Sandy Sigal is a leading entrepreneur, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of the IAF Center Foundation. Recently, Sandy took time out of his busy schedule to share with us why he proudly supports our work.
“The Israel Air Force is the most dynamic in the world. Unlike any other air force, it goes out of its way to protect civilians and practice humanitarianism, while defending Israel,” explained Sandy Sigal, when asked why he has been drawn to the IAF.
The IAF Center Foundation shows both the humane, and human, face of the IAF. The Center’s mantra, “People matter,” informs everything we do, from providing social services for bereaved families to administering educational and youth programs for Israel’s next generation of leaders.
Mentoring youth is a particularly meaningful service to Sandy, who benefitted from this kind of support himself early in life.
“My incredible mom raised my brother and I all alone. She did an amazing job, but she couldn’t always be home; she had to work to support us. When we started getting in trouble playing on our own after school, she managed to get us into Camp Max Strauss for a summer. The camp showed me how much bigger the world is and gave me access to mentors. I became ambitious, learned to program computers and started my own business… and then parlayed that into becoming CEO of NewMark Merrill. All along the way I was very lucky to have bosses who were great mentors, who taught me how to be independent and successful. Now that I’m in a position to give back, it is important to me to provide that support for other people.”
The first time Sandy visited the IAF Center, he was especially impressed with the Youth Leadership Training program, which instills in the next generation the skills and values to ensure that Israel has the human capital necessary to survive and flourish.
“We have a responsibility to keep Israel strong. Israel provides a powerful example for the world. It has had every obstacle imaginable thrown at it, yet it has overcome those obstacles and continues to thrive… all while still upholding democracy and decency. That’s the IAFCF’s purpose, too.”
Making the world a better place is a value that the IAF Center and Sandy share. In his day-to-day work, Sandy’s company puts emphasis on improving or revitalizing the communities around the shopping centers that they build, and providing its employees with the skills and opportunities to advance in their careers.
“At my first IAFCF event,” said Sandy, “I heard the IAF’s former chief of staff talk about the Air Force’s work protecting civilian populations. At my second event, my entire family met General Relik Shafir, who was part of the team that bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. As a family, we came to understand that this organization works to keep Israel strong while also building an even better tomorrow.”