Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

Young Leadership - New York Newsletter

March 2015


It's been an action packed month for Young Leadership - New York (YL-NY) and we're excited to share a recap of what's been happening.  From an emotional evening at the National NY Gala Dinner to the festive Purim party, the week was filled with meaningful interactions with IDF soldiers and marked a powerful show of support for our community.


Thank you to all who joined our efforts.


We encourage you to read up on all our recent activities below and take a look at the many upcoming opportunities for you to get involved.


With appreciation,


Dan Haskell

Director of National Young Leadership 


The below letter was written by Noam, a soldier who visited NY as part of the National NY Gala Dinner delegation this month. 
Hey guys,


This is Noam writing to you. I met most of you over the past few days and hopefully I'll get to meet more of you during your next visit to Israel (!!).  I feel like there is still so much that hasn't been said so I'm going tell you a few things that it's important that you all know.


The FIDF National NY Gala was by far the most powerful thing I have experienced during my army service. I've been under fire and lived in a warzone and made my dream come true when I was one of two women (and 300 men) to finish the IDF Infantry Officers' Course, and it was still more powerful than any of these events.


Firstly, I want to let you know that we are all so touched by everything that FIDF does for our soldiers, even just knowing that someone halfway across the world thinks about us and looks after us. Together, we have a very important mission - making sure the Jewish people have a place to live. By being able to respond to those who make comments about us, by knowing what the IDF does and by being able to spread the word to others - you are helping the IDF meet its next challenge. You must stay connected and updated. You must know what to say when being asked about Israel and the IDF. This is your mission! And though you are not sacrificing your life for it, it's just as important as the IDF's work along the borders.


The second thing I want to tell you is a little bit about what an average soldier knows about the FIDF. You can see the FIDF logo in every corner of every base in Israel. Our soldiers know what the organization is about. You might not be aware of this but almost any IDF soldier, if not all of them, gets something from the FIDF at least once during their service. It's literally everywhere.


And last but not least, I want to thank you all again for thinking about us and caring about us and for fighting our war with us. The Gala was unbelievable - it's amazing to see how so many people work for the IDF and care for us from so far away.


You are the future of this incredible organization. The IDF would not be the same without your help. On the behalf of the IDF 2015 NY gala delegation, and the Israel Defense Forces, I want to thank you so much for all the time and effort you put in so our soldiers could serve and live better.


YOU ARE OUR HEROES. We are all so touched by all of you.





Raising $24 million for Israel's brave soldiers, the 2015 National NY Gala was a night to remember.  FIDF was honored to host the Head of the IDF Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi, who spoke in his keynote address about the current challenges facing Israel and the IDF's preparation to defend Israel against those threats.  1,200 people attended the gala, among them over 150 Young Leadership supporters! As always, we were privileged to welcome IDF soldiers and commanders, 10 of whom received citations for distinguished acts of bravery during Operation Protective Edge. An impressive delegation of NY-YL also joined the event, demonstrating their commitment to the FIDF and their love and support to the soldiers of the IDF.


National Board Member, Tony Felzen, FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, President of Young Leadership NY, Lemor Bar-or, Vice President of Young Leadership NY, Stefanie Cohen, Director of National Young Leadership, Dan Haskell and Adam Balter with IDF officers. 

To cap off the evening, Lemor Bar-or, President of YL-NY, pledged $1.5 million on behalf of the chapter to be raised for the soldiers this year.  Following the gala, the delegation of soldiers and officers in attendance joined members of YL-NY for the annual after party. 

VIP Pre-Gala Welcome Reception Dinner


On Monday, March 9, the YL-NY Board & friends joined together at Tower 31 Lounge for a special evening to welcome the IDF delegation prior to the National NY Gala Dinner generously hosted by former YL Board Member Gonen Paradis.  Wine, delicious food, and vibrant conversation with the men and women in uniform made for a great evening for the 70 supporters in attendance. 


Time was spent hearing from five of the soldiers, each of whom shared their background, IDF experience including serving during Operation Protective Edge and their appreciation for FIDF.  Thank you to our dedicated YL-NY board and supporters for welcoming our soldiers so warmly and starting their week off with an evening to remember. 


Touring NYC & The Museum of Jewish Heritage

Our delegation of 30 IDF soldiers was hosted by Ann Oster at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan, where they received a private tour of the currents exhibitions. Before the tour, they were generously hosted for lunch and a small welcome ceremony. 


In the afternoon, the soldiers were given a bus tour of New York City led by an Israeli tour guide, who described in Hebrew the many landmarks of Manhattan, and shared the history of the Jewish people in New York. The soldiers had the opportunity to see and learn a lot about New York during their visit. 
Celebrating Shabbat with YL-NY Chairman

For Jews all around the world, Shabbat is a special time. What better way is there for IDF soldiers to celebrate than with a group of FIDF-YL board members and their friends?  On March 14th, Jane Oster, Chairman of FIDF NY's Young Leadership Division, hosted over 30 people and 3 IDF soldiers at her home for a gourmet meal and intimate conversation.


Memorable evenings, such as this, are a special opportunity for our YL family to build meaningful relationships with their peers serving in the IDF while getting to know about them  and their service in the IDF. We invite you to host similar events throughout the year. 

Celebrating Purim with a Party! 

In true YL-NY fashion, the Annual Purim Party was held in festive style at Marquee on March 12.  The event, Co-Chaired by YL-NY members Corey Feldman, Matthew Gelles, Jake Mansher and Sharona Sanieoff, drew a crowd of hundreds of supporters to celebrate Israel's soldiers.
 Carly Billig, Development Associate, Matthew Gelles, YL-NY Board Member, Sharona Sanieoff, YL-NY Board Member, Dan Haskell, Director of YL, Corey Feldman and Jake Mansher.
Thank you to our event co-chairs and the dedicated Young Leadership community for bringing together a great group of new friends and supporters for this highly anticipated event.  Special thanks to Magnet Ficent for donating their awesome product and helping this to be a night to remember.  Magnet Ficent is a photo magnets company in NYC that specializes in creating useful, unique gifts for guests to enjoy that very evening!

We are now recruiting for the July 2nd-11th YL Mission to Israel.  Join Co-Chairs Arielle Cole & Matthew Gelles on 

THE #1 trip to Israel! 


For more information and to see how you can be a part of this trip, click the image below.


April 17:  
Shabbat Dinner - Invitation to Follow

April TBD:  YL Flywheel -  Part Deux!

Do you like what you see? 
Do you want to take a more active role in the YL-NY community and mission? 



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