Young Leadership Los Angeles

Established in 2005, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Western Region- Young Leadership (YL) unites thousands of young business professionals in the Los Angeles area through mixers, Shabbat dinners, festivals, and the most talked about event of the year, the Young Leadership Gala. The YL Gala attracts over 1,000 young leaders for an unforgettable night of dinner, dancing, live entertainment, and casino-style gambling. As the Young Leadership’s largest fundraiser, the YL Gala raises over $500,000 for the brave young men and women of the Israel Defense Forces.

The Annual YL Mission to Israel creates everlasting bonds between FIDF young leaders across the country and the incredible IDF soldiers. Each year, more than 30 participants come together to experience Israel in a very different capacity. The IDF grants the FIDF YL Mission participants the unique opportunity to look at Israel from the inside by giving them unparalleled access to IDF bases, soldiers, and officials. Traveling with FIDF demonstrates to these brave young soldiers that although we live in the United States, we care for them and support them unconditionally.

The FIDF Young Leadership division allows young professionals to come together for a cause that is important to them and the Israel community. The YL Board is made up of socially motivated and active individuals that provide volunteer support in creating and executing the events and programs that define what the organization is all about. To become more involved with this dynamic community by joining the board or becoming a member, please contact the FIDF Western Region, Los Angeles by phone 323-843-2690 or email  

Make sure to connect with us on Facebook and "Like" our Young Leadership Facebook Page for program updates and event information. You can also follow us on Instagram or Snapchat @fidfylla #fidfyl #fidfylla

Western Region | 6505 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 625 | Los Angeles, CA 90048 | 323-843-2690 |

Young Leadership Los Angeles Upcoming Events



Westchester_2014SUNDAY SHVITZ at BOXUNION 


On Sunday, December 3, 2017, FIDF Young Leadership enjoyed a Sunday Shvitz at BoxUnion in Santa Monica. Forty young professionals from the Los Angeles area attended the sold-out event, which supported the brave young men and women of the IDF. Guests participated in a 45 minute high-energy boxing class and cooled down with refreshments and snacks generously donated by: Fourth & Heart, Healthy Human, Milk & Eggs, Outdoor Products, Pipcorn, Pique Tea, Primal Kitchen, Orgain, and Vital Proteins. Thank you to our chairs, Jamie Klausner, Morgan Weitz, and Melanie Wiener, for your leadership and dedication for this successful event. We hope to see you at our next Sunday Shvitz on January 28, 2018!



Westchester_2014FIDF YL-LA Saturday Evening with the Soldiers 


On Saturday, November 4, 2017, FIDF Young Leadership Los Angeles enjoyed an intimate evening with the 2017 FIDF Western Region Delegation of 14 active duty IDF soldiers. With over 100 young professionals in attendance, it was incredible for these soldiers to truly feel the love and support we, in Los Angeles, have for them! Thank you to the Schapira Family for generously hosting FIDF YL at their beautiful home in Beverly Hills. While enjoying cocktails and a delicious buffet, guests were able to have the unique opportunity to have meaningful conversations with the soldiers, get to know them on a personal level, and learn about their experiences defending the State of Israel. This event would not have been possible without the leadership of Gwen & Greg Lorber, Leslie Schapira and Zach Zalben, our dedicated event chairs.

For more information on FIDF Young Leadership or to get involved, please contact Taylor Benay, FIDF Young Leadership Director, at 323.843.2690 or



Westchester_2014Over 1,200 Young LA Professionals attend star-studded concert to support well-being of Israeli soldiers 


Los Angeles, August 29th - First-ever “ReKood Music Fest” features Iggy Azalea, Lil Dicky, DJ Vice, Warren G, Maggie Speaks with special guest Mark McGrath, and star DJs, raises $250,000 for Friends of the IDF well-being and educational programs. Read more.


Westchester_2014Bingo Night at Hamburger Mary's 


On Wednesday, July 12, FIDF Young Leadership hosted a bingo night at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood. It was incredible to see such a great turnout in support of Israel’s soldiers. Over 80 guests attended the SOLD OUT event and helped raised over $4,000 for the soldiers of the IDF! This event would not have been possible without the leadership and dedication of our event chairs, Leeor, Maxx, Chantly, Adam, & Ashley.

Shabbat Dinner in Partnership with Garin Tzabar 


The FIDF Young Leadership Shabbat Dinner in partnership with Garin Tzabar took place on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the beautiful home of FIDF YL Board Member Jacqueline Lowy. Over 80 young professionals joined FIDF YL & Garin Tzabar for a memorable evening honoring the lone soldiers who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. The event raised over $24,000. All proceeds from the event will fly 11 lone soldiers home to see their families and loved ones, and provide 600 lone soldiers with a much-deserved Fun Day. Thank you once again to Jacqui for generously hosting and bringing together FIDF and Garin Tzabar – two wonderful organization that do tremendous work for IDF lone soldiers.

