Moshe Briel's Professional Website

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The following 18 reasons (which I call ח"י reasons) to meet and have a meaningful   conversation are presented below.  The list illustrates a unique mix of attributes and experiences from  which I can draw and bring to the table.  Please read the list carefully, as I humbly feel that there are not too many people who can match the talent-mix presented:     

1

Trust:  The reputation I have built up over the years in the Washington DC/Baltimore area covers decades of reliability. This trust includes, in particular, a sense of bonding with a known and reputable fiduciary who can be called upon to be trusted their sponsorship donations.  It translates into a high degree of trust and sound judgment among members of the community.   I can humbly but accurately recount that the forging of that reputation goes back to my early volunteer experience in the 1970’s, when being called upon to help my mother with Hadassah fundraising events, and continues down to the current time with community service, an annual Israel-bonds appeal, and for membership drives with various Chambers of Commerce in Montgomery County (MD).  Consequently, I have become a known and trusted face in the Washington DC community with a great many acquaintances in politics, non-profit NGO’s, and volunteer organizations.  The challenge is to identify with people who are skeptical and at times cynical in these suspicious times.  Meeting this challenge requires a strong and genuine trust, one that takes much time to be built up.  True integrity requires many years of recognition and familiarity by the community of potential donors and sponsors, during these times of growing cynicism. 

Despite the negative attitude about donations these days, I have remained clean and true to the mission of the organizations which I have represented over the years.  As a senior financial advisor for a number of years at American Express (Ameriprise), and Ameritas-Acacia, I have invested peoples’ money without complaint or incident.  My record was and still is “squeaky” clean, utilizing the best financial plan for gifts and endowments.  This can be checked out at by the SEC and FINRA (formerly NASDAQ).  Having also handled many thousands of dollars at Staples, my record has always been clean, with fiduciary responsible reporting cash amounts to the bank and the corporation.  All this has resulted in a proven reputation of reliability and trust. This trust has been recognized on multiple occasions with awards and citations from governmental and private organizations in addition to documented notes of appreciation.  Please refer to my career showcase for all relevant documentation.

Why is trust so important?

Never before has trust been such a crucial asset.  Together with good judgment, trust during these cynical times has been on the wane.  With political scandals, breaches of trust, and reports if improprieties and mismanagement, it seems to be harder these days to know in whom to trust for managing finances. The importance of responsible ethics in fiduciary-type business dealing cannot be overstated, particularly at this critical time when people have become cynical about cash donations, concerned about being fooled by trustees who turn out to be charlatans such as Bernie Madoff, who have unfortunately caused a sharp decline in sponsorship and contributions from people who otherwise would be more than willing to make a donation.    

But the notion of trust extends beyond fiduciary responsibilities.  Trust also entails upholding the integrity of the organization.  The recent embarrassment to Georgetown’s Kesher Israel Synagogue, as well as the Rabbi who was caught on NBC’s camera soliciting sex with a minor on “To Catch a Predator”, are two of the more prominent examples of persons in whom faith has been placed as community religious leaders.  The importance of both fiduciary reliability and personal integrity comprise are key components of trust which very few persons seem to possess these days.

As a donor myself for many years to the Jewish Federation, Hadassah, JNF, and other worthy organizations, I myself have had to weigh the different organizations competing for my money, and have had to rely not first and foremost on my trust in the organization and the leaders of the organization.  Like the skeptical donors that are ready donate their hard earned and saved money, I have had to rely on my trust in the judgment and integrity of the persons making the appeal and the leadership that stands at the top of the organization

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2

Business Operations Experience:  Throughout my career I have focused on attaining operational effectiveness within the organization I have represented.  I have done so with special consideration of tactical determination of priorities in fast-paced dynamic organizations, sound judgment in decision making within time constraints, and clarification of strategic plan based on organization’s mission and vision.  Tactical planning has always been performed with SMART goals in mind (must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).  My MBA thesis from University of Leicester in England still serves as an example of how flexible information systems can enhance or impede operational effectiveness, depending on how these systems are deployed. The thesis involves a case study performed at Carmel Wines in Israel and is still seen as very appropriate in today’s dynamic and demanding business environment, both all organizations seeking operational effectiveness.  My current role as Operations Manager at Staples still makes use of these lessons learned.

Why is business operations experience so important?

As operations experts experience different situations in their respective professional careers, they learn to recognize certain situations that can be extrapolated towards the future.  Those operations professionals with actual real-time hands-on experience have gotten to know themselves, and have been utilizing their own strengths while working on dealing with and compensate for any perceived weaknesses.   They have learned how they have reacted to similar situations in the past, in order to apply lessons learned in the future when being called upon to make decisions in the future.  That’s why experience is so critical in the success of an operations manager who is called upon to exercise sound judgment in high-pressured situations that call for demanding resolution in a very short time-frame. 

Effective business operations require also that an operations professional be organized. Without such discipline, the business will be run ineffectively and inefficiently, and a great many opportunities to bring in more revenue will be unrealized while the possibility of losing capital becomes an unfortunate consequence.  That is still another reason why only experienced operations professionals can be called upon to keep order and to manage change, if any transition in organizational culture is deemed necessary

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3

Marketing & Promotions skills.  The compilation and presentation of this very list of 18 reasons is one example of organized-focus marketing.  I hope it serves as a live example of my skills and abilities. For more marketing & promotion skills at work, please see my website www.MosheBriel.Com.  (Please note that if you search through my career documentation, you will need to have the latest browsers from Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox – otherwise the pages may not show). 

