New Jersey delegation supports FIDF at national gala in N.Y.
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New Jersey delegation supports FIDF at national gala in N.Y.

From back row, sixth left, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick of the IDF, former head of the Northern Command and now commander of the ground forces; FIDF president Bobby Cohen; FIDF chair Rabbi Peter Weintraub; FIDF national director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; Israel defense and armed forces attaché to the United States Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox; and a delegation of 20 IDF soldiers at the 2019 FIDF National New York Gala Dinner. Sgt. Aaron, a lone soldier from Paramus, is in the front row, left. (Shahar Arzan)
From back row, sixth left, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick of the IDF, former head of the Northern Command and now commander of the ground forces; FIDF president Bobby Cohen; FIDF chair Rabbi Peter Weintraub; FIDF national director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; Israel defense and armed forces attaché to the United States Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox; and a delegation of 20 IDF soldiers at the 2019 FIDF National New York Gala Dinner. Sgt. Aaron, a lone soldier from Paramus, is in the front row, left. (Shahar Arzan)

A select delegation of the New Jersey chapter of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces joined more than 1,200 business leaders and philanthropists from across the country at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ National New York Gala Dinner last month. The evening raised a record $37 million to support well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers. The IDF Musical Ensemble provided the evening’s entertainment.

The gala, “A Night of Heroes,” was at the New York Hilton Midtown and featured active-duty IDF soldiers and other special guests. A delegation of 20 IDF soldiers and officers attended the gala, including lone soldiers who volunteered to serve Israel although they did not have to enlist.

Lone soldier Sgt. Aaron (the IDF does not release last names) is from Passaic and now is in the Paratroopers Brigade. An anti-Semitic incident when he was in elementary school influenced him to become a lone soldier. In that incident, a close friend whose father was a rabbi was targeted in a hate crime — a Molotov cocktail was thrown into their home. The family was not hurt, but the incident left a deep imprint on Aaron, who felt it was important for Jews to help defend and protect the Jewish state.

Other distinguished guests at the dinner included Israel’s minister for social equality, MK Gila Gamliel; the permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, Ambassador Danny Danon; the consul general of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan; the Israel defense and armed forces attaché to the United States, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox; the former head of the Northern Command who now is the commander of the ground forces, IDF Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick; FIDF chairman Rabbi Peter Weintraub; FIDF president Bobby Cohen; FIDF chairman emeritus Arthur Stark; FIDF chairman emeritus Dr. Nily Falic; FIDF national director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; TV journalist, news anchor, reporter, and producer Michelle Makori, who was master of ceremonies; and FIDF tri-state executive director Galit Brichta.

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