ParnossahWorks, a joint initiative of the Orthodox Union and the FEGS Health and Human Services System that was established to help the Jewish unemployed find meaningful work, has achieved nearly 400 job placements since the program was officially established in January of 2005. Representing approximately 33 percent of its total base of 1202 clients who have utilized the program, this remarkable milestone demonstrates the effectiveness of ParnossahWorks as a program that combines personalized staff efforts with modern computer technology.
Parnossah means livelihood in both Hebrew and Yiddish. Since the expansion of ParnossahWorks into a full program in January of 2005, it has placed 392 (as of June 27, 2006) clients in the New York area in gainful employment, primarily in white collar positions attractive to the educated Jewish community. Through the efforts of the OU, some 250 synagogues in the area participate in the program, both by alerting the unemployed to ParnossahWorks’ existence and by encouraging their members to list positions on the program’s website, ParnossahWorks-ou.org®.
Then, the FEGS employment professionals take over, providing one-on-one job counseling to all candidates who apply through the website. The OU and FEGS also offer well-attended employment workshops both at OU headquarters and at synagogues throughout the New York area to provide further training in a group setting.
FEGS Chief Executive Officer Alfred P. Miller declared, “We are all responsible – one for another. Tzedakah (charity) gives us the opportunity to do acts of kindness for our neighbors in need. We are even more fortunate when given the opportunity to actually help members of our community achieve or maintain self-sufficiency in order to support themselves and their families. ParnossahWorks has given FEGS and our strategic partner, the Orthodox Union, an opportunity to engage in parnossah and to achieve outstanding results.”
Mr. Miller continued, “With partners like Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb (OU Executive Vice President), we have been able to create and engage in an important and ongoing mitzvah and to bring the message to hundreds of individuals, many of whom have benefited directly from ParnossahWorks. We look forward to our continuing partnership with the OU. Together, we make a major difference in our community.”
Likewise at the OU, Rabbi Weinreb expressed his satisfaction with the OU/FEGS partnership. “The OU’s world is the synagogue,” Rabbi Weinreb declared, “but for a program like ParnossahWorks to succeed, it must offer the expertise in job counseling and placement that FEGS has demonstrated since the era of the Great Depression. Our partnership has been the perfect blending of two extraordinary organizations determined to relieve the problem of Jewish unemployment and thereby to strengthen the Jewish family. I am gratified that ParnossahWorks has already been able to place one-third of its clients in appropriate positions; this proves that a properly designed and implemented program can make a real impact on a classic social problem such as unemployment.”
For more information on ParnossahWorks, call Lavie Margolin, Job Developer, at 212-962-2716.