You may want to take note at my demonstrated talents at web site design, together with my twenty years as an information systems analyst have been demonstrated in a number of venues, including my Health & Fitness Expo in 2006.  You will notice also the methodology in successful media penetration of the book BEAMS to editors all over the U.S. and internationally. 

My media talents have also been put to work with the Embassy of Colombia in Washington DC to help get them a most preferred tax-free status in meetings and presentations at the National Press Club on 14th Street.  I have also gained some renown from various chambers of Commerce in the DC area and Montgomery County for the Networking Loop Newsletter, and for the B.R.I.E.L method for teaching business English to foreign entrepreneurs, in a special reception and introduction to the method on December 16, 2008 at the Office for Trade Promotion at the Reagan International Trade Center on 13th and Pennsylvania Avenue.

How can marketing & promotion experience make a difference?

There are many demands on an organization when competing for dollars during relatively tight economic times.  That’s why both content and style of a marketing and promotions effort is paramount to organizations seeking donations and/or sponsors.  In addition, the timing of such efforts is critical importance.  This makes necessary the utilization of effective leadership when planning and implementing all marketing and promotion efforts.

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4

Communication skills, both oral and written

Proof and samples of my writing style can be seen in my books, my MBA thesis from the U.K., as well as for the various promotions for my Montgomery County health expo.  My style has received special attention from Congressman Chris Van Hollen, as well as a number of newspaper editors, including those at The New York Times and Washington Post.  In addition to my writing skills, I have utilized  a high level of technical prowess with the various software tools in Microsoft Office Suite, as well as a particularly talent at webpage management.  My oral communication skills are in fact, multilingual (Hebrew, English, and Spanish).  In addition to various awards from articulate awards for public speaking from IBM, and quality presentation awards from American Express, I have gained experience at public speaking at the various chambers of commerce in the Washington DC area, and at Israeli bond appeals during the High Holidays.  In doing so, I have had the need to adjust the presentations for appropriate audience sensitivities specific settings, and try to instill some wit and wisdom to the presentations.  My success at public speaking is well documented.  I have found that when addressing potential donors and sponsors, it is of utmost importance not only to inform and appeal, but to do so with an entertaining anecdotal informative style, one that can forge a bond with the audience.  Sponsors and donors appreciate such a connection; they want to identify with the speaker and gain some fiduciary confidence and trust that all moneys invested or donated will be put to effective use as promised, with a serious commitment that has been proven over the years.  This relates back to Chai Reason #1, particularly in the building of rapport, which can  blossom into the on-going building of relationships.  Through effective public speaking, a fundraiser can win over such donors and sponsors first who may feel a need to identify with someone to whom they can relate, and only when they can identify with the speaker can the fiduciary faith and trust I have built up over the years become realized towards any subsequent fundraising efforts.

What is the importance of written communication skills?

It is of utmost importance that all written communications be presented in a fluid, animated style to attract people to read further, as well as be accomplished using impeccable grammar.  This shows not only that the writer is well educated, but also possesses the stylistic wit and creativity, together with graceful finesse that attracts and connects with potential donors and sponsors.  For the donor/sponsoring community is not only knowledgeable about world events, but also tends to be highly educated. Consequently, potential donors and sponsors can tell when someone is not from their ilk, and can best identify with someone who writes with an intelligent style.  Grammatical correctness and spelling are also of critical importance.  The smallest error in wording can give a negative impression about the writer and can cause there to be doubt about his or her serious dedication. 

But the importance of writing style is more than merely making an impression on the public:  There must be purpose in the writing; a strategy to evoke appropriate responses among the donor/sponsor community.  And besides style, content of the message is essential to the purpose:  The most minutely inaccurate statement concerning historic events can compromise fundraising efforts.  In addition to the importance of having a first-hand understanding of events (see Chai Reason #12), there are particularly sensitive political issues that need to be avoided at all costs.  This is where judgment (see Chai Reasons #1 and #2) is important when deciding on appropriate issues to write and how to approach them.  Excellent writing skills are absolutely essential for a person of influence when communicating – and perhaps on a different level, appealing to – the donor/sponsor audience in any and all fundraising efforts.  Such skills, together with sound judgment in writing thank you letters that are at times more specific in nature, addressing particularly generous donors help to build and sustain a dynamo that can be counted on in subsequent fundraising efforts. 

Why are strong oral communication skills so crucial?

For someone speaking to an audience of intelligent potential donors and sponsors, the ability to connect with the audience is absolutely indispensable.  As with the skills required for effective writing, the connection requires a particular attention to detail, while observing audience reaction to witty expressions that can “wake them up”. It also makes necessary an acquired expertise in being brief and concise when necessary, and expanding on a topic also when necessary.  This is why the ability to “read an audience” and note its reaction is of particular importance. It entails gaining some dynamic empathy with the audience by making impromptu on-the-spot adjustments to the content while adjusting to particular sensitivities that may not have been fully realized upon initial due-diligence of the audience to be addressed.  Such adjustments engage the audience in efforts to appeal not only to their conscience, but also to their wit and savvy.  Short of perceived flattery, this enables such potential donors/sponsors to consider themselves in a class of intelligent individuals and can serve to identify with the cause of the speaker.  The problem is that very few speakers have such a capability, and if they do, it takes many years to build up the type of skill that can enable the overall positive rapport with an audience of strangers and turn them into friends.

