NEXTGen Connect

Are you young, Jewish and hoping to make your move in the Detroit metropolitan area? Federation’s NEXTGen Connect is all about helping young, talented professionals find the right fit with the right company. Whether you’re looking for a summer internship or you’re ready to find your dream job, NEXTGen Connect has the resources and connections to help get you there.

How We Work

Through networking events, social media, strong partnerships, word-of-mouth and access to business leaders in the community, NEXTGen Connect has made hundreds of contacts for job-seekers and companies in search of new and emerging talent and professionals. NEXTGen Connect is a program of the Jewish Federation’s NEXTGen Detroit working in partnership with its Business Hub and JVS to offer a menu of personalized services that help young job applicants:

  • Produce polished, effective resumes
  • Hone interviewing skills
  • Set career goals
  • Network, connect and find their fit in the business community

Students who are currently in college and recent graduates are eligible to register for the program. For graduates and young professionals building careers, NEXTGen Connect provides access to an active database of employment opportunities and real connections to interested employers in a wide range of fields, from business to medicine, marketing to non-profit work.

Making Connections, Meeting with Success

“NEXTGen Connect is a relatively new program of the Jewish Federation, but clearly it is meeting a growing need in the community,” says Amy Brody, Federation’s NEXTGen Employment Coordinator.“We get calls every day from young people – students about to graduate here in town and young professionals seeking to return to Detroit or venture here for the first time. They come to us with many backgrounds and skills, but the one thing they have in common in their search for opportunity in Detroit is the desire and drive to be a part of the resurgence of a great American city.”

Meet Lauren Kepes

Lauren Kepes
A win-win in a split decision: Lauren Kepes, 23, landed her first job after graduation as an Employment Specialist, a position she fills three days a week at JVS and 2 days a week at Federation.

Proof positive that timely networking and close partnerships work in Jewish Detroit, Lauren Kepes landed her position as an Employment Specialist with JVS in a matter of weeks after graduation. With a B.A. in Social Work from Indiana University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Lauren had a clear career path. From the start, her job search led to Federation’s door and Amy Brody, who directed her to the JVS job portal,

“I was looking for clinical work, engaging directly with clients, but not in a therapy setting such as a hospital or school. The position at JVS is a perfect fit, just what I was looking for,” Lauren observes.

A NEXTGen event plus a connection in Israel played into Lauren’s good fortune in the job hunt. At an event called Good Shabbos Detroit Lauren linked up with Yoav Raban, a Federation staffer from the Michigan Partnership2Gether Region in Israel, whom she had met on a previous Birthright trip. Yoav encouraged Lauren to connect with Amy, who just so happened to be looking for partnership in handling the volume of calls to NEXTGen Connect at Federation.

Lauren’s credentials fit the needs of both JVS and Federation, where she how divides her time and shares her expertise working as an Employment Specialist for both organizations.

Meet Traci Gordon

Traci Gordon
A native of Florida, with a mind for business and a strong background in economics, Traci Gordon, 25, followed her heart to Michigan and found a healthy start in an opportunity with HealthRise Solutions.

With an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, where she studied economics and mathematics and business, Traci Gordon had the background needed for the interesting fields of microeconomic research, market structure, and their applications. Her first position in Boston was with a health services research group.

Describing her relocation to the metro Detroit area, Traci explains, “During my four years at Brandeis, I met the love of my life – Michael Baum, who returned to his family in the metro-Detroit area after college. After a few years of professional experience under my belt and a few too many years of long-distance, we began my job search in the metro-Detroit area in preparation for my move to Michigan.”

Michael put Traci in touch with Amy Brody at NEXTGen to help. “Before I officially moved, we spoke many times, exploring my career interests and the opportunities available in the area,” Traci recounts. “It was during one of our talks that she told me about David Farbman, entrepreneur and founder of  HealthRise Solutions, a revenue cycle company in Southfield, working exclusively in the health care field. Amy put me in touch with staff at HealthRise, and through the interviewing process we found it was a fit. Amy made me feel confident in my job search. She connected my interests and goals with companies and positions available in the area.”

Meet Daniel Sherizen

Daniel Sherizen
A Shabbos meal in Israel, a resumé passed back and forth in Detroit. . . finding just the right words to make the connection, Daniel Sherizen, 32, landed his dream job at Mango Languages.

Daniel Sherizen grew up in Oak Park, attended Yeshiva University in New York City where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics. After college, he remained in New York, working in sales for a translation company, then in HR and executive recruiting. With a desire to return to his family roots in Detroit, and drawn by the resurgence of the city, he started his search for the right opportunity.

The first he heard of a company called Mango Languages was a tip from his brother in Israel, who had hosted one of the owners of the company for a Shabbat dinner. While there were no immediate openings at Mango, Daniel’s family in Detroit, eager for his return, put him in touch with Amy Brody, who helped Daniel land an interim position with Kelly Services in Detroit.

Patience. In the hunt for the perfect job, there can be turns in the road. The good news is that Daniel’s move to Detroit has paid off and his search has resulted in landing a position as a sales rep with Mango, a fast-moving creative company helping developing language learning experiences for libraries, schools and corporations. “Mango is a fun, hard-working company,” says Daniel. “And I love being back in Detroit.”


If you have opportunities to professionally engage young Jewish Detroiters, let us know! Please contact Amy Brody at with information about available internships, job openings, events, workshops and seminars. We’d love to connect you to the right intern or employee for the job.