Our Story

In December 2000, Jodi and Gavin Samuels hosted a Shabbat dinner for Jewish Australians and South Africans living in New York. Having made the move to NYC themselves, they knew just how lonely the “Big Apple” could be without direction or support. The event was a stunning success, and Jodi and Gavin began laying the groundwork for a non-profit organization that would serve as a “home away from home” and a strong Jewish community for singles and couples living in New York City. In the months that followed, they joined forces with master networker and popular Jewish educator Steve Eisenberg and established the Jewish International Connection New York (JICNY). JICNY partners with organizations across the cultural spectrum to provide resources and opportunities for personal, professional and spiritual growth and connectivity. The organization is also an access point for all aspects of the Jewish experiences, including networking, volunteering, Israel advocacy, Shabbat dinners, Jewish cultural programming, and content-rich classes that appeal to individuals of all backgrounds and affiliations. JICNY’s diverse programming and numerous events draw over 10,000 participants annually.