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5

High Degree of Computer Skills.  Thanks to my twenty years of experience as computer programmer in Israel and the U.S. as well as my management training and experience in England, I have been not only to gain an expertise in the following computer technology, but also to manage technical resources to achieve a high level of documented success (please refer back to the webpage called “Career Documentation”).  The skills have been developed for my own business (Moshe Briel Associates LLC) and for community outreach efforts at the Wheaton & Kensington Chamber of Commerce (where I served as President), as well as the design of my webpage and publishing of my books.  Currently, these skills are being utilized by Staples in my present capacity as Operations Manager. These skills include:

·         Utilization of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook;

·         Inventory management using the IBM AS400 (utilizing my a software development experience);

·         Expertise in data storage from small flash-drives to large 4TB external hard-drives.

·         Understanding of the essential needs businesses have for a variety of office supplies.

·         Deep understanding of inkjet and laser printers, including ink, toner, and all printer-related peripherals for printers manufactured by HP, Epson, Canon, Brother, Dell, Lexmark and Kodak.

·         Thorough knowledge of the ordering process of office supplies and ensuring prompt delivery through a close familiarity with online purchases at Staples. 

Why is an understanding of computer skills so important?

It is very hard to find someone with skills in data-base management, hardware, software, printers, storage, and other peripherals. It is even much more rare that such a person, if found, has training and experience in the management of computer resources as well as an assessment of the deployment of technical experts who deal directly with the machines. Finding such a person with the international management experience at running multiple projects and the operations experience of over thirty years, including hands-on experience at the leading office-supply retailer could be considered by some people to be “next to impossible".

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6

Understanding of politics in U.S. and in Israel:  This understanding includes the parties, the issues, the priorities, and the politics relating to both countries.  As president of the Wheaton & Kensington Chamber of Commerce I had to deal with a great many political situations in order to please as many as possible.  I have been successful in forging relations between agencies, including with donor organizations and sponsorship endeavors. This takes more than just understanding politics inside the Beltway, and all the access points in the Washington DC area.  It requires a special innate talent for effective diplomacy together with the experience of years and knowledge of ones’ abilities, including personal self-awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses in dealing with tricky situations.  That talent was put to work as President of a the Chamber of Commerce with particular close contact with Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the House Budget Committee and member of many other committees, and Tom Perez, currently Secretary of Labor in the current Obama administration, and former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich.  At a more local level, I initiated and moderated a critically important 2006 Candidates’ debate for Montgomery County (MD) Executive between Isaiah Leggett (the current CE) and Steve Silverman (until recently, Director of Economic Development for Montgomery County), and became intimately familiar with the Maryland-Israel Development Center under the leadership of Barry Bogage.  In the MIDC I was the only Hebrew-speaking Israeli-American and was able to build a rapport with high level visiting Israeli politicians and to draw connections between them and their American/Maryland counterparts.  I also held a close association with Montgomery County representatives (District 18) at the Maryland House of Delegates, in particular with Ana Sol Gutierrez, with whom, together with Dept. of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, I have worked carefully to promote immigration issues among the DC Latino and Hispanic community.

All of the above mentioned individuals, whose respective ears I have had in the past, can vouch for my expertise and talents:  Chris Van Hollen, Tom Perez, Robert Ehrlich, Isaiah Leggett, Steve Silverman, Barry Bogage, and Ana Sol Gutierrez.  All of these elected officials can vouch for me and for my involvement and networking initiatives that have had a positive impact on their respective cross-party and multicultural agendas.  In varying ways and political sensitivities, it could be said that “I have each of their ears”, as I have consequently earned their respect over the years.  

Why is understanding of politics a matter of prime importance? 

In order to promote a political agenda, it is of prime importance to understand the complex workings of the political machinery, particularly in an area so central to the Washington DC/Baltimore/Northern VA area.  Without such an understanding and familiarity of the political environment, there exists a danger of causing unnecessary injury to a sensitive relationship.  Thus it is important to know not only what to say, but also what not to say, and to make that distinction on a moment’s notice, sometimes as a quick response to someone else’s comment.  Otherwise, that person could be quoted making a statement of poor judgment. In this respect, there is absolutely no substitute for actual lessons learned from past experiences, so that mistakes of protocol are not repeated.  And when making comments about a particular situation, one must keep in mind the context of the organization in which he or she is immersed. 

For example, an AIPAC spokesperson would state the importance of strengthening, protecting, and promoting the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance security of both countries by educating decision makers about the mutual bonds between them, through focused and timely explanations about how a strong Israel, cooperation through foreign aid and joint ventures, government partnerships, and anti-terrorism efforts are in America’s best interests.  

On the other hand, a spokesperson for the JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) of Washington DC, would be prudent to mention the mission statement of fostering a society based on freedom, justice and democratic pluralism, one which affords Jews, and all people, the conditions most conducive to individual security, equal opportunity and creative group survival, with particular focus on four pillars: Government Relations, Israel Advocacy, Inter-group relations, and Social Justice.

