As a first generation American, born and raised in the Bloomfield Hills suburb of Detroit, Michigan, by Romanian parents who emigrated from Israel to the United States, my upbringing was wholly unlike that of my American peers. My want to embrace Americanized living - TV, Nintendo, eating out and insisting that English be the spoken tongue - was often at odds with my parents' focusing on schoolwork and grades, home cooked family dinners and a conservative Jewish upbringing. Informing my Jewish identity are stories of my mother, a Holocaust survivor, who along with her family was imprisoned until 1944 in Bershad, a barricaded slave-labor ghetto located in what is now, after land partitioning, part of the Ukraine called Transnistria; after its victory at Stalingrad, Russia's Red Army liberated the camp and my nearly one-year-old mother-to-be. Today much of our extended family resides in Israel - including my mother's father who is now 99! Both my father, a Cardiologist, and mother, a Registered Nurse, came to this country unable to speak the language and with just pennies in their pocket, yet rose to the challenge, learning that an education - and having a profession - was the key to survival stateside. In turn, my parents provided me and my two older sisters with a stellar education, from private school through to college at the University of Michigan and later graduate school – they opted for medical school and I for London, where I obtained an MBA in International Marketing. After being both confirmed and bar mitzvahed, I remained enrolled throughout high school at Congregation Shaarey Zedek. In college, as an English major, I chose Hebrew as my foreign language and would even volunteer (for two weeks) in the Israeli army, c/o Volunteers for Israel/SAREL. I find myself firmly rooted in New York, for 12+ years, first working in wholesale fashion stewarding European luxury brands such as Escada and Louis Feraud, to my current career in luxury residential real estate. In my first year, I worked on over $100 million of business and now years in, my passion for real estate is very real, whether appearing on HGTV (watch me and the Kleiers on the hit show Selling New York, now in its 8th season!) or helping to stage or ready homes for market or upon occupancy. Thankfully, the JICNY allows me to retain a connection to my International and Jewish upbringing all while further nurturing my innate creativity and artistic talents, which have been trusted for each of the past years' JICNY Galas, where I've managed theme and décor selection and execution. I recall fondly the 'Mardi Gras' French and Latin Quarter landscape which successfully utilized more large-scale props than were ever attempted before. Or the 'Around the World' airport setting, complete with massive hot air balloon centerpieces and interactive country vignettes. To be sure, transforming a space such as the Prince George Ballroom into something even more grand than the venue itself is a feat…and, now, this year's 2014 Gala 'production' is faithfully underway!