As we head into 5772, it seems the perfect time to reflect on heroes within our community. This is especially timely, as we are in the midst of the Jewish Federations of North America's third annual Jewish Community Heroes campaign. The campaign promotes the people in our community who make tikkun olam a guiding element of their everyday lives. It's up to community members to nominate heroes and vote for them now through November 10. Twenty semi-finalists - 10 career heroes and 10 volunteer heroes - will move on to the next round. Then, a panel of judges, including Mayim Bialik, Jay Feinberg, last year's hero, Randi Zuckerberg, former marketing executive of Facebook, and more, will determine the five finalists. The Jewish Community Hero of the year will be announced in December.
This year's JUF nominee is local networker Shalom Klein. In the past year, Shalom is responsible for finding jobs for nearly 100 Chicagoans and helping thousands of small business owners dealing with underemployment and financial challenges. As the founder and chairman of Jewish B2B Networking, Shalom spends his days, and most of his nights, making connections for small businesses in the Chicago Jewish community - you might say he was born to schmooze. Thousands of people have attended and benefited from his regular programming, including most recently "The Business Event," a free business and employment expo which drew over 3,000 attendees. Shalom is an active member of the Jewish Vocational Services executive committee, serves on JUF's Government Affairs committee as well as on Senator Mark Kirk's small business advisory board.
I first met Shalom when I interviewed him back in March for a JUF News article (Get Connected: Meet Shalom Klein, chairman of Jewish B2B Networking) and have enjoyed getting to know him and learning about work since then. To learn more about Shalom and the other Chicago nominees, and to support them with your vote, click here. You can vote once every 24 hours!