Over $14 million raised at FIDF Western Region Gala
More than 1,400 attended the FIDF Western Region Gala, featuring 16-Time Grammy® Winner David Foster & Friends and “Seinfeld” Veteran Jason Alexander as the Emcee
Over $14 million was raised at the annual FIDF Western Region Gala on Thursday, December 6, 2012. More than 1,400 FIDF supporters and dignitaries from the U.S. and Israel gathered to express their support for the IDF soldiers and citizens of Israel during this difficult time. FIDF National Board Member and major supporter, Haim Saban, and his wife, Cheryl, served, for the sixth consecutive year, as chairs of the star-studded FIDF Western Region Gala that took place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a program, which was emceed by Jason Alexander and featured remarkable performances by David Foster and Friends as well as one of the world’s most promising young tenors from Puerto Rico, Fernando Varela, who has been proclaimed as the next “Pavarotti”. Surprise musical performances were also given by American Idol winner Ruben Studdard and 10-time Grammy® winner Chaka Khan. Among the many participants at the Gala were CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison; Co-Founders of Guess, Maurice and Paul Marciano; Israel’s Defense and Armed Forces Attache to the U.S. and Canada, Maj. Gen. Yaakov Ayash; FIDF National Chairman, Nily Falic; FIDF National President, Julian Josephson; FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon; Hollywood film producer, Meir Tepper and his wife Katya; Israeli actresses Noa Tishby and Moran Atias; and actors Dolph Lundgren and Robert Forster.
“The annual FIDF Western Region Gala has become an important tradition and a must-attend event in the social calendar of the Jewish community in town,” said Saban. “The event connects this warm community with IDF soldiers, and it is our opportunity to say thank you to the soldiers who defend the State of Israel.”
Some of the most inspiring moments at the event included an emotional speech by bereaved mother Miriam Peretz, who lost two sons in battle, a statement of support from a U.S. Marines Colonel who donated $500 for the wellbeing of Israel’s soldiers, and a rendition of the Hebrew song “Jerusalem of Gold” by a well-respected Evangelical pastor. The Gala was also celebrated by the presence of 12 active-duty IDF soldiers who arrived from Israel to meet with FIDF supporters.
The Gala was co-chaired by many prominent members of the entertainment community, including Avi Arad of Arad Productions, Inc; Avi Lerner of NuImage; Mel Woods, President of MGA Entertainment; Ben Silverman, former Chairman of NBC; Roger Ailes of Fox News Channel; Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures; and Danny Dimbort of Red Granite Pictures.
The funds raised at the event will go toward FIDF’s wellbeing and educational programs for the IDF soldiers and the Negev Wellbeing and Educational Centers.
Photos by Alexi Rosenfeld