New England Chapter

The New England Region of FIDF was founded in 2003. It is comprised of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and the eastern part of Connecticut. Our annual dinners have featured former Prime Ministers of Israel as guest speakers. Our generous donors have funded capital projects such as Sports Centers and many mobile gyms, clubs and synagogues. This year we are providing IMPACT! scholarships for 355 IDF combat veterans. Our missions to Israel have encouraged participants to make generous donations. We send an email newsletter to our members every few weeks to promote our events and opportunities for supporting our work.

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New England Region | Newton, MA | 617-559-3600 | newengland@FIDF.org

New England Chapter Upcoming Events

New England 2014 Dinner

October 30th, 2014





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Articles & Past Events

2014 Jerusalem Day Events

Captain Tamar Aizenman came from Israel to participate in our Yom Yerushalayim events. Tamar was born and raised in Jerusalem, and she presented her personal story of her family's courage and resilience to audiences at Congregation Beit Sasson in Newton, Temple Israel in Natick, Gann Academy in Waltham, and at the Christians and Jews United For Israel Celebration in Newton.
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New England donors attend the 2014 FIDF New York Gala Dinner

Donors from New England joined with the huge crowd of FIDF supporters that filled the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria on March 9 to show solidarity with Israel and her soldiers. The Gala event raised $20 million for the wellbeing of the soldiers, with $1.75 million of that total pledged by New England donors.
Lt. General Benny Gantz, Chief of the IDF General Staff, was guest of honor. New England attendees include Marc and Claire Perlman, Alan and Rosaline Barron, Scott Black, Joseph and Jodi Sieber, James and Paula Gould, and NE Regional Director Lior Zommer.










Two outstanding IDF female officers visit New England

Major Maya, first woman combat helicopter pilot, and Captain Shlomit, Patriot Missile Post Commander paid a brief visit to New England on Sunday, March 9. Their presentation to a group of 30 Brandeis students in the afternoon was followed by a lively Q&A session. The officers made an impressive presentation in the evening to a large group of attendees at Temple Aliyah in Needham.





About Maya

Throughout the Second Lebanon War she commanded a Cobra and was in the air 12 hours a day. Pilots did shifts: Flying, attacking, returning to refuel, and going back into the air. In Operation Cast Lead she served in operational control HQ, and also flew sorties, noting that many lessons from the Lebanon War were implemented and cooperation between ground and air forces was amazing.

About Shlomit

As a combat soldier on the battery in Birya, she served in the control center in order to identify threats and warn the higher command. As Commander of advanced officer training, her role is to provide the cadets with the skills related to controlling the weapons of the Patriot battery, of interception and deployment in the field, as well as study of command and leadership.



An Evening of Appreciation

At a dinner recognizing our major donors for their ongoing support, an enthusiastic group of 80 guests welcomed Yehuda Yaakov, the new Consul General of Israel to New England. The dinner, hosted by Mark Rosenzweig and Sharon Mishkin, was held on February 25 at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill.
The evening also featured a screening of “The Dewey Stone Connection”, a documentary about the clandestine activities of a New England Zionist who arranged for shipments of arms and transport of refugees to Palestine in the years following World War Two.
Attendees also heard a presentation from Major General (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, FIDF National Director and CEO, about the importance of joining the upcoming April 2014 Delegation to Poland & Israel..



2nd Lt. Margot Lurie, Lone Soldier in IDF from Newton, MA, speaks to Friends of the IDF supporters

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) New England Region hosted 2nd Lieutenant Margot Lurie at an event where she spoke to community members, yesterday, on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at Temple Reyim in Auburndale, MA.



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New England 2013 Annual Dinner

It was the biggest pro-Israel event in Boston! We came together-- 1,000 strong--to meet some of the young men and women of the IDF who keep Israel safe. Our guest speaker was Lieut. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, former Chief of Staff of the IDF, and ten IDF soldiers were our special guests at the dinner.”


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A True IDF Hero

Who described in his own words how he thwarted a terror attack in Jerusalem and saved many lives





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Women F-16 Pilots of the IDF visit New England

New England Was WOWED By Two IDF Women F-16 Pilots Who Achieved The Impossible .

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Inside Stories of A Navy Seals Team Leader and Hostage Negotiator

Tuesday, June 4th

On Tuesday, June 4, an enthusiastic group gathered at a private home in Shrewsbury, MA, to hear a compelling presentation by IDF Lieutenant Colonel Yotam. His topic was “Inside Stories of A Navy Seals Team Leader and Hostage Negotiator”. A lively and stimluating question and answer session extended late into the evening.



