LinkedIn, the social media tool, is
one way that S.H.A.R.E is helping their members network.
Support and Networking for Job Seekers.
-- Adam Wishkovsky with Sharon Richman and Carol Orenstein
As the economic news worsened in late 2008, Beth Am Israel (BAI) members began to
discuss the challenges and stresses they were facing and several synagogue
members decided to take action. President John Harris and Rabbi Jeff Sultar
quickly embraced the idea of supporting members—both at Beth Am and at other
area synagogues—who were facing home foreclosures, losing jobs or dealing with
other financial difficulties.
John shared the idea with Jackie Needleman, BAI Gemilot Chasidim committee chair,
and soon thereafter Jackie, Lisa Schifman, BAI -Fiscal Secretary, Ken Podell,
BAI member and a Financial Advisor and Adam Wishkovsky, BAI member, met and
established the “Reachout Reference and Support” group. The group’s original
goal was to connect with and support community members in multiple ways: to help
people handle financial issues; to help them prepare for potential career
changes; to brainstorm on job search best practices; and to offer a safe,
supportive space to share experiences.
After meeting several times, the group decided to change its name from “Reach Out” to “BAI Cares Support Group.” This group has continued to evolve and to reflect the community’s needs—driven partly by my own personal experience.
In early 2009, I lost my job as a sales executive for a large publicly traded
company. Suddenly I found myself on the “client” side of the table! My function
at BAI Cares became more personal and more intense. I soon learned that other
BAI members who had lost their jobs did not enjoy the benefit of an outplacement
firm, I realized how fortunate I was that I had this resource. At that point, I
decided to establish a Job Networking group at BAI where members could exchange
ideas and support one another—to provide each other with an informal
outplacement networking group. We met each Friday afternoon at BAI, and shortly
thereafter, members from Har Zion and Main Line Reform joined our group. loyment
(for those who are unemployed or are concerned about their employment status)
due to the economic downturn.”
Recently, the group decided to change its name one last time; it is now called
“S.H.A.R.E. - Support, Help, Assistance, Resources = Employment.”
Activities of the group now include weekly networking meetings; the ability to
connect over the Internet via
LinkedIn, where there are 33 group members currently registered (access to
job opportunities that members share; and general networking opportunities).
“I believe strongly in supporting my community in any way I can. I was more than
happy to sponsor brunch for those attending weekly meetings,” said Mike Saewitz,
a BAI member and President of Campus Textbooks who generously contributed brunch
after each of the multiple meetings.
“Presenting to the group on non-profit opportunities was a great experience. I
have so much passion for my work, and I was thrilled to learn that people in the
group are considering making a career change into the non-profit arena,” said
Cyndee Wishkovsky, BAI Member and Director of Aging Services at Journey’s Way.
“Non-profit work is very fulfilling, but transitioning into this type of work
can be a bit tricky.”
One group member, Jane Siegel, commented, “Meeting weekly with people in the
Jewish community who understand what we are going through, who support each
other in difficult times, is so valuable. Friendships, humor, and new ideas
provide a jolt of caffeine to get people motivated and moving. I also like how
the group has handled different topics—the presenters have each been very
professional, prepared and helpful in addressing the specific needs of the
group—they’ve been focused on the group’s needs. The variety of speakers has
been great too.”
Hope Kirschner, another group member, said “The group has been a tremendous
support network for those of currently in transition during these tough economic
times. I have found it to be extremely beneficial—it’s been great to talk with
other people going through the same things as I am. I have learned a great deal
from the presenters and from other group members and I have really enjoyed the
Additional speakers have included BAI members who are HR recruiters, career
advisors, professors of communications & leadership, professors of English
writing, president of a career executive company, a financial advisor and
others. So many members have contributed generously of their time to help those
- October 1 with Dr. David Weiman
Subject: The psychology of goal-setting and interview “secrets” from a
- October 8 with John Harris
Subject: “How healthcare is transforming – with or without reform – and what
that means for healthcare jobs”
Additional Job Workshops will be scheduled shortly.
S.H.A.R.E. meets 7:30pm every Thursday evening at Har Zion Temple
(1500 Hagys Ford Road, Penn Valley, Pennsylvania) with the exception
of next Thursday, September 17, 2009. For more information, please
contact Adam Wishkovsky firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Richman email@example.com.
Adam Wishkovsky, a sales & marketing executive for over 25 years. Born in Poland, grew up in Israel, served at the IDF and participated in the Six Days and Yom Kippur wars. Arrived to USA in 1976 to complete his MBA at the Buffalo (SUNY) University. Moved to Philadelphia in 1986 and a member of Beth Am Israel since then. Married to Cyndee (Heisler) and has 2 sons, Joel & Ariel.
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