EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATURAL RESOURCES PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Driven by the desire to help communities prosper through protecting and improving the communities that help bring them together, Ida Sanoff, the executive director of the Natural Resources Protective Association, is definitely someone who has dedicated an ample amount of her to time to making Brooklyn a better place.
The 61-year-old Brighton Beach resident has been calling the neighborhood her home since 1978. In the past she has lived in Seagate and spent her childhood in Flatbush.
Through petitioning she helped terminate plans to turn Asser Levy Park into a year-round entertainment center with no parking in 2009. She stands by her belief that, “Parks are very important to the social fabric of the neighborhoods,” Sanoff stressed. “Parks are a place for the kids, a place for people to socialize, a place that holds the community together.”
Formerly, Sanoff was a member of Community Board 13, which served on for about eight years, but she feels like the role was restricting. She stated, “I think I accomplish more by being off of Community Board 13. When you’re on a community board, you are one of 50 people. Your role is very much defined.”
Sanoff is also involved in the not-for-profit organization Friends of the Boardwalk which focuses on supporting and encouraging projects for the purpose of improving Coney Island and Brighton Beach Communities.
CAREER: Sticking to helping others Sanoff – who has a Master’s Degree in medical micro biology — has had teaching positions at Belleview School of Nursing, Long Island University, and Kingsborough Community College.
MOTIVATION: “I think that we are all obligated to make the world a better place,” said Sanoff. “I grew up in the late 1960s-‘70s and it was really a time for social responsibility. Young people felt that need to make the world a better place. Everyone was volunteering.”
Time is the only aspect of volunteering that Sanoff may struggle with. “There are not enough hours in the day,” said Sanoff. “You have to be determined; you can’t be a person who gives up.”
PERSONAL LIFE: Sanoff has an extremely supportive husband who shows his approval by being just as involved in volunteering as she is.
A good piece of her personal life gets wrapped up in the people that she meets through voluntary work. “It becomes part of your social life,” said Sanoff. “You get to meet the most wonderful people from all walks of life. If you want to meet some good people in the world, then go and do some volunteer work. It broadens who you are as a person; you become friends with people from all different types of backgrounds.”