A personal visit from A Brigade Commander

Monday May 20th – at the home of Lorraine Bressler

Col. Amnon Meir , IDF Liaison Officer To TRADOC came to Boston to make a personal visit to Lorraine Bressler to express his condolences and those of his entire Artillery Brigade on the loss of her husband, Alan Bressler. On an FIDF Mission to Israel in 2009, Alan visited the Artillery brigade base and pledged to build a wellbeing center for the soldiers. Col. Meir wanted to tell Mrs. Bressler in person how much this wellbeing center has benefited the soldiers of his unit and how grateful they are for this wonderful gift. Col. Meir shared with her how happy he was with the news that, as a result of that original gift, our region is adopting the whole Artillery Brigade and will take care of all its wellbeing needs for the next 3 years through the Adopt A Brigade Program.


Cooperation between the US Army and the IDF

Sunday evening May 19th – at a private home in Chestnut-Hill

Col. Amnon Meir, IDF Liaison Officer To TRADOC, gave an informative presentation to an audience of 70 FIDF supporters. He addressed the following topics
- Cooperation between the US Army and the IDF – actual collaboration in training and operations
- Lessons for both the US and Israel from the Second Lebanon War - the cost of caution
- Multiple security challenges facing Israel, including Iran’s quest for power as a main engine behind turmoil in the Middle East


Jerusalem Day Celebration with CJUI

Sunday May 19th – Victory Assembly of God, Sharon, MA

Col. Amnon Meir, IDF Liaison Officer To TRADOC -US Army Training and Doctrine Command. Representing FIDF, Col. Meir spoke about the spirit of the young IDF soldiers and how meaningful it is for them to know that American Christians and Jews are standing with them. Other speakers at this interfaith celebration of the unification of Jerusalem were Dr. Pat Robertson, Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England.


Skype Session Connecting IDF Soldiers with the Huebscher Family

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 – Home of Herbert Huebscher, in Wellesley, MA

In 2006 the Huebscher Family and friends donated a mobile club in honor of Herbert Huebscher.

The club has been in continuous use at a base on the Golan Heights on the border with Syria.

A Skype session was arranged with the soldiers at the base so that Herb was able to converse with them about their day-to-day duties and their preparedness for any eventuality.

The soldiers told Herb how having “Herb’s Hangout” helps them to relax and get together and recharge in their spare time and how that raises the morale of the unit.




Ethics in the Field – a presentation by Colonel Bentzi Gruber

Thursday, April 25, 2013 – Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill, MA

The event was co-sponsored by FIDF and Chabad.
Bentzi used de-classified footage from the IDF and personal stories to explore the ethical dilemmas involved in fighting terrorists within a civilian population. He described the IDF’s unique ethical code and the effectiveness of the IDF’s preventative efforts against terrorist attacks.




The Inside Stories of an IDF Pilot and a Navy Seals Team Leader and Hostage Negotiator

Wednesday, April 24th 2013 – in Dedham, MA

Two IDF officers told a large group of FIDF supporters their personal stories. The pilot described his training and operational combat experience as a squadron commander in the IAF. The psychologist described some of the missions he led as an IDF Navy Seals Team Leader. In his current role as hostage negotiator he explained how the IDF designs and carries out sensitive negotiations with terrorists to encourage them to surrender during combat situations.




Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut Event

Sunday, April 14, 2013 – Sinai Temple, Springfield, MA

The Springfield-Longmeadow community gathered to observe Yom Hazikaron and to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut. The event included performances by children of the local day schools and the Brown University a capella group.

Lior Zommer, New England Regional Director of FIDF, who was one of the speakers, drew attention to the fact that at this time each year the events that we commemorate are a mixture of both joy and sorrow. Past generations of Israelis paid a price for an independent Jewish Homeland, and the present generation of IDF soldiers continues to pay that price, so they deserve our support.




How a Little Jewish Girl From Lexington, MA, Ended Up in the Middle of the Egyptian Revolution

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 – Temple Ner Tamid, Peabody, MA

Melanie Lidman, Jerusalem Affairs Reporter for the Jerusalem Post, gave a personal account of life today in Jerusalem. She shared her stressful experiences of being in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the beginning of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011.

FIDF co-sponsored this event and showed a movie about a Lone Soldier in the IDF whose grandfather was one of the Bielski Brothers who formed a group of Partisans in the forests of Belarus to save Jews and lead in resistance efforts against the Nazis.




