President Herzog to award former JFNA chair Michael Siegal Medal of Honor

Siegal, along with his wife Anita, helped establish the Michael and Anita Siegal One Happy Camper Scholarship Fund with the Foundation of Jewish Camping.

MICHAEL SIEGAL. (photo credit: Courtesy)
MICHAEL SIEGAL.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Jewish philanthropist Michael Siegal is slated to be awarded the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor, according to an announcement issued Monday by the Office of President Isaac Herzog. The prize, which is the highest civil medal awarded by the Israel's president, will be presented in recognition of Siegal’s extraordinary commitment to the Jewish nation and to advancing ties between Israel and North American Jewry, according to Herzog's office. 

Siegal's notable work within the Jewish community include positions as former board chair of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and chairman of the board of governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel.

 President Isaac Herzog meets with Israel's political parties to hear their recommendations for prime minister, November 10, 2022. (credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/POOL) President Isaac Herzog meets with Israel's political parties to hear their recommendations for prime minister, November 10, 2022. (credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/POOL)

“Michael Siegal is an exemplary role model who has worked tirelessly to strengthen the Jewish community and the bonds between North American Jewry and the State of Israel,” said JFNA President & CEO Eric Fingerhut. “I am inspired by Michael’s vision, leadership and commitment to serving the Jewish people, and this award is a celebration for our entire Federation system.”

“I am proud to stand on the shoulders of those who created and prayed for a Jewish nation to exist. It is a privilege to be alive when Israel is reaching its 75th anniversary and along with my fellow recipients, to have played our small part in assisting the advancement of the Jewish people and State.”

Michael Siegal

Added JFNA Board Chair Julie Platt: “President Herzog’s deep commitment to Diaspora Jewry and recognition of the unique role our communities play in Israel’s ongoing story is exemplified by his choice to bestow this award upon Michael Siegal. This tribute represents the unbreakable bonds between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, a vital mission that Michael has dedicated his life towards. Michael is so deserving of this award and I am delighted to wish him a mazal tov on this tremendous honor.”

Who is Michael Siegal?

Siegal, the executive chairman of Olympic Steel, has a long history of Jewish philanthropy and activism. 

He served as the chairman of the board of governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel from 2017-2022, the chair of JFNA from 2012-2015, the chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Cleveland from 2010-2013 and the chair of Israel Bonds from 2007-2010.

Siegal, along with his wife Anita, helped establish the Michael and Anita Siegal One Happy Camper Scholarship Fund with the Foundation of Jewish Camping.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be receiving this award,” said Siegal. “I am proud to stand on the shoulders of those who created and prayed for a Jewish nation to exist. It is a privilege to be alive when Israel is reaching its 75th anniversary and along with my fellow recipients, to have played our small part in assisting the advancement of the Jewish people and State.”

Siegal is one of five notable leaders receiving the prestigious prize. The other awardees are songwriter and poet Rachel Shapira, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Pinhas Buchris, Arab-Israeli educator Dr. Dalia Fadila and youth educator Dr. Haim Perry.