you. Keep on doing that and your network will grow.”
How should a Shliach do the “ask”?
Josh: “Some people get turned off from a direct ask; Get them excited and involved in what you are doing and they will want to give on their own.”
Motti: “A Shliach needs to pitch the appropriate thing to the right person. What turns on one person may not turn on another.”
David: “Motivate people to give by showing what their money is supporting and the value and purpose it brings.”
At one point, Josh asked Rabbi Shmuly Lezak, Shliach in Miami Beach, to come up and talk about how a video that Josh’s company had made for him had helped boost his campaign for his Hebrew School.
Toward the conclusion of the session, the panelists shared some tidbits of advice that they had learned from their years in business. On experiencing rejection, Motti said: “When you experience rejection, realize that they are not rejecting you as a person. It may be that they had a negative Jewish experience before or that they are not ready to accept the message you are trying to give them.”
David expressed the importance of having goals that can keep you motivated. “Make sure you know what you want to achieve and think of new and creative ways to try to get there. In today’s day and age, there are so many new and innovative ways to engage people. You just have to stay on the ball and not lose focus.”
The session was eye-opening to many Shluchim who got to see these issues from a different perspective.
Special thanks to Rabbi Beryl Frankel, Director of CYP International, for his help in coordinating the panel.