International Advisory Board

Adam Lewkovitz

Adam Lewkovitz is a certified Project Manager, Business Analyst and Management Consultant with extensive Jewish communal experience from his native Australia.

Allen Ganz

Allen Ganz Allen is a Business Development Executive with extensive experience in developing growth strategies for early and mid-stage companies. Earlier in his career, he was involved in developing marketing and business develop-ment solutions for emerging companies in diverse market segments, including biometrics, computer software, multimedia kiosks, pharmaceuticals, solar energy and telecommunications.

Ari Goodman Esq.

Ari Goodman Esq. Ari has been practicing law in New York City for over 16 years and is the principal of the Law Offices of Ari Goodman, representing national corpor-ations, closely held family companies, and individuals. He has been instru-mental in the growth of several charitable and political organizations.

Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel Dan Schawbel is a New York Times bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, Fortune 500 consultant, Millennial TV personality, global keynote speaker, career and workplace expert and startup advisor. He is a Partner and Research Director at Future Workplace, Founder of Millennial Branding and bestselling author of two career books: Promote Yourself and Me 2.0.His third book will be published by Hachette in the Fall of 2018. Through his companies, he’s conducted over 35 research studies, interviewed over 1,700 successful people, written over 2,000 articles and spoken at over 100 conferences, companies and Universities. Schawbel has consulted for several major brands from Staples to Oracle, and has been profiled or quoted in over 1,200 media outlets, such as “The Today Show” on NBC,“Fox & Friends” on Fox News, The Steve Harvey Show, The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Wired Magazine, GQ, The Economist and NPR. He has been recognized on several lists including Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30”, Business Insider’s “40 Under 40”, BusinessWeek’s “20 Entrepreneurs You Should Follow” and as one of Workforce Magazine’s “Game Changers”. Schawbel is a featured expert in an upcoming documentary on the millennial generation, directed by Josh Tickell and narrated by actress Shailene Woodley.

Edward Mermelstein

Edward Mermelstein Edward enjoys an accomplished career as a top-tier real estate attorney, legal strategist, businessman, consultant, investor and developer in New York City. As a founding partner of the boutique real estate and corporate law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein, and a partner in One & Only Holdings which includes One & Only Realty, he capitalizes on his success and expertise in real estate advisory, law and international family office representation, benefiting clients under one powerful umbrella. Known and sought-after for his savvy deal-making, Edward draws on over 30 years of experience in the real estate business to serve his diverse clientele’s best interests. Originally from Ukraine, he specializes in working with high-net-worth international individuals and companies as a trusted advisor in every aspect of their acquisitions and transitions in the United States. Edward’s impressive achievements and in-depth understanding of the global markets and political arena have earned him recognition as one of the 10 most influential figures in NYC real estate. He has been repeatedly featured in prominent publications like the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer, and The Real Deal and appeared on Fox News, CNBS, Reuters and Bloomberg for closing complex deals and winning unique legal cases. Fluent in English and Russian, Edward emigrated to the U.S. in 1976. He holds a BA from NYU and a JD from Western Michigan Law School. Edward entered real estate brokerage in 1989 then founded his own law firm in 1995, specializing in international clients investing in the U.S., with offices in New York, Almaty and Moscow. He has orchestrated hundreds of deals in some of Manhattan’s most prominent luxury residences as well as commercial properties. In addition to his work, he is involved in numerous charitable organizations supporting local and national causes rooted in culture, politics, education and the arts. In 2016, Edward joined the Board of Overseers of NYU, where he maintains the Mermelstein Family Scholarship. He has served as the USA Director of the Link of Times Foundation, helping to repatriate cultural and historical valuables taken from Russia in past centuries. As President of COJECO, Edward helps facilitate the integration of Russian-speaking Jews into the greater American Jewish community while preserving their cultural heritage. Edward lives in NYC with his wife, Rose, a Broadway producer and four time Tony award winner. Rose is also the founder of the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center and Manhattan Youth Ballet.

Gavin Samuels

Gavin Samuels Gavin Samuels is a physician by training and has 20 years of diverse pharmaceutical experience in large pharma and small biotech settings. He has worked in corporate venture, business development, clinical development and investor relations. Gavin is currently Head of Strategy and Growth Products at the biologics business unit of Lonza, headquartered in Switzerland. He previously held positions at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Gavin received his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), a postgraduate diploma in Health Economics from Monash University (Australia) and an MBA from the University of New England (Australia).  

