Lawrence Named SHJ President

Larry M. Lawrence, a resident of Washington, D.C., was installed on May 3 as the President of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ). A graduate of Harvard University and Indiana University, Lawrence previously served as secretary and treasurer of Machar, the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism, of which he is a long-term member.

“I’ve found a secular/spiritual home in Humanistic Judaism,” said Lawrence. “When I discovered Machar in the 1990s, I found a place to give my daughter a Jewish education that I believe in — not one with features I had to explain away. And to my pleasant surprise, after Liz’s Bat Mitzvah in 1999, both she and I have continued to learn and grow with the movement of Humanistic Judaism.”

“He brings his organization skills, forward thinking ideas, and dedication to our philosophy and practice to his new position as president of the Society,” said Bonnie Cousens, SHJ Executive Director. “We look forward to him applying his skills and ideas to increase the visibility of Humanistic Judaism, while reaching out to the many people who share our beliefs but have not yet found this meaningful way to celebrate their Jewish identity.”

Himeles Jr. Named Champion of Justice

The Equal Justice Council (EJC) of Maryland Legal Aid recognized Martin S. Himeles Jr., managing partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP’s Baltimore office, as a “Champion of Justice” at its 17th annual recognition breakfast.

Himeles was one of two people who received the “Champion of Justice” honor at the event, which was held at Camden Yards. The EJC recognized Himeles for his pro bono support of the organization, as well as his participation and leadership in its fundraising and member recruiting efforts.

A lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, Himeles currently serves as co-chair of the EJC’s law firm campaign, an annual giving program focused on connecting with area firms. At Zuckerman Spaeder, Himeles’ practice encompasses a diverse mix of litigation of commercial origin. As a former federal prosecutor and private practitioner representing corporations and individuals, his courtroom record includes trials of a broad range of civil and criminal matters.

Katz Award Recipients Announced

The winners of the prestigious Katz Award for 2014 were announced at a ceremony in Jerusalem on May 27. The Katz Award was established in 1975 by Marcos and Adina Katz and is bestowed upon individuals and enter- prises engaged in the application of — Jewish law in moder life — in the creation of written work and practical endeavors.

This year’s recicpients include Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and a professor of Judaic thought at New York University and Yeshiva University; Rabbi Zvi (Herschel) Schachter, the Yeshiva University Rosh Yeshiva and the Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Rabbincal Theological Seminary; Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, the Rosh Yeshiva of both the Hasidic Yeshiva of Sadigura and the Jerusalem College of Technology; and the late Rabbi Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth z”l, a rabbinic scholar who authored “Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah,” the authoritative work on the laws of Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Attention New Grads

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(istockphoto.com/AdrianBurgess )

To the roughly 1.6 million college graduates in the Class of 2014, you have my heartiest congratulations — and my sympathies. I graduated during the recession of the early 1990s when finding a decent job was very difficult, so I have an inkling of the challenges many of you now face.

Although available job-search technology has changed considerably since then, as someone who is now on the other side of screening candidates, I can tell you that many of the underlying principles for waging a successful search remain the same. Let me share a few:

Stand out from the crowd. You’ll probably be competing with dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants for most jobs, so:
• Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight education, skills and experience relevant to the position; check out Monster.com’s resume center for tips.

• If your work history is brief, play up education highlights, volunteer or internship positions, awards and organizational memberships.

• Have strong references, and make sure they’re willing to speak or write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

• Proofread everything carefully, and ask a trusted acquaintance to review.

Before applying, research the company to make sure it’s a good fit. If you do get called for an interview, kick it up a notch:
• Make sure you understand the company’s products, services and customer base.

• Examine their business structure and how your potential department fits in.

• Research competitors so you understand the business environment in which they operate.

• Investigate their social-media presence for clues on how they interact with customers.

Employers are forced to do more with fewer resources, so they seek employees who are focused, polished and willing to work hard. I’ve spoken to numerous hiring managers who say many candidates they see don’t convey those qualities. A few tips:
• Google yourself. Review your social-media footprint and remove photos or other materials that portray you unprofessionally.

• Show up — on time — for interviews dressed appropriately, with copies of your resume, work samples and any requested materials.

