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Friends of the IDF (FIDF) National NY Gala Dinner Salutes Israel’s Brave Soldiers

Waldorf Astoria New York – 301 Park Ave., New York, NY, Tuesday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m.

NEW YORK,  More than ­­­1,300 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country will come together to salute the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National New York Gala Dinner on March 15 at the landmark Waldorf Astoria New York. The evening will feature a keynote address by Israel’s minister of defense and former vice prime minister, Moshe Yaalon, and will honor business magnates, philanthropists and steadfast supporters of Israel, Dr. Miriam and her husband Sheldon G. Adelson.

A 37-year veteran of the IDF, Yaalon, who goes by the nickname “Bogie,” began his service in the Paratroopers Brigade, later becoming a commander in Israel’s most elite special operations unit, Sayeret Matkal. Yaalon rose through the ranks, holding high-level command positions such as chief of Israel’s military intelligence, head officer in charge of Israel’s Central Command, and, finally, chief of the general staff of the IDF.

“This evening will pay tribute to the brave men and women in uniform who protect the State of Israel and Jews worldwide. We are honored to have Israel’s minister of defense, Moshe ‘Bogie’ Yaalon, as well as Jewish philanthropic leaders Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, joining our community to welcome these soldiers,” said FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir. “We are all thankful for their sacrifices and look forward to showing them that while their job is to look after Israel, our job is to look after them.”

The honorees of the 2016 FIDF National New York Gala Dinner are Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, who will be recognized with the inaugural FIDF “Defenders of Israel” award for their lifelong philanthropy and support for a variety of causes in the U.S. and Israel. Israeli-born Dr. Miriam Adelson is an accomplished medical doctor and a former IDF soldier who served with distinction. Mr. Adelson is an entrepreneur and integrated-resorts developer who is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest business leaders of his generation and currently employs more than 50,000 people worldwide. They are partners in varied and global business and philanthropic activities.

The Adelsons have joined a unique pantheon of the foremost names in Jewish philanthropy in modern Jewish history. They are the single largest funders of Birthright and Yad Vashem and have consecrated their success to the noble aim of always fighting for and protecting Israel and the Jewish people.

FIDF’s flagship national event is chaired by FIDF National President Rabbi Peter Weintraub. A Reform rabbi and businessman, he has been an avid FIDF supporter for 15 years and has sponsored academic scholarships for more than 70 IDF combat veterans through FIDF’s IMPACT! Scholarship Program.
“The incredible and courageous young men and women of the IDF put their lives on the line every day to defend the Jewish homeland and Jews around the world – myself included,” said Weintraub. “Every one of us feels safer knowing that the State of Israel is guarded by these heroes. It is our moral obligation to stand with them and show our support.”

Special guests will be 30 IDF soldiers from various military units, including Sergeants Sydney and Solomon and Staff Sgt. Ariel, who are all originally from N.Y. and enlisted in the IDF as Lone Soldiers – those who serve without immediate family in Israel; a former commando from Israel’s most elite special operations unit who received an FIDF IMPACT! scholarship and studies medicine in Israel; Israel Border Police Sgt. A, a Lone Soldier from France who recently saved fellow soldiers from a stabbing attack at her checkpoint; and soldiers who fought and were wounded in Operation Protective Edge.
Honored guests will include Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, and Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni.

Distinguished guests will include Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman, who will preside as the evening’s master of ceremonies; FIDF National Chairman Arthur Stark; FIDF National President Rabbi Peter Weintraub; FIDF National Chairmen Emeritus Nily Falic, Larry J. Hochberg, and Marvin Josephson; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; and FIDF Tri-State Executive Director Galit Brichta.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m.

More Than 250 Leaders From NY Real Estate Industry Gather at FIDF Gala

FIDF NY Real Estate Division Gala celebrates yearlong campaign raising over $600,000

NEW YORK, More than 250 of New York’s leading real estate professionals came together Wednesday night for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) New York Real Estate Division Gala, to celebrate a yearlong campaign to raise more than $600,000 to support wellbeing services for Israeli soldiers.

The gala honored Shimon Shkury, founder and president of Ariel Property Advisors, for his commitment to Israel’s soldiers and for his leadership in the New York real estate community. Born in Israel, Shkury served as a lieutenant in the IDF and came to the United States in 1999.

“The IDF’s courageous, selfless dedication to the security of Israel is inspiring,” said Shkury. “My family and I are honored to provide them with positive, meaningful support.”

