Board

Elysa Goldman

Elysa Goldman is a real estate developer for Extell Development Company where she oversees the planning, development, marketing and sales of several large scale residential projects in Manhattan. Prior to joining Extell, Elysa worked for international real estate developers in the United States, Europe, and Australia. She is originally from Denver, Colorado and received a B.A. from Dartmouth College. She is involved with several local philanthropies, is an active member of her shul, and learns Torah with a study partner once a week. She has been involved with JICNY since moving to New York City five years ago, and it has been a critical part of her finding a strong Jewish connection in the City.

Frances Zelazny-Ganz

Frances Zelazny-Ganz Frances is a seasoned marketing strategist and business development professional with nearly 20 years experience with start-up companies. Prior to BioCatch, Frances ran an independent consulting firm focused on helping early stage and midsize companies with their business and marketing strategies. Among her clients were MyCheck, a leading mobile payment technology platform, Morpho, a global biometrics and identification company, Center for Global Development, Interamerican Development Bank and others. Prior to this, Frances was Corporate Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Operations, for L-1 Identity Solutions, a premier biometrics and identity solutions company. Frances has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Hofstra University and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from New York University, and is on several corporate and non-profit boards.

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 business and product development, clinical development and scientific evaluation.  Gavin is currently Senior Vice-President Corporate Development & Investor Relations at Quark Pharmaceuticals. He previously held positions at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Gavin’s business development experience includes early and late stage licensing, M&A and Corporate Venture. Gavin received his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), a postgraduate diploma in Health Economics from Monash University (Australia) and a MBA from the University of New England (Australia)..

Jeff Stier, Chairman of the Board

Jeff Stier, Chairman of the Board is a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. He is also a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute.   He is widely quoted in the media and has written health policy op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner,Foxnews.com and National Review Online. The New York Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, Foxnews, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR and other major outlets have interviewed and quoted Stier on a wide range of topics.   Stier has testified at state and local legislatures throughout the U.S., at FDA scientific hearings and at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. He has also been a voice for freedom at hearings at the United Nations and in Israel's Knesset.   During two decades of advancing public health and defending liberty, Stier has been a speaker at CPAC, policy retreats for elected officials and medical and legal conferences. Mr. Stier crafted health and environmental policy in the Office of the Mayor during the Giuliani administration in New York City.     While earning his law degree at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Mr. Stier served two terms as Editor-In-Chief of the Cardozo Law Forum. Jeff and his canine, BB, volunteer as a Certified Crisis Response Strike Team with NATIONAL Crisis Response Canines, supporting survivors and first-responders.

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.  

Russell Light

Russell Light is a tax partner at the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis LLP. Russell concentrates his practice on the tax aspects of mergers, acquisitions, buyouts and private equity investing, on private equity fund formation, and on real estate transactions and transactions involving real estate investment trusts. He also focuses his practice on complex cross-border investment, tax planning for public and closely-held entities, and debt restructuring and bankruptcy transactions. Russell is co-author of Mergers, Acquisitions, and Buyouts by Martin D. Ginsburg, Jack S. Levin and Donald E. Rocap (published semi-annually), and special editor of Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions by Jack S. Levin (published annually). Russell received a J.D. with High Honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as Managing Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. He also received Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sasha Krasny

Sasha Krasny Sasha Krasny emigrated to the United States in 1990. Sasha became a nonprofit professional when she joined UJA Federation of New York in 2004 as a development executive. There she cultivated strong relationships with community and philanthropic leaders, and created strategies to generate support for education, community development, and major donor investment. In 2007, Sasha joined Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG), a newly established international foundation, as their first senior project manager. During her tenure at GPG, Sasha was responsible for oversight of grant-making and program implementation by grantees in North America, as part of her multi-million dollar portfolio. In 2009, Sasha moved on to the international stage as the Director of Israel and Global Philanthropy for The Jewish Agency for Israel North American Council and for more than six years worked with Jewish philanthropic and communal leaders across communities in North America, Russia, Europe, and Israel. After over a decade of working with leading institutions, inspiring leaders, and exciting programs in the non-profit sector, Sasha founded Krasny International Consulting to provide comprehensive business and financial resource development, nonprofit, and grant management services.

Steve Eisenberg

Steve Eisenberg is a risk arbitrage specialist who previously served as a Vice President at Bear Stearns and a Managing Director at the investment firm Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum, Inc., Steve juggles a demanding Wall Street career with a passionate commitment to Jewish outreach programming. In addition to delivering JICNY’s flagship weekly Torah class on Monday evenings in Manhattan, he also manages JICNY’s Job Assistance website and coordinates the organization’s networking events. A gifted speaker and a celebrated educator, Steve is frequently invited to speak at events around the world and develops programs for outreach organizations across the United States.

Steven Hirsch

Steven Hirsch Steven Hirsch has worked in many facets of the financial services industry for over 30 years including Taxable Fixed Income trading, Equity trading, and Financial Consulting. For the past 9 years Mr. Hirsch has had a practice at New York Life dealing primarily with financial side of Estate and Retirement planning. Mr. Hirsch is an officer of a small charitable non-profit, sits on the New York Board for the Israel Cancer Research Fund, and is involved with several Jewish non-profits. Steven has known JICNY Founders Gavin & Jodi Samuels since they first arrived in New York, and Steve Eisenberg even longer, and has been a supporter and volunteer of the organization since its inception. Mr. Hirsch received his undergraduate degree from Babson College with a major in Finance and lives in Manhattan.