Board

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.

Jodi Samuels

Jodi Samuels Jodi has over 20 years of business management and startup experience and she voluntarily serves as the Executive Director of JICNY. She has worked in the not-for-profit, finance, fashion and beauty sectors and successfully started two non-profit Jewish organizations including the Jewish International Connection NY that currently boasts 10,000 members from 40 countries. Three years ago she launched jmedia connections and she has successfully built jdeal – a Jewish daily deal site, Buy Israel Week - an initiative to combat the BDS movement and jblasts – an email blast network with extensive reach into the US Jewish market. She is the co-founder of Metroimma, an online site for Jewish moms, with over 6000 active monthly members. Her latest initiative is jgives.com a destination site to give charity. 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. After having a child with special needs, Jodi started a blog and became an activist and educator in the Jewish community with the rallying cry "let my people in". Jodi 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.    

Gavin Samuels

Gavin Samuels Gavin is a medical doctor by training and has 18 years of diverse pharmaceutical experience in large pharma and small biotech settings. He has worked in business development and product development, clinical development and scientific evaluation.  Gavin is currently Vice-President of Global Business Development & Strategy at Teva Pharmaceuticals. He previously held positions at Quark 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).

Sasha Krasny

Sasha Krasny is a political refugee from the former Soviet Union. Sasha settled in Queens, New York in 1990. She began her career as a Jewish communal professional at the UJA Federation of New York and the Genesis Philanthropy Group before moving on to North American Council of The Jewish Agency for Israel. As The Jewish Agency’s Director of Israel and Global Philanthropy, Sasha works with Jewish philanthropic and communal leaders across North America, the former Soviet Union, Europe and Israel. She helps recruit and retain Russian-speaking New Yorkers for JICNY events.

Frances Zelazny-Ganz

Frances Zelazny-Ganz is Vice President of Marketing and Government Affairs for L-1 Identity Solutions, a global biometrics and identification solutions company, where she focuses on policy matters for the federal, state and local governments. Previously, she was involved in international franchising for a New York-based restaurant chain, strategic marketing in the financial services sector, and taught undergraduate courses in international politics and trade at Hofstra University. Frances also currently serves as chair of the International Biometric Industry Association’s Policy & Advocacy Working Group.

Jeff Stier, Chairman of the Board

Jeff Stier, Chairman of the Board Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and heads its Risk Analysis Division. Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest at over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts. Jeff's National Center op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online. Stier has testified at FDA scientific meetings, met with White House officials, members of Congress and their staff about science policy, and has testified at state and local legislatures across the country. The world's largest financial services firms regularly call on Stier to provide insight on regulatory policy related to investments in fields including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, chemicals and tobacco. Mr. Stier worked both in the office of the Mayor and in Corporation Counsel's office in 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.

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.