More than 1,100 Israel Defense Forces supporters gathered recently for the FIDF Young Leadership New York gala at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan. At a time when antisemitism is rampant and support for Israel and the IDF is challenged, Friends of the IDF, an organization dedicated to the wellbeing of the soldiers of Israel, united young leaders in a show of solidarity for the IDF.
“In Israel, people our age wear uniforms and put their lives on the line to protect Israel, Jews in Israel, and worldwide — you and me — selflessly, at any cost,” gala co-chair Colby Berman said. “Our job seems so simple in comparison: we must meet their bravery, stand by them, and help them succeed every time, before, during and after their service.”
IDF soldiers Captain Nimrod, a third-generation naval officer who described a days-long battle at sea in 2019, and Lt. Ari, who serves in the Nahal Special Forces Unit, and recently was involved in rescuing a member of his unit when they came under fire, were among the speakers. (The FIDF does not release soldiers’ last names.)
Cara Chernin, the FIDF’s national young leadership director, said, “It’s incredible to see well over 1,000 emerging philanthropists come together to ensure the future is bright for the soldiers of Israel and Jews worldwide, especially in today’s world, where it’s clear that without these brave soldiers, we could not embrace our Jewish identities and openly celebrate our traditions, travel to Israel, and live vibrant Jewish lives.”