Forget ice breakers. The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington held a networking event with ice cream breakers on Wednesday, November 16.
JFGW’s The Network Event brought 300 business and civic leaders together to celebrate our DC Jewish community. It featured a keynote by Jerry Greenfeld, of Ben & Jerry’s fame, who shared his company’s business philosophy and story. Two friends that grew up together, took a risk to start a small business, and have turned it into a $300M enterprise. This corporation that serves desserts has certainly sweetened communities.
The Federation sure knows how to throw a great party — offering ice cream as both an appetizer and as a dessert. I like the way they think!
Coming into this week, I was excited for The Network Event for more than Cherry Garcia and Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream. Last year, I attended The Network Kick-off and it was the best DC Jewish event I’ve ever been to. This year held up that same level of energy and excitement. The event connects generations and makes connections in our Jewish community — like the ConnectGens program some friends and I helped found last year after returning from the Birthright Leadership Mission. Before Jerry shared his remarks, it was great seeing Nathan Bortnick up on the stage highlighting the ConnectGens Fellowship powered by Presentense (NOTE — Applications are still available to become a part of this exciting program!). Eva, Nate, and the steering committee are doing a great job and I’m excited about becoming a coach for the program.
The Network brings us together — no matter whether we’re a young or established professional, secular or orthodox, MD/VA/DCer, etc. It introduced me to a new business partner, mentor, and friend in Bob London. It helped make me a GTJ Guy of the Week. And over the last year, it has helped inspire me to continue to stay involved by hearing stories from some incredible speakers: such as David Falk (Michael Jordan’s agent), the Ambassador of Morrocco, Bill Kristol from the Weekly Standard, a co-founder of sweetgreen, and IDF officers who have transitioned from the battlefield to the boardroom.
JFGW’s The Network program has many more great events scheduled for 2012 including Lunch and Learns with the Co-founder and Managing Director of The Carlye Group, the President of The Economist Group, President of Hillel International, and the Executive Director of the Israel on Campus Coalition. I hope to see you there!