San Francisco Past Articles & Events

San Francisco Gala Dinner

View pictures from the San Francisco 2014 FIDF Gala Dinner which had a sold out room of almost 450 supporters. Guests heard moving testimonials from the girlfriend of a fallen IDF “Lone Soldier”, an IMPACT! student specializing in anti-guerrilla warfare and a wounded veteran who returned to service in the Special Operations Engineering Unit, defusing bombs, landmines and other explosives. Three Lone Soldier moms were also honored at the event.  Please watch the Lone Soldier video followed by the mothers reactions and moving comments.
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Fallen Soldier's Girlfriends Speaks at SF Gala Dinner

The 20-year-old girlfriend of an Israeli soldier from the United States who was killed in battle last summer gave an emotional speech at a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces event last week in San Francisco. 

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FIDF Gathers at Temple Emanu-El

On Tuesday, August 19, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gathered at Temple Emanu-El to raise funds for the IDF's wounded soldiers returning from Gaza. Keynote speaker Izzy Ezagui, a soldier who lost his arm in combat during Operation Cast Lead, explained how the support will help other wounded rehabilitate. Learn how you can support Israel's soldiers at

Consul General David Briefs FIDF

Israel’s Consul General Dr. Andy David briefed San Francisco Bay Area FIDF supporters on current developments in the search for the kidnapped teens in Israel and global events impacting the country in a conference call on June 27. Dr. David said how the abduction resulted from the unification of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and that Hamas was directly responsible for the kidnapping. He cited references from a Hamas-published Kidnapper’s Handbook, a 200-page book that encourages and instructs its readers to abduct Israeli citizens. Dr. David asked FIDF members to demonstrate their support for the captured youth and their families through public displays and social media vehicles and applauded the FIDF for its ongoing support of Israel’s young soldiers.

Wounded Soldier Event

San Francisco Bay Area Region leaders of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gathered on June 8 to hear the testimony of wounded soldier Roy Grilak. Roy sustained major injuries in the Second Lebanon War and now helps FIDF raise funds for the rehabilitation of other wounded soldiers. The FIDF San Francisco Bay Area Region has made it a priority to raise money to support these efforts.

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Russian-African soldier finds herself in Israel

Eliza Okoulatsongo has experienced more upheaval in her 24 years than most people suffer in a lifetime.
Born to a Russian mother and a Congolese father, she fled a bloody civil war with her family in the ’90s and was shuffled through U.N. displacement camps before making aliyah with her mother and grandmother at age 9. 
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Tal, A Lone Soldier from San Francisco wrote a letter to the community

My heart was pounding against my uniform. Brushing my nervousness aside, I jumped from the plane into the open sky and readied myself to pull the ripcord on my parachute. I was a long way from my Northern California home. 
Continue Reading Tal's Letter

150 members of the Middle East Information Council (MEICOR) of Rossmoor were treated to a talk with former IDF combat soldiers Nuriya Neuman and Tal Peretz on January 12.

Both soldiers, who are now pursuing their college degrees in the Bay Area, shared with the attendees their motives for servicing and their appreciation for the support they received from FIDF. MEICOR’s mission is to present positive factual information about the Jewish state for Rossmoor, a senior adult community in Walnut Creek.

Lone Soldier promotes diversity/personal development

Bay Area Lone Soldier Inbar Eliav who is serving in the IDF without any immediate family in the country was back in Northern California during December for a brief visit and while here was the featured speaker at dinner hosted by the Queen’s Club in Alameda.

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Local East Bay former Lone Soldier Ilan Benjamin is as eloquent as he is brave.

On Thursday, December 12, 2013, he read from his personal collection of short stories about serving his adopted country of Israel in the harsh conditions that he faced during a winter of guard duty on Mount Dov. Benjamin was the featured speaker at Under One Tent: Contra Costa Jewish Book and Arts Festival in Walnut Creek. The event was co-sponsored by Friends of the IDF. In the face of these extremities, Benjamin’s rays of humanity and camaraderie that he shared with his audience were refreshing and invigorating.

San Francisco 2013 Gala

Watch a highlight from the gala dinner of Impact student Victoria Shlomo who shows her appreciation to her sponsors at the 2013 San Francisco Gala Dinner. Read about guest speaker, Lieutenant Anastasia Bagdalov whose skills and bravery saved the lives of many passengers on a bus during a terrorist attack.

San Francisco Mission to Israel - 2013

The Family Mission to Israel was a chance for families with young adult children connect with Israel's young soldiers. They visited a base in the West Bank, learned about Israel's latest technological advances from pilots at Israeli Air Force Base, and met with residents of a community targeted by Gaza rockets.