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7

Religious Sensitivity is a characteristic of prime importance when representing an organization of donors and sponsors.  This sensitivity includes not only having a thorough knowledge of the Old & New Testaments, but also understanding the relevance of Biblical references for Jews, Christians, and Moslems with special respect for holy places.  Such interfaith empathy entails the need to be knowledgeable about Islam (Sunni + Shiite), the community of Arab Muslims and Christians in the Middle East, the community of Druze and Circassians in Israel, an understanding of Judaism from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstruction perspectives, a knowledge of Christianity of the various denominations (Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox), the Baha’i faith, and the coordination of that diverse mosaic.  For though there may be some commonality of the peoples and their faiths, it is true that there is overlapping although not all of one overlaps the other. 

My understanding of religious sensitivities of the peoples, culture, and religions of the Middle East, I also have a scholarly knowledge of multiple aleph-bets including Ancient Hebrew, Phoenician, and Rashi which come in handy when engaging groups in intellectual conversations that build rapport and mutual trust between myself and potential sponsors and donors.  In my endeavors as substitute teacher at the Jewish Day School in Rockville, I have been able not only to utilize my education at the Hebrew Academy of Washington for eight years, but also to draw on my experience of scholarly studies at Tel-Aviv University and having lived in Israel for seventeen years.  I have done on both academic and social levels by relating to and identifying with both religious and secular settings in each of the Ashkenazic, Sephardic and Yemenite communities.  

I have also become also an excellent tour guide and story teller, and my “Song of Songs” tour of Jerusalem has become a favorite among visiting friends, business associates, and visiting clientele – Christian, Jewish, and Moslem together, from the Washington area.

Why are religious sensitivities so important?

A solid understanding of the religions that see Jerusalem as a cornerstone of their respective faiths is absolutely critical at a time when donors and sponsors possess such diverse religious affiliations.  The origin of such an understanding is in familiarity of the Bible, including Old and New testaments, and the Koran with its reference to Biblical narrative.  Whether discussing various sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, or mentioning certain passages often mentioned in Temple or Church, the discussion must be both informative, knowledgeable and sensitive, and may have to take on a particular emphasis depending who happens to be your audience.   Christian groups may appeal more to excerpts from the New Testament, while stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, David, and Solomon, would resonate among both Jewish and Christian groups.  Women’s organizations such as Hadassah and National Council of Jewish Women may find particular interest in stories of the Matriarchs Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca, and the Prophetess Deborah.  When focusing on such particular special-interest subgroups, one must be careful of religious sensitivities and the distinctions between religions.   For example, the King James version of Isaiah’s prophecy of “virgin” (7:14:) diverges in a controversial way with the traditional Septuagint version of the Hebrew word in the text “almah” which is defined as “young woman” in the Jewish tradition.  Another example of controversial sensitivities surrounds the burial place of Moses, which by Moslem tradition is in the Judean Hills between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, while in the Judeo-Christian tradition the burial place is totally unknown.  The notion of the “first coming” of the Messiah versus the “return” of the Messiah is another potentially loaded issue, as is the Moslem reference of Jesus as one of the prophets, and the usage of the term “B.C. and A.D.” for audiences that are primarily Christian, and the use of B.C.E or “common era” for mixed audiences.

These last examples show not only the importance of understanding Biblical stories and inter-faith sensitivities, but also the awareness of religious sensitivities when addressing the public either in a speech or in writing. Only someone with such a background in the Bible and Talmud, who has lived in Israel for a significantly long time, and who has been associated with fundraisers with American organizations that are aligned with both Protestant and Catholic churches can make a profound impact on efforts to appeal for donations.  And only someone with a solid foundation in the Bible can make such a difference.

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8

Being an excellent Resource of Information is an essential characteristic that a representative of an organization engaged in fundraising must have.  My experience happens to include teaching Hebrew, Bible, and History in a period spanning over 35 years.  The experience includes training new generations of community activists about Israel and the Middle East.  When combined with my expertise with information systems, this enables me to become a unique resource for history of the Holy Land.  As a donor myself for many years to potentially worthy organizations, I have had to rely not only on trust in the leaders of these competing organizations but also on the knowledge base of the candidate organization I am scrutinizing and am considering to receive my financial backing.

How does having such a reliable information resource influence organizational success?

Being a resource of information entails having an understanding of the truth even unto its most innermost parts, as the motto of Brandeis University states.  This can be a critical factor for an organization seeking operating funds. For a speaker in a Q&A session, one can never know when a surprise question comes from the community or audience of donors. Such a question could relate to an obscure historical event or scholarly reference. Although the response “I don’t know’ I’ll have to consult my resources” is the easiest dismissal (one which at least implies an honest answer of capitulation), the best response is a quick one; one which is accurate and expressed with simplicity and authoritative finesse; one which makes use of a lifetime of experience; one which considers all political sensitivities and alignments. That is where both education and experience are critical:  For it is of prime important to know what you’re talking about.  That gives value to the potential donors and sponsors who are considering various competing recipients of their contributions.  An intelligent and sensitive answer to a politically charged question sometimes needs to be formed in only a second or two. But it is more than just giving a quick improvised response to a surprise sensitive question. A response must be not only informative and give some sort of educational value to intelligent people, but it must also be tied together with the responder’s organization and its mission in order to provide relevance to that organization.  Again, it takes an experienced person with special capabilities to connect the dots for donors and sponsors want to know that its senior people know what they’re talking about and can be trusted with their investment.  This facilitates the appeal process during a fundraiser.  Such quick formation of appropriate responses can be seen as something of an art-form that is acquired over a lifetime of experiences and scholarly learning and teaching.  In order to provide such an experience, there can be no substitute for such experience that is reliable, trustworthy, and knowledge based.

