Over 1,300 young professionals from the New York area gathered at the Metropolitan Pavilion for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Young Leadership New York (YL-NY) Division Gala. The event raised $500,000 to support well-being and educational programs for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.
The gala, co-chaired by Tri-State Young Leadership Board members Noushka Green, Lauren Bronstein, and Amanda Paul, featured gourmet food, an open bar, casino-style games and luxury prizes, including high-end jewelry, artwork, spa getaways, and premium sports tickets. Israeli DJ Itay Galo performed at the event.
Other distinguished guests included FIDF Tri-State Young Leadership Chairman and National Board Member Douglas Bunim; FIDF Tri-State Young Leadership President Alex Berman; FIDF Tri-State Young Leadership Vice President Alexandra Faivus; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; FIDF Tri-State Executive Director Galit Brichta; FIDF Tri-State Young Leadership Director Cara Chernin; and FIDF Tri-State Young Leadership Development Assistant Amy Pourmoradi.
“Throughout the year we have the incredible opportunity to meet dozens of soldiers from the IDF, each one a hero. Whenever we do so, we want it to be a reminder to them that they have friends, family and supporters across the globe here in the U.S.,” said Berman. “What better example of that and what better show of strength than 1,300 young professionals coming together to celebrate, honor and support our brothers and sisters in the IDF.”
The FIDF YL-NY Gala is Young Leadership’s largest event of the year and funds raised will expand FIDF’s efforts to support well-being and educational programs for thousands of IDF soldiers, including economic support through the DIGNITY Program; much-needed weeks of rest and recuperation to adopted IDF units; flights home for Lone Soldiers with no immediate family in Israel; IMPACT! scholarships for combat veterans from low socioeconomic backgrounds; and other vital well-being initiatives.
FIDF’s YL Division provides individuals ages 21-40 the opportunity to become involved in the organization’s work while socializing and networking with their peers. YL-NY offers a diverse range of educational and social activities, including parlor meetings with IDF soldiers, Shabbat dinners, parties and speakers’ series to raise awareness about FIDF’s programs. YL also hosts fundraising galas at local hot spots that attract hundreds of guests to support FIDF’s programs and services.