Central Region Chapter

FIDF Central Region, established in 1981, is based in Chicago and incorporates the larger Midwest community.  The Chapter’s leadership is comprised of nearly 70 committed and engaged Board of Director Members who initiate the following year-round activities: the Annual Dinner, Guys Night Out, Women’s Brigade, Young Leadership and missions to Israel.  Hosting Israel’s brave soldiers at these special events and parlor meetings are integral to the Region’s activities.
 
The Central Region’s generous donors support the wellbeing of Israel’s soldiers by focusing on a variety of programs: Construction Projects, Adopt A Brigade - Paratroopers, Wounded Soldiers, Lone Soldiers, DIGNITY, LEGACY, and the most successful program, IMPACT!, which was initiated in the Central Region in 2001 and currently supports more than 900 scholarships for underprivileged combat soldiers. Nothing reminds these soldiers just how appreciated they are like the love and support they get from communities abroad.  We are grateful for your efforts!

Please contact the FIDF office to get more involved with Central Region’s programs and events or to make a donation.

Their job is to look after Israel.  Ours is to look after them. 

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Central Region | Chicago, IL | 312-372-8500 | chicago@FIDF.org

Central Region Upcoming Events 



- Central Region Event Calendar -

Articles & Past Events

KANSAS CITIANS GATHER FOR FIRST TIME TO SALUTE ISRAEL’S SOLDIERS

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., June 20 – More than 200 Kansas City supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gathered last Thursday, June 15, at Kehilath Israel Synagogue to hear firsthand from Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and pay tribute to the brave men and women who protect Israel and Jews around the world.READ MORE







ISRAELI PARATROOPERS VISIT CHICAGOLAND AREA TO MARK ISRAEL'S MEMORIAL AND INDEPENDENCE DAYS 

Four paratroopers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) visited the Chicagoland area last week as part of a delegation organized by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) surrounding “Yom Hazikaron” and “Yom Ha’atzmaut,” Israel’s Memorial and Independence Days.  READ MORE






FORMER ISRAELI VICE PRIME MINISTER SHAUL MOFAZ ADDRESSES FIDF EVENT IN LINCOLNWOOD HONORING SCHOLARSHIP SPONSORS 

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill., Oct. 11 – Inaugural Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) IMPACT! Scholarship 4-Star Society honors scholarship sponsors.  Some 120 Chicago-area Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) supportersgathered at Bryn Mawr Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 9, to honor sponsors of the FIDF IMPACT! ScholarshipProgram, which grants college scholarships to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat veterans of modest means.The event recognized all supporters of the program, who were inducted into FIDF’s inaugural IMPACT! Four-Star Society.  READ MORE




200 GATHER FOR FIDF WOMEN’S BRIGADE LUNCHEON IN DEERFIELD TO SUPPORT ISRAELI SOLDIERS 

CHICAGO, Sep 7 – 200 women gathered last Wednesday for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Annual Women’s Brigade Benefit Luncheon at a private Deerfield country club to support programs for the families of fallen Israeli soldiers.
The benefit featured a silent auction and a keynote speech by IDF 1st Lt. (Res.) Sivan, an Ethiopian Israeli who serves as an officer in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit despite her extremely rough childhood.  READ MORE

 


FRIENDS OF THE IDF RAISES OVER $120,000 TO BENEFIT ISRAELI SOLDIERS AT CHICAGO BOURBON & BBQ EVENT

CHICAGO, July 15 – Some 300 gentlemen from Chicago’s Jewish community gathered Thursday night at The Montgomery Club to enjoy bourbon and barbeque, raising more than $120,000 to support well-being and educational programs for Israel’s brave soldiers.  READ MORE        CLICK TO SEE FULL PHOTO ALBUM

 


FIDF CHICAGO-AREA LEADERS RAISE $1M AT FRIENDS OF THE IDF CENTRAL REGION ANNUAL DINNER 

CHICAGO, June 9 – Nearly 900 community leaders gathered Monday for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Annual Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, which raised $1 million to support educational and well-being programs for the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)..  READ MORE