Guy Franklin

Guy Franklin Guy Franklin is the General Manager of SOSA NYC, global network of innovation hubs which connects startups, investors and corporates to local eco systems. Prior to SOSA , Guy worked at Ernst & Young NY and Tel-Aviv dealing with technology startups. In addition, Guy is the founder of "Israeli Mapped in NY", an interactive map and platform of the Israeli startups which are operating in NY. Guy has been working with Israeli startups for over 10 years now. Five years ago, Guy moved to New York City working for Ernst and Young. He quickly noticed that as an Israeli who wanted to get in touch with Israeli startup companies operating from New York, he couldn’t find any simple way to do that. So he came up with the idea of creating a map of all of the Israeli startup companies to help other Israelis. When Guy started, the list was short – only 60 companies. Today, he has over 300 companies on the map, and the number keeps growing eveny month.

J.R. Rothstein

J.R. Rothstein J.R. Rothstein is a real estate transactional and employment attorney who practices on an extensive range of matters in both fields. Mr. Rothstein’s real estate practice includes development, acquisitions and dispositions, and leasing transactions. During his career, Mr. Rothstein has worked with numerous corporate and individual clients, including property managers, investors, and developers, and cooperatives. Mr. Rothstein has prepared, reviewed and negotiated leases, construction, and concession agreements. Mr. Rothstein has also managed external counsel, provided legal support and advice to on all real estate related legal matters, including lease matters on a day to day basis, all while understanding that legal advice goes beyond the law and must respond creatively and strategically to meet business needs. Mr. Rothstein’s employment practice includes providing compliance, drafting employment contracts, including construction agreements, providing advice and representation in disputes related to employment and separation agreements, general business and partnership contracts, compensation, wrongful termination, defamation, breaches of non-compete and other restrictive provisions, and discrimination and retaliation. Mr. Rothstein has appeared on behalf of clients in proceedings before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other federal and state agencies, and in state and federal courts. Rothstein, who studied real estate development at New York University, received both his Juris Doctor, and Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Cornell Law School where he was Editor of the Journal of Law and Public Policy and an Albert Heit Scholarship recipient. Mr. Rothstein began his career serving as a federal law clerk in the Eastern District of New York for the Honorable I. Leo Glasser. More recently, he was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law where he engaged in a comparative legal analysis of real estate transactions. Mr. Rothstein serves as a Steering Committee and Board Member of AJC ACCESS. Mr. Rothstein founded and operates the Entrepreneur Shabbat Dinner Series recently recognized by the eminent Professor Jonathan Sarna and for which he was subsequently awarded the JICNY Pinnacle of Leadership Award for promoting entrepreneurship. Mr. Rothstein is a oral historian and has lived, worked, studied or traveled in over two dozen countries. He grew up in Monsey, New York and enjoys genealogy, history, and hiking.

Jennifer Smorgon

Jennifer Smorgon lives in San Francisco, California along with her husband and their five children. She is passionate about and committed to addressing a range of community and Jewish causes around the world, as well as innovative approaches to health, the mind, and the role of technology in humanity. In the Bay Area she is a Trustee of the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In Australia, she is a board member on the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation, which is a non-profit organization committed to Australian and world-wide philanthropic pursuits. In the United States, she is a founding member of The Chopra Foundation’s Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI) working with Deepak Chopra MD on testing whether a radical wellbeing program can reverse biological markers of aging. She is also the past Vice Chair of the Chopra Foundation Board and a current advisor. Jennifer is also a Vedic meditation master, speaker, and mentor for the Nexus Global Summit community. In Israel, Jennifer serves on the board of the Mem Foundation. She also works at an international level to foster stronger strategic regional and global relationships for Israel. Jennifer holds a BA in Art History from Brandeis University and attended the Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Columbia University. She is currently a part-time student at CIIS studying for her doctorate in clinical psychology. Jennifer Smorgon Vice Chairman, Board of Directors Chairman, Nomination Committee Chopra Foundation

