The Friends of the IDF (FIDF) have done it again. This week, at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, Cheryl and Haim Saban were the Chairs of the 2013 Western Region Gala called Making a Difference. The FIDF has raised the bar; while during the FIDF 2012 Fund Raising Gala event the guests raised hands and pledged $14 million, this year they pledged $20 million. The largest pledge in the amount of $4.5 million came from Yechiel Eckstein the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
The question is, will next year fund raising gala yield $25 million? After all, we expect of the FIDF to only raise the bar, right?
Miri Nash, FIDF Western Region Executive Director organized another event that will be well remembered. Julian Josephson, FIDF National and Western Region President as the Master of Ceremony, Chairs Cheryl and Haim Saban, an impressive group of fourteen IDF soldiers, serving as witness token of what the FIDF is all about, David Foster, the famous musician, record producer, composer, singer, songwriter, and arranger on the piano, as the director of entertainment in the past six years Galas, singers Carly Rose Sonenclar and Lionel Richie, the many volunteers great work and 1,200 generous guests have made it all happen. The $20 million pledged will be used to enhance the quality of life of the IDF soldiers in as many ways possible.
The visiting group of IDF soldiers – guys and girls – were impressive; for the record, 34% of the IDF soldiers are women. How can you not be impressed and proud with young people who show compassion, strength and courage in the face of the ongoing greatest danger Israel is facing? After all, only 65 years ago the Jewish nation rose from the Nazis atrocities to establish the nation state of the Jewish people and it can now defend itself by having one of the finest, most technologically advanced and morally superior military in the world.
The Gala’s theme was ‘making a difference’. How about taking the phrase making a difference to the next level? I suggest to the FIDF to begin an extensive program that will teach the younger generation, while they are serving their country, about the history of the Jewish people, especially the one that relates to Eretz Yisrael-the land of Israel and take them on tours of Jewish heritage; that will teach about the LEGAL RIGHTS of the Jewish people to the land; that will make it absolutely clear to every soldier why the nation of Israel’s homeland must be this magnificent sliver of land along the east flank of the Mediterranean Sea; that will make it clear why Israel’s existence is imperative to every Jew, wherever he or she lives, and why defending the Jewish state if not a duty rather a privilege and every Israeli should be keen to serve his homeland. Israelis should follow the footsteps of Oren Almog, who is now serving in the IDF and was the Gala’s guest. On October 4, 2003, Oren, then ten years old, was dining with his family in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, when the 28-year-old Arab-Palestinian suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat detonated inside the restaurant the explosive belt she was wearing; Oren lost his eyesight. Today, the terror victim Oren is 20 year old, a volunteer to the IDF. He told the guests, “To fight, tooth and nail, for the state [of Israel], is every Israeli’s duty.”
Or to learn from Tamir and Adi, who left their parents behind, in Los Angeles, to have sleepless night full of worry and joined the IDF as lone soldiers.
Most important, the program will teach the young and smart generations of Israelis how to make the case for Israel and help build a cadre of new leaders who will lead the country in the right direction during the 21st century.
Make no mistake, Israel serves as the oxygen for the Jewish nation and her survival means the survival of every Jew. To navigate and survive in a hostile to Jews world, Israel needs leadership that will rise from the ranks of the IDF command. If these young men and women are taught correctly and will know how to speak up and deliver the message of truth for Israel, the future of the Jewish state and the Nation of Israel is bright.
So how about the FIDF accept my suggestion and take the phrase making a difference to the next level?