From Five Towns to Israel: Lakewood is Leading Force in Jewish Community’s Economic Development

By M.K. On Wednesday evening, the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (OJC) celebrated the launch of the Five Towns branch of its Small Business Alliance (SBA) division. A beautiful networking event was held at the Lawrence Yacht and Country Club to mark the launch. Elected officials, business leaders, bankers, special guest speaker Kivi Bernhard of Atlanta and various entrepreneurs from the area were in attendance.

However, the first person to greet Duvi Honig, the OJC’s Founder and CEO, at the entrance was a Lakewood business owner. He remarked, “I just hired a Lakewood resident who I met at your recent SBA event in Lakewood.” Such news is so common that Duvi barely notices it at this point.

In fact, a mere two weeks after the successful SBA event in Lakewood, headlined by Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg, several Lakewood residents traveled to Lawrence to attend the Five Towns launch. They subsequently contacted the OJC to relate that they made solid business connections there and greatly appreciate the Chamber’s myriad networking opportunities.

Duvi explains that even as the OJC spreads its wings across the globe, the Lakewood business community remains a most powerful force in the hum of the engine. The Lakewood business world, like the community as a whole, has grown and advanced exponentially since the OJC’s forerunner (and current division), Parnassah Network, was launched in 2008 in Lakewood. Today, Lakewood entrepreneurs and their businesses not only employ many individuals locally and contribute to the economy; they stimulate commerce for businesses throughout the world.

“At every event, and behind the scenes, Lakewood business owners are key to our network,” Duvi relates. Despite the fact that the OJC is currently headquartered in the heart of Wall Street, the Chamber maintains an active Lakewood office that managers much of the group’s operations.

The next major event on the OJC calendar is the VIP business networking event at King David Hotel in Yerushalayim, on Sunday, January 14th – the first OJC event in Israel since the Israel branch was launched in November. As expected, several Lakewood entrepreneurs have RSVP’d to attend – ensuring that Lakewood will serve as a core of the Anglo-Israeli business sphere as we head towards the future.

“It is an incredible Kiddush Hashem that our beautiful Torah community continues to bring so much positive into the world,” says Duvi, “including in the realm of parnassah through a strict adherence to Torah values.”


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