Local IDF soldier speaks at FIDF ‘Guys Night Out’
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Local IDF soldier speaks at FIDF ‘Guys Night Out’

Wayne Kent, left, with Rob Fink, Staff Sergeant Rom of Demarest, Captain Ofir, Mitch Broder, Major General Nadav Padan, and Howard Gases (Courtesy of FIDF)
Wayne Kent, left, with Rob Fink, Staff Sergeant Rom of Demarest, Captain Ofir, Mitch Broder, Major General Nadav Padan, and Howard Gases (Courtesy of FIDF)

The “FIDF Guys Night Out” on July 18 brought together more than 50 local IDF supporters who honored and raised funds for the IDF Steel Division. The Night Out, held at the Mountain Ridge Country Club, was chaired by Mitch Broder and Rob Fink, both of North Caldwell, and Wayne Kent of Short Hills.

The Steel Division played a key role in important battles in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the First and Second Lebanon Wars in 1982 and 2006, and the Gaza War of 2014.

The program included food, drink, and speeches from two IDF soldiers: Staff Sergeant Rom of Demarest and Captain Ofir. (As a matter of policy, the FIDF identifies IDF members by their first names only.) Staff Sergeant Rom serves in the elite Orev Unit of the reconnaissance Battalion in the Golani Brigade. During a recent mission, his unit arrested the terrorist who provided the weapons for the recent Bnei Brak attacks, when five innocent people were killed. Captain Ofir is a commander of the elite Snapir Unit of the Israeli Navy. A grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she is the first woman ever to command the Naval Combat unit, a unit tasked with securing Israel’s civilian and military northern ports. She is the only woman stationed on her boat and is proud of the IDF’s role in empowering women.

“The significance of the nation of Israel and the IDF cannot be overstated. The men and women of the IDF make a tremendous commitment to defend the Jewish nation and we are forever thankful for their contributions,” event co-chair Mitchell Broder said. “Our community was honored to welcome FIDF, Major General (Res.) Nadav Padan and the visiting soldiers to Mountain Ridge Country Club for an evening of support.”

The Steel Division is made up of the Nahal Brigade, Givati Brigade, Sharon Regional Division, Iron Trails Regional Division, and Pillar of Fire Regional Brigade; it is a collection of infantry units under the Southern Command of the Armored Corps. Throughout its history, the division has fought Hezbollah, Syria, and Gaza. During Operation Protective Edge, the division was under the command of Major General (Res) Nadav Padan, who is now FIDF’s national director.

“My experience commanding the IDF’s Steel Division was one of the most fulfilling roles of my life. The memories of those who served with me will remain in my heart forever,” Major General (Res) Nadav Padan said. “This is why today’s event was so special to me, and I am extremely grateful to all the people who showed up to support the amazing soldiers of the Steel Division and the entire IDF.”

For more information or to donate to the IDF Steel Division, email Howard Gases at Howard.Gases@fidf.org.

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