The Third Annual Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) Gala is right around the corner. The past two galas have been huge successes, with more than 600 attendees and prominent guest speakers and entertainers, and this year is set to be an even greater social spectacle. Former Chief of the IDF General Staff, Lt. General (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi will deliver an exclusive Keynote address and guests will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with prominent diplomatic officials among great food and entertainment.
During his term as Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Ashkenazi helped the Israeli army regroup after the Second Lebanon War and led Israel’s incursion into Gaza in a bid to repel ongoing rocket attacks. Lt. Gen. (Res.) Ashkenazi will personally address our community and discuss FIDF’s integral part in strengthening the fabric of Israeli life and the future of the nation as a whole.
This year’s FIDF Gala is particularly special, as it will specifically honor survivors and families of survivors in our community. The FIDF was founded by Holocaust survivors looking for a way to honor Israel’s soldiers. The theme of this year’s Gala is “From Holocaust to Independence.” It will celebrate Israel’s 65 years of existence by saluting the survivors and remembering the struggles they overcame to build new lives, providing a future for the next generation. Holocaust survivors who wish to take part can contact FIDF PA and Southern NJ Executive Director, Tzvia Wexler ([email protected]
FIDF PA and Southern NJ Executive Council member, Dr. Zeff Lazinger: "The yearly Gala is a culmination of the work we do all year long. It provides a link not only for fundraising activity, but a chance for the American Jewish community and the IDF to physically rub elbows in a social atmosphere. It is also a rare and special occasion to build bridges between members of the American community and representatives of the Israeli army."
According to Leonard A. Bernstein, another FIDF PA and Southern NJ Executive Council member, "supporting FIDF programs and projects that benefit IDF soldiers who bravely serve and protect is a wonderful way to show support for the country, for Zionism, and for the brave young people who protect our homeland."
About Lt. General Reserve Gabi Ashkenazi:
Prior to being appointed as the IDF's Chief of Staff in 2007, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi has had an illustrious military career that has included: Commander of Golani Brigade, Commander of Liaison Unit to Lebanon, Operations Officer of Northern Command, Head of Israeli Northern Command, and Director General of Israeli Ministry of Defense. In 2008, he was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit by the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, on behalf of the President of the United States for enhancing U.S.-Israel relations. In 2011, after more than forty years of military service, General Ashkenazi retired from the IDF.