About the JICNY
Moving to a new country can be intimidating and the frantic pace of New York makes the move even more challenging. People come to our great city looking for a career move, all the social life that New York has to offer, perhaps that perfect soul mate and of course participation in what the larges and most vibrant Diaspora Jewish Community in the world has to offer. Jewish International Connection (JICNY) is a hub for internationals from all over the world. It is a place to meet, find out about what is going on in the City and connect to the one thing that unites us from all corners of the world - our Jewish heritage.
Jewish International Connection
In December 2000 we had our first Shabbat dinner for Australians and South Africans living in the New York. From this event our community has grown to over 8,000 people over the past ten years and 91 couples met through JICNY. With an emphasis on high-quality programming and wide scale affiliation, JICNY is a United Nations of sorts, with people from all over the world gathering on a regular basis for social, cultural and religious events.
Our programs include a highly successful weekly Torah class, led by Steve Eisenberg, on the Upper West Side, followed by a unique second class, held in multiple languages which typically include English, Spanish, French and Russian. Other events include lectures, tours of the Lower East Side, picnics, Shabattons and retreats. We host a film club that raises money each month for a different charity. We also plan an annual learning mission to Israel that has enjoyed great success. In 2012 we had over 10,000 people attend over 200 events.
Our monthly Shabbat dinners feature guest speakers from around the world. We have less formal Shabbat meals and social events throughout the month, as well. Founder, Steve Eisenberg sets hundreds of young professionals up with welcoming places to have the Shabbat meal every year. Over the years founders, Gavin and Jodi Samuels have had over 10,000 people attend meals in their home. We recognize the interest and value of the Jewish international community in New York through all of our successes and for this reason we have created the JICNY Networking Group in order to expand on what we have previously been able to offer in the way of networking.
Living in a foreign country that is so diverse and independent, it is comforting to know that there is a place you can go where you will always be welcome; you will be able to explore your heritage and spirituality; and you will be supported by the community that surrounds you.
The JICNY team
Steve Eisenberg - Founder, JICNY
An active founder in JICNY, Steve juggles a high-flying career on Wall Street with a passionate commitment to Jewish outreach programs.
Steve was former Managing Director of investment firm Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum, Inc., having previously served as a Vice President at Bear Stearns, specializing in Risk Arbitrage.
Steve serves as a lay leader in kiruv, and as a consultant, developing programs for many outreach organizations across the United States. Steve's Monday night classes in Manhattan attract over 100 people and he is frequently invited to speak and lead programs around the world.
To modify the old adage, “Behind every Great Woman is a Man”. Gavin Samuels and Jodi met 18 years ago and it took him under 2 hours to know that he had met his match. They have been married for 17 years. Gavin shares Jodi’s passion for Jewish Pride and Continuity and has been involved in various informal Jewish education and outreach programs going back to his early twenties. Be it Shabbat dinner cook, relationship counseling to JICNY members, processing credit card transactions or doling out generous amounts of single malt scotch, Gavin supports the Jodi and Steve duo in many behind-the-scenes ways. Gavin teaches a two-part relationship course and gives a Jewish Philosophy Class in Riverside Park in the summer.
A Physician by training, Gavin is currently a Senior Partnering at Teva Innovative Ventures; Gavin has an MD from South Africa and an MBA from the University of New England, Australia
Jodi has 20 years of business management and startup experience. She has worked in the not-for-profit, finance, fashion and beauty sectors. Jodi successfully started two non-profit Jewish organizations including the Jewish International Connection NY that currently boasts 10,000 members from 40 countries. Two years ago Jodi launched jmedia connections and she has successfully built jdeal – a Jewish daily deal site , Buy Israel Week - an initiative to combat the BDS movement and jblasts – an email blast network with extensive reach into the US Jewish market. She is the co-founder of Metroimma, an online site for Jewish moms, with over 6000 active monthly members. Jodi recently sold her share in Accounting Comes Alive, a corporate training business which she founded. Prior to that Jodi ran the MyCoupons division of Direct Response Technologies and was COO of MBC Direct Media managing a staff of 30 people. After completing her MBA Jodi worked as a financial advisor at National Australia Bank. Jodi started her first business at age 14. Her expertise in strategic and relationship online marketing has given her the foundation to acquire and retain a strong membership base for her businesses. She is known as a connector and networker in the Jewish community and has an impressive Rolodex of C-level contacts in the business and non-profit sectors. Jodi Is an active member of the Counsel of Young Jewish Presidents. Jodi completed her MBA at Bond University in Australia and hold a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of South Africa.
Stacey was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and graduated college with a BA from Florida State University. Her career includes owner/ management in the restaurant business, organizing Jewish retreats and Shabbatons and wedding planning. Stacey began working with the JICNY in May 2012. Stacey is married with 2 children living in Raanana, Israel.
A Great Partnership for the International Jewish Community
JICNY is delighted to partner with Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue. Shearith Israel is a perfect synagogue to host the JICNY groups because of their long history of welcoming immigrants from around the globe, their warm inviting character; and the JICNY needed a permanent home. Both organizations have worked closely together on many initiatives over the years and we share common goals. Shared programs include Monday night learning, Israel advocacy programming, young couples’ events, concerts, films and Shabbat meals. Through our partnership we will be able to offer more exciting programs to everyone, internationals and Americans alike.
Learn more about Congregation Shearith Israel at www.shearithisrael.org
List of all JICNY Partner Organizations:
Chabad of Long Beach
Dror for the Wounded Foundation
Hebrew Institute of Riverdale
Museum of Jewish Heritage
NY Met Council on Jewish poverty
Shearith Israel (Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue)
Steven Weiss Free Synagogue
Stand with Us
West Side Sephardic
And many more….