Hagay Shefi, 35, the co-founder and CEO of GoldTier Technologies, was buried yesterday in New Jersey, a victim of last week's terror attack at the World Trade Center in New York.
Shefi was listed as missing for four days until his remains were extracted from the rubble and identified on Saturday. He leaves a wife, Sigal, two children, aged 3 and 5, his parents, a brother and a sister.
Shefi was at a business meeting on the 106th floor of the northern tower of the WTC, which was the first of the two buildings to be hit. GoldTier, a software provider for financial institutions, was founded by Shefi and Yaron Avitov only several months ago. Shefi was considered an expert in integrative software for financial systems, and frequently lectured on this subject.
Moments after the plane struck the building, Shefi phoned his wife and told her what had happened. He described the desperate plight of being stuck on the upper floors of the building and let her know that he was not sure he would survive.
Shefi's father, Dov, who served as the chief IDF prosecutor and legal adviser to the Defense Ministry in the 1970s, used his connections to get a seat on the first plane out of Israel and arrived in New York on Friday.
Despite the fact that Hagay was born and raised in Israel, the family decided to bury him in New Jersey in consideration of the fact that his young children were born and live in the United States. "We intend to transfer Hagay's body later for burial in Israel," Dov Shefi explained.
In a conversation with Ha'aretz yesterday, Dov spoke about his son: "Hagay was actually a businessman from the age of five. We lived in Maoz Aviv and he would guard the ice cream stand and receive a popsicle in return. He was an entrepreneur from a very early age, importing records from London, selling bread rolls from door to door. In the army, he served with the financial adviser to the chief of staff as the head of the operations and was selected as an outstanding soldier. He completed his studies in Economics [BA] and Business Administration [MBA] at Bar-Ilan University and was a model father and husband."
Hagay Shefi moved to the United States five years ago and was appointed president and then CEO of SunGard Business Integration (formerly known as MINT), a leading provider of middleware and integration software solutions to the financial industry. MINT was acquired by SunGard Data Systems, one of the world's 10 largest software firms.