About 90 supporters of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces from Jewish communities in the tristate area and active duty Israel Defense Forces soldiers met on Thursday, July 19, for a women’s day in East Hampton. They also recognized Judith Leiber, a Holocaust survivor from Budapest, who became a world-renowned handbag designer. The day included a luncheon and a private tour of the Leiber collection. Leiber died in April at 97, just hours after the death of her husband, Gerson. The meeting supported educational programs for Israel’s soldiers.
“The event was a complete success as we recognized Judith Leiber, who was known for her haute couture creations that are equal parts whimsical and luxurious,” Felicia Solomon, FIDF’s Long Island director, said. “The Leibers and the founders of FIDF would be proud of Thursday’s event, where we enjoyed the beauty and creativity of Judith Leiber handbags while honoring and paying tribute to the IDF soldiers.”
The decision to celebrate Ms. Leiber’s life and career was an easy one for the FIDF and its supporters, given the organization’s own history. FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors who believed that taking care of the IDF and its soldiers would prevent another Holocaust.
The “Day in East Hampton” was the precursor for the upcoming FIDF NY women’s campaign, which will be launched with “Fashion for Philanthropy” in Manhattan on September 13. The day will be a collaboration between the FIDF NY and Maskit and its head designer, luxury Israeli fashion designer Sharon Tal. Ruth Schwalbe, whose father was a Holocaust survivor and a founder of FIDF, and Carol Levin will co-chair.