Batya E.

Tehran,Iran
I was born in Iran and moved to NY as a child. It was tough adjusting to the new culture and environment, so for me Judaism was not a central part of my life. I considered myself traditional at best and didn't really have many Jewish friends. After finishing university I decided to move to Paris for 2 1/2 yrs where I realized that my friends and I did not share similar values. They would point out that my views were old fashioned and based in "outdated" religious beliefs. When I moved back to the States I decided to explore Judaism and meet Jewish people. I met Steve Eisenberg and attended his Monday night classes. He started to set me up at Shabbat meals and introduced me to the rest of the JICNY family (Jodi and Gavin). Within a few months I had a new circle of friends who shared my values. I loved the family life that I experienced at the Friday night dinners and I would go as often as possible; it made a huge impression on me, and inspired me to be proud of who I am, and maybe one day build a family of my own. If it wasn't for JICNY I am sure I would not have the circle of friends and the love of Judaism that I have today. JICNY truly cares and works hard to create a community where internationals can feel at home. Thank you guys!