Tamir Sapir, Chairman
Born behind the Iron Curtain in Tbilisi, Georgia, Mr. Sapir left the Soviet Union in 1973 in a wave of Jewish emigration, first settling in Israel then migrating to the United States. He began his meteoric rise in the business community by buying and mortgaging a taxi medallion in New York City and investing his life savings to open a wholesale electronics store on lower Fifth Avenue, which became an enclave for New York’s growing Russian community and for visiting Soviet dignitaries and trade delegations seeking to purchase state-of-the-art electronics. In 1985, he was invited to join a delegation of U.S officials and corporate members in of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economics Council, the main East-West trade organization of the Soviet era. He became a member of the council, which organized meeting between U.S. corporations and Soviet officials to improve trade. Mr. Sapir was one of the major foreign partners for the emerging oil industry in Russia.
Mr. Sapir is extremely generous and provides support and funding for Russian émigrés seeking to make America their home. He is active in the Russian and Georgian communities, where he has gained a reputation for his philanthropy. He strongly believes in preserving Georgian culture and helping other former-Soviet Union immigrants get started in the U.S. He is on the Board of Directors of the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations (COJECO), a UJA-Federation grantee, and the central coordinating body for Jewish émigrés from the former Soviet Union, for which he provides free office space. Mr. Sapir received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2000 from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.
Mr. Sapir built the Congregation of Georgian Jew Synagogue in Rego Park, Queens, as well as a synagogue in Israel. He is an avid collector of rare European ivory, building a world-class collection destined for a future museum he is planning. He also provides support for charitable organizations such as the Russian Gift of Life, Inc.; The Russian Children’s Welfare Society; and the Scholarship fund. In 2005, Mr. Sapir was honored by the New York Association for New Americans, a UJA-Federation beneficiary agency, for his staunch support of the organization’s mission of providing financial support and guidance to new immigrants.
Alex Sapir, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND PRESIDENT
Alex Sapir is the chief executive officer and president of The Sapir Organization, a privately held, New York-based real estate holding and development firm with approximately 6 million square feet of prime Manhattan commercial and residential space. Founded by Tamir Sapir, chairman, the company has developed residential and multi-use projects under the leadership of Alex Sapir and vice president Zina Sapir-Rosen.
The Sapir Organization owns significant architectural landmarks throughout Manhattan including 11 Madison Avenue, 2 Broadway, Trump Soho Hotel Condominium, 260 Madison Avenue, 261 Madison Avenue, and two residential buildings, 50 Murray Street and 53 Park Place.
Alex understood the important role a luxury hotel condominium could play in the continued resurgence of Downtown Manhattan. The Sapir Organization has partnered with Bayrock Group L.L.C. and an affiliate of the Trump Organization to develop Trump SoHo which opened in April 2010. Designed by Handel architects the glass tower adds a new silhouette to New York City’s skyline.
Through the company’s partnership with SDS Investments, Alex has developed with Andre Balazs the William Beaver House which presents the highest level of all-inclusive residential living today. Designed by Tsao & McKown architects, this residence with 320 superlative condominiums is in the heart of the Financial District. Alex continues to expand the company’s international assets through strategic purchases in major real estate markets around the world.
In addition to his impressive professional accomplishments, Alex is actively involved in numerous philanthropic causes, including the American Opera Musical Theatre Company, the Russian Gift of Life, Inc., Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Russian Children’s Welfare Society and Scholarship Fund. He also sits on the board of trustees of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, and was awarded the 2006 Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.