Henry Goodelman is the founder of the ReJews 501c3 non-profit organization. With a mission to promote sustainability and social entrepreneurship, ReJews launches community initiatives and outreach efforts to raise awareness about government-funded environmental infrastructure programs. Listed on the UN Sustainable Development Goals platform, ReJews has received support from major corporations and private foundations such as Google, GoDaddy, Microsoft, UJA, and the Schusterman Family Foundation.
With a Master’s degree in Higher Education Management from the University of Pittsburgh, Henry previously worked to help support institutional success by improving student services and campus resources, and served as an administrator for Touro College, Drexel University, among other academic advising and career mentoring programs. Stepping away from this career path, Henry sees his current efforts as a contribution to the education of communities around the world, and is committed to forming relationships with corporate partners and fellow entrepreneurs to help create a better future for all.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
Supporting community outreach and raising awareness through branding campaigns and direct communication, my typical day begins with tefillah (prayer), a breakfast that could be healthier, and follow-up meetings to review results from the day before. Personally, I drive productivity into a day with to-do lists, and, of course by working to help team leads and managers support and achieve their office goals. Resolving any pending work orders and sharing encouragement in meetings, transitioning more of my focus into training and staff development, I make a day productive speaking to the people that I set to speak with, and by helping ensure that more people help more people relay the correct message and excitement to even more people.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Good planning has consistently helped me bring ideas to life. You can’t plan for everything, no one can. You can create outlines and checklists though, and build a plan broken down into individual steps. I’m a big believer in failing to plan is planning to fail, so planning can help ensure that no matter what happens, progress is visible, and future goals are still clear. This rings especially clear with how I’ve helped develop ReJews from helping encourage recycling and local community initiatives to now promoting sustainability and social entrepreneurship in whole, and including renewable energy as the center point of operations.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The number one growing trend that I can think of is infrastructure and renewable energy, the industry in which I proudly serve. Being able to grow the power supply and strengthen the grid while at the same time being able to make a positive impact on the environment is a very strong message that is still gaining more traction. This growing trend not only helps participating property owners save money, but also creates a vast array of new career opportunities as the industry continues to expand and gain momentum.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
The time I dedicate to prayer is a habit that truly makes me more productive as an entrepreneur. I gain a lot of clarity and focus in all that I seek to achieve and build through the expression thanks, and reflecting on both the world around me, and my mind within.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Just do it. Putting the work in when you have the opportunity to make progress makes a difference later. Even if you don’t finish the job, the experience very often lends itself to helping you achieve different goals in the future. I could have started keeping kosher, observing Shabbat, and bought more Bitcoin sooner too.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
Aside from being the first crypto-currency, Bitcoin got famous for making people millions of percent in returns on their investment. In 2023, at $20,000 per coin, even if BTC went to $1 million dollars each, it would be just a 50x percent return on investment. A million dollars per BTC is a number that is widely seen as pretty far fetched to ever possibly climb that high, but almost no one can agree with me that 50 times your money on such a moonshot of a bet is both not worth it, and not why cryto ever became popular in the first place, especially on a million dollar per coin estimation.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
The greats do not rest on their laurels. Top performers are always looking for where to improve, and where to maintain their talents. When growth stops, or when consistency dips, people can get down on themselves, and even start thinking that they are not capable of achieving the goal at hand. When it comes to sales and pitching, it’s simple; plan, prepare, and never stop practicing.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
When faced with overwhelming situations, I find it helpful to remember my “why.” By staying connected to my purpose and mission, I can stay motivated and overcome any obstacles that come my way. When I was living in Israel at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem in 2012, Rabbi Hillel Weinberg implored me to find a new way to connect with everyone, every day, and this advice has been the driving force behind my work. To stay focused and driven, it’s essential to pause and reflect on the bigger picture. This approach helps me prioritize tasks, and tackle them one by one. Recognizing recycling as a simple and plausibly meaningful opportunity to be used as a mainstream, popular source of connection, started as a dormitory-based recycling initiative, grew momentum, and led to the founding of the ReJews organization.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Once I realized that ReJews could be an organization rather than just a number of separate local community recycling initiatives, one strategy that has always been reliable to help grow business is knowing when to turn your attention and shift gears to the next priority at hand by staying focused on targetable goals and not being pulled in too many different directions at the same time. An example of this happened when I filed the paperwork to obtain official 501c3 not-for-profit status before announcing the brand launch, which helped position me to reach out for the opportunities that have presented themselves.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
ReJews has received tremendous support from corporate sponsors and partners. As Stan Lee, of comic book fame puts it, “With great power comes great responsibility,” so with each new offering provided to my organization comes more time that needs to be dedicated to utilizing each properly. A distinct failure that I’ve experienced happened in my learning to use cost-per-click search engine marketing through the Google for Nonprofits Ad Grants. Initially creating a sizable footprint in my online reach, as implementation policies tightened and competition grew, my numbers dropped from 1.9 million impressions in the 3rd quarter of 2016 over the next year and a half to the second quarter of 2018, with just 591 impressions. Having ended the 4th quarter of 2022 with 100,000 impressions, which is a more realistic and dedicated goal, new grants and direction from the Microsoft Ads For Social Impact program have been of great assistance in maintaining and building up quality search campaigns.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Go start the next business to connect communities with unique experiences. Most anyone can buy just about anything on Amazon these days, but offering up a one-of-a-kind opportunity that can be created and reshared is a business that will grow quickly, and is built to last.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I rely on Google Earth daily, and there is nothing else freely accessible like it. Using it to educate staff and community members alike, ReJews helps homeowners across the country learn more about whether their roof is eligible to have solar panels installed as part of government-funded environmental infrastructure programs, and Google Earth helps highlight the angle in which the sun crosses the sky, reflects shade from trees and buildings, and features the shape, size, and layout of countless millions, if not billions, of roofs. All of this data is essential to include in an assessment for a solar panel installation, and without it, people would have to fly a drone above every house individually to gain the same information that Google Earth provides almost instantaneously.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
The best $100 I recently spent has to be a part of the total cost for dinner with my wife to celebrate our first anniversary. Purely a heaven-sent addition to my life, every day I tell her that I love her, and how happy I am for us to be together.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?
Unlocking Greatness by Charlie Harary stands out as my immediate first answer. A brilliant and intriguing portrayal of how and why some people and businesses have been able to achieve success, and some do not, even if they are both seeming to do the same thing. Many examples are well-known stories, but the book gives a great representation of a bit more backstory that occurred below the surface in those events, and relates practical advice of how to shift our mindset, and unlock greatness. I’ve used his overview of what it means to ‘pivot’ to both carry on daily operations and help launch the brand new, fully-redesigned (GoDaddy sponsored) website!
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
A movie I recently enjoyed was the Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion. It’s a murder mystery, but it’s also a satire. The story is cleverly crafted to keep you guessing until the very end, and even then, you’re not sure what to believe. It challenges viewers to see the whole picture and never take anything at face value. Seeing things from different perspectives always opens my eyes to what may be missed at first glance, and guessing what may be really happening keeps others engaged and invested in conversation, which is great for business.
- ReJews is a 501c3 nonprofit that promotes sustainability and social entrepreneurship
- ReJews just launched a brand new (GoDaddy sponsored) website
- ReJews started as a student-led recycling campaign in Jerusalem
- ReJews helps homeowners get solar panels through government-funded environmental infrastructure programs
- Microsoft is the newest ReJews advertising search sponsor
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.