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The staff of the

Long Island Jewish

World

group of newspapers sat

with Steve Savitsky, national presi-

dent of Bnai Zion, to discuss the

organization’s mission and its

future goals.

Aside from being the national

president of Bnai Zion, what is

your profession?

I have been in the healthcare field

for over 30 years. During those

years I have started several compa-

nies and most of them have been in

the home healthcare and medical

staffing industry. Currently, I am

the president and chairman of the

board of ATC Healthcare a nation-

wide provider of medical staffing.

Tell us about your personal life.

Are you married? With children?

Grandchildren? Are they also as

involved in the community?

I am married and have four chil-

dren and, thank God, many grand-

children. I am blessed as all my

children live not far from where I

live, and all of them are very active

in the Jewish community.

How did Judaism become so

central to your life?

To begin, I have to thank my par-

ents who sacrificed a great deal to

give myself and my brother and sis-

ter a Jewish education. They

worked very, very hard and did not

take very many luxuries in life to

pay for a yeshiva education. That’s

how I really became involved in

Jewish life and Torah life.

In what denomination were

you raised?

I was raised as a Torah Orthodox

Jew with a strong commitment to

the Jewish people and with a vision

that says we love all people and that

we never become judgmental about

anyone.

What do you do in your spare

time to relax?

What I like to do is study the

Talmud, and study Torah. I’m also a

big tennis player, playing three-to-

four-times a week. I also enjoy

watching some of the local sports

teams, particularly the Yankees and

the NY Giants.

What are three important

things that you strongly believe?

One, I believe that every single

person has a responsibility to make

the world a better place.

Two, I think Jewish people have

a responsibility to help the people

of Israel and the land of Israel and

should be devoting time to that.

And three, I believe that people

have to know how to prioritize their

lives. They should make enough

time to have a quality of life and a

good family life, at the same time

devoting themselves to causes out-

side their immediate family.

When and where was your first

exposure of Bnai Zion and what

made you decide to become a

member and get involved?

I was president of the Orthodox

Union for many years and because

of that I was a member of the Con-

ference of Presidents of Major

Jewish Organizations. It was there

that I became friends with two

wonderful people, Mel Parness and

Jack Grunspan, who encouraged

me over the years to get involved

with Bnai Zion and its great huma-

nitarian projects.

Tell us more about Bnai Zion.

Is it a political organization, a

religious organization, or both?

Bnai Zion is neither a political,

nor a religious organization — it is

purely a humanitarian organization

with projects that benefit the State

of Israel and the people of Israel.

Our mission statement is to do

everything we can to enhance and

enrich the lives of those in Israel

who unfortunately will probably

fall between the cracks and will not

get the services they need. Our pro-

jects include a wonderful hospital

in Haifa, the Ahava Village, along

with many others. We will continue

to seek out projects that help those

who are less fortunate than we are.

What are the goals for the

future of Bnai Zion and how do

you plan to attain them?

Bnai Zion has been around for

well over 100 years, but we have to

re-engineer its image in the Jewish

community. We are probably the

oldest Zionist organization in

America and we have to begin to

publicize this to the general Jewish

community. We are excited about

our executive team led by Cheryl

Bier. Together with our lay and pro-

fessional leaders we are coming up

with new programs and new ideas

to get the word out about Bnai

Zion. Every person who cares about

Israel should like what we do at

Bnai Zion. Because we are not

political or religious in any way, we

really try to meet the needs of the

people of Israel. Very few organiza-

tions can say exactly the same

thing. We have no agenda other

than to be there in times of need for

those people who need the kinds of

services we provide in a safe and

secure environment.

What will it take to further

Bnai Zion’s support for Israel?

Like in every other organization, it

will take money. Our job here in

America is to raise as much money

as we can, so we can send it to our

projects in Israel. And we will be

doing that by having more dinners,

parlor meetings, one-on-one solicita-

tions and expanding the reach of

Bnai Zion throughout the country.

Fortunately for us, we have very

good friends in the evangelical com-

munity who have been great support-

ers of our projects, and we thank

them and wish them well for all they

have done for us. We hope to contin-

ue that relationship and work with

them even more closely in the future.

12

JEWISH WORLD • OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2016

A Humanitarian Cause

Bnai Zion’s projects benefit Israel’s needy

INTERVIEW

Bnai Zion is …

is purely a

humanitarian

organization with

projects that

benefit the State

of Israel and the

people of Israel.

Steve Savitsky

Because we

are not political

or religious in

any way, we

really try to meet

the needs of the

people of Israel.