Kent Swig

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Archive for the ‘Charitable Work’ Category

National Board of Directors Meeting for Israel Bonds

Kent Swig (left) and Israel's Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levi

Kent Swig (left) and Israel’s Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levi

On January 24th-26, I attended the annual National Board of Directors meeting for the State of Israel Bonds. The two day event included participating in the National Board meeting, where I had the privilege of meeting with Israel’s Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levi (see photo).

From left to right: Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nation, Ambassador Ron Prosor, Kent Swig, Israel's Consul General to New York City, Ambassador Ido Aharoni.

From left to right: Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation, Ambassador Ron Prosor, Kent Swig, Israel’s Consul General to New York City, Ambassador Ido Aharoni.

Also included was a private and limited invitation dinner with Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ron Prosor, who I had the honor of introducing as the key note speaker (see photo). The Ambassador, as usual, gave a fascinating and clairvoyant talk on the current events of the Middle East and what is going on within the United Nations in response to these events.

The last event was the gala dinner where several important leaders from Canada and the United States were honored for their outstanding contribution to the Israel Bond Organization. The dinner’s Master of Ceremonies was Paul Riser who entertained the audience with wonderful jokes and very emotional and touching personal stories. Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levi gave the key note address.

The dinner was the culmination of hard work by the honorees, the Board of Directors and the entire Israel Bond organization staff and resulted in a record breaking sale of over $250 million in Israel Bond sales! Needless to say, this achievement was certainly awe-inspiring!

Kent Swig and Master of Ceremonies Paul Riser

Kent Swig and Master of Ceremonies Paul Riser

Written by swigeq

February 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Gala dinner benefiting the American Museum of American Finance

This past January 14, 2014, I was once again invited to attend the gala dinner benefiting the American Museum of American Finance, located in the Swig Equities building at 48 Wall Street.
This year, the honoree was Duncan Niederauer, head of the New York Stock Exchange.

The evening was a wonderful success and Duncan spoke very thoughtfully, including a fond memory of one of his heros, John C. Whitehead, who is the namesake for the award: The Whitehead Award for Distinguished Service & Financial Leadership.

This gala dinner is among one of my favorite annual events and this year was no exception.

Kent Swig at Museum of American Finance

John C. Whitehead who spoke at the gala dinner

Museum of Finance Gala Dinner Invitation

Museum of Finance Gala Dinner Invitation

Written by swigeq

February 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm

In memory

The Robert J. Swig Art Studio

Robert J. Swig Art Studio at Marin Academy High School in San Rafael, California

As I approach the 12th anniversary of the tragic loss of my twin brother Bob, it is indeed a time of reflection. While the past few years in my personal life have proven to be difficult, I am nevertheless blessed to be alive and to celebrate my life with two healthy and wonderful sons.

Over the years since my brother Bob’s death, I have endeavored to channel his goodness and sweetness and his desire to help others, by making meaningful and sustaining contributions that will benefit students and educational institutions, as my brother was a strong advocate of educational opportunities for children of all ages.

Kent Swig, Oliver and Simon at Brown University.

So, through the Swig Foundation, I have contributed to many such institutions, and two in particular.  The first was working with Marin Academy High School in San Rafael, California, where Bob attended during his freshman year and from where I graduated. At Marin Academy, I contributed the funds to build the Robert J. Swig Art Studio which was dedicated on January 25, 2003.  The building is beautiful and designed to provide students with a state of art facility for their work in the visual arts.  I know that my brother would be so proud that this magnificent building bears his name.

And, the other contribution was made at Brown University where, just this past weekend on May 25, 2012, I attended the dedication of an incredible sports complex which includes, the Nelson Fitness Center, the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, the David J. Zucconi Varsity Strength Training Facility, and the Ittleson Quadrangle.  I was thrilled that my two sons, Simon and Oliver were able to attend the dedication with me.

At the Nelson Fitness Center, I contributed the funds (through the Swig Foundation) to build the main lobby for the entire complex which is now known as the Robert J. Swig Lobby.  This new lobby is at the center of all activity and serves as the gateway to the new aquatics center, the new student fitness center and to the several dance studios and other facilities within the sports complex. Brown students will be able to enjoy lounging in the new lobby, eating snacks, enjoying a health drink and/or just “hanging out”.

As the years pass since Bob’s death, I am grateful that I am able to preserve his memory and to continue to honor his goodness and kindness and share that with so many others through these meaningful gifts.

