Updated: Feb 26, 2020
By Tammy Mark
(Courtesy of JWE) Some of the most dynamic and creative business minds came together last week at the fifth Jewish Woman Entrepreneur Conference. The conference brought together female entrepreneurs from various industries at various stages for a day of learning, networking and collaboration — but the epic event wasn’t only about business.
CEOs, marketing mavens, artists and influencers, the participants represented the diverse cross-section of modern Jewish women. From full-time business owners to those running a part-time business, to those working and trying to grow a passion project simultaneously, each speaker and guest brought something special to offer. Discussion topics ranged from e-commerce, pricing, growing with intent and building a brand outside of the community.
The event was organized under the direction of Abbey Wolin, assisted by a tireless team including Breezy Schwartz and Melinda Strauss. With over 400 attendees joining throughout the day, the women came from across the globe. The Jewish Woman Entrepreneur (JWE) team worked hard to accommodate everyone, offering separate day and evening events and providing a nursing room for those in need.
The JWE was founded in 2011 by Chaya Appel-Fishman, a young businesswoman who realized that Jewish businesswomen were a rapidly expanding community, yet lacking for resources and role models. Starting initially as a website, Appel-Fishman established The JWE as a nonprofit in 2013, bringing on fellow entrepreneurs Ariela Esquenazi, Chagit Leviev and Toby Moskovits as board members.
Presenters included familiar names and faces, alongside the successful women who are the minds behind the brands. A true “who’s who” in the Jewish business world, the panel featured leaders across a range of industries including Saki Dodelson, Talia Mashiach, Chaya Krinsky, Aviva Weiss, Tamar Rosenthal, Estie Rand, Dini Klein, Bari Erber, Samantha Murray and Marcy Tbiele. Some shared business lessons, some personal anecdotes and some both. Marketing strategist Estie Rand presented a standing-room-only session on customer acquisition and retention, which captured the attention of those at every stage of business.
The “collaboratory” portion of the event offered round-table discussions where participants could choose topics that spoke to their particular business needs. Many of the creatives shared insights from their particular niches, such as artist Yaeli Vogel, chef Naomi Nachman and podcast creator Barianna Mitzman. Michal Weinstein and Naomi Cohen of Events 360 spoke on the topic of “Knowing your Worth” and addressed the aspect of pricing oneself accordingly, which can often prove difficult in a service-based industry.
Appealing to both cerebral and social aspects of brand building, the event was complete with a lavish “Network the Night Away” after-party which allowed for informal chatting and connecting. The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn was the perfect venue for the event, with a unique, classy and modern vibe that could easily describe the women in the room as well.
“There’s as energy at the JWE conference that you really can’t really replicate,” said Appel-Fishman. “The walls come down at the event. Women supporting women – everyone wants to support each other at all stages.”