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9

Having experienced historic events first hand, I have lived through historic events relating to Israel’s early years, in ways that younger persons can only read about.  The events include the Six-Day War, the War of Attrition, Mivtza Yonatan, the Yom Kippur War, the rise of the Likud Party, the Peace Treaty with Egypt, the rise of the Ayatollah regime that replaced the Shah in Iran, the Lebanese War, the Rabin assassination, and all the events that followed into the present.  Add to this list my exposure to family involvement in Israel’s War of Independence, World War II, the British Mandate of Palestine, and stories from my grandmother from the Ottoman Empire’s collapse at the end of World War I, and my historic understanding of Israel and the Middle East extends over a century.  The more recent events of my lifetime have particular relevance because of my having lived through so much history.  Only someone my age remembers first hand all these historic events.  Having studied at Tel-Aviv University, and having lived and worked in Israel for over seventeen years including service and reserve duty in the IDF, and having managed businesses there - all this gives me an advantage over those whose experience in understanding historic events is primarily academic in nature.  Although memories can fade over time, I have been told that I possess an uncanny attention to precise detail with an excellent memory (see Chai Reason #13). 

Why is it so important to have someone with first-hand experience of historic events? 

This gives a fresh perspective from someone with insight and actual experience of events that can be explained to the donor/sponsor community amongst those with an inclination to donate.  But only a person my age (mid 50s) with an excellent memory of events as they unfolded can provide such a fresh perspective.  The stories and sentimental adventures – some tragic, and some fortunate cause célèbre - provide particularly young people with a background of understanding events from someone with first-hand memories of key milestones in Israel’s history.  There are practically endless possibilities when employing someone with first-hand experience events.  Unlike a younger person who has merely studied the events at an academic or even scholarly level, a person who has lived through the events can impart a very special love of Israel on an audience of potential donors while utilizing a unique blend of talents of story-telling and public speaking (see Chai Reason # 5).  The ability to recall historic eventss, combined with a rather unique set of story-telling talents, comprises a rare opportunity for organizations who are looking for someone with talents who can engage audiences or groups of potential donors and sponsors among the younger generation as well as to the retired persons who may have also lived through the events and can identify with the story-teller.  This older group may include people who identify with the speaker.  They too may have stories of their own, and perhaps they can be enticed to tell their own story.  The resulting chain-reaction can only lead to a more energized community that is motivated by seeing the necessity to donate or sponsor by contributing to the cause of Israel and to tell others why it is important to become involved for and contribute to such a cause.  Some of these audiences may even be Spanish speakers, too.  Such proven abilities at public speaking in multilingual forums, together with community organization organizational skills, and, first-hand experience in dealing with both immigrant experience and fluent knowledge of Spanish make this particular subset of talents practically unheard of, among those who have lived through the historic events of Israel’s early years and struggle for survival.

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10

Community Involvement:  I have had a long-term interfacing with American Jewish Community, in Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements, particularly in the communities of Washington, Baltimore, and Boston.  This includes understanding the mentality and psychology of the people who represent these movements in regions along the east coast of the U.S.  The involvement with the Jewish community is part of my family history.  Even before my parents married in 1949 and moved to the Washington DC area, each was active in their respective communities, and provided a first-hand example of selfless giving to the community.  In Baltimore, my father grew up in an orthodox Jewish Community, and was an active participant in the Hezkei Emunah choir for the theTzemach Tzedek orthodox congregation in Baltimore in the 1920’s under the auspices of Rabbi Axelrod.  Years later, having graduated from Johns Hopkins University, he continued to be active in the Baltimore Jewish community, and remained active during the war during his service for the Signal Corps in Belmar, New Jersey.  In the 1940’s after the war, during his post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland (where he was graduated with an M.Sc. and Ph.D degree in physical chemistry), he partnered with Rabbi Meyer Greenberg to lead the on-campus Sabbath services at the Hillel House.  In the 1960’s, father became the first Cantor at the Reform Bethesda Jewish Congregation (BJC) continuing in that role on the high holidays with services being held at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church on Bradley Blvd in Bethesda. Together with Rabbi Klavan at the Orthodox “shul” Ohev Shalom on 16th Street NW, he led the Friday night Qabalat Shabbat services for Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where he worked as a PhD physical-chemist department head for 25 years.  He wrote several manuscripts, one called “Parables from my Mother’s Prayerbook”, which he translated from the Yiddish which he loved to speak and hear.   In addition to another manuscript related to electrodes, and another novel which he called “Archangels”, my father had written other works whose manuscripts stand out today as masterful works of genius.  

My mother was active in the Jolly Judean Juniors when she attended Brookline High School in the Boston area (class of 1937).  During the years as an associate for Dr. Benjamin Sachs on Beacon Street in Boston, she was activist and organizer in the Jewish community.  After coming to the Washington DC area, she was an active organizer of the Herzlia and Bat Zion groups, leading Hadassah fundraising efforts in the Washington Chapter from the 1950’s and through the 1970’s.  They taught me more than just how to maneuver inside and around the Beltway and how to access every point in the Washington DC area.  They set me on a path by presenting me with examples of ethical behavior and the spirit of volunteering, in the capacity of ambassador between organizations.  Today, I feel that everything that I do for the community is out of tribute to their memory.

