Amid instability in Israel, FIDF galas across U.S. raise funds for soldiers’ wellbeing

Moshe, a "lone soldier" in the Israel Defense Forces, surprises his mother Sharon at the recent northern New Jersey gala of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Credit: Richard Yumang.

( At a time when Israel faces an increasingly unstable security situation—including recent vehicular attacks on Jerusalem’s light rail stations, stabbings, tension at the Temple Mount, and Arab riots—Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) is raising money at record-high levels for programs that enhance the wellbeing of those protecting the Jewish state.

FIDF, which raises more than $80 million annually, says it “offers a range of programs that address the educational, social, economic, recreational, spiritual, and cultural needs of the IDF soldiers as well as the families of soldiers fallen in defense of the State of Israel.” Among other programming, the organization supports bereaved families, supports “lone soldiers” whose families live outside of Israel, runs medical programs for wounded soldiers, and builds recreational centers as well as synagogues and educational facilities for soldiers.

This fall, FIDF has been hosting gala fundraisers around the country. On Nov. 6, the organization’s Western Region raised a record of more than $33 million in Beverly Hills, Calif. Other recent FIDF galas took place in Chicago ($2 million raised); Long Island, N.Y. ($1.4 million raised); Michigan ($1 million raised); Boston ($800,000 raised at the gala and $4.1 million raised by the region this year); northern New Jersey ($600,000 raised at the gala and $3 million raised by the region this year); Philadelphia; Ohio; San Francisco; San Diego; Baltimore; and Scarsdale, N.Y.

Posted on November 13, 2014 .