Jodi Samuels

Jodi Samuels Jodi has over 20 years of business management and startup experience. She has worked in the not-for-profit, finance, fashion and beauty sectors. Jodi successfully started two non-profit Jewish organizations including the Jewish International Connection NY (JICNY) that currentlya boasts 10,000 members from 40 countries. Jodi made aliya 3 years ago from New York City, and a week after arriving organized a Challah Bake for 400 women for the World Wide Shabbat Project. JIC runs regular sold out events to in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Jodi volunteers over 30+ hours a week for the JICNY. She is a hands-on volunteer and ensures that every program is successful and well-managed.   Jodi recently sold her online marketing business jmedia connections where she had successfully built jdeal NY– a Jewish daily deal site , Buy Israel Week - an initiative to combat the BDS movement, jgives a destination charity site and jblasts – an email blast network with extensive reach into the US Jewish market.   In addition to being a community activist Jodi has a passion for moving the needle on inclusion in the special needs world. She speaks at conferences, talks to medical students, rabbinic students and is often featured on radio shows, blogs and other media. She has devoted hundreds of hours in making sure her daughter Caila is included in Israeli society and getting her rights in school. Checkout Cailysworld on Facebook.   She writes a blog on Metroimma. Her active followers enjoy her unfiltered stories of making aliya, special needs parenting, traveling to 79 countries and being an entrepreneur and mom.   Jodi started her first business at age 14. Her expertise in strategic and relationship online marketing has given her the foundation to acquire and retain a strong membership base for her businesses. She is known as a connector and networker in the Jewish community and has an impressive Rolodex of C-level contacts in the business and non-profit sectors.   Jodi is a mother of 3 great kids and she and her husband, Gavin live on Jerusalem. They finally made it “home” after living in 5 countries and 9 cities. They host hundreds of people every month for Shabbat meals and events in their home.  

Lydia Sarfati

Lydia Sarfati Lydia Sarfati is the Founder and CEO of Repêchage, the first company to bring seaweed-based skincare treatments and cosmetics to the U.S market. Ms. Sarfati is an international industry leader and the developer of the world-renowned Repêchage® Four Layer Facial®, what Cosmopolitan UK has called "the best facial of the century." Today, together with her husband David Sarfati, Co-Founder and COO, Sarfati oversees a 50,000 square foot manufacturing, research, development and training facility in Secaucus, NJ. All Repêchage professional products and treatments are made in the United States, and are sold in over 40 countries worldwide. She appears nationally and internationally at esthetic trade shows, and attends and conducts overseas conferences in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central America, and South Africa. She has produced 17 step-by-step instructional videos as well as published The Repêchage Professional Skin Care Methods and Protocols and The Lydia Sarfati Book of Skin Science, comprehensive works of skin conditions, skincare and body treatments, and medical esthetics including pre and post operative care protocols.

Oren Adler

Oren Adler Oren was born and raised in Bergen County, NJ to Israeli parents. After eleven years in yeshivah day-school and graduating a public high-school, Oren earned his BA in Accounting from Boston University and an MBA from Babson College. Oren lived in Boston for ten years, and moved to New York where he met is wife Sarah (nee) Peskoe. In New York, Oren was working for a mid-sized regional CPA firm, and in valuation, bankruptcy, restructuring and litigation support as a financial analyst. For the last twelve years, Oren has been working with his father at their Fair Lawn accounting office servicing American and international clients - many Israeli, but also companies and individuals in Russia, BVI, India, France, Italy, Netherlands, and South Africans. Oren volunteers his accounting skills to various organizations including his synagogue, the local eruv association, and his children’s day school. Because of his multicultural background, Oren was one of the founders of Dor Chadash. Oren enjoys culture, museums and travel as well as spending time outdoors in all seasons, including running, biking, swimming, golf, tennis, snowboarding, hiking, and camping. Oren has completed eight marathons and one Olympic triathlon. Sarah and Oren live in Tenafly NJ with their four children (Shalhevet 12, Hadar 10, Matan 6, Lev 4), one dog, two turtles, and two fish (so far). Being an immigrant to the USA can be an exciting adventure full of new opportunities, but it can also be lonely away from your home, your family, and your friends. Oren got involved with the JICNY to help young immigrants feel more comfortable in the USA, settle in, and prosper. “My parents had help when they arrived in the USA, and now I can pay it forward.” For many years Oren was also President of the JICNY Networking group.

Shula Bahat

Shula Bahat Shulamith Bahat is CEO of Beit Hatfutsot of America, a program and institutional platform of the Israel based Museum of the Jewish People. Shulamith is the Associate Executive Director Emerita of American Jewish Committee (AJC), where she served twice as acting director and retired after 31 years. She was elected by the Forward as one of the 50 leaders in Jewish life; she was the highest ranking woman and Israeli in American Jewish organizations. Prior to this Shulamith served as the Israel Programs Director for the Israeli Students organization where she advanced the presence of Israel on American and Canadian campuses. Shulamith served five years as an IDF career officer and reached the rank of captain. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from the Hebrew University, and an MA in Urban Planning from the Technion. She continued her Post Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Shulamith loves music, theater, art, literature and people. She has two sons, two daughters (in-law) and is the grandmother of three gorgeous grandchildren. Shulamith currently serves as a board member of the Per Ahlmark and Albert Cohen Foundations. Her significant impact to JICNY as an Advisory Board member has helped to make meaningful and long lasting changes to the organization's structure and vision.