ISRAELI PARATROOPERS VISIT CHICAGO AREA SURROUNDING ISRAEL’S INDEPENDENCE DAY

CHICAGO, May 18 – Eight paratroopers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) visited the Chicago area last week aspart of a delegation organized by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) surrounding “Yom Hazikaron” and“Yom Ha’atzmaut,” Israel’s Memorial Day and Israel’s Independence Day.The Israeli soldiers visited Chicago and North Shore schools, including Highland Park High School, Bernard ZellAnshe Emet Day School, Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Skokie, Chicago Jewish Day School, Rochelle Zell JewishHigh School in Deerfield, Solomon Schechter Day School in Northbrook, Deerfield High School, and localsynagogues to meet members of the community.  READ MORE

 

FIDF Young Professional Cabinet meeting with Avi Melamed

Members of FIDF’s Young Professionals Cabinet heard from Avi Melamed, an independent Strategic Intelligence Analyst and regional expert on the Middle East.  Mr. Melamed gave attendees an insider’s view of the constantly-changing landscape of the Middle East and insight into future regional implications.  Daniel J. Hyman, Chairman of FIDF Central Region and President of Millennium Properties hosted the meeting and shared his professional background story.



 


FIDF hosted evening with Major Gilad

Carrie & David Heller hosted friends and family to learn about Friends of the IDF and to hear from Major Gilad of the IDF.  Major Gilad shared his experiences from Operation Protective Edge as well as other operations that he has participated in.  Guests had the opportunity to ask questions and gain very valuable insight on the IDF’s mission to protect the Jewish homeland.




FIDF supporters visit with IDF soldiers and the commanders of the Paratroopers Brigade

Morris Silverman & Lori Komisar, visit with IDF soldiers and the commanders of the Paratroopers Brigade, which the FIDF Midwest Region adopted as part of the FIDF Adopt-A-Brigade Program.  Support of the Brigade helps to provide financial aid for IDF soldiers in-need and their families, Lone Soldiers, and helps fund general well-being activities and weeks of rest and recuperation for soldiers.  Thank you Morrie & Lori and the Chicago Chapter for your support!




FIDF Welcomes new Board members

Last night, the FIDF Central Region Board of Directors welcomed new Board Members David Heller and John Shear.  We are excited to officially have David and John join the FIDF family and we are lucky to have them as partners in this cause! Here is a photo from last night’s meeting with Chairman Daniel J. Hyman and our two new Board Members.




FIDF Young Professionals Cabinet, hosted by FIDF Central Region Vice President, Rob Selati welcomed special guest, Col. Dany Moshyov

Friday, November 6th - Col. Moshyov began his military career with the paratroopers, and he has held a variety of positions in the IDF Medical Corps.  In 2010, after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, Col. Moshayov served as Deputy Commander of the Israeli rescue mission to Haiti.  The grouped learned how our beloved Israel was among the first countries to set up a fast and efficient care center in Haiti following the earthquake disaster and he reminded us of the incredible values of the IDF, and why we are so proud to support them through FIDF’s mission.
we invite you to check out photos from the event by clicking here.    

AMID VOLATILE SITUATION, AMERICANS BIKE ACROSS ISRAEL TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAELI SOLDIERS’

Despite the recent resurgence in attacks on Israeli civilians, 40 American supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) sent their own messages of courage by biking the length of Israel last week – from the Galilee hills in the north to the Red Sea in the south.

FIDF’s “Israel on Two Wheels” Cycling Tour of Israel brought this adventurous group on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, visiting Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bases along their route to show support for Israel’s brave men and women in uniform.   READ MORE

 

North Shore Natives Bike Across Israel To Show Solidarity With Israeli Soldiers

Despite the recent resurgence in attacks on Israeli civilians, 40 American supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) sent their own messages of courage by biking the length of Israel last month – from the Galilee hills in the north to the Red Sea in the south.    Read More




IRON DOME INVENTOR SPEAKS AT NORTH SHORE FRIENDS OF THE IDF SUMMER BENEFIT

FIDF benefit raises more than $5.4M to support wellbeing programs for Israeli soldiers 
CHICAGO,  Aug.  12  –  Some  200  leaders  from  Chicago’s  Jewish  community  gathered  Sunday  at  the  home  of  Cindy and Izzy Levy for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Summer Benefit, raising over $5.4 million to support education and wellbeing programs for Israel’s brave soldiers.    Read More

YOUNG CHICAGO LEADERS GATHER TO SUPPORT ISRAELI SOLDIERS AT FIDF ‘WALL PARTY’

CHICAGO, Aug. 10 – Some 300 young leaders from Chicago’s Jewish community gathered last Thursday night at Rockit, one of Chicago’s hottest bars, to support wellbeing and education programs for Israel’s brave soldiers.    Read More