• Be prepared to answer a barrage of questions about yourself and how you would react in different situations. (Monster.com has a great list of potential interview questions.)

• Make sure you can back up any claims made on your resume or during interviews.

Register with job-search engines where you can apply for jobs and make yourself visible to potential employers and recruiters. Popular sites include Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com. LinkedIn, After College.com and LinkUp.com.

Landing a good job can take months or even years, so be persistent and tap all available resources. For example:
• Contact your school’s career office to see which services are still available to you as a recent graduate. Many will help by reviewing your resume, conducting practice interviews and connecting you with alumni volunteers willing to meet for informational interviews.

• Build and maintain a profile on LinkedIn. Many employers and recruiters go there first when looking for suitable candidates. Also, join LinkedIn groups for your field of interest and partake in their discussions.

• Contact and join professional organizations in your field. Weddles.com provides links to thousands of professional organizations.

• Many companies use automated tracking systems to scan incoming resumes for skills and job-appropriate key words before a human will ever see them. Make sure your resume includes these key words — provided your experience is relevant, of course.

Bottom line: You worked hard to earn your degree. Unfortunately, you may have to work equally as hard to get your career going, so take advantage of the available tools — and good luck.

Pringle Joins WBAL

061314_biz-Megan-PringleWBAL-TV 11 welcomed Megan Pringle to WBAL-TV 11 News Today weekday mornings. Pringle joined Mindy Basara and Jason Newton on the show.

“Megan’s long experience covering Baltimore news is the perfect complement to our already strong morning team,” said WBAL-TV President and General Manager Dan Joerres.

Pringle served as a morning news anchor in Baltimore for six years. Pringle and her husband, Rob, live in Howard County with their twin daughters. Aside from being an avid runner, Megan is also committed to the local community in many ways; she serves on the advisory board for Donate Life Maryland and volunteers as an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Gavant Inducted as Fellow

Morris L. Gavant, M.D., has been inducted as a fellow in the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Gavant is a partner physician at Advanced Radiology in Baltimore and an active staff physician at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he was formerly chief of the radiology department. He is a member of the ACR. Gavant received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Tennessee.

One of the highest honors the ACR can bestow on a radiologist, radiation oncologist or medical physicist is recognition as a fellow of the American College of Radiology. ACR Fellows demonstrate a history of service to the College, organized radiology, teaching or research. Approximately 10 percent of ACR members achieve this distinction.

JWI Awarded for Fraternity Programming

Jewish Women International (JWI) was awarded the Laurel Wreath Award for the Safe Smart Dating program by the North-American Interfraternity Conference. The award is presented to individuals or groups in recognition of their unique programs, community outreach or influence within the fraternal world.

Safe Smart Dating is the first national program on dating abuse and sexual assault for the Greek community on college campuses.

Engaging men as allies, according to Lori Weinstein, CEO of JWI, is the key to changing the culture on campus. “Nationally, more than one in five college women experience physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence from a dating partner. This is an unqualified epidemic that can only be mitigated by training and education, honest conversation, bystander intervention and voices of partnership between women and men,” she said.

Eye On The Future

Simon Galpin, director-general of investment promotion for Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), says Hong Kong is the ideal destination for Israeli investment, citing the city-state’s high degree of autonomy, low barriers to entry and simple low-rate tax system. (InvestHK)

Simon Galpin, director-general of investment promotion for Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), says Hong Kong is the ideal destination for Israeli investment, citing the city-state’s high degree of autonomy, low barriers to entry and simple low-rate tax system.
(InvestHK)

Israel’s business community has increasingly turned eastward toward booming Asian markets — so much so it was recently reported that in 2014, Israel is expected to export more on an annual basis to Asia than it will to the United States.

Fittingly, then, Asian countries had a major presence at the prestigious MIXiii — Israel Innovation Conference 2014, held on May 20-22 in Tel Aviv. Hong Kong, represented by a diverse 31-member delegation, was no exception. The group was led by Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK), a government-backed financial body whose goal is to “encourage new global companies to set up their businesses in Hong Kong and to help those existing companies expand,” said Simon Galpin, its director-general of investment promotion.

