Archive for June 22nd, 2011


JICNY – 7th Annual Gala

You just moved to New York, whether in hopes of finding a job – or because you were offered a job, but you lack the resources to find activities, to mingle with other Jews of similar interests and circumstances. What to do, what to do? I remember when I first moved to New York City, though I had a few friends living here already, there was nothing like this available. That vacuum, however, has now been filled…

Last evening, I  attended JICNY‘s 7th Annual Gala, celebrating the first decade of this organization. We spoke to the founders, members of the Board of Trustees, teachers, and regular members. Tomorrow evening May 23rd we will broadcast the pre-taped interviews on BlogTalk at 7:30pm. (Eastern Time).

Jody Samuels, the main driving force of JICNY, mingling among the members.

What impressed me the most, after interviewing quite a few people, was the tremendous dedication of the three founding members (Jodi Samuels – of Metroimma and Jdeal, Gavin SamuelsJodi‘s husband, Steven Eisenberg), the dedication of the Board of Trustees under the Chairmanship of Jeff Stier. What’s amazing is that in spite of the time involved EVERYONE is a volunteer!

As you will hear tomorrow evening at 7:30pm (Eastern Time) the members we spoke to (hailing from many corners of the world), were enthusiastic about JICNY, many either met through this organization, got interested in yiddishkeit through JICNY, or were able to define and discover themselves specifically because of the activities which they directed or participated in.

Gavin Stone, one of the Honorees, and his fiance (whom he met through JICNY)

The evening’s honorees were: Blossom and Ilan Cohen (Couple of the Year Award), Ruth and Sivan Katz (Leadership Award), Gavin Stone (Dedication to Jewish Life Award).

Among the many activities JICNY organizes are weekly Monday eve shiurim on Torah (in 5 languages), cooking demos featuring various international cuisines, job listings, Shabbat and yom tovim hospitality, and many more. With over 10,000 members in their database, seventy four marriages came about as a direct result of the couples meeting through the organization and a few more happening over the coming months; over 10,000 members were hosted for Shabbatot (with indefatigable Jody holding the record for thousands benefiting from her open home, her open heart). I wish there had been a JICNY when I first came to these shores from Montevideo, Uruguay.


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