35 CHILDREN AND SIBLINGS OF FALLEN ISRAELI SOLDIERS JOIN CHICAGO SUMMER CAMP

CHICAGO,  July  27  – Thirty-­‐five children and siblings of fallen Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers are visiting  the  Chicago  area  this  week  as  part  of  the  Friends  of  the  IDF  (FIDF)  LEGACY  program  to  meet  local  FIDF supporters and attend a week-­‐and-­‐a-­‐half-­‐long recreation camp.    Read More

FRIENDS OF THE IDF RAISES MORE THAN $150,000 AT CHICAGO BOURBON & BBQ EVENT

CHICAGO, July 21 – Some 300 gentlemen from Chicago’s Jewish community gathered last week at the Dana Hotel’s Vertigo Sky Lounge to enjoy bourbon and barbeque, raising more than $150,000 to support wellbeing and education programs for Israel’s brave soldiers.    Read More

Click here to see photos from the event

 

IDF Lone Soldier From North Suburbs Adopts K9 Partner

When K9 Roni was discharged following an injury, his partner's family was more than happy to take him in.
Unlike most Chicago area residents in their early 20s, D - a female Lone Soldier who is publicly referred to only by her first initial - is neither working nor in college. She is a staff sergeant serving in an elite K-9 Army unit in one of the world’s most dangerous war zones - what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) calls a “Lone Soldier,” a person who leaves his or her home, family and friends to join the IDF. She is no ordinary citizen.
Read More

 


Central Region Annual Dinner an Inspiring evening Honoring Israel’s Brave Heroes in Uniform

E800 community leaders gathered last Thursday night for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Annual Dinner at the Hilton Chicago to support the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The evening featured wounded Israeli war hero IDF Capt. Ziv Shilon; wounded U.S. Army war hero Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Brian Mast; and IDF Staff Sgt. Danielle, a native of Chicago’s northern suburbs who immigrated on her own to Israel to enlist as a Lone Soldier in the IDF, where she serves in a special operations canine unit. Danielle (whose full name cannot be used for security reasons) and her dog, Roni – which joined her at the event – uncovered a terrorist weapons cache last winter; and Staff Sgt. Elle Shmuel who was one of the only woman combat soldiers to enter Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.        Read More

 

Brick Builders' Project Raises Bar

Eli Berk is a superhero in action, honoring his own super heroes, the children of the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces, with his Brick Builders bar mitzvah project.  Eli has built and sold more than120 mezuzah cases, one toy brick at a time — thousands of plastic bricks in all — to raise more than$3,000 for the LEGACY program of Friends of the IDF (FIDF).

Read More

 


FIDF Annual National Gala

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) annual National Gala was held on March 10th at New York’s historic Waldorf Astoria raising over $24 million.  Several Central Region Supporters joined nearly 1,200 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country who gathered to demonstrate their love and support for Israel’s soldiers and FIDF.

Read More



Young Leadership Professionals Cabinet Inaugural Event with IDF Hero: Noam Gershony

Noam Gershony, Israeli Paralympic Gold Medalist & Second Lebanon War Wounded Veteran shared his heroic journey from the IDF to the 2012 Paralympics at the Inaugural Young Professionals Cabinet Event last Thursday night at the Standard Club.
Read More






Women's Brigade 2014
In wake of Gaza Operation,
FIDF Supporters from Chicago 
Honor and Support IDF Soldiers

Oct. 30, Chicago – Close to 1,000 prominent lay leaders and supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) from the Chicago area raised $2 million last night at their annual event in support of wellbeing and educational programs for the men and women of the IDF.


Read More






FRIENDS OF THE IDF RAISES OVER $110,000 AT “GUYS NIGHT OUT" 

FIDF’s Central Region Lends Timely Support for Israel’s Soldiers in Annual Chicago Fundraiser, Chicago - July 2014.  The Chicago Jewish community came together last week to support the men and women of Israel’s army, at the annual “Guys Night Out” event hosted by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).