Why is such a background of community involvement so significant?

Awareness of community involvement starts with family.  When it comes to understanding the nature of community awareness, there can be no substitute for actual exposure from family members, and in particular, from parents who educate from a principle of “outward leadership” (which happens to be the etymological origin of the word “education”).  Such an education-by- example, when demonstrated first hand in community leadership has a profound effect on the children who, when they themselves become matriculated and mature, can give back to the community with maximized potential energy.  This in turn can best serve the organization not only to motivate the public at large for marketing and promotion purposes ultimately leading to donation and sponsorship purposes, but also to motivate young people working in the organization through a “follow-me outward leadership” example of education.

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11

Languages:  My knowledge of Hebrew, Spanish, English, Romanian, some Arabic, Russian, Yiddish, Hungarian, and French is unparalleled by anyone I have ever spoken with.  In addition to my familiarity with these languages, I am also able to read Farsi, Russian, and Greek. My command of spoken and written Hebrew is as fluent is my English  It is at the Sabra level with perfect grammatical skills with Biblical and Mishnaic terms as well as the modern vernacular spoken in Israel today. 

I must truthfully and honestly admit that I have never met someone whose English AND Hebrew skills match mine.  In addition, I am very familiar with Arabic media and the radio+TV broadcasts, in addition to the newspapers Al Quds (Jerusalem), Al Ahram (Cairo), As-Sinara (Nazareth),  Kul al Arab (Nazareth), Al Watan (Syria), Al-Akhbar (Beirut), and others, all which I read periodically in the original Arabic, without translation.    

Why is such a uniquely fluent proficiency in languages so important?

The impact of connecting with other persons in their own mother tongue can be immense.  The interaction can make all the difference between having a positive interactive experience and just a passing one, and can have a profound effect on the inclination of such a person becoming a donor or sponsor for the organization.  Of course, the content of the interaction is just important as the style and language of the message, as well as the attitude of the organization’s representative.  When communicating with such a potential donor in that person’s mother tongue, the representative must remain humble and earnest, while conveying the message underpinned either directly or indirectly by the organization’s mission and vision.

These days, it is important not only to connect with communities in the U.S. at fundraisers given in English, but there has been a growing wealth and influence among certain circles of Israelis and Hispanics who have become wealthy and are ready to contribute (once they are secure in the notion of an organization’s trustworthy activities).  Gone are the days where only Americans can be relied upon to donate money.  That shift has been gradual over the years, but it is readily apparent. It is important not to miss an opportunity to address audiences of wealthy businesspersons from Israel and from Spanish-speaking countries.  The ability to speak multiple languages is more than an exercise for polyglots:  It is a potential strategy, which, if employed effectively, can enable the donation of funds from more than just the traditional pockets of Americans or other English speakers.  The usage of multilingual talents, if expressed with effective public speaking and strong communication skills (see Chai Reason #4) can open the door to greater trust among potential donors (see Chai Reason #1) and their closer identification with the organization.  This ultimately “translates” into more successful fundraising efforts.

 

י"א 

12

My understanding of the immigrant experience in Israel and America is altogether unique when considering the depth of penetration into each of these societies.  As an “oleh” who came to Israel on “Aliyah” in 1982, I learned and experienced first-hand the all of the aspects of absorption into new societies.  In fact, I first met my wife, also at a Mercaz Klita (absorption center) in Kfar Saba.  She herself at the time was an immigrant “olah” from Rumania, and together we experienced the immigration process, together with all the ramifications and stigmas.  We married in Tel-Aviv in 1983 and raised a family in Israel, while assisting other immigrants to Israel from Iran, France, North Africa, Argentina, and Eastern Europe (including countries from the former Soviet Union) among others.   In 1999 my wife and I came to the U.S. having received a lucrative job offer with a software development company in northern Virginia. Through my wife and son’s absorption into American society, I was able to learn new aspects of the immigration experience and add them to my background from the Israel “Aliyah” experience.  In the Washington DC area, I utilized my understanding of the immigration experience in Israel, learning Spanish and developing a rapport with the Spanish-speaking Latino immigrant communities from El Salvador, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile.  This has led also to a special affinity with the Puerto Rican community and the Cuban community of south Florida, in particular the Juban/Jewban Cuban community in Miami (the term refers to persons of Cuban-Jewish ancestry).  Having taught myself the language through immersion in the Spanish speaking communities of Washington DC. I have given presentations in fluent Spanish to the immigrant communities in DC including arranging and leading a forum which I call “Mesa-Redonda de Negocios” (Business Round Table), a series which I entitle “¿Que Dice la Etiqueta?”, and a course I call “Business Related Immersion into the English Language” (B.R.I.E.L.) which received special attention at the Office for Trade Promotion at the Reagan International Trade Center (see Chai Reason #3).  My rapport includes Rumanian, Russian, and Latino communities. Having gained a particular expertise in connecting with immigrant communities, together with a particular talent and dexterity at public speaking in English, Hebrew, and Spanish has earned me a unique place in the immigrant communities not only in Israel, but in the Washington DC area, which is thoroughly documented on my web site’s Career Documentation slide-show.

