FIDF hosts a tribute dinner
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FIDF hosts a tribute dinner

From left, Sgt. Anael; FIDF New Jersey director Howard Gases; master of ceremonies Siggy Flicker; dinner co-chair Annette Tauber Stern; the guest speaker, Israeli TV and film star Rona-Lee Shim’on; Sgt. Maj. Tal; and Lt. Col. Sharon. (Photo courtesy Shahar Azran)
From left, Sgt. Anael; FIDF New Jersey director Howard Gases; master of ceremonies Siggy Flicker; dinner co-chair Annette Tauber Stern; the guest speaker, Israeli TV and film star Rona-Lee Shim’on; Sgt. Maj. Tal; and Lt. Col. Sharon. (Photo courtesy Shahar Azran)

More than 250 Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ New Jersey supporters gathered on December 2 for the 2019 FIDF New Jersey tribute dinner, featuring Israeli TV and film star Rona-Lee Shim’on of the hit Netflix series “Fauda.” The FIDF dinner, called “A Night of Heroes,” raised more than $500,000 for the organization’s well-being and educational programs. FIDF supporters Ellen Sokoloff of Demarest and Annette Tauber Stern of Cresskill co-chaired the evening.

Other guests included FIDF national board member Sammy Bar-Or; past FIDF New Jersey committee members and past tribute dinner emcee Lance and Beth Drucker of Woodcliff Lake; Steve Mermelstein of Teaneck; Allison Nagelberg of East Brunswick; FIDF national director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; FIDF Tri-State executive director Galit Brichta; and FIDF New Jersey director Howard Gases.

Ms. Shim’on, who plays the only woman in an Israeli counter-terrorism unit in the widely acclaimed series, joined emcee and TV personality Siggy Flicker and a delegation of visiting IDF soldiers for the evening.

Among the participating IDF soldiers were several lone soldiers — people who enlist in the IDF but do not have immediate family in Israel — from New Jersey; they included welfare officer Cpl. Peri, from Manalapan, and Sgt. Maya, serving in the Armored Corps Unit. The IDF delegation also featured several FIDF IMPACT! scholarship recipients whose donors come from New Jersey, including Sgt. Tal, whose donors are Russell and Abby Herman of Rumson; and Sgt. Anael, whose donor is Caroline Zucker of Lawrenceville.

“Our annual dinner is a wonderful opportunity to meet active-duty soldiers of different backgrounds, all with the same goal of protecting Israel,” Mr. Gases said. “We are so glad our supporters from the community had the chance to hear from Rona-Lee Shim’on and show support for the brave soldiers who defend Israel and directly benefit from FIDF’s important well-being and educational programs.”

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