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Articles & Past Events
FIDF Western Region’s NEXT Initiative
This year, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region started a new outreach and fundraising initiative called FIDF Next. FIDF Next is committed to building a community of like-minded contemporaries, which includes supporters’ spouses and families, who stand together with the heroic soldiers of the State of Israel. Read more
1,200 GATHER FOR FIDF WESTERN REGION GALA, CHAIRED BY CHERYL AND HAIM SABAN
Record $38M raised at the FIDF Western Region Gala
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Nov. 4 – The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) raised a record $38 million at its annual Western Region Gala last night at the landmark Beverly Hilton. The sold-out gala, which has become one of Los Angeles’ premier charitable events, gathered more than 1,200 supporters from across the country to support the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
For the 10th year, FIDF National Board Member and major supporter Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, chaired the star-studded gala. Guests included prominent business, philanthropic, and political leaders and celebrated names in entertainment, fashion, sports and tech, including Dutch LLC CEO Serge Azria and his wife Florence; Managing Member of R.H.Book LLC and Chairman of Jet Support Services Inc. Robert Book, and his wife Amy; Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group and owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft; GUESS Founders Maurice and Paul Marciano; and Chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group Casey Wasserman and his wife, movie music supervisor, Laura. Celebrity guests in attendance included Rosanna Arquette, Julie Bowen, Gerard Butler, Robert De Niro, Larry King, Joanna Krupa and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Read more
FIDF Western Region Sends 21 Children and Siblings of Fallen Israeli Soldiers to Camp Moshava
As part of the Friends of the Israel Defense Force (FIDF) LEGACY Program, 21 children and siblings of fallen Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers visited the United States last week to attend an 11-day recreation camp at Moshava California, an overnight camp in Running Springs.
The bar and bat mitzvah-aged Israeli teens – all of whom have lost a family member who was serving in Israel’s military – experienced an unforgettable American sleep-away camp experience in which they were able to participate in common American camp activities like swimming, archery, rock climbing, horse-back riding, and arts and crafts, and share in more traditional experiences such as Israeli dancing. Six counselors, all of whom have experienced similar tragedies, and two active-duty commanders from the IDF Casualty and Wounded Department accompanied the children to help provide them with comfort and guidance. Read more
FIDF Western Region Commemorates Israel’s Fallen
On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the eve of Israel’s Memorial Day, “Yom Hazikaron,” over 1,000 members of the Los Angeles community gathered together at The Steve Tisch Cinema Center at The Saban Theatre in order to commemorate, mourn, and remember the 23,447 men and women who have died in uniform or as victims of terror attacks. In 2015 alone, 68 Israeli soldiers and police died in the line of duty and 32 civilians were killed in terror attacks. Read more Watch the Video
FIDF Western Region Hosts Intimate Reception for Soldiers of Nahal Haredi
On February 9, 2016, over 100 people joined together at the renowned Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Nahal Haredi Fundraiser. The Nahal Haredi is a battalion in the IDF’s Kfir Brigade for religious Israelis who serve in the army while following their beliefs. The intimate event was chaired by Judy and David Hager, Honorable Lisa Korbatov, and Adrianne and Robert Zarnegin. The co-chairs were Leo David, Ilanit and Michael Fallas, Gila and Adam Milstein, Pouran and Parviz Nazarian, Soraya and Younes Nazarian, and Linda and Tony Rubin. READ MORE
Over $32 million raised at star-studded FIDF Western Region Gala
At the 2015 Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ (FIDF) annual Western Region Gala, which was held on Thursday, November 5, 2015, over $32.5 million was raised in support of Israel’s heroic soldiers. More than 1,200 FIDF supporters from the United States and Israel united at the sold-out event, which was held at the renowned Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in order to celebrate and honor the brave young men and women who protect and serve the State of Israel. FIDF National Board Member and major supporter, Haim Saban, and his wife, Cheryl, served as chairs of the Gala. READ MORE PHOTO GALLERY
FIDF Western Region’s From L.A. With Love Program- Summer 2015
FIDF’s From L.A. With Love Program sponsored 31 teenagers, most of whom lost a sibling or parent during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, to spend an unforgettable week vacation in Los Angeles. Additionally, 7 active-duty soldiers, who had experienced similar tragedies, and two active-duty commanders from the IDF Department of Wounded and Casualties accompanied the children to help provide them with comfort and guidance. Read more
FIDF Legacy Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program - Summer 2015
Since its inception in 2006, FIDF’s LEGACY Program remains dedicated to its goal supporting thousands of individuals who have suffered the devastating losses of loved-ones fallen during their IDF military service. Friends of the Israel Defense Forces embraces these bereaved family members at every major milestone in their lives, including the LEGACY Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, which brings bar/bat-mitzvah aged children to the U.S.A. for an unforgettable 11-day trip. Read more
FIDF Western Region- Saving Lives Gala
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region and the Russian community of Los Angeles once again joined forces on June 14, 2015 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 4th annual Saving Lives Gala. The Saving Lives Gala illuminated the steadfast relationship between Friends of the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian Community of Los Angeles, raising more than $450,000 in support of Israel’s heroic soldiers. Read more
FIDF Western Region Gala Raises Over $33 Million To Support IDF Soldiers
Over $33 million was raised at the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala on Thursday, November 6, 2014, breaking all records at the event where more than 1,200 supporters from the United States and Israel gathered to support the brave men and women of the IDF. Those in attendance included respected leaders and widely-known figures from the Hollywood, business, tech, sports and political communities. FIDF National Board Member and major supporter, Haim Saban, and his wife, Cheryl, served as chairs of the star-studded Gala that took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.
