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, support, and a group of friends. 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 force with master networker and popular Jewish educator, Steve Eisenberg and established the Jewish International Connection New York (JICNY).

Since the Samuels made Aliyah 6 years ago, they have recreated the magic of their hospitality and innovative, fun and inspiriting events, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They welcome all ex-pats and want to ensure that these olim feel at home in their new home in the Holyland. With continued programing in the most unique places, like a Shabbat Dinner for 600 people at the First Station in Jerusalem, to an intimate weekday BBQ to celebrate mid-week, the Samuals continue to attract people seeking a connection with their fellow Jew, their city, and Israel.

JIC partners with organization 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 network, volunteering, Israel advocacy, Shabbat dinners, Jewish cultural programming, and content-rich classes that appeal to individual of all backgrounds and affiliations. JIC’s diverse programing and numerous events draws over 10,000 participants per year.

JIC’s Mission is to provide a Jewish Home Away from Home in NY and in Israel

As a gateway into the Jewish experience and the first of point of contact for individuals relocating, JIC provides the resources and opportunities they need to secure a ‘soft’ landing. Developing personal relationships with likeminded Jewish professional and connecting with Jewish observance, is a tremendous support for those so far from family. With over 220 events per year, JIC truly has something for everyone.