JICNY Newsletter, Feb 2015


Jewish International Connection

JICNY Newsletter, Winter 2015

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Jeff Stier, JICNY Board Chairman

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe the 2014 is behind us and we are well into 2015. JICNY had a strong finish to 2014 with a successful year end online campaign and donations from many of our supporters. Thank you to everyone who helped us close out the year and start 2015 on a positive note.

Looking forward into 2015, I can’t help but look back on the successes and growth of the JICNY in 2014.

"With your help, we've had...

·     Funding to support 3 part time staff members

·     Launched a new website

·     Created new programming for often over looked demographics in the community.

·     Continued to grow our donor database.

I have said it before, but I will say it again, the JICNY is truly a special organization that offers something for everyone. It is my honor to serve as chair of the board and I look forward to leading the organization with continued strength and success in the year to come. 

May the New Year bring you continued health, happiness and success!

Jeff Stier

Chairman, Board of Directors, JICNY



Weekly participant at the Monday Night Class & Lounge

My name is Michael Penn. I'm 24 years old and moved to New York City 2.5 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida. While living in Florida, I practiced Judaism conservatively. I first felt compelled to increase my level of practice when I visited Israel in 2010 and then when I returned in 2012 for a month with JLI. I wanted to continue my spiritual growth when I moved to New York City, therefore I searched for a community where I could expand upon my love of Judaism.

I was introduced to JICNY through Steve Eisenberg's Monday night classes by way of a friend. I went alone to my first class, purely out of curiosity, and have attended almost every class since.

Steve is a community leader who continues to inspire me at his informative and engaging Monday night Torah Parsha of the week class. It is because of him and how he conveys the Torah in a relatable manner that I have decided to further expand upon my religious practice. I look forward to continuing my spiritual journey with the support of Steve and his inspiring classes.

The main reason I attend the class is because I want to better myself as a person and as a Jew. I truly believe I gain something new from his class every session, and more importantly leave as a better person. One of my favorite mottos of Steve is that regardless of belief, the main takeaway is always to come to class and leave as a better person. From experience, he definitely gives you the tools of knowledge - every Monday night - to do so.





Tzedaka. Engagement. Community Building.

The JICNY Emerging Leadership Board (ELB) launched this past fall works towards creating the next generation of community leaders. The board is comprised of 15 individuals of who believe in the mission of the JICNY and want to play a role in the future growth of the organization. The board meets on regular basis of every 6 weeks.

Each meeting board members are offered the opportunity to hear from non-profit professionals on different topics relating to leadership and the role of lay leaders and the way to run effective organizations.

Meeting topics have included how to be an effective board member, the lay leader/professional relationship and how to plan and execute a successful fundraiser. Each member chairs one event/ program over the calendar year in addition to making a financial contribution to the JICNY.

For more information about ELB Blard, contact Grant at grant@jicny.com




By: Dana Lilienthal Elya, Chair

The JICNY Couples Kick off Wine & Cheese event on January 24th was a fantastic evening!

Our first Couples Night Out event for 2015 was a Wine & Cheese Tasting in a beautiful Upper West Side apartment with Brent The Cheese Guy who taught and shared with us about his hand crafted artisan Kosher cheeses.

This event was a super fun night as we learned how cheeses are made and got to sample all different varieties while sipping wine and meeting all the great couples that came out for the night. It was so nice to see so many JICNY couples truly enjoying a fun night out in the city.



Couples Painting Class Party & Wine Sipping at Art Studio NY

Saturday, February 21st, 8pm




JICNY Chanukah Spin at Peleton Studio

JICNY International Food & Wine Event

Shabbas Project in NY and Jerusalem

JICNY Volunteer Day at Masbia

One-on-One with Ethan Zohn, Wnner of Survivor Reality Show (with Jessica Abo)

JICNY Syrian Cooking Class



Steve, Gavin & Jodi         


It’s only 6 weeks into 2015, but the JICNY is already off and running! Steve has already lead a Birthright trip to Israel. Jodi in Israel has already led 4 Networking events, Shabbat meals and is gearing up to host many more upcoming events in 2 continents.

In Manhattan, we have had a successful Connections Passport Rotating Table Shabbat dinner, our Annual Int’l Food & Wine Festival, a Couples Wine & Cheese Tasting, and the always-full Monday night Torah Class. This is to name just a few events so far. We are definitely off to a great start!

