What do you know that’s larger than life?
No, not an elephant. And don’t you even talk to me about sperm whales.
I am thinking of a person — one, with a story as fascinating as the kind of music he makes. And now, allow me to introduce Sir Ivan Wilzig, aka Sci-Fi Channel’s Mr. Mitzvah, aka Peaceman of the Peaceman Foundation, a private nonprofit supporting an array of charities dedicated to fighting hate crimes and treating the victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sir Ivan, the stage name of this ebullient and remarkable man, is an eldest son of multi-billionaire Siggy B. Wilzig, the very first Auschwitz survivor to come to the US after WWII who ended up taking over two publicly traded firms, an oil company, and a bank, while never forswearing his wide-ranging philanthropic interests. And in Sir Ivan’s case, nature certainly hadn’t rested on its laurels in the offspring.
Having earned a prestigious law degree and for 20 years having sat on the board of his father’s bank, Sir Ivan turned his back on his illustrious career and took up something that had to have been on his mind since he’d sung in chorus as a child, apprenticed with a well-known cantor, and participated in drama productions during his college years. Guessed what it is yet?
If you are one of a million unique visitors to the YouTube home of Sir Ivan’s first music video, the Big Brother-inspired single "For What It’s Worth" remade in Sir Ivan’s own inimitable rocktronica style, you’ve undoubtedly said "music" — and you were right.
But did you guess that 100% of the proceeds from Sir Ivan’s album are going into the Peaceman foundation? And did you guess that the caped crusader of "For What It’s Worth" spent the lion’s share of our chat discussing his family’s efforts regarding saving the rainforest and quoting me the little-known statistics on PTSD and its sometimes lethal effect on American soldiers?
Apparently, Sir Ivan said, more of our men and women in uniform commit suicide on American soil upon returning from Afghanistan and Iraq than had died in both combined during combat. There is no known cure for the disorder, but there are treatments, truly life-saving ones - and not everyone who needs them has access. With Peaceman’s tireless efforts, quite a lot more will have received treatment – and will continue to do so.