Read More


Women's Brigade 2014Chicago Womens’s Brigade Annual Benefit For the IDF

$65,000 RAISED AT THE FRIENDS OF THE IDF CHICAGO WOMEN’S BRIGADE ANNUAL BENEFIT.
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Women’s Brigade hosted the Women’s Brigade Annual Benefit on June 24, where over 130 women from around the Chicago land area gathered to raise $65,000 for the FIDF LEGACY Program. The FIDF LEGACY Program benefits families of fallen IDF soldiers. The event hosted IDF Wounded Veteran Ron Weinreich, and featured a silent auction...


Read More


Evanston businessman organizes aid to Israeli soldiers

Richard Sincere has traveled regularly to Israel since studying in Tel Aviv in the early ’70s, but it was one excursion in particular that left a lasting impact on the Evanston resident and businessman.
Read More






212,000 RAISED AT FRIENDS OF THE IDF (FIDF) PALM SPRINGS BENEFIT FOR ISRAEL’S SOLDIERS

$212,000 was raised at the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Palm Springs Benefit for Israel’s soldiers on February 26, 2014 at the Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage, CA. More than 100 FIDF supporters gathered at the event, where they had the opportunity to meet and hear from keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, Head of the Interactive Media Branch at the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
Read More



FIDF Central Region hosted 44 legacy children

Earlier this month, the FIDF Central Region hosted 44 children of fallen IDF soldiers for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah trip of a lifetime. Through the LEGACY program, these children are able to enjoy a two week summer camp in the US alongside peers who have shared similar experiences.
Read More







View older articles & events

Executive Board Members

Daniel J. Hyman - Chairman
Thomas Kane - President
Rob Selati - Vice President
Nancy Babendir - Secretary/Treasurer
Andrew Goodman
Benjamin Leshem
Jorde M. Nathan

 

Board Members

Michael Balkin
Robert Bernat
Craig Bernfield
Steven Blonder
Craig Bondy
Al Brody
Douglas Cohen
Lance Cutler
Oren Dekalo
Dan Drexler
Steven Dry
Sig Feiger
Michael Fishman
Albert  Frank
Fred Friedman
Manuel Gliksberg
Michael Goldberg
Steven Goldish
Ari Golson
Robert Harris
Steven Hefter
David Heller
Larry Hochberg
Adam Hoeflich
David Israel
Robert Jacobson
Eric Jaffee
Donald Kirk
Larry Kugler
Dennis Lapidus
Mark Levine
Hezi Levy

Israel Levi
Jonathan Markowitz
Gerald Mizel
Liora Mizel
Jennifer Newman
Louis Paster
Robert Polak
James Resnick
Barry Rosenthal
Saul Rudo
Loren Schechter
Cary Schiff
Gregg Schneider
Mark Schneider
Edward Schwartz
Glenn Seiden
John Shear
Richard Sheiner
Morris Silverman
Richard Sincere
Ronald Sirt
Daniel Stern
Noga Villalon
Gerald Weiner
Laurence Weiner
Perry Weinstein
Al Winick
Joseph Wolf
Bradley Young
Arie Zweig

 

Board of Trustees

Caryn Rosen Adelman, Chairman 
Melvin Berlin
Lawrence Glick
Buz Hoffman
Andy Lappin
Eugene Lerner

Annette Lidawer
Adi Mor
Jeanne Randall Malkin
Leslie Richman
Maurice Sanderman

 

Testimonials


"While Israel's unyielding soldiers were risking their lives defending Israel, a land that is physically and symbolically irreplaceable, I was fortunate enough to be studying for midterms. Helping to ensure the comfort and well-being of these young heroes through the FIDF is the least I can do to say 'Thank You'."

- Adam Levy, Young Leadership Past President

 

"On my first FIDF mission, my true dedication to Israel was formed. I visited several Army bases, met several military officers and hundreds of wonderful, brave, and beautiful Israeli soldiers. I spent many hours in awe, in conversation, in study with these new friends, trying to grasp the true meaning of the need for the preservation of Israel for all of the Jewish people. By the end of this visit, I understood. I knew that I got it. As a result of that experience with the FIDF, my life changed forever .Since then, I do what I can to help the Israeli soldier, not as a charity, but as a passion."

- Mickey Sanderman, Central Region, Chairman Emeritus

 

"My involvement with FIDFand Womens Brigade comes from visiting Israel for the first time in 2006 a few days prior to the War in Lebanon.I was dumbstruck to learn of the soldiers training and commitment and was immensely impressed with their leadership and innovative technology. I had to get involved and show my appreciation in some way."

- Sari Klein, Women’s Brigade Past Co-Chair

 

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