When the three of us joined together over 14 years ago to form the JICNY, we had a vision and dream of what we wanted the mission of the organization to be, the programs we thought to provide and the community we dreamt of creating. With great awe and amazement, after much perseverance, sweat, time and energy, we feel as though today we have reached our dream. We continue offering Jewish learning and cultural opportunities across the cultural and religious spectrum.

We now offer programming for multiple age groups and life stages, networking opportunities to help our members build their professional lives, and social programming to build personal connections and connectivity within the NY Jewish community.

Just as we did 14 years ago, we are looking forward to the future and dreaming for continued success of the JICNY both in New York and Israel. We hope that you will continue to join us on our journey of learning, networking and growing together as individuals and as an organization.

Wishing you all the best for a happy, healthy and successful 2015!

Steve Eisenberg, Jodi & Gavin Samuels








Dear JICNY Community Member,

It is hard believe that I have just marked one year as the JICNY Development Director. As I have shared with many of you over the past twelve months, it is truly a great honor representing the JICNY and the work we do on a daily bases to the greater community.

2014 was a year of great growth for the JICNY and its fundraising efforts. We received funding for a third year from the UJA along with grant funding from other organizations and foundations. We ran a successful year-end online campaign with the generosity of three matching donors. A majority of our Shabbat dinners had sponsors supporting them and our weekly Monday night Torah class continued to have generous sponsorships along with our networking events.  

The JICNY proudly hosts over 200 events a year. Many of these events would not be able to occur without the support of our donors and volunteers. Sponsoring a JICNY Monday night class or Shabbat dinner is a great way to honor a loved one, share the news of a simcha or show your appreciation for the work of the JICNY.

I encourage you to consider supporting the JICNY on a financial level in 2015. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about different opportunities and areas of sponsorship that are available. I hope that we will get to speak in the months to come.

Donations can be made at www.jicny.com/donate or contact Grant at grant@jicny.com or call (212) 749-1434.

Thank you!

Grant Silverstein, Development Director





Ways to support the JICNY with a Sponsorship...

$180- Sponsor Networking Breakfast

$250- Sponsor Steve Eisenberg’s Monday Night Class & Lounge

$360- Sponsor a JICNY Culture Salon– or Cooking class

$500- Sponsor a Shabbat Dinner

$1800- Sponsor a Holiday Meal (Rosh Hashana, Sukkot,  Purim Seuda, Passover Seder)

$10,000- JICNY Jewish Heritage Trip



JICNY Connections Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Launched in February 2014, ‘JICNY Connections’ serves older singles in the 35-50 age. Connections was formed in response to the growing number of JICNY Participants who were no longer matched the age criteria for our program.

Connections offers this age demographic opportunities to stay connect with other Jewish professionals by being provided a wide array of programming ranging from Shabbat dinners, Wine tastings and gallery openings. We are looking to forward to offering Jewish Heritage Trip to Israel and Europe in the fall.

For more information on Connections events and programs, please contact Grant grant@jicny.com

JICNY Connections presents: a Wine & Dessert Celebration, for ages 35-50

WHEN: Thursday, February 17th, 7:30pm

WHERE: UWS private home- address provided with paid reservation

COST: $35 online; $40 at door; $180 Sponsor

TICKETS: https://jicny.com/event-page/900




On Friday, March 13th, JICNY is joining with synagogues throughout North America in sponsoring the 19th annual "Shabbat Across America"

Friday, March 13th: SHABBAT DINNER
Turn an ordinary Friday night into something extraordinary

Saturday,  March 14th: COUPLES LUNCH
Shabbat Lunch for couples and families at the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue






Genetic Testing in the Jewish Community:


JICNY in Partnership with Mt. Sinai Hospital




10 Day Kosher Culinary Israel Trip with Chef Shlomo Schwartz (JICNY is a Co-Sponsor)






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Jewish International Connection is a not-for-profit public charity recognized by the IRS under 501(c)(3)

JICNY reserves the right to ID all participants at our events for their age and/or identity.

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Mission Statement

As a gateway into the Jewish experience and the first point of contact for individuals relocating to New York, JICNY provides participants with the resources and opportunities they require to secure a soft landing in New York, develop personal relationships with likeminded Jewish professionals, and connect with Jewish observance at an optimal personal level.  With over 220 events per year, JICNY truly has something for everyone