Jewish High Tech Community (JHTC) Mentorship Program

Jewish High Tech Community Mentorship Program

Introduction to the Mentorship Program

The JHTC Board of Directors is proud to host and support the JHTC Mentorship Program, which is in its sixth year. This program focuses on building relationships between a mentor (someone with wisdom to share and an interest in providing guidance) and a mentee (someone who is actively exploring ways to improve professionally). Our current mentorship pairings are of a six-month duration, and we run the program once a year. We invite all to apply – whether you are from tech or any other employment sector.
 

JHTC Mentorship meetingMatching is key to the success of the program. We get to know new candidates through observations obtained during interviews and application input. We then use this information about common interests, business experience and some personality characteristics to identify and then to match potential mentor/mentee pairs. We have an experienced small team of interviewers and matchers who have been working together for the five years the program has existed. Sometimes a mentee or mentor candidate will know exactly the type of person they want to be paired with and be able to state it. Other times it is less obvious. We have learned to search for special requirements, requests and even unspoken wishes implied through conversation topics during interviews. There are also times when a mentee candidate will be able to articulate what exactly they would like to develop about themselves and we might then need to search in our contact networks to find that person.

 
Once all pairing is completed the program begins. As the program launches our mentees bring their ideas about goals and objectives they would like to accomplish and their paired mentor then begins providing guidance, sharing professional development experience and participate in candid conversations intended to build confidence, trust and we hope, a lasting relationship. At each step, it is always the mentee that drives towards their own goals and objectives. They consider the guidance, suggestions and alternatives from their mentors, but how to proceed is always their decision. 
 
The overall program consists of Mentorship and the Professional Development Series (PDS). These two parallel programs are designed to help strengthen personal and professional skills and to adjust career directions. During the 2019 Mentorship Cohort we launched the PDS workshop program. PDS is a set of professional development workshops designed to help individuals hone specific career skills. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we did not host any of the PDS workshops during the 2020 cohort. Last year (the 2021 cohort) the mentorship committee restarted the PDS workshops with five new workshop titles. They were Zoom based and very well attended. We saw again that this mentorship/PDS collaborative learning approach is a positive experience for all participants. This year (the 2022 cohort) we are continuing the PDS Workshops program. Complete PDS Syllabus information will be provided early in 2022.

More about the Program

The Mentorship Committee has established some best practices and are striving to build a long-term sustainable program. Some of these best practices are described in the following paragraphs. This program is open ended by design. For mentees, we ask you to approach mentorship with one or two goals in mind which you will share with your mentor at your first meeting. This goal should not be overly ambitious, since we are only a six month program. If your goal is a step towards achieving a longer term career objective, please share that with your mentor as well. For both mentors and mentees, we ask that you have in mind a monthly time commitment you believe you can maintain and a promise to be the best program participant you can be. We expect our mentors to learn to encourage and guide without being overly directive and constraining. We on the committee have observed that in many ways this program helps both mentees and mentors grow.

Application submission is open to all, regardless of your location. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that physical location is irrelevant provided you have accessible internet communication tools. Application submissions are no longer being accepted the 2022 year.  We expect that we’ll be accepting applications again in August and September of 2022.

 

 

SignpostParticipants will be selected and matched based on information provided in the program application and in interactive interviews. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to be as complete as possible in your application to increase your likelihood of being selected for the program and to assist us in making the best possible matches. While this process is not a perfect science, the Mentorship Committee works diligently to create the most beneficial experience for everyone involved. We spend the four months prior to the beginning of each program processing applications, categorizing information, performing matches and notifying applicants of their status.

During the six-month duration of the program, each mentor and mentee will meet as frequently as they deem necessary and may do so electronically, face-to-face or both. With the advent of Covid-19 most meetings have been virtual. Our previous programs have supported as many as 22 pairings and we are hoping to increase this gradually over time. Twenty five pairs is our target for this next cycle. If you apply for this cycle and are not selected, don’t be disappointed as sometimes individuals are not selected because an appropriate partner is currently not available. Remember that there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in future cycles. Please consider re-applying if you are not selected this time around.

Are You interested in Being a Alternate Mentor?

