By Michelle Sabbagh and Jonathan Shabshaikhes
On August 11th, The Hudson County Jewish Business Alliance (HCJBA) established by David Rosenberg hosted their first legislative luncheon. The goal of the organization is to provide opportunities for local Jewish businesses to forge strong relationships with each other and elected officials.
The event began with the platform to create professional relationships between business leaders and government representatives through a unique networking forum. After this component concluded, everyone moved into the reception hall to hear from the distinguished honorees and guests.
The event host, Thomas Rosenberg of Rosdev Hospitality opened the program, “We all came to communicate how we can help each other, how together as a team we can help others, how we can share our blanket with others. ”
Rabbi Steven Weil the Senior Managing Director of the Orthodox Union delivered the invocation. “What has always been the litmus test of defining someone as a sincere Jew, is the area of ‘chosen mishpat’, financial law…It’s very easy to pray and be Sabbath observant, especially in this great land of America…but it’s not easy to be Snow White in business. As Jew and gentile alike we ultimately can create a world of ethics and morality in a business climate.”
David Rosenberg the Executive Director of the HCJBA thanked the event sponsors, Carepoint Health, Margules Properties, Kedem Food Products, and Jersey City Medical Center. Mr. Rosenberg announced the powerful mission of the alliance, “This network aims to provide the platform for businesses to coalesce and learn from one another. After all, if we work together with one unified front productivity and innovation will come with ease.”
Ruddys Andrande, Director of Community Relations of CarePoint Health, introduced the first honoree and recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award, Speaker of the NJ General Assembly Vincent Prieto. Upon receiving the award Speaker Prieto thanked the alliance, “David Rosenberg is motivated to do the right thing for the community.”
Miles Berger, Chairman of The Berger Organization introduced the featured guest, President of the New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Senator Sweeney heavily emphasized the importance of urban planning, “Infrastructure is everything, it is the key to the economy of this state…we are all talking about it, but now we need to focus on it and put political pressure on the elected officials from above. My pitch here is to get engaged and empower the Jewish community to start lobbying people for improved infrastructure.”
Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group was the master of ceremonies, praised Senate President Sweeny for his far-sighted outlook on how to improve infrastructure projects relating to the entire tri-state metropolitan arena.
Eli Rowe, Hatzolah Volunteer Paramedic, presented Michael Fedorko, Superintendent of Port Authority Police the Hatzolah of Union City the Life Saver’s Award. He recalled Superintendent Fedorko’s leadership when he shutdown the one way lane highway from NY to NJ during Hurricane Sandy. This bold move allowed Union City Hatzolah to transport a high risk pregnant woman to Cornell Medical Center. With a standing ovation, the crowd was emotionally moved as the young boy who was born because of this heroic act handed the award to Superintendent Fedorko. He appreciated the honor and said, “I look forward with confidence to working with HCJBA to safeguard and improve lives of the citizens we serve”
The introductory HCJBA Luncheon will serve as a precedent for years to come in connecting Jewish leaders with elected officials. As Speaker Prieto said, “I will be back next year.”