In addition to attending the conference, InvestHK used its trip to discuss the various advantages of doing business in Hong Kong with Israeli government officials, tech startups, business incubators, educational institutions and venture capital investors.

Galpin said that his Israel delegation included “a mixture of people [such as] key investors and entrepreneurs looking to invest or collaborate with Israeli startups”; some of Hong Kong’s leaders in innovation, high-tech and R&D (research and development); and one of the country’s chief scientists. He hoped that the trip would “plug the entrepreneurs we have into what’s going on in Israel” and encourage Israeli startups to explore Hong Kong as an option for expansion.

In Galpin’s estimation, Hong Kong is the ideal destination for Israeli investment. He cited the city-state’s high degree of autonomy, low barriers to entry and simple low-rate tax system.

“We can register a new company in just about an hour,” he said.

Galpin stressed that Hong Kong already has a large Israeli population and noted that it is one of the safest cities in the world, with a “secure environment and high-quality lifestyle.” The local Israeli community stands at more than 4,300 people and includes a Jewish day school. Many Israelis living in Hong Kong work in the diamond industry.

Additionally, according to Galpin, Hong Kong can serve as an effective means for Israeli companies looking to make inroads in businesses on the nearby Chinese mainland.

“Sometimes Israeli companies, when looking to do business with China, assume that going straight to the mainland will save time and money,” he said. “However, in many cases, going through Hong Kong, with its limited bureaucracy and many accommodation options, a company can find the right accommodations and at the right price.”

“The communication and collaboration between Hong Kong and Israel is gradually building up,” added Galpin. “That’s why we are putting more emphasis here [in Israel] than in any other part of the world.”

Jonathan Sternberg, a Jerusalem-based InvestHK consultant who spent his week with the group from abroad, explained that his role “is to advise and support Israeli companies across all sectors who are looking to expand their businesses in Asia and Hong Kong and help them make informed business decisions.”

Sternberg said InvestHK’s Israel office “provides a range of free and confidential services to Israeli companies that are sector focused.” For example, “we have diamond industry experts in Hong Kong who can assist Israeli experts in that sector,” he said.

The office also provides Israeli companies with information on the availability of government support or grants that can be tapped into and fosters business connections between Israeli companies and relevant partners in Hong Kong, according to Sternberg.

Sternberg said the idea is to “roll out the red carpet” for Israeli businesses in Hong Kong, ensuring “that their set-up is smooth and that they can succeed.”

“We want to alleviate any concerns or potential headaches they might have to deal with when entering the market,” he said.

Parallel to the InvestHK mission to Israel, on May 19 the group kicked off its global 2014 StartmeupHK Venture Programme competition. The contest aims to help innovative ventures launch and develop their global businesses throughout Hong Kong. Last year’s competition received 384 entries from around the world, including 43 from Israel. Two Israeli startups made it to the semifinals, and one — IT Central Station — was a finalist.

One of the judges who traveled to Hong Kong for last year’s StartmeupHK competition was Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd — an Israeli company that is the world’s largest platform for equity crowd-funding. Medved, who addressed the InvestHK delegation during its visit to his company’s Jeru-salem office, said that Asia is at the top of the list of locations where his company is looking to open a new office.

Medved said OurCrowd “is committed to building stronger ties between Israel and Hong Kong,” and he sees significant commonalities in the cultures of the two nations.

“We [in Israel] offer a different kind of model than the innovation coming out of Silicon Valley,” said Medved. “Silicon Valley doesn’t emphasize respect for traditions or elders, but here we can be innovative and still have serious respect for tradition. That’s important in our work and relationships with Asia, Hong Kong and China.”

For Medved, meeting with the Hong Kong delegation was just part of an eventful week in Israel, the so-called “startup nation,” thanks to the MIXiii conference.

“This country is on fire,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. This week alone I’ve spoken to delegations from all over the world. People [from] all over are making pilgrimages to Israel, the startup nation. We don’t even have to tell the startup nation story anymore. Everyone gets it.”

Seizing An Opportunity

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The Mini Mobile Robotic Printer was invented by Tuvia Elbaum and Matan Caspi.
(Photo Courtesy of ZUtA Labs Ltd.)