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Written by swigeq

May 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

Jewish National Fund (JNF) check presentation to Israel Bond

Jewish National Fund (JNF) check presentation to Israel Bonds

rom left to right: Stanley M. Chesley, President, Jewish National Fund (JNF); Kent M. Swig, Board of Directors of Israel Bonds; Israel (Izzy) Tapoohi, President, Israel Bonds; James Emden, Greater NY Chair of the Real Estate Division of Israel Bonds; Jeffrey E. Levine, President-Elect, JNF; Russell F. Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, JNF

This past March 12th, I had the privilege and honor to attend a check presentation from the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to Israel Bonds in an amount of $1 million towards the purchase of a wonderful investment in Israel Bonds. The presentation took place at the JNF New York City offices located at 42 East 69th Street.

While an investment in Israel Bonds has proven to be an excellent investment, it is equally important for organizations like the JNF, and other Jewish organizations, to show their direct support for Israel through Israel Bond purchases. Indeed, many people throughout the world, including our elected officials in the United States, as well as those regimes and governments in the Middle East (who consider themselves still at odds with Israel by supporting the boycotting of Israel’s goods and services), watch and measure the support that Israel receives through its sales of Israel Bonds. And, these purchases show strength for Israel at a critical time in world events as well as provide a much needed flow of capital to Israel to continue its leadership in building infrastructure and high-tech work.

The investment that the JNF has made in Israel Bonds is so important and I am hopeful that many other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations will follow in the footsteps of the JNF!

Written by swigeq

March 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Charitable Work

MAS Summit for New York City Overview

Municipal Arts Society

As a member of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Art Society (MAS), I am so proud and pleased to be a participant in the MAS Summit 2011 which takes place on October 13th and 14th, 2011. The MAS Summit for New York City has become a vital forum for great city-building ideas—home-grown, national and international—that contribute to New York’s sustainability, resilience and prosperity.

The Summit convenes New York’s civic, business and government leaders to fully debate the city’s prospects for improved livability and – most importantly – includes the public in the discussion.
Launched in October 2010, the first Summit for New York City brought together more than 75 speakers together with over 600 city leaders, urban thinkers and civic-minded New Yorkers. Using as a springboard the results of our first citywide “MAS Survey on Livability,” the 2-day conference sought to achieve a better understanding of what New York City and its unique districts – from the Garment District in Midtown to resurgent communities in the Bronx – will need for a more prosperous and livable future.

Kent Swig at the MAS Summit For NYC 2011

Our inaugural effort drew such prominent individuals as First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin and Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin. It also had the support of the New York Times, the Rockefeller Foundation, American Express, Con Edison, Tishman Speyer and other distinguished foundations and corporations.


Written by swigeq

October 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

Posted in Charitable Work

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9-11 A Uniform Response Exhibit at The Police Museum

Kent Swig at the NYC POLICE MUSEUMThe New York City Police Museum (on which I serve on the Board of Directors)  hosted a special opening on Thursday, September 8th of Associated Press photographs entitled “9-11 A Uniform Response”.

The exhibit documents the events from the picture-perfect Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001 which  was instantly shattered with echoes reverberating far beyond the canyons of Lower Manhattan. Amidst the first responders – firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, and good Samaritans – a small, determined corps of Associated Press photographers moved through stunned crowds and debris, capturing visceral images that made an unfathomable moment bracingly real for the entire world.

This exhibition of photographs from the AP’s archives spans a wide range of events and emotions over the past decade. The pictures take us from the initial moments of shock and terror, to subsequent weeks of unbearable pain, courageous sacrifice, and the compassionate unity that contagiously gripped New Yorkers. The exhibit ends with the solemn recent memorials and inspiring rise of the new building at One World Trade Center, above the original World Trade Center site.

On an average day, more than half the world’s population views news from AP in thousand’s of newspapers, magazines and multimedia outlets. A number of images selected for this exhibition have had even greater reach, being reproduced in books, winning prizes or otherwise gaining iconic status in our collective visual narrative of September 11th.

Although I knew the contents of the exhibit, I was caught off guard by the photographs which are arresting and evoked such deep sadness in me.  Indeed, the exhibit is a very moving documentation of the tragic events of 911.

Written by swigeq

September 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

Posted in Charitable Work

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Brooklyn Kids Awards Gala

In red and moving to the right: Clara Silverstein, Larry Silverstein, Kent Swig, Ellie Winkleman, Dan Tishman, Paula Grant Berry, Jamie Carpenter, Toshiko Mori, Mickey Kupperman

In red and moving to the right: Clara Silverstein, Larry Silverstein, Kent Swig, Ellie Winkleman, Dan Tishman, Paula Grant Berry, Jamie Carpenter, Toshiko Mori, Mickey Kupperman

This past May 10th, I was invited to attend the Brooklyn Kids Awards Gala 2011 which benefited the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, which was founded in December 1899 as the world’s first
museum designed expressly for children. Among those who were so deservedly honored was Larry Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties and the developer of the World Trade Center.