Military Service for the Ultra-Orthodox

On May 31, Friends of the IDF San Francisco Bay Area met with Yisroel Hofrichter, a leader in the effort to integrate the ultra-orthodox into military service. Mr. Hofrichter is the director of Joint Distribution Committee's “New Dawn” program that provides a religiously and culturally appropriate way for the ultra-orthodox of Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

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San Francisco Parents of Soldiers Serving in Israel Create Unbreakable Network

San Francisco, CA, May 22, 2013 – A new network for parents who live in the Bay Area and have sons or daughters serving as soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officially launched yesterday, Wednesday, May 22. An inaugural gathering was held by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at a private home in Atherton.

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Coming together over high anxiety: New local support group to unite parents of soldiers in Israel

First thing each morning, Kory Zipperstein checks the news to make sure all is calm in the Middle East. After all, his son, Caleb, serves with the Israel Defense Forces. If hostilities were to break out, Caleb could find himself on the front lines.

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Vallejo Jewish temple holds study, movie screening in celebration

Jonathan Bernstein, executive director of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, talks at Congregation B'nai Israel in Vallejo.Read More

Ricki Alon, Silicon Valley businesswoman, nominated to serve on the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National Board

The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) nominated Silicon Valley resident and businesswoman, Ricki Alon, who is the Chairperson of the local FIDF San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, to serve on its National Board.Read More

San Francisco 2012 Gala Dinner

Watch highlights from FIDF San Francisco Region’s Gala 2012 dinner. Included in the video are Ilan Benjamin, cousin of Daniel Pearl; Miriam Peretz, mother of two fallen IDF soldiers. Watch the video

San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Hosts IDF Musical Ensemble

This past Israeli Independence Day, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces was fortunate enough to host the IDF Musical Ensemble. The talented group of soldiers, along with Alona, an IMPACT! scholarship student, performed and spoke at a variety of venues from synagogues to Jewish day schools throughout the Bay Area. Read More



Local Kids Say Thanks to IDF Soldiers

In partnership with Kehillah Jewish High School and the Jewish Kids in Action (JKA) Friendship Circle, FIDF gathered special messages of support for the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces.
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FIDF Hosts Former Ambassador John Bolton for May 14th Yom Ha’Atzmaut Dinner Celebration

A private fundraiser with attendees from all over the Bay Area was held in Los Altos Hills at the home of Board Co-chair Ricki Alon and her husband Zvi Alon in celebration of Israeli Independence Day.
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FIDF National Gala Dinner Raises $26 Million for Soldiers

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter was proud to participate in the annual National NY Gala Dinner where $26 million was raised for the soldiers of the IDF. The San Francisco delegation, headed by Executive Director Taly Katz is seen here with a United States Marine and an IDF soldier. Due to escalating tension in Southern Israel, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of the General Staff, spoke to the attendees through a live feed from an Iron Dome missile defense battery. For full details and more photos of the evening click here


From Sacramento to Palo Alto, the FIDF Bay Area Chapter Reaches Out

Throughout the Bay Area, the San Francisco–Bay Area Chapter of the FIDF participated in several Bay Area Israel Independence Day celebrations in May and June.
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Local Groups Fundraise for the FIDF

Two local Jewish day schools raised more than $3,000 for the soldiers of the IDF.  Four seventh-graders, three from Gideon Hausner and one from Wornick Jewish Day School, recently completed Mitzvah Projects that aimed to raise money for causes they felt worthy.
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FIDF Supporters Visit Army Base

Purim also provided a local supporter a wonderful opportunity to help our soldiers. Dorit Alon, a SF Bay Area FIDF supporter, visited the Search and Rescue unit, which was the first to arrive in Haiti after the devastating 2010 Earthquake.
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Bay Area Chapter Raises Funds to Support Soldiers during the Holidays

Last October, The Friends of the IDF Bay Area Chapter supplied 370 care packages for the holiday of Sukkot. Front-line combat soldiers and support personnel were treated to packages that included snacks, cookies, and candy bars as tokens of support and appreciation for their service.
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Philanthropy at a young age

Rudy Rockman, a high school student who recently moved to the Bay Area, organized a party to raise funds for the FIDF while he was still living in Miami. He raised $1000, which his parents matched.
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Wornick Jewish Day School 7th graders award the largest check to the FIDF

Seventh-graders at Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City work all year on their philanthropic Mitzvah project. Each student selects a charitable organization, researches and writes about it, and shares the information with classmates. 
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Purim Event Raises $20,000

FIDF supporters Dorit and George Alon hosted a spectacular Purim nightclub party in downtown Mountain View on Sunday night, February 28. The event featured Hollywood celebrity theme and included more than 300 FIDF supporters.
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