Family Barbecue supports Lone Soldiers
Since its inception, FIDF’s Lone Soldiers Program remains dedicated to its goal of supporting thousands of IDF lone soldiers. In order to achieve its goal, FIDF helps these brave lone soldiers in the time leading up to, during, and after their military service. Additionally, FIDF sponsors flights, which enable lone soldiers to travel back to their country of origin and visit loved-ones abroad.
Family Night of Unity brings together Community in Support
This summer, as a response to the incredibly challenging conflict that Israel faced, the self-proclaimed “Team Israel,” comprised of Sara & David Bergstein, Galit & Tamir Cohen, Diana & Alan Dabach, Lisa & Peyman Golshani, Yael & Tal Rubin, and Lisa & Hillel Sperling decided they could not sit idly by as the safety of Israel and its people was relentlessly threatened and attacked. On August 7, 2014, in a community event spearheaded by “Team Israel” and generously hosted at the home of Sara & David Bergstein, over 300 people from across the San Fernando Valley gathered to stand together with the State of Israel.
The Russian community of Los Angeles, in conjunction with Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region, gathered together April 6, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 3rd annual Saving Lives Gala. The 2014 Gala strengthened the foundation of a lasting relationship between the Russian Community of Los Angeles and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, raising $335,000 in support of Israel’s brave soldiers.
On January 11, 2014, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region held a Melave Malka to benefit the soldiers of Nahal Haredi. The reception, hosted by FIDF National and Local Board Members Fred Gluckman and Robert Zarnegin, as well as staunch supporter David Hager, was held at the luxurious Peninsula of Beverly Hills.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat soldiers from the Givati Brigade gathered on December 1, 2013, together with representatives of Friends of the IDF (FIDF), to light the fifth candle of Chanukah and enjoy some traditional Chanukah donuts.
Over $20 million was raised at the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala yesterday, Tuesday, October 22, 2013. More than 1,000 FIDF supporters and dignitaries from the United States and Israel gathered to express their support for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Read more
The 2nd Annual Saving Lives Gala
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, approximately 600 people gathered at the Universal Hilton Hotel to honor Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) and Israel’s courageous soldiers.
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. Read More
Western Region – Los Angeles Welcomes the 2012 LEGACY Children
Since its inception in 2006, the LEGACY Program remains dedicated to its goal of supporting thousands of bereaved individuals who have suffered the devastating losses of loved-ones fallen during their military service. Read More
Western Region Hosts Two Exceptional IDF Soldiers In June
In June, the Los Angeles chapter welcomed two active duty IDF soldiers, 1st Lieutenant Noa Oren of the Artillery Corp as well as a Captain from an elite special forces unit. The effort was geared towards introducing FIDF to new and unfamiliar members of the community through a parlor meeting, Shabbat dinner, Young Leadership event as well as a school visit. Read More
FIDF Western Region Chapter in Conjunction with the Los Angeles Russian Community Holds the First Annual Saving Lives Gala
On Thursday, February 23, 2012, over 700 people came together to honor Israel’s courageous soldiers at the Universal Hilton. The first annual Saving Lives Gala marked the beginning of a flourishing relationship between FIDF and the Russian Community of Los Angeles. Read More
Friends of the IDF Western Region Chapter Holds a Once In A Lifetime Gala to Benefit Israel's Soldiers
Barbra Streisand, David Foster and Jason Alexander entertained at a spectacular sold out event
On Thursday, December 8th, over 1,200 people filled the Los Angeles Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel to honor Israel’s brave soldiers. Read More
LEGACY Children Visit the United States and take Los Angeles by Storm!
Our 2011 LEGACY Group was one of the largest ever, bringing a group of nearly 40 from Israel. Accompanied by counselors and commanders (currently serving in the IDF), the children were greeted with song and open arms by a vivacious crowd at Camp Ramah in Ojai Valley.
Inspiring Dynamic Fashions for the Israel Defense Forces
On May 12th, a sold-out audience of over 350 attendees gathered at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles for FIDF’s very special Inspiring Dynamic Fashions for the Israel Defense Forces Fashion show in honor of Israel’s 63rd Independence Day
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Western Region Los Angeles Chapter Board Members
- Paul Guerin - Chariman
- Leo David - Chairman Emeritus / Founder
- Tony Rubin - President
- Ari Ryan – Vice President
- Michael Karlin - Treasurer
- Adam Sher - Secretary
- Ludmila Bess, M.D.
- Emiliano Calemzuk
- Igal Elyassi, D.D.S.
- Michael Flesch
- Fred Gluckman
- Susan Graysen, Ph.D.
- David Hager
- Larry J. Hochberg
- Daniel Khakshouri
- Daniel Mani
- Jeff Polak
- Amitai Raziel
- Haim Saban
- Larry M. Schnaid
- Ben Silverman
- Marty Singer
- Jeff Sklar
- Eli Tene
- Jon Waterman
- Perrie Weiner
- Phil Werthman
- David Wiener
- Robert Zarnegin
Western Region - Los Angeles Professional Staff
- Jenna Griffin - Regional Executive Director
- Jennifer Sieger - Director of Finance
- Molly Soboroff - Director of Young Leadership
- Lital Diamond, Administrative Assistant
- Rachel Blankstein, Administrative Assistant