Why is understanding the immigrant experience first-hand this such an important asset?  Many wealthy sponsors and donors are first-generation immigrants.  This relates closely with the notion that more and more wealth has been transferred in recent years to non-English speaking peoples.  Much of the wealth has been generated by first-generation immigrants, or their children who understand the difficult times their parents persevered. For immigrants, the donation of money is something of a milestone of success, recognition of hard work, and giving back to the community.  The immigration experience connects well with the importance of speaking languages (see Chai Reason #11).  For the wider of the breadth and depth of language skills by the speaker making an appeal, the better the chances are to strike a cultural connection with a donor or sponsor who may have deep pockets and may already be hesitating to proceed with a donation.  There may be many such cases of undecided donors, who need to feel some identification with the organization seeking funds.  Such a connection could be better forged with some subtle cultural or linguistic link of a sentimental type. This requires more than linguistic skills; it entails a good sense of wisdom and judgment on the part of the organization’s representative, what to say and when to say it.

 

י"ב

13

Able and willing to travel.  For example, I will be traveling to Israel on urgent business this June (2015) with little notice.  As part of the visit, I will need to take some business stakeholders to Jewish and Christian holy sites, and accompanying the guests to synagogues and churches. In Jerusalem, I will be guiding a small group of to the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  I have also been asked to take some of that group to Nazareth’s the Basiilica of the Assumption.  Being able to travel on a moment’s notice requires an ability to travel and relate to both Jewish and Christian communities around the world, while speaking in both English and Spanish. My readiness to travel is due partly to my being in excellent health, as well as not having to care for young children, and years of experience with traveling "on-the-fly”.  In addition to overseas travel, including trips to show people around, and what their money is doing, and afterwards can update interested people into what’s new in Israel and the scene in the Middle East, I am also called upon to show Israeli guests various places, guiding them to New York, Miami, and Washington DC.  My familiarity with Europe, including England (where I studied), as well as Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Italy, and France, among other places in Europe is unmatched by anyone with whom I am familiar.  In this capacity, I have had to show business partners all over Central Europe, and the safe parts of Mexico too, an ability which requires experience as a driver and itinerary planner, as well as proficiency in using the features of smartphones, Google Maps, and GPS in both the U.S. and Europe (In Israel I am already familiar with all the roads).  

How does one’s ability and willingness to travel influence organizational success?

A person who is required to be ready for travel at a moment’s notice must be able to do so without delay and family issues that impede departure.  And not everyone is able and willing to be ready for a surprise change in plans.  It is not uncommon for an organization to find itself in need of a representative’s participation in an event.  Such a representative must be relied on for urgent and sudden travel either by car or by air, as an unexpected situation arises.  This readiness can prevent a loss of integrity in the organization, which will in the long-run provide the integrity that donors and sponsors are looking for in their organization.  At times a person is called upon to give an impromptu speech or participate in a forum or panel (see reason # 5) at a place which requires unexpected travel.  This makes absolutely necessary the immediate availability of a reliable vehicle, and possibly updated passports if the travel is international.  There can be no room for excuses in such a case, as a great deal could be at stake.  

י"ג

 

14

Health.  Fortunately, I have been blessed with excellent health, both physically and mentally.  I have consistently received an excellent bill of health from my doctor, and feel youthful and vibrant. Besides being in top condition physically, I am at the top-of-my-game mentally and have been told by numerous people that I have an uncanny memory, with sharp attention to detail and to past events.  My proven analytical skills and talent to manage available resources and to “connect the dots” and to “think outside the box” are well known in Staples, as well as with other clients I have worked with through the years such as Revlon, Teva Medical, IBM Israel, and American Express.  Most recently, I have always been ready and able to learn about new technical advancements, proven most recently as Staples Operations Manager, as well as having gained a thorough understanding of smartphones, apps, data plans, and i-pads.

What is the relevance of a candidate’s health situation?

The selection of talent is something of an investment in the future.  The person selected may be serving in a capacity for ten to twenty years (and even beyond, perhaps).  In general, persons in their twenties and thirties are generally in better shape than those in their fifties.  But sometimes there is an experienced person with fresh ideas who happens to be in excellent health, both mentally and physically.  If utilized effectively, such a person can inspire the others with the necessary motivation to achieve the organization’s goals.  And if such an experienced individual is in good health, such a person can better give a “return on investment” as well as provide a special wisdom of the years that can be taught to the younger generation within the organization.

י"ד

 

15

Having a dedicated work ethic is a characteristic for which I have been known for many years, as witnessed in my online career documentation.  It can be further attested by many individuals in the various chambers of commerce in the Washington DC area, as well as in the operations of Staples stores in that area.  This includes not only my hard work, which has been shown to be efficient and effective, but also in my hiring of good people who are like-minded and close to my philosophy of dedicated work.  I have found it very important over the years to surround myself with good people; those who can get the job done and do so while exceeding expectations.  My appointments and promotions have shown good judgment of character, rather based on some political or nepotistic appointment.  In this respect I am not at all political; I look for people whom I judge as capable.

Why is an earnest work ethic so vital to an organization?