The FIDF New York Real Estate Division was created in 2006 by a group of successful business and philanthropic leaders who were passionate about uniting members of the real estate community to support the men and women who help protect and defend the Jewish State. Since then, this division has helped support several projects, including the construction of a wellbeing center at the IDF Revaya Base for Battalion 71 of the 188th Brigade, and the support of other wellbeing programs for soldiers. The Real Estate Division plays a central role in the activities of the FIDF Tri-State Region.

"The IDF is the melting pot of Israeli society. It defines who we are and protects not only Israel, but also the entire Jewish people around the world,” said Ofer Yardeni, chairman of the FIDF New York Real Estate Division and chairman and CEO of Stonehenge Partners. “As they protect us, it is our moral obligation to support them.”

Also attending the gala were IDF soldiers and veterans, including combat veteran and FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship recipient Staff Sgt. (Res.) Dvir; Sgt. 1st Class Maor; former Lone Soldier Sgt. (Ret.) Justin; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; and FIDF Tri-State Real Estate Division Director Olivia Lichaa.


$20 Million raised at the Gala Dinner for the wellbeing of IDF soldiers

New York, NY, Israel Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, told guests at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National Gala in New York that Israel’s “enemies” are building a “bustling industry of terror” that they are trying to conceal while presenting another face to the West.

More than 1,400 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country gathered at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel for the FIDF National NY Gala Dinner, demonstrating their love and support for the soldiers of Israel and FIDF and raising $20 million. National Chairman Emeritus Arthur Stark served as the Gala Chairman, and author and nationally syndicated radio host Dr. Monica Crowley served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

“Our enemies are weaving a web of deceit that allows them to make unprecedented complex strides - a web which they go to great lengths to conceal, but we go to greater lengths to uncover,” Gantz told FIDF supporters. “We see them, we hear them, we recognize them, and most important of all, we act with boldness, innovation and courage to stop them anywhere, in any way and at any time.”

Gantz also spoke of the “deep and eternal commitment” between Israel and the United States, which he said fosters strong operational ties between the two countries’ armed forces. The relationship is “based on shared values, almost identical interests and a similar social and political structure, creating commitment in the struggle for peace and security,” he said.

Among the distinguished guests in attendance were FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic; FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon; Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish; Israel Air Force Attaché and Deputy Defense Attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Brig. Gen. Yakov Shaharabani; IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz; the IDF’s 19th Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi; President of the New York Yankees, Randy Levine and his wife, Mindy; American real estate tycoon and media proprietor, Mort Zuckerman; American sex therapist, media personality, and author, Dr. Ruth Westheimer; and Executive Director of the FIDF Tri-State Region, Richard Goldstein.

“The IDF soldiers stand ready to do what it takes to protect the State of Israel and the Jewish people – wherever they may be. They do it willingly, they do it with an incredible pride and passion and, often, they do it at great personal sacrifice,” said Arthur Stark. “FIDF is a unique organization that tells these brave men and women, our sons and daughters who proudly wear the IDF uniform that we recognize that passion, we recognize that sacrifice, we recognize that devotion, and we stand with them.”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, greeted the audience via satellite, and thanked them for their invaluable support for Israel’s soldiers. Guests then were treated to a special surprise when the Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, together with a group of combat pilots, joined via live satellite from Israel and simulated a complex Air Force operation.

$20 million dollars was raised by the evening’s end. Notable among the donations was $2 million pledged by FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic, and family, $1.5 million pledged by President of FIDF NY Young Leadership (YL), Lemor Bar-Or, on behalf of YL-NY; $1 million pledged by National Board Member, Benny Shabtai; $1 million pledged by the Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF); $1 million pledged by Genesis Philanthropy Group North America; and $500,000 pledged by Stuart Rhar.

The evening culminated with heartfelt words shared by Yael Schiffenbauer, the widow of helicopter pilot Daniel Shiffenbauer, a former Squadron Commander in the IDF Air Force who was killed during military exercises in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania in 2010. In her speech, she spoke about losing her beloved husband and the father of their three sons, and the healing support offered to her family in their time of grief.

The funds raised during the evening will provide much needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, financial support for soldiers in-need and Lone Soldiers from around the world, weeks of rest and recreation for entire IDF units, as well as educational, cultural, and recreational facilities. The evening was a rare and exclusive opportunity to pay tribute to the State of Israel and to send a message of love and support to the brave men and women in uniform.

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