Feature Stories

Over a Weekend in Paris, Fueling Jewish Entrepreneurs

For Yehuda Law, a 27-year-old Russian Jew living in Slovakia, time is of the essence.

At least that’s the case once a year — whenever the Bratislava resident travels to whichever European capital is hosting Junction, JDC’s annual conference bringing together young Jewish entrepreneurs from across the continent.

“I simply try not to waste a minute while I’m at Junction,” said Law, a solutions manager at IBM Slovakia. “The program offers a high-level, once-in-a-lifetime event, both in terms of sessions and outside activities. There's so much innovation and creativity.”

This year’s Junction will be held in Paris from May 23-25 with a theme of “Connecting the Dots.” Participants will be able to choose from four tracks: “Making the Right Decisions,” “The Entrepreneurial Mindset,” “Image Matters” and “How To Do Well By Doing Good.”

Law previously attended conferences held in Barcelona and Amsterdam and said Junction was a true game-changer for him.

“Junction has proven itself to be the ultimate and best event for young Jewish professionals,” he said. “I received an opportunity to meet, learn and share experiences with active, creative, and successful Jewish professionals from all over the world.”

Lela Sadikario, JDC’s director for regional programs and Junction, said the conference was developed as a way of targeting “the lost generation” — young Jews who are often nowhere to be found in traditional community programming.

“Our hope is that Junction is helping this generation of young professionals to be inspired and strive for success in their journey of growth,” she said. “And having the program wrapped in a Jewish framework helps them to understand that Judaism plays a significant part in their lives and embracing Jewish values could help in the way they do business today.”

Sadikario said she markets Junction to potential participants with four adjectives: “unique,” “enriching,” “empowering,” and “Jewish.”

“No matter your geographic location, affiliation, industry sector, management model or scope of business, Junction is Europe’s premier organization for young Jewish professionals seeking best practices, big ideas, bold vision and a world-class network of trusted peers,” she said. “Junction offers a platform for Jews that have the passion to nurture Judaism for the next generation to come.”

To hear Law tell it, that's exactly what he intends to do.

“JDC enables huge amount of initiatives in Europe. I think that without their support, there would be actually not much happening,” he said. “Since I'm still a young professional, I enjoy participating in Junction, but in the future, my family and I will be involved in a wide variety of other possible activities. Yasher koach!”

Tags for this story: Employment / Entrepreneurship Training, Youth / Young Adults

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