JICNY Newsletter, Spring 2014

Jewish International Connection

Letter from Chairman of the Board

Entering into summer, I look back over the past year and smile in amazement on the amount of programs and events the JICNY has offered this past year, in addition to the lives we have touched.

In just 9 months our organization has been host to a Member of Knesset, offered weekly Torah classes, celebrated Shabbat with hundreds of JICNY members, and have had private discussions with TV Reality stars and other prominent entrepreneurs. This is not to mention the launching JICNY Connections a new division catering to singles ages 35-50 , having over 100 women learn about the symbolism of baking challah while baking challah themselves and of course offering the opportunity for two individuals to meet at a JICNY event and get engaged last month. That makes 98 couples for the JICNY ( lets get to 100) !

As we make this transition from one season to another, I wish to thank everyone who gives so much of their time to the JICNY as volunteers. None of our success would be existent without each you. Thank you! Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe and exciting summer ahead.

Looking forward to seeing you for JICNY Shabbats on the Terrace .

Jeff Stier

Board Chairman


2014 Spring Highlights!

JICNY partnered with Match4Good in April and May to host special panel nights at Inglot Studio in Chelsea Market. The first panel "Up Close and Behind the Scenes" featured fashion designer Nili Lotan, founder of Eleni's Bakery, Eleni Gianopulos, talent booker at HugfPost Live, Shira Sky and founder of CultureHorde, Pamela Mirels.

One-on-One with Ethan Zohn, Winner of Reality show "Survivor Africa"

(Pictured right to left: Reality show winner, Ethan Zohn, JICNY Co-founders -Gavin and Jodi Samuels, Panel moderator- Jessica Abo and Grant Silverstein-JICNY Development Director.)

Our second panel "One-on-One with Ethan Zohn" featured how the winner of "Survivor: Africa" and the two-time cancer survivor is helping fight AIDS. D'vida Healh Bar sponsored the event. Both panels attracted close to 175 people. The Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation swabbed guests at both panels.

Photos courtesy of Bret Josephs

JICNY Networking Guest speaker, Erel Margalit, Knesset Member

In January, JICNY hosted a dessert reception for MK, Dr. Erel Margalit, one of the architects of the “Start-up Nation”.

During the reception, Margalit talked about the Jerusalem-based venture capital firm he started in 1993, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). JVP currently manages approximately $900 million over eight funds, specializing in investments in media, cyber-security, big-data, Internet, mobile telephony, advertising, and gaming. http://www.jvpvc.com . He also spoke about a nonprofit initiative he started called ii2020 to transform seven underdeveloped regions around the country.

Transitioning into politics in 2013 Margalit was elected to the 19th Knesset as a representative of the Labor party. He spearheaded the successful campaign to elect Isaac Herzog as chairman of the Labor Party and leader of the Knesset Opposition.

JICNY Connections

MAZEL TOV to Jenn & Eric on their Engagement. They met at the 1st JICNY Connections event in February!

JICNY Connections events are hosted for ages 35-50

JICNY Connections has taken off with great success since its launch in February. This newest division of the JICNY caters to singles ages 35-50.

The group was kicked off with a Wine & Dessert reception in February, followed by a sold out Sushi & Sake night in March. The excitement continued as over 80 Connections friends celebrated Shabbat together on May 30th and enjoyed a conversation raising much discussion with Melanie Notkin, Founder and personality behind Savvy Auntie, and author of the newly published Otherhood.

Mark your calendar : Sunday, June 22 when JICNY Connections will be hosting a night of Jazz & cocktails at Silvana Night Club on the Upper West Side .


We are thrilled with the immediate success of this group and are looking forward to great things to come. For more information or to get involved, please contact Grant, Grant@jicny.com


    JICNY Newsletter

Letter from the Founders


To Every Thing there is a Season…

It is hard to believe that summer is upon us. This has been yet another wonderful year for the JICNY events and as we are moving into summer our calendar is not slowing down. Summer at the JICNY includes rooftop drinks, jazz nights and our annual Rafting down the Delaware River trip, in addition to ongoing weekly Torah Classes and much more.

MAZEL TOV… Couple 98 got engaged! Mazel-Tov Jenn and Eric (Couple 98!) who met at our first JICNY Connections event and are now engaged. Additionally, we just attended another JICNY wedding of a couple who met at the 2013 Purim party. It has been another active and exciting year for the JICNY.

Always staying true to our mission statement, the JICNY continues to be 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.

As we enter into summer, we wish you a time of fun in the sun, relaxation with friends and encourage you to join the JICNY for one of our many programs.

Stay cool,

Steve Eisenberg, Jodi & Gavin Samuels


  Save the Date

10th Annual JICNY Gala

Monday, November 3, 2014


The JICNY is Hitting the Road & Going Overseas!

Anyone who knows of the JICNY knows that we are always looking at offering amazing events, programs and opportunities for our participants.

We have now kicked it up a notch and are offering trips for JICNY participants.

This Labor Day (Aug 28- Sept. 1) , Jodi & Gavin will be leading a group on an organized Jewish Community Tour & Walking tour of Berlin. Highlights will include tours of Third Reich Berlin: Point Fear, Boat trips, Pub Crawls, Potsdam - The Prussian Aristocracy's Castle and Royal Gardens, meeting with Berliner Jews and Shabbat in the Berlin Jewish Community.

Berlin is not our only destination…Ever wonder why Israel is the leader in innovation, technology development and start up businesses? If so, join the JICNY over Presidents Weekend in February for our Start Up Nation mission to Israel. On this trip we will spend eight days in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv meeting with and hearing from entrepreneurs , business leaders and members of the IDF. This will not be your typical trip to Israel.

For more information on either trip, please email Jodi, Jodi@jicny.com



Who's Who at JICNY

Meet Leona Krasner

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and was raised Ashkenazi. Growing up, I attended first Jewish Sunday school classes, then Jewish teen group classes, then helped to organize and lead such classes. The older I got, the more I wished to become involved with Judaism. I was a student of several different Jewish semester-long learning groups as an undergraduate at New York University, and once I got to Washington and Lee University School of Law, I hosted monthly Shabbat dinners and one memorable Passover Seder (where one main topic of conversation was to which church the non-Jewish guests would go for Easter services). Upon graduating from law school and returning to New York, I wanted to cultivate my Jewish roots, so I reached out to several Jewish organizations to learn how I could become involved. JICNY was by far the most welcoming.

Now, as Regional Director of Kaplan Bar Review, a part-time MBA student at NYU Stern, and Treasurer of Stern’s Jewish Student Association, JICNY continues to make me feel most at home.

I first became involved with JICNY when I took part in Steve Eisenberg's Lunch and Learn series in the summer of 2010. Steve's words of wisdom and humor made me look forward to his classes more than I looked forward to each weekend. I reconnected with JICNY shortly after I graduated from law school in May of 2012. I dove in to help volunteer to update the JICNY's list serve. Soon, I was looking for additional ways in which I could get involved with JICNY, and learned about the 9th Annual Gala Dinner. I knew right away that I wanted to help, and was privileged to Co-Chair the incredible gala.

I am honored to be active again this year in the JICNY’s Gala Committee, and cannot wait to see you at the 10th Annual Gala dinner!

  JICNY Mission Statement

Jewish International Connection of New York fosters Jewish identity among young internationals, in their 20s and 30s, through diverse and inspiring Jewish experiences together with NYC Jews. This is achieved through 4 main categories of activities:

• Jewish educational, cultural and Shabbat/Holiday experiences
• Professional and social networking
• Couples and parenting programs
• Israel advocacy programs






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

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