YAHALOM SEMINARY Bridging the Gap

Past Articles:
ONE ON ONE WITH FORTUNE MIZRACHI

By: Ellen Geller Kamaras



“Where would the Jewish people be without the discernment and wisdom of Jewish women? The Talmud reveals that it was in the merit of the righteous women that our forefathers were redeemed from the land of Egypt.” 

I have had the zechut to interview numerous community women, all leaders in their own right, for the Woman to Woman column.   Ranging from entrepreneurs to founders of hesed organizations, teachers and therapists, these women have shared with me their stories, passions, and words of wisdom, their challenges, vulnerabilities, and secrets to success.

This month I am privileged to introduce you to Fortune Mizrachi, a highly spiritual and passionate woman of strong morals and values.   Her work skills include real estate, accounting, and business management, Judaica, fundraising, teaching and tutoring, fluency in Hebrew, public speaking, writing, and coaching.

Fortune’s children have always been her #1 priority, and she considers each child and grandchild a gift from Hashem.  While her children were in yeshiva, Fortune was actively involved with the Magen David Yeshiva (MDY) PTA. She produced the school calendar and helped with many fundraisers.  She expresses her gratitude to Hashem every day for her son, four daughters, and three granddaughters.  Now that her children are adults, Fortune beautifully articulates her parenting perspective, “They have wings now and are free to soar.

Fortune’s Roots

Fortune is somewhat of an enigma.  She is a leader with a full toolbox of skills and a take charge nature, yet she carries herself modestly, in a low key fashion.  As we spoke, I was particularly struck by her robust belief in Hashem.   She affirmed, “Hashem gives you what you need for your life’s circumstances. He puts you where He needs you.” 

A child of hard-working and loving Egyptian immigrants, Fortune grew up in Brooklyn, attending MDY elementary school and Yeshiva of Flatbush High School.  She calls herself a “bookworm” who loved school and who is still always learning and growing spiritually and intellectually.

In high school, Fortune met teenagers from the Ashkenazi community, learned how to be more social, think out of the box, and appreciate and enjoy the differences in her fellow students.

Fortune is so proud of the traditional, good and old-fashioned morals, ethics, and values that her parents instilled in her.  She maintains their culture and passed down their values and traditions, faith and love of Hashem, and the significance of family, well-being, education, and diligence, to her children.  Fortune is a proponent of keeping the family connection intact and staying very close for Shabbat and holidays.

Fortune’s Guiding Life Principles

As a life coach, I hone in on what a person’s essence is, that unique facet that defines who you are at your “core.”  I asked Fortune to name five traits that describe herself.  She responded with: highly spiritual, intuitive, diligent, extremely organized, and truthful.   Fortune’s spirituality is very apparent in how she speaks and conducts her life, and in her passion and energy for prayer and hesed. She has the gift of connecting and bonding easily to people she meets, and she credits Hashem for putting her in touch with certain individuals for a reason, e.g. to assist or introduce them to others.   Her natural intuitiveness kicks in and she recognizes why Hashem put those individuals in her path.  

Fortune’s parents were her role models for hard work and the accompanying rewards, and her organizational skills have helped her in all facets of life.  She is a numbers person, and as a fellow accountant, I understand her need for attention to details, logic, and order, and for things to make sense.  Her love of numbers extends to the use of gematria in her daily life, including her real estate career-the address of a house triggers her calculation of the Hebrew value-and its significance instinctively draws her to pursue one house over another.

 Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, A”H, is her inspiration for living life truthfully and striving for justice and honesty.   Fortune studied Rav Dessler’s book, Strive for Truth, with Carol Haber, the principal of Shaare Torah High School for Girls.  She considers Mrs. Haber a close friend, teacher, and mentor, who taught her to use truth as a valuable tool for living her life.   This includes recognizing truth in oneself, in others, and knowing when to ask questions.  Fortune also was a student of Bonnie Mansour, who taught women’s classes on character development and refinement.

Fortune’s strong spirituality also stems from her positive outlook or “glass half-full” approach to life.   In 2004 Fortune took a class with Rabbanit Sarah Yosef, the daughter-in-law of Hacham Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, which transformed her life.   Fortune learned how to use positive thinking as a life tool or survival mechanism that Hashem gives us to deal with the ups and downs of life.  She passed this tool on to her children, teaching them to be positive, organized, and responsible, and also to be focused in their studies, relationships, and careers.

Prayer and Hesed

Prayer plays a huge and constant role in Fortune’s life, and complements her tremendous emunah in Hashem.  Fortune calls prayer her #1 tool. Tehillim is her favorite sefer,irrespective of whether things are going well or not so well. Fortuna says emphatically, “Whenever going through struggles, you pick up Tehillim, and then move forward.” 

ReadingTehillim provides solace when Fortune needs it, and is a source of energy and empowerment for her.  This is why she started a community Tehillim group 13 years ago when she was active with the Magen David PTA.  Fortune was concerned that many community members were ill, and she believed that a group effort would be more effective in bringing about a refuah shelamah.   In her take charge manner, she spoke to the Magen David rabbis about her idea, put an ad in Community Magazine, and made it happen.   This group of women finishes the entire sefer twice every Wednesday. They say Tehillim for people on their personal lists, for those on a central list, and an emergency list.

Tehillimis what brought Fortune to Moms on a Mitzvah (“MOMS”) in 2013.  MOMS, founded by Linda Sadacka, is a far-reaching grassroots organization made up of a team of mothers who make hesed their mission by weaving it into their daily lives.   

Given her aptitude for numbers, Fortune is gratified to be the accountant for MOMS. She is responsible for tracking the organization’s donations, spending, sponsorships, and more.  She also supports core team members with other MOMS projects.  Fortune enjoys being a part of this amazing and powerful group of women, who think and dream big, and come together to make a difference for their fellow Jews.

Work-Family Life Balance

Fortune’s professional life has included positions spanning from teaching, tutoring, and translation to real estate and business management.  Her business management experience includes retail, Judaica, and computer companies.  Fortune’s current passion and focus is real estate. 

Fortune’s number #1 key to success is to prioritize her to do list.   Otherwise, the number of tasks can be quite overwhelming.   She compares it to nibbling away at a big plate of food.   Fortune also values meditation and some alone time. These allow her to step back and be present, reflect, and evaluate what is going on in her life and how to move forward.

Fortune loves selling real estate and finds it rewarding but challenging.  Her clients expect her to be extremely responsive to them, educated, informed, and savvy at negotiations.   She finds that the more you put in, the more you get out of it.   Fortune strives for truth and full disclosure in all her real estate transactions.

She compares finding a house for someone to a shidduch.  It has to be a good match.  Fortune doesn’t steer a buyer to purchase a house that won’t meet their desires, needs, or requirements.   Her financial acumen, positive energy, ability to read people and connect with both sellers and buyers, and her intuition and instinct all contribute to her success.

Her best advice to aspiring real estate entrepreneurs?   Stay honest and tuned in to the client’s needs and wants.

Fortune can be reached at Fortunemizrealty@gmail.com or on Instagram @fortunemiz.

Ellen Geller Kamaras, CPA/MBA, is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach.  Her coaching specialties include life, career and dating coaching.  Ellen helps people find their passion, purpose and positivity in life and relationships.   Ellen can be contacted at ellen@lifecoachellen.com (www.lifecoachellen.com).