New England Israel Consulate Reception

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – Temple Emanuel in Newton

The Consul General of Israel and CJP’s Boston-Haifa Connection hosted a reception to honor the ten IDF officers who came to Boston for the 4th Annual Hatikvah Officers Mission. The officers shared personal stories about their experiences in the military, their connection to the American Jewish Community and their reflections on Yom HaShoah.




Lunch Meeting for Finance Professionals with IDF officers

Monday, April 8, 2013 – Credit Suisse offices in downtown Boston

Richard Hightower hosted a lunch for finance professionals to meet three IDF officers, and to hear first hand about their experiences and the challenges of serving in the Military. They described how FIDF programs helped them by providing for soldiers in need through the Dignity Program and by sponsoring Sprit Weeks for R&R and building wellbeing facilities such as clubs, auditoriums and synagogues .




Yom Hashoa Ceremony – Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sunday, April 7, 2013 - Fanueil Hall in Boston

Ten IDF officers participated in the community-wide ceremony.
Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino was one of the speakers.
The crowd then walked to the Boston Holocaust Memorial.




Young Leadership Blue and White Israel Open House Event

Saturday, April 6, 2013 – Boston Seaport Hotel

FIDF Young Leadership Group participated in this event among all the other Young Leadership groups in New England that support Israel. Ten IDF officers from the 4th Annual Hatikvah Officers Mission also participated.




What motivated me to join the April 2012 Delegation to Poland and Israel?

What motivated me to join the April 2012 Delegation to Poland and Israel? by Dr. Rosaline Barron

Read Dr. Rosaline Barron Story






Internet Corner for the Aviation Squadron at the Hatzerim Air Force Base

Furnishings for the internet corner for the fire-fighting team of the aviation squadron are the gift of New England donor S. Nancy Simches in loving memory of Richard B. Simches.
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2012 New England FIDF Mission to Israel

We visited soldiers of the IDF for five days and had the experience of a lifetime! We went to Israel to visit the soldiers at their bases and in the field. It was our goal to tell them about the 750 people who were at the FIDF dinner showing their support.
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New England 10th Anniversary Annual Dinner

An overflow crowd of 750 gathered to Stand Up For Israel and Her Soldiers at the Sheraton Boston on Wednesday evening, November 14. The festive event celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the New England Region of Friends of the IDF, and the Dinner Chairman was Boston philanthropist Ted Cutler, one of the founders of the organization.
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New England Region Annual Dinner

The dinner was attended by close to 700 supporters who came to Stand Up for Israel and Her Soldiers at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on Wednesday, November 16. The dinner raised over $650,000 and was attended by four generations of New Englanders.
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Dedication of Club and Heritage Center For Squadron 69 at Hatzerim Base

Squadron 69 formed in July 1948 to operate three B-17 Flying Fortresses which the fledgling Israeli Air Force had acquired in the United States. It flew the Flying Fortress during both the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and 1956 Suez Crisis.
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Young Leadership Sukkot Events with guest IDF veteran Dribaw Bitaw

Dribaw Bitaw was born in Ethiopia. In 1991, when he was only 6 years old, he and his family were brought to Israel in Operation Solomon, along with 14,325 other Ethiopian Jews. Although the family had accomplished its dream of coming to Israel, life in the Holy Land was still hard for them.
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Ethan Pransky Completes His Service as a Lone Soldier in the IDF

On Sunday September 25, friends and family joined Alan and Deborah Pransky of Peabody MA in welcoming their son Ethan Pransky home from Israel.
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A Middle East Briefing – “Looking Towards September”

A large gathering of year-round residents and summer vacationers in the Berkshires attended a briefing by Consul General Shai Bazak and Major General (Res.) Jerry Gershon on the diplomatic and military challenges facing the United States and Israel in view of the recent and ongoing turbulent events in the Arab world.
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Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

Daniel Sahalo came to Boston  May 6 – 10, 2011 to participate in our Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) ceremonies
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New England Region Board of Directors

 
Jonathan Leffell - Co-chair Elliot Honig
Joseph Sieber - Co-chair Robert Huebscher
Julie Altman Amelia Katzen
Sara Bernstein Louis Laskey
Scott Black William Marcus
Irwin Chafetz Gary Perkins
Paul S. Cohen Marc Perlman
Ted Cutler Jeffrey Robbins
Amos Eisenberg Mark Rosenzweig
Ronni Eisenberg Stephen Schultz
Carol Ellman Arnold Slavet
Michael Field Rosaline Barron
James Gould Moshe Yanai
Rabbi William Hamilton  

New England Region Professional Staff

Lior Zommer - New England Regional Director
Barbara Lebowitz - Operations Manager
 
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