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Some 400 community leaders gather at FIDF Las Vegas 5th Annual Gala

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 18 – Some 400 members of the Las Vegas community, including Sheldon and Dr. MiriamAdelson and Sherriff Joe Lombardo, gathered last Thursday for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF)Las Vegas Gala to support the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). This year’s FIDF LasVegas gala raised over $800,000 – double the amount raised at any previous FIDF Las Vegas gala – with helpfrom a matching gift by the Adelsons, making it the FIDF’s most successful event in Nevada.

Speaking at the dinner were former Israeli soldiers, including wounded IDF veteran and Paralympic medalistNoam Gershony. Six years before winning the gold medal for wheelchair tennis at the 2012 LondonParalympics, Gershony’s Israeli Air Force Apache helicopter crashed in Lebanon, killing his co-pilot andseverely wounding the future champion.

“After my injury I wondered, why did I survive? I used to be able to fly an Apache and now I can barely walk upfour steps. That’s when I decided never to let myself become depressed – no matter what the situation,” saidGershony. “Now I know that I’m a very lucky guy: I fell 6,000 feet to what should have been my death, and Irose again.”

Also speaking was 1st Lt. (Res.) Enbal Grintzvaig, whose twin brother, Staff Sgt. Avraham Grintzvaig Z’’L, wasshot and killed in Bet Hanoun, near Gaza, during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

“We will never truly understand the challenges that combat soldiers like my brother, Avi, face or the sacrificesthey must make,” said Grintzvaig. “However, FIDF supporters understand better than most. You help bringLone Soldiers home to visit their families, provide weeks of rest and recreation for combat soldiers, andgenerally improve soldiers’ lives and well-being.”

Chairing the gala were Dana and Michael Werner, who is also a FIDF national board member, and co-chairingthe event were Arlene and Jerome Blut and Sandra and Stanley Mallin. Presiding as the evening’s master ofceremonies was David Chesnoff.

“Now more than ever we must stand with Israel’s brave men and women in uniform,” said Dana Werner.“While they stand guard over the Jewish homeland – and Jews everywhere – it is our job to do everything wecan to support them.”

Other distinguished guests included Las Vegas parents of Lone Soldiers – young men and women whoimmigrate to Israel to serve in the IDF; Nevada Assemblyman Stephen H. Silberkraus; Nevada State TreasurerDan Schwartz; El-Al’s former head of security Isaac Yeffet; Jewish Federation of Las Vegas President and CEOTodd Polikoff; University of Nevada Vice President for Advancement Dr. William Bolt; Las Vegas Jewish FilmFestival Director Joshua Abbey; FIDF IMPACT! scholarship recipient Sgt. (Res.) Shai; FIDF National PresidentPeter Weintraub; FIDF National Chairman Emeritus Nily Falic; and FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen.(Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir.

The funds raised at this event will go toward FIDF well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers.

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