Our Federation offers several professional groups dedicated to networking, skill-sharing, shared experiences and more. But if you’re looking for a way to connect with a more diverse group of professionals, check out FedConnect.
FedConnect is our Federation’s monthly series of engagement and networking opportunities that take place at different locations and times of day throughout the city. The point is, not surprisingly, to connect — with other members of our Jewish community and with our Federation. And, whether you’re a 26-year-old tech entrepreneur, a 45-year-old media mogul, or a 62-year-old lawyer, you’re welcome to join us!
These casual events often feature a unique speaker or panel discussing a thought-provoking subject of interest, from politics to technology to Israel and more. “The topic and speaker are always enticing,” said Maxie Optican, a life insurance agent from Venice who has attended several FedConnect opportunities over the past few months.
One of the highlights of FedConnect is its convenience. We’re all busy and deal with rush-hour traffic. FedConnect offers pre-work breakfasts, mid-day luncheons and evening cocktail events from the Westside to downtown L.A. FedConnect events are generally brief — an hour and a half at most during the day — which makes it easier to participate. The size of attendance ranges from intimate to large, depending on the event. And, FedConnect always offers a chance to meet new people, trade business cards and learn more about our Federation’s life-changing work.
Rebecca Dayanim, a dentist from Santa Monica, has attended several FedConnect events since its inception last October. “What makes FedConnect unique,” she said, “is that it blurs the lines between networking and speaker-driven events. I like that it brings different audiences together.”
While there are no membership requirements for one to attend a FedConnect gathering, the goal is to bring people from our community together in a no-pressure environment, to enlighten and inspire them, and to introduce them to new areas of our work.
Some of our past events have included:
- A panel of former IDF intelligence personnel who created the first start-up accelerator in Israel
- A discussion with David Zackon, Executive Director of our Federation’s partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
- A lunch with William Daroff, The Jewish Federations of North America’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Director of the Washington Office, who discussed Capitol Hill’s reaction to the crises facing our Israeli family
- A panel of athletes representing Israel abroad sharing their stories and how competition affected their Jewish identities
- A networking lunch with our Federation’s President and CEO, Jay Sanderson, on the future of Jewish life in Los Angeles
David Yashar, a Studio City resident and Real Estate & Construction (REC) Cabinet member who works as an investment broker in Beverly Hills, tries to attend as many FedConnect events as he can. “You have the opportunity to meet wonderful people,” he said. “You only gain from things like this, you don’t lose. It gives you a taste of who you are, where you come from and where you belong.”
Optican agrees. “I recently realized that, other than my bat mitzvah, trips to Israel or Shabbat dinners, I haven’t done much to connect to the Jewish community,” she said. “FedConnect is a great way to do so!”
Sometimes the topics are deeply moving. Yashar was, in fact, so touched by hearing about our Federation’s work with the elderly that he was brought to tears and felt compelled to make a donation to the Federation on the spot. “Things like this play a big role in my Jewish identity,” he said.
While participants acknowledge that there are similar events and networking opportunities outside of the Jewish community, the variety of options, convenience of times and locations, and Jewish link set FedConnect above the rest.
Dayanim added, “It’s nice to be in a Jewish environment. It feels good to have the Jewish connection.”
Save the date for our next FedConnect event, a Networking Happy Hour on Wednesday, May 25th from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM at the Hotel Erwin in Venice. If you’d like to join us for this or any future FedConnect opportunities, sign up for our e-mail list to get the latest details!
Interested in learning more about FedConnect? See our calendar of upcoming events or contact Liron Yadin at (323) 761-8291 or LYadin@JewishLA.org.