January 15, 2004
Matchmaker, Matchmaker Find Me a Job
Benjamin Brown found out a master's degree in Jewish history didn't help him much in finding a job. So a few years ago, Brown, 29, launched an employment Web site for the Jewish community, which he named JewishJobs.com. The initiative seems to have been a success: Brown not only secured a job at the now-defunct United Jewish Communities' (UJC) Trust for Jewish Philanthropy, he has attracted more than 6,000 job seekers to his service, which boasts a testimonials page of happily matched employees and employers.
Brown's story is telling both about the need to match potential candidates with Jewish jobs, and about the rising number of Internet job sites that serve niche markets
Employers appreciate receiving 70 strong candidates instead of 7,000 who may not be appropriate for the job, said Brown, who left Brandeis in 2001 and received his master's degree earlier this year.
JewishJobs.com is by no means the only Web site looking to play matchmaker between job seekers and Jewish employers.
Web sites and services like J2J Network, Hatzlacha.com and JewishJobFinder.com, among others, have sprouted up over the past few years, and the Orthodox Union recently announced it will launch an online job bank.
It's an economic thing, say those involved in the field.
J2J, a self-described network for Jewish professionals, has hosted networking events, run educational programs and provided a career listserv of employment opportunities since 2000, with the goal of strengthening the Jewish community through commerce.
"If I get a random e-mail, I may or may not respond," said David Borowich, chairman of J2J, whose users tend to be 25-45. "An e-mail from the Jewish community, I am more likely to respond."
Unlike JewishJobs.com, J2J does not focus on specifically Jewish jobs. Weekly e-mails advertise jobs in public relations companies and law firms, as well as in banking and consulting groups.
With tight networks in mind, UJC launched its own initiative in 2001 that helps technology professionals find a job.
Blue Knot: The Jewish Tech Initiative (www.blueknot.com) emphasizes networking for its mostly young and transient members, who attend professional gatherings and community service events. The idea is to bring together technology professionals in the Jewish community from across the country who are interested in networking and in getting involved in the Jewish community.