Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Men for All Seasons

Azriela Jaffe

There was a time when most young Jewish men embarking on careers would gravitate to the fields of medicine, law, and accounting. But today’s Jewish working men are entertaining careers in blue-collar industries, may even sport a black belt, or spend their working hours outdoors.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Steve Josefovitz, fifty-two, of Edison, New Jersey, owes his thriving twenty-five-year-old appliance repair business, in part, to George Herman, a generous frum Jew who is now in his eighties and retired in Florida. It’s George who “showed him the ropes.”

It started when Steve’s wife Tova told Steve in 1982, their first year of marriage, that if he was miserable as an accountant and wanted to find a parnassah he’d truly enjoy, he should quit his job and go find out what he really wanted to do. Steve took her up on it. And that’s how Steve ended up riding around with George for six months, and learning that what he really wanted to do is become an appliance repairman. Steve recalls the career paths he almost followed, and how he landed in a profession that he still loves after all these years:

“My father owned a sweatshop in Brooklyn. He was retiring and wanted me to leave Israel to take over the shop. I refused, since the business held no interest to me. The only thing my European parents asked of me was to get an education, and a profession — be it lawyer, accountant, or doctor. I dutifully graduated from Queens College with a BA in accounting, studied for my CPA, and worked in the field.

“I hated it, and when Tova encouraged me to look for a trade, I read the book What Color Is Your Parachute and sent away for a pamphlet on every possible job. A family friend, George, offered to show me the appliance repair business. Anyway, I’d been tinkering since I was a kid, so it sounded cool to me. I drove around with him for months. He asked me one day, ‘So, is this what you want to do?’ I said yes, and he told me to go back to school.”


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

No Misunderstandings
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Hashem revealed the secret of a balanced life
What Was the Court’s Rush?
Yonoson Rosenblum The Democratic Party’s descent into madness
Survey? Oy Vey
Eytan Kobre How could YAFFED promote such a farce?
Filling the Void
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Jewish leaders don’t need to be declared or coronated
Top 5 Ways We Remember Our Rebbeim (and we love them for it!)
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin An ode to these pivotal people in my life
Hanging On in Newark
Rabbi Nosson Scherman Rabbi Nosson Scherman remembers the shul of his youth
A Fine Kettle of Fish
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman The “minor” chasadim are often the most meaningful
The Next Hill
Jacob L. Freedman The look on Malachi’s face nearly broke my heart
Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance
Riki Goldstein Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him
A Playlist for Shabbos
Riki Goldstein What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?
With Flying Colors
Riki Goldstein My 15 seconds of fame on the Carnegie Hall stage
Full Faith
Faigy Peritzman With emunah, everyone’s obligation is the same
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Silence isn’t always golden
The Only One
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Within every Jew is the flame of instinctive emunah