The gala was held on the 45th floor of Silverstein Properties’ 7 World Trade Center with magnificent and sweeping views of all of New York City and specifically overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn.

The gala was a wonderful success and I was honored to be invited by and to sit next to Larry Silverstein

Written by swigeq

May 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Charitable Work

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Municipal Arts Society Gala

Joe Rose, Susan Friedman, Kent Swig

Joe Rose, Susan Friedman, Kent Swig

This past April 28th, I was thrilled to attend the annual benefit gala for the Municipal Arts Society (MAS), on whose board of directors I am a member. At the gala, Diane von Furstenberg was honored for her many accomplishments, chief among them for her leadership and pioneering vision to help create, gain approval for, and complete the Highline Park on Manhattan’s Westside.

Ms, von Furstenberg received the prestigious Jaqueline Kennedy Onasis Medal, the only medal or award named after the last Ms. Onasis, which indeed is a great honor.

I am so proud to serve on the board of directors of MAS as it is one of the few, if only, private organizations in the country that has the trust and respect from the development community, the preservationist community, and the various urban planning, zoning and landmarks agencies of the City of New York. It is rare indeed that such diverse groups voluntarily seek out the guidance and advise of an organization like MAS and then honor it decisions and advise.

Written by swigeq

May 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

Posted in Charitable Work

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The National September 11 Memorial and Museum

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Kent Swig

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Kent Swig

I had the privilege and honor to attend a reception this May 3rd to thank all those who have given of their time and funds to support the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which as of this writing, will open in just 131 more days.

The reception was held at the new W Hotel which overlooks the entire World Trade Center site.  With the background of the Memorial behind them, Mayor Bloomberg and the Director of the Memorial, Joe Daniels, spoke of the significance and importance of this extraordinary undertaking as both a memorial to the almost 3,000 lives that we lost on 9/11 as well as to the spirit of all Americans to rebuild and to persevere and even to thrive in the face of such physical and emotional devastation.

To attend this reception a mere two days after President Obama’s  announcement of the military action that killed Osama Bin Laden is a stark reminder of the continuing threat that we as Americans face and to the determination of our country to pursue justice no matter how difficult or how long it takes to achieve.  Indeed, this reception was very emotional and made me feel so proud and so sad at the same time.

Written by swigeq

May 5, 2011 at 8:22 am

Posted in Charitable Work

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Not Just A Bond, A Bond With Israel

Kent M.Swig with Finance Minister of Israel and Joshua Matza, president and CEO of Israel Bonds

Finance Minister of Israel, Joshua Matza, president and CEO of Israel Bonds and Kent M.Swig

Over the past many years, I have had the opportunity to be involved with many charities and organizations with whom I have made a difference in both my local community and abroad.  One organization that I have worked with over the past 20 years and which is very dear to my heart, is Israel Bonds.

As Israel Bonds celebrates its 60th anniversary, it provides a moment to reflect about the organization and all that it has accomplished. A vital source of funding for economic projects in the State of Israel, Israel Bonds was first conceived in the days of Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. Over the years, revenue from the sale of bonds has helped finance The National Water Carrier, the Dead Sea Works, port construction, and the development of alternative energy resources throughout Israel, among many other wonderful and important projects.‬

To commemorate the 60th anniversary, a book was recently published called Not Just A Bond, A Bond With Israel which reviews the history of the organization. The authors, Deborah Hart Stroler and Gerald S. Stroler, stress the unique value of Israel Bonds, and their Impact on both the Isreali economy and state of the Jewish people. The book mentions my family’s legacy involvement with Israel Bonds, which began with my grandfather Benjamin, and was continued through my father Melvin. I am very excited about this new book, and encourage everyone to take a look.

Kent M Swig with Henry Winkler at the National Board of Directors meeting of Israel Bonds

Kent M Swig with Henry Winkler at the National Board of Directors meeting of Israel Bonds

I was so honored in 2003 when I was awarded the Israel Peace Medal by the State of Israel Bonds’ Real Estate and Construction Division, and the event alone helped raise more than $78.5 million in bond sales, making it among the most profitable single-honoree events in the organization’s history.‬

And, this past January 31st, I was thrilled to attend the national board of directors meeting of Israel Bonds where I had the privilege to meet with H.E. Yuval Steinitz, the Finance Minister of Israel, as well as the Deputy Finance Minister and also the Accountant General Shouky Oren.  And, later that evening, at the International Gala of the Prime Minister’s Club Dinner, where Henry Winkler served as the Master of Ceremonies, over $140 million was raised!

If you are interested in getting involved with Israel Bonds please visit:

Written by swigeq

February 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm