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Left to right: Seth Morris, Maxim Berent, Matan Hazonov, Ashley Faintuch, and Maria Konikov.
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

Some of the attendess at inaugral event of the JBN in Winnipeg.
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


Maria Konikov, student at Asper School of Business is Presdient of JBN 's Winnipeg Chapter

by Rhonda Spivak, October 27, 2010

About 30 Jewish students enrolled both in the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba came out to the Fairmont Hotel for the inaugural event of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Jewish Business Network, [JBN] on October, 20, 2010.
The president of the group is Maria Konikov , a third year student at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, who is completing her double major in international business and marketing.

Konikov,  told the Winnipeg Jewish Review, “This is a great opportunity to get  more involved in Jewish life. I have been involved with Jewish things such as Folklorama's Israel pavillion and Hillel since starting university , but  I am really looking forward to my involvement with the JBN. This is a great opportunity for networking and meeting other Jewish students. ”

Konikov, who was born in Belarus, grew up in Israel and immigrated to Winnipeg when she was in grade seven. Many of the other students who attended the event are also recent Russian Israeli immigrants to Winnipeg, who speak Russian, Hebrew and English.

“Maxim Berent, who is the President of Hillel is the one who first told me about this and got me involved,” said Konikov, who said she knew Berent from high-school.
While a number of the students present were studying business and marketing, others interviewed by the  Winnipeg Jewish Review were studying in such areas as pschology and arts. Business attire was the suggested dress code for the event.

 “The JBN is open to any Jewish student [post-high school] of any age who is studying any subject, not just business or marketing,” said Berent, who studies architecture at the University of Manitoba, and is the  JBN's Vice President of Marketing.

As Matan Hazanov, one of the founders of JBN, and its national director, who is a fourth year student at York University’s Schulich School of Business  told the  Winnipeg Jewish Review," Our target demographic is Jewish business students so our content, speakers, focus and themes are all focused to attract them, but we have had various other types of students attending JBN programs."

Hazanov addressed the group, exlpaining the origins and purpose of  the JBN.
“Over 75 per cent of the Jewish students at York University weren’t involved in anything Jewish,” said Hazanov, noting that "JBN encourages students to take responsibility for the Jewish community."
Hazanov said that the events of the JBN will be infused with Jewish values and content, such as “Jewish business ethics,” such as not lying, cheating, or engaging in fraudulent schemes.

As Hazanov noted the Jewish notion of success is “much deeper than the amount of money in your bank account…It’s about your relationships, your values, what you’re involved in [communally] and your legacy.”

He added that he believes that “everyone has the potential to do amazing things and change the world,” and the  JBN hopes to "inspire students to want to have a positive impact in the world through Jewish or social activism."
“Why would anyone want to be involved in anything  It has to benefit them,” said Hazanov, who told students that JBN offers networking opportunities with successful Jewish business people, internship options, social nights and Shabbat dinners.

"Our Jewish content is meant to  instill the pride of being Jewish, so Jewish business students will want to be involved in the Jewish community...We want to encourage Jewish learning by showing how relevant Judaism can be to aspiring business people," said Hazanov. 

Konikov  noted that  the  inaugural event  turned out very well. "We received a lot of positive feedback from the students with most of the attendees purchasing memberships  to allow them to come to future programs. Also many students were unable to attend the first event due to midterms but have expressed tremendous interest to be involved with JBN and our future events."

The two other students who are on the  ecxecutive of the Winnipeg Chapter of the JBN executive are Ashley Faintuch, the group's  Advisor,who studies marketing at the University of Winnipeg and Seth Morris, Vice-President of  Finance of Operations, who studies finance at the University of Winnipeg.

Hazanov said  that the JBN's programs will include such topics as: Success & Meaning: Real Success, Jewish Impact on the World, Why Should I Be a Leader? [There will also be] other interactive seminars whose goal is to help identify and prioritize the values that are important for personal success and the overall well being of the world.

The  nominal membership fee to belong to the JBN is  $10. "This does not help us operate the organization, but helps to ensure some level of commitment from potential members. Our entire organization relies on private funding and we really need help is this regard. Our organization needs support from successful Jewish business people, who think our mission is important, to help us continue growing this organization," Hazanov said.

If you want more information about the JBN please visit their website: and/or to support the JBN please email [email protected]
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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