You’re invited to add yourself to the list of alternate mentors being considered for our next mentorship program. Each year as we are in the process of matching mentees to mentors, we have situations arise where a mentee has requested a particular skillset or interest area from their new mentor. It is not unusual that no single mentor applicant satisfies those requests. In those times we either must select a mentor that is not the best fit, or not match that mentee for the particular mentorship cycle. The mentorship committee recently discussed this and we have decided to offer a place for any interested potential mentor to join a group of available mentors looking for mentees who seek guidance in their particular interests and expertise.  Sign-Up To Be An Alternative Mentor

JHTC Mentorship committee members talking before a meeting.

 

JHTC Mentorship Committee

  • Larry Slotnick, CEO, Slotnick Systems and JHTC Mentorship Committee Chair
  • Michelle Bogen, Engineering Professional
  • Michelle Filba, Software Engineer, Facebook
  • Peter Hoffman, CEO & Founder, J Leaders and Board of Directors, Jewish Silicon Valley
  • Iryna Nevozhai, Co-Founder and CEO, Equally, Inc.
  • Linda Lubin Thompson, Executive Coach and Consultant, L2T Leadership Development
  • Karen Treiger, Human Resources Consultant

Reflections from Past JHTC Mentorship Program Mentees and Mentors

“Mentoring is a privilege. For me, it was an opportunity to learn about my mentee’s professional goals, and career aspirations, while guiding her step by step, week after week towards them. I would like to thank the incredible JHTC Mentorship Committee for puting your heart and soul into this program! Thank you for all your work, and for giving both of us this unique and longlasting opportunity to grow!” – Nadia Belkind

“Participating in JHTC’s Mentorship Program was a great experience I’d recommend to everyone. Being able to connect with someone who had both greater life and career experience than myself gave me insights that allowed me to reflect on some of the challenges I encountered with a lot more clarity and direction. My mentor was able to provide me with guidance I would not have found anywhere else.”  – Ronny C

“The JHTC mentorship program surpassed my expectations by helping me build new skills related to networking that I didn’t realize would be so valuable.” – Arielle Kozin

“My mentor is a teacher, an accountability partner, a friend, and most of all helped me push myself to take the steps towards a career leap I’ve been thinking about for ages.” – Anonymous

“I was so happy with the program I told everyone I know to apply!” – Sabina Klein

 

“Participating in JHTC’s Mentorship Program is a life changing experience…the program has helped me build up my confidence and has empowered me to go after my dreams.”–Katie

“This program has been such a fantastic experience. Not only did I learn so much, I met a ton of great people and feel like I’ve grown personally in many ways. Going through life and having someone to keep you accountable but also help you with your struggles or questions is such a great benefit that everyone should try to get. I can’t recommend this program enough for people looking to improve their lives” – Kevin Sloan

“A valuable networking, mentoring, and overall professional resource for young adults.” – Jess Pepper Wang

“Andrew, you are awesome! is a phrase my mentor often told me when we would speak over the phone on our weekly call. Aside from encouragement and support, my mentor gave me countless pieces of great advice in regards to both my professional career and personal life as I transitioned from college student to a sales engineer. This mentorship program provided me with timely guidance during this shift in my life as I develop my career and plan for the future.” – Andrew Gelman

“Being a JHTC mentor is a rewarding experience and opportunity to give back to our community. The Mentorship Committee is doing terrific job in finding good mentees who are pleasure to work with.” -Ron Warshawsky, CEO, Enteros, Inc.

“JHTC’s mentorship program was transformational. My mentor provided practical insightful advice, helping me become a greater leader.” – Itamar Frankenthal

“I found the JHTC Mentorship Program to be a marvelous opportunity which helped me achieve my primary goal of becoming a technical recruiter. I really appreciate all the time, effort and knowledge that the committee and my mentor shared with me and hope to one day be able to share my knowledge and experience with others, too!” – Iryna Nevozhai

“Great program and great mentor that really helped and cared. Thank you!” – Anonymous

Questions about the JHTC Mentorship Program?   mentor@jhtc.org

We’d like to express our appreciation to EDJ 2 Edge for designing our beautiful new JHTC mentorship program logo. EDJ 2 Edge is a boutique design and marketing agency specializing in corporate branding.

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