Syd Mandelbaum

Name: Syd Mandelbaum

What is your job? CEO of Rock and Wrap It Up!

What social causes are most important to you? Ending poverty and preserving our planet

What charity do you support – and how?

I support many charities, but the better part of the past 20 years have been devoted to the organization I started – Rock and Wrap It Up! Rock and Wrap it Up! (RWU) is as much a lifestyle as it is a charitable organization. My wife and I run the whole operation out of our home in NY. I support the charity by working with my team to imagine new ways to keep valuable assets from ending up in landfills. We develop unique greening tactics and strategies. We recover food that has been prepared but not served and see that it goes to local food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. We collect household goods, toiletries, paper items, and countless other things and hand them off to agencies who fight poverty. Providing these items to agencies that provide food, shelter and services to those in need, we save the agencies thousands of dollars that they would be spending on these things. Now, these agencies are able to put the money previously budgeted for things like toilet paper toward important programs that actually attack the root causes of poverty and hunger. Agencies are able to provide more services, help more people, hire tutors, social workers, provide green job training, hire job placement counselors, and much more.

Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?

Both my parents are Holocaust survivors and almost starved to death as teenagers. Most of our family was murdered in 1942. I have dedicated my life to feed all who hunger in honor of their survival. My passion for music and strong ties to the music industry seemed like a natural place to start my fight against poverty.

Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?

Inked readers can help us by simply talking about Rock and Wrap it Up! We’ve operating off the radar for nearly 20 years and have made a tremendously huge impact, but our 2010 goal is to make Rock and Wrap it Up! a household name. Please encourage your friends and family to get involved too!

We recently launched the win4hunger campaign with our partners in the professional sports world. Readers can help us grow our successful programs by donating some money to our efforts. For every $50 donation to win4hunger, you get a raffle ticket that qualifies you for a chance to win $1,000,000 toward the home of your dreams to be built anywhere.

They can volunteer their time to help Rock and Wrap it Up! Download our volunteer form to sign up for all of our volunteer opportunities, recover assets from concerts, sporting events, schools, movie sets and hotels nation-wide. This is the perfect opportunity to do good after you’ve had a good time at a show or a big game.

For readers that are rock stars, professional athletes, actors, or otherwise connected to any industry that has surplus of any useful, usable good or have friends/family that are, please get involved and/or encourage your rock star friends to get behind the cause. Please contact ashley@rocknwrap.org to find out how RWU can make your tour or your movie set more green while helping to put an end to poverty.

Readers can start RWU programs at their high schools, colleges, and universities. Please visit our website for more information about how you can get involved and help end poverty.

How would you define social responsibility?

I define social responsibility by leaving our planet in a better state than the one we were born on. If you are in business, think of a triple bottom line; People, Profit and Planet. “You can reduce the poverty footprint by reducing the carbon footprint. ™”

Do you have any tattoos that relate to your social/charitable beliefs/ work?

Yes. Many of my tats are directly related to my social and charitable beliefs and work. The Rock and Wrap It Up! logo is on my right arm, with my father’s concentration camp number in it, 64559. This was my first tattoo finished 15 years ago.
My father’s last death camp, Waldenberg Gross Rosen is on my arm with the date of his liberation, 5-8-45. The death camp where my family was murdered is on the back of my arm where I can’t see it, Auschwitz Birkenau, 6-8-42.

I also have the Twin Towers, the location of the organization’s first fundraiser, and the initials “JM”, where my friend and Rock and Wrap It Up! Board Member, Jay Magazine, was killed 9-11-01.

I also have a DNA double-helix on my calve, signed and tattooed over, by Nobel prize winner, Dr. James Watson. I co-founded a DNA project, The DNA Shoah Project, which puts together families separated after WW II.

I am a deadhead and have Grateful Dead artwork as well. My favorite is a line on my shoulder from St Stephen- “One man gathers what another man spills.” I have Jerry’s guitar, Tiger, on my left chest and will have another one of his guitars, Wolf, done next.

I am proud that many of my tats were designed and inked by my daughter, Horiyuki.
Quick list of tattoos/mention artists if you’d like:

Artists from State of Grace in San Jose, CA: Horiyuki, Horitomo, and Horitaka.
Paul Invenco (formerly of Spider Web, NY)
Rhonda (formerly of Eastside Ink, NY)
Koz of New York Adorned, NY and Williamsberg, NY
Mike Rubendall of King’s Avenue, Massapequa, NY

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