A strong work ethic goes beyond trust issues (mentioned in Chai Reason #1).  It dictates the prime motivating factor a person has to do the job right the first time, so that there is no backlog of issues that have not been addressed.  Getting things right and under budget is critical, and that includes selection of the best candidate for a position the first time and not wasting time considering potential candidates for hire who are not necessarily the most suitable.  This also serves to avoid embarrassing situations and perhaps expensive law suits.

ט"ו

 

16

Always sober.  I do not drink alcohol, even on Purim.   On religious observances which include a Kiddush, Passover Seder, Havdalah service or other religious observance, I drink only grape juice.  I have always been drug free, and have never had a DUI and never had any scandalous involvement that would compromise my own personal dignity and that of the organization(s) which I have represented.  I have always held my head high and with a mixture of humility and self-esteem, have consequently been successful at preserving my clean record in both financial and personal dealings.  My wife of 30+ years can attest to my commitments, including the one I took many years ago to remain sober at all times. The only “proof” I have is in my sobriety, and everyone is invited to perform background checks and due-diligence efforts by contacting individuals in the various chambers of commerce in the DC/Baltimore area or simply by “Googling” me, “Moshe Briel”. 

Why is a commitment to sobriety such a critically important measure of character?  These days, we hear about so many public figures and persons who rely on their reputation for their career advancement – politicians, senior officials, judges, prosecuting attorneys, CEOs, and other VIPs, are charged with DUIs in addition to other improprieties or breaches of trust.  A commitment to sobriety, as well as carrying through on that commitment is, in the opinion of many people with whom I have spoken, a reliable litmus test regarding the capability of a person of high-stature to realize the objectives of an organization to which that person has undertaken to commit his/her energies.  Such commitments relate not only trust (Chai Reason #1), but to marriage and community (Chai Reason #12). 

 

 ט"ז

17

Unique mix:  Reasons 1-16, when taken together project a mix that very few people possess, when considering  my unique perspective, history, knowledge, sensitivity, trust, donor relationship.  To my knowledge, no one has this unique mix.  Furthermore, no one with anything even close has ever been sufficiently resourceful and technically capable to design a slide show that displays the documentation of the talent mix while incorporating it on a personal website.  Please reread these credentials again if you would like to get an idea again for the especially versatile mosaic that comes from experiencing 56 years in such an environment in which I have had the good fortune of being immersed and to which I have been thoroughly exposed.

Why is such a unique mix so critical to the success of an organization such as yours?

The utility that an Israeli-American can bring to the table is immense.  In these times of political cynicism and relative austerity, competition over donation dollars is tougher than ever.  Decisions concerning the most qualified candidate must be done carefully and correctly the first time, as there is very little of that precious resource to waste on mistakes in judgment.  Selection should take a combination of factors into account. Only someone with a balanced and versatile talent mix (reputation and trust, business organization experience, marketing & promotions background, communication skills both written and oral, technical and computer skills, political background, sensitivity to religion including familiarity with the Bible and the Holy Land, excellent resource of information, first-hand experience and sharp memory of key events as they unfolded, an extensive history  of community involvement, command of multiple languages - in particular Hebrew, English, and Spanish, a thorough understanding of the Washington D.C./Baltimore communities, a deep understanding of the immigrant experience, ability and readiness to travel, excellent health, and reputable work ethic) can make a true difference.  Such considerations are critical when distinguishing between candidates for positions of influence that can positively affect and improve relationships between an organization and donors/sponsors.  Such an overall advantage means much more than merely engaging an American-Israeli to enhance such relationships:  A person with the right mix can use the variety of talents to teach others, in particular other young people how to do things and how to utilize historic events in order to best realize the objectives of the organization’s mission.  When all is said and done, any decision of engagement requires a dedication and commitment to excellence on the part of an organization which is trying to learn from past experiences in order to make the best possible choice when deciding whom to engage among candidates with varying backgrounds and talent mixes.

י"ז 

18

All this for $45K?!  Why only $45,000?!!  It all depends on the extent of how I am utilized. The unique mix of talents could indeed qualify me for a more senior position in your organization. For though the talent mix mentioned above could be accomplished by filling three positions rather than one, it is not simply a matter of “filling” positions.  It’s not a matter of employment, but rather deployment in the most effective manner possible, utilizing not just some, but rather all the features and benefits which I have to offer and can bring to the table. These days your donors and sponsors expect you to do more with less; to make the most out of their contributions so that they can be confident that the money they donated is being used efficiently.

Now in my mid-50’s I feel myself strong and energetic, and I do not plan to retire for many years.  I hope to utilize that time to bring utility to the community by working in a capacity that can best impart my talent mix to others (see Chai Reason #17) and to transfer them to the next generation.  At this stage in my life it’s not about the money, but rather how much value I can contribute. I am something of an old-pro classic edition who is in excellent health with youthful energy who has lived through many historic events and has much to give to the community.  Perhaps I am nothing more than just a sentimental old-school fool with energy, experience, and strong work ethic who is looking for an earnestly enriching opportunity to enhance the value of an organization such as yours. Personally, I would welcome the opportunity to add new energy and fresh new perspectives on Israel and the Middle East that can dynamically motivate and augment the energies at work.  It is my “Tikva” – my hope - to not have to work on the Sabbath day anymore so that I could be able to rest once again on Yom Shabbat, to remember it, and keep it holy.

 

י"ח

 

-או-

 

ח"י