About


The TJE Mission

The Jewish Entrepreneur (TJE) provides a full service, pro-bono mentoring program for Jewish Entrepreneurs of all affiliations. Our mentors are recruited from across the business spectrum and are available to help both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
TJE has built a comprehensive system that tracks our businesses from the moment
of application to ensure the mentee’s success and a smooth process with exceptional results.

 

Meet the people behind TJE

Ezra Friedberg
Board Member

Ezra is a seasoned investor with over twenty years of investing experience across public and private companies. His investments include classic private equity, venture capital, distressed opportunities/assets and property throughout the United States, Canada, and overseas.

Ezra serves as founder and general partner of Multiplier Capital, a fund focused on lending opportunities to sponsor-backed growth companies, and is a member of the fund’s credit committee. Separately, Ezra owns and operates other financial services businesses.

Ezra is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. He has founded and is an active member of several community and civic organizations, including a nonprofit employment agency. Ezra also serves as an advisor to his family’s global charitable foundations.

Evan Yitzchak Russo
Board Member

Mr. Russo is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Lazard Frères. He is Co-head of the Capital Markets and Capital Advisory group, and serves as a member of the firm’s Investment Banking Committee. Mr. Russo advises corporate and institutional clients, and has experience across Mergers & Acquisitions, Restructuring, Capital Markets, Structured Equity & Minority Investments, Bank/Debt Placements, and Derivatives/Risk Management transactions.

Prior to Lazard, Mr. Russo was at Goldman Sachs in their Investment Banking Division, and previously at Barclays Capital. He was also a corporate attorney and practiced at the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, focusing on corporate and financial transactions.

Mr. Russo is an active investor / board member in growth businesses, and is involved in several community and civic organizations including an interest free loan society.

Mr. Russo received his B.A. from Queens College, a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Isaac 'Zevy' Wolman
Board Member

Zevy (Isaac) Wolman has been an entrepreneur for close to ten years. The business that he built together with his wife has been responsible for the launch of significant brands into the US and Canadian toy and gift marketplaces. His current position is CEO at Make It Real- a multi-national toy company.

Zevy is also a founding member of Mesila of Baltimore (a non-profit financial assistance organization), Jewish Entrepreneurial Trust, Relief of Baltimore, Bobbie’s Place of Baltimore and Baltimore Business Loan fund.

Sam Schnitzer
Director

Sam functions as the TJE Program Director. Sam is also the CEO of The Therapy Spot, a pediatric therapy center and agency, located in Baltimore, MD.

Sam also consults with small businesses dealing with operational issues. In addition to his experience with service based businesses, he has held executive positions within the wholesale and e-commerce industries.

Shmuel received his MBA from Loyola University. He is an active board member of KAYTT and participates in many community initiatives.

Zisha Novoseller
Advisory Board Member

For the last 6 years Zisha has served as executive director of EPI Networking, an non-for-profit recruitment & career services organization and matching fund incubator for startups. In this capacity, Zisha has overseen the distribution of many millions of dollars in interest free loans as well as placed over 2,500 people in the tri-state area. Previously Zisha served as Vice President at IDT, a public telecommunications company as well as Vice President at LipoCyte, a biotech company.

David Schreff
Advisory Board Member

David Schreff is currently the President, Bedare Sports & Entertainment which specializes in Digital Media Rights Management, M&A deals, Sponsorship and Licensing.
Previously, he served as President, Worldwide Marketing and Media Group for the National Basketball Association (NBA) where he grew and managed over $1 billion of the company’s commercial content businesses, ranging from broadcast and cable network sales to global sponsorships and international content syndication.

He served as President, Chief Operating Officer (and a member of the Board of Directors) of Marvel Entertainment, the superhero based comic content publisher and licensor. At Marvel he was P&L leader for a $1+ billion , 3500+ character library and its worldwide licensed consumer products businesses.

David also served for five years as a Vice-President of Walt Disney Company and served for 3 years as National Director of Affiliate Marketing (and National Market Strategy) for Showtime Networks (owned by Viacom).

Yehuda Shmidman
Advisory Board Member

Mr. Shmidman is CEO and Director of Sequential Brands Group (NASDAQ:SQBG).  Since joining in 2012, Sequential has grown to become one of the largest pure-play brand licensing companies in the world with a portfolio of brands generating approximately $3 billion in annual global retail sales.
Mr. Shmidman also serves on the board of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the fashion industry by encouraging gifted and enterprising young people to pursue careers in design, merchandising, retailing and related businesses.
In addition, Mr. Shmidman is a member of the Board of JSSI, the world’s largest independent provider of hourly cost maintenance programs for aircraft engines and air-frames. Prior to his role as CEO of Sequential Brands Group, Mr. Shmidman was the COO of Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ:ICON). During Mr. Shmidman’s tenure at Iconix, its brand portfolio grew from five fashion brands to more than twenty-five consumer brands generating approximately $12 billion in annual retail sales in the fashion, home, consumer electronics, and entertainment industries. Also, while at Iconix, Mr. Shmidman was named in the “40 Under 40″ list by Crain’s New York.

Before joining Iconix, Mr. Shmidman worked at a startup licensing agency in New York that launched several direct-to-retail licensing partnerships, including Isaac Mizrahi at Target and Fieldcrest at Target.
Mr. Shmidman received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in Political Science from Yeshiva University.

Ted King
Advisory Board Member

Ted King is the Managing Director of Saddlerock Advisors, an advisory firm working with entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their companies. He assists his clients by preparing them for fund raising and helping them attract the right talent to grow their business.

Ted is also the Chairman of Hawkes Peers & Company, a boutique executive recruitment firm he founded over 30 years ago. Hawkes Peers & Company works with clients who are looking to identify talent from the premiere strategy consulting firms ( McKinsey, BCG, Bain & others).

JUDY PASCHKUSZ-WEISS

JUDY PASCHKUSZ-WEISS is currently Vice President of Financial and Market Analysis for Shelter Development Group- a national real estate development and property management company that has developed or acquired a portfolio of over $2 billion in assets.
Judy has extensive experience in all areas of financial analysis and management reporting with over fifteen years in the healthcare industry. Most recently, she was Director of Financial Analysis and Budgeting for NeighborCare Pharmacy, Inc. Prior to that, she served as Director of Finance and Business Analysis for ManorCare Inc.

Paschkusz-Weiss earned a BS degree in Accounting from Brooklyn College and an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She resides in Pikesville, Maryland.

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