Business Leadership Initiative

BLI1Fred Posniak at BLIDSCN3027

Business Leadership Initiative is a unique opportunity for exceptional Jewish business students to learn from and network with some of the leading Jewish business executives in the country. Within the framework of a small group you will be able to meet with these executives in a relaxed setting and engage with them in open dialogue. These executives, who have generously given their time, are eager to get to know you and speak with you about how they achieved their success. Students will also participate in a private Shabbat dinner at Rabbi Silberberg’s home.

Due to its competitive nature, students are asked to complete the following application in order to join BLI and to agree to participate in at least three of the programs offered. If you are unwilling or unable to make this commitment, please contact Rabbi Sue at before submitting your application.

Please click here to complete the application to apply to Business Leadership Initiative.

Business Leadership Initiative Schedule Spring 2017

Monday January 23, 7-8:30pm
Special Dessert Reception and Talk by Steve Malter, Israel: Start Up Nation, What’s Next? Israel is commonly referred to Start Up Nation for its contributions to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Israeli technology and products are everywhere one looks, but now what is next for Israel?  How does it maintain its edge?  What are the emerging trends and industries?  Steve Malter is the Associate Dean and Director of the Undergraduate Program at the Olin Business School.  He has been at Olin for 13 years in a variety of capacities.  In 2010, Steve created a class entitled Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Israel that featured a seven week class at Olin that included a 10 day immersion in Israel.  In 2014 he founded the Israel Summer Business Academy (ISBA) that transformed the prior class into a six week, six credit summer program based in Tel Aviv and opened to students from all over the US.  Now in its fourth year ISBA has about 40% of participants from other universities and has had several participants from IU.  Steve leads several programmatic initiatives in Israel including ISBA, teaches a course on Start Up consulting brining IDC and WashU students together in Tel Aviv solving strategic problems for early stage companies.  His currently working on the creation of the Israel Business and Innovation Academy which would be an academic consortium that would engage students from across the US and world to experience Israeli innovation and entrepreneurship through curricular and co-curricular programs.

Tuesday, January 31, 6-7:30pm
Dinner with Daniel Klein, International Business Consultant. In 1983, Mr. Klein was brought in to turn around and reorganize his family business, Taica S.A., a manufacturer of veterinary instruments. After successfully completing this reorganization, he started the American company, SyrVet Inc. in 1987.  SyrVet Inc. is an importer, exporter and distributor of veterinary supplies.  The company grew to become a market leader. At its inception, the company carried 15 products made in Argentina, and by 2013 it carried more than 3,000 products; mostly imported from China, India, Europe, South America & USA. SyrVet’s customer base included customers in the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and South Africa. Mr. Klein received his MBA from Universidad de Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Monday, February 13, 6-7:30pm
Dinner with David Barrett, CEO, Gene B. Glick Company.  Mr. Barrett is leading the company into a new chapter in its history, with new development projects and new ventures in progress. “As much as we’re focusing on growth and improving the way we do things, one thing is certain,” says Barrett. “We will never abandon our core principles—all of the things that have made us the best property managers in the business.”  Founded in Indianapolis in 1947, the Gene B. Glick Company is a property management and development company with more than 18,000 apartment units in 10 states. The mission is the legacy of company founder, Gene B. Glick. Featured in Tom Brokaw’s best-seller The Greatest Generation, Mr. Glick started the company as a young WWII veteran eager to help his fellow GIs build homes for their families. He saw opportunities that others missed and pursued them with a tireless focus. His business savvy and determination were matched only by his tremendous integrity and generous spirit.

Wednesday, March 1, 6:30-7:30pm
Dinner and Jewish Business Ethics Seminar with Rabbi Sue. Learn about Jewish business ethics and principles.  There are over 100 Mitzvot (commandments) concerning commercial and business conduct.  What do our teachings say about false packaging or false labeling, marketing, deception and treatment of employees?  Whistleblowing didn’t just start today.  What would you do if your non-profit had named your library after a big donor who was then convicted of a felony?

Friday, April 7, 7:30pm
Meet at Rabbi Sue and Phillip’s home for Shabbat Dinner. Join other BLI members for an intimate Shabbat dinner at Rabbi Sue and Phillip’s home for a home-made Shabbat dinner. A chance to relax and schmooze.


Ethan Goldwasser and Adam Friedman explain why BLI is so important to them


Students introduce themselves to Fred Posniak, Senior VP of Malkin properties

 BLI Alumni Click Here for info about the BLI Alumni Association 

President: Shelby Perkins