Living in the fast-paced world of evolving mobile technology, two young Israeli entrepreneurs have invented what they hope will revolutionize the one device that they feel “got left behind” and seems to have missed the mobile revolution train: the printer.

Tuvia Elbaum and Matan Caspi, both 29 and students at the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT), are the designers of the world’s first truly practical and operational mobile printer. Known as the Mini Mobile Robotic Printer and slated to be available to the general public in 2015, the printer—measuring 4 by 4 1⁄2 inches and weighing only a one-half pound —will allow students, business professionals and anyone in need to print their work from any location.

Elbaum said that he came up with the idea for a pocket printer “from my day-to day life.”

“I’m always working on the go from my smartphone, tablet and laptop in random places, and when I wanted to print something — a memo before or after a meeting, a term sheet, short contract, or even an essay for school — I had to run and look for a printer or wait until I got home or to the office,” he said. “When I went online to look for a portable printer, I only found printers that are either too big to really carry around or too small to print on a standard A4 page [size].”

When Elbaum noticed that all of the printers needed to have paper fed through the device itself, he thought, “Hey, why not put the cartridge on a robot and let it run around by itself, and that will allow the printer to be really small and yet print on any size of paper?”

Elbaum and Caspi were able to pursue their innovation after being accepted into an elite program at JCT known as the Friedberg Program for Entrepreneurial Excellence, which gives students the opportunity to advance entrepreneurial ideas from the “exploratory” to the “concrete” stages—offering them financial assistance, mentoring, workshops and more in order to help make their ideas become a reality.

The pair of entrepreneurs then formed a new company called ZUtA Labs Ltd. and launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, which according to Elbaum “succeeded in raising over 125 percent of what we wanted (more than a half-million dollars) and included some big names such as Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.”

While the pocket printer is still “a project in the making,” Elbaum said those who offered their financial backing “really wanted to be part of creating this product, which is incredible and [demonstrates] the true power of Kickstarter.” He hopes to “reward” those who contributed via Kickstarter by shipping them the first batch of the finished mobile printers in January 2015.

Also helping the entrepreneurs’ cause were rave revues the device received at the Microsoft Israel Corporation’s prestigious ThinkNext technology fair, recently held in Tel Aviv.

In terms of how the printer works from a practical perspective, Elbaum said it is “just like any other printer.” One’s mobile device, such as a smartphone or laptop, will “recognize it as a printer and connect through Bluetooth,” he said.

The printer features an inkjet cartridge that will last for more than 1,000 printed pages and a battery that allows for more than one hour of use per full charge. It is “designed to be used in the simplest way and offers the most simple user experience,” said Elbaum.

Shimmy Zimels, who heads the Friedberg entrepreneurship program at JCT, said that the venture of Elbaum and Caspi “is a great achievement” and that they “seized the opportunity we gave them” through the program.

Zimels — himself the CEO of SunDwater.com, an Israeli company that converts polluted water into clean water — said he believes that the Friedberg program, launched in 2012, “helped push [Elbaum to Caspi] out of the gate,” providing them with “the combination of the right team, the proper funding, the mentoring and the access they had to the electronics laboratories at JCT.”

“We were a small accelerator to help them start their business,” he said.

But Zimels repeatedly stressed that Elbaum and Caspi, not the Friedberg program, should be given the credit for the invention.

Elbaum said he and Caspi, along with the rest of the staffers at ZUtA Labs, have already come up with several additions to the printer and are working on designs for other innovative products. But in the meantime, his plate is full with the launch of the robotic printer. He said, perhaps only half jokingly, that on top of everything else he “still has one class to complete in order to graduate” from JCT.

Hoffman Achieves Adviser Status

Benjamin K. Hoffman has become an Ameriprise Financial private wealth adviser. Hoffman, with an office in Timonium, is one of approximately 9 percent of the nearly 10,000 Ameriprise financial advisers to achieve this status.

Hoffman is part of Slyker, Hoffman & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

As an Ameriprise private wealth adviser, Hoffman is focused on providing advice and financial solutions for clients with high-asset levels. He is knowledgeable on a variety of topics and strategies including retirement, tax and estate planning, insurance and asset management.