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ELEM Valued Supporter Shares His Thoughts

By December 16, 2022No Comments

Our supporter, Daniel Sapadin, is the Chief Financial Officer of Owl Creek Asset Management. He graduated from the University of Vermont and received a master’s degree from Baruch College. He is a certified public accountant. 

Dan was first introduced to ELEM in 2003 when organizing a benefit in memory of his wife’s friend, Marla Bennett, who was killed in a terror attack in Israel.  

Dan shared why he found ELEM so special:

“In the summer of 2002, Marla Bennett, a childhood friend of my wife, was killed when a bomb exploded in the cafeteria of Hebrew University. The bomb specifically and perniciously targeted American students studying there. I never met Marla, but everything my wife Sara told me described a smart, strong, caring, loving, passionate woman who had a love for Israel and children. And this description was confirmed by Marla’s beloved parents and innumerable friends and acquaintances that I met subsequently to that horrific day. At the time, Marla was studying to become a Jewish educator combining her love for Israel with her love for kids.

The following year, my wife Sara, and our good friend Monica Corton, helped organize a benefit in Marla’s memory. We were looking for an Israeli organization whose mission was youth-centered. We felt this kind of organization would best honor Marla and the vocation she has chosen to pursue. When we learned about ELEM, we knew we had found our organization. ELEM filled a void in Israeli services, helping Youth in Distress no matter who they are, be they Jewish, Muslim or Christian, Gay or Straight, Religious or Secular. As well, the method that ELEM used and still uses today to connect with youth who are in trouble really connected with us. The fact that ELEM doesn’t wait for kids to come to them, but rather they meet these kids where they are on the streets, sets them apart from other organizations. ELEM builds trust over time with no pressure until the young person feels comfortable that ELEM is in their corner. ELEM’s mission and methodology really connected with us. That 2003 benefit was a success, and we were happy to raise funds to support ELEM’s work, and more importantly to celebrate Marla’s life and honor her family.

Since 2003, I have been involved with ELEM. Initially volunteering to help with their NYC benefits, I sat on the board for 7 years and have continued to assist ELEM each year since then. It is an honor to be a part of this organization and to help raise funds and awareness about the critical, lifesaving work they do, day in and day out. My participation in this organization has enabled me to cross paths with many wonderful, dedicated, hard-working individuals. Today, I would like to lift up Anne Bialkin, without whose leadership and vision this work would not be possible. Thank you, Ann, for making such a difference to the children of Israel and for always being a good friend.”

Dan Sapadin