Shabbat Dinner Fundraiser for Witnesses in Uniform 


On Friday March 31, 2017 FIDF YL hosted a Shabbat Dinner in partnership with 3G @ Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The event raised over $22,000 and 100 young professionals were in attendance. Events proceeds will go to FIDF’s Witnesses in Uniform Program and LAMOTH’s Share our Stories Program. All 3 of our featured Guest Speakers (Ester Tepper, a Holocaust Survivor, Avi Arad, the Son of a Holocaust Survivor, and Itay Kohane, active duty IDF Soldier + the Grandson of 4 Holocaust Survivors,) did a remarkable job sharing their unique stories. Each, in his own way, reinforced “Never Again” and the vital importance of a strong IDF – all 3 having served, or still serving, as a proud Soldier of the Israel Defense Forces. This event would not have been possible without the leadership and dedication of our event Co-Chairs, Galit Prince, Guy Lipa, Jon Waterman & Zach Zalben. READ MORE.

FIDF YL-LA Young Leadership's Inaugural Lunch & Learn

The Young Leadership’s inaugural Lunch & Learn took place on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P. in Los Angeles’ Century City. The afternoon was generously hosted by Adam Levin. Over 30 young professionals from the finance industry attended the top-tier networking lunch. The program featured a brief presentation about FIDF and an intimate discussion with Michael Karlin, Treasurer of FIDF Western Region and Founding Partner of Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno, LLC.

YL Spring Mixer Attracts 650 Young Professionals 


On Thursday, March 9th, over 650 young professionals attended Friends of the IDF Young Leadership Western Region's Spring Mixer at Nightingale Plaza, one of Hollywood's hottest and most exclusive nightclubs. The event raised over $41,000 in support of the brave young men and women who serve in the Israel Defense Forces. In honor of Purim, additional funds raised on-site were raised to provide "Mishlach Manot" (Purim Packages) for IDF soldiers. Click here to read more.



Westchester_2014Sold-Out Sunday Shvitz at Gloveworx 

The sold-out event took place on Sunday, January 29th at Gloveworx, a high-energy boxing gym in Santa Monica. With over 30 young professionals in attendance, the event raised $2,000 for Israel's soldiers! After class attendees cooled down with organic acai bowls, fresh juice and more! This event was generously sponsored by: Juice Crafters, Perfect Bar, The Hive, Kit & Ace and WANU Water. All proceeds from the event benefitted FIDF.

Westchester_2014FIDF YL-LA Hanukkah Happy Hour 

On December 13th, 2016 FIDF YL- LA celebrated Hanukkah with a festive happy hour at The Montage Beverly Hills’ Georgie Bar. The sold-out event was part of the Infinite Light citywide festival made possible by a partnership with NuRoots, a program of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Guests enjoyed spiked hot cocoa, sufganyiot, crafted Hanukkah cards for IDF soldiers, and shopped for Hanukkah gifts at our DONNI CHARM pop-up shop. This event was chaired by Jennie Arad, FIDF YL-LA Executive Board Member. All proceeds from the event were donated to the brave young men and women of the IDF.

FIDF YL-LA Saturday Night with the Soldiers 

On the evening of Saturday, November 5th, FIDF YL-LA Board and Community Members enjoyed a fun evening with the 2016 FIDF Western Region Delegation of 15 active duty IDF soldiers. 90 young adults attended the party held at the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Davidov located in the heart of Beverly Hills, chaired by Susanna Davidov, FIDF YL-LA Board Member. Guests enjoyed delicious tacos and shawarma, had meaningful conversations with the soldiers, and danced the night away!

FIDF YL-LA Fall Mixer 

A record-breaking 600 young adults attended the 2016 FIDF YL-LA Fall Mixer at HYDE Sunset on Wednesday, October 19th. The evening was filled with networking, dancing, and fun in support of IDF soldiers! The oversold event, chaired by Brandon Adams and Danielle Moses, raised nearly $20,000 for Israel’s soldiers.

FIDF YL-LA Soldier Series: Women in the IDF 

FIDF YL-LA partnered with Israel Bonds New Leadership for the 2ndSoldier Series of 2016. The event took place on Wednesday, September 14th at a private home in Holmby Hills. This Soldier Series highlighted the vital role women play in the Israel Defense Forces. Chaired by Jacqueline Lowy and Zach Zalben, FIDF YL-LA Board Members, over 80 guests attended the moving event. Young professionals enjoyed cocktails, networking and hors d’ oeuvres before hearing directly from a panel of 4 female former IDF soldiers. These incredible women shared their unique stories and educated the FIDF YL-LA community about how FIDF positively impacted their army service.

Westchester_2014FIDF Young Leadership – Benefit for Lone Soldiers

On the evening of June 15th, 2016 the Young Leadership of Los Angeles hosted its inaugural Soldier Series event benefitting FIDF’s Lone Soldier Program. 50 guests attended the event held at a private home in the Bel Air community. The event began with an intimate cocktail hour and passed hors d’ouevres. Attendees heard firsthand from 4 former IDF Lone Soldiers whose countries of origin include: France, United States, Ethiopia and Israel. Each spoke beautifully about their personal journeys and how FIDF positively impacted them during their service. The event concluded with a Q&A session inviting all guests the opportunity to ask questions and engage with our soldiers.      CLICK TO SEE VIDEO

9th Annual FIDF Young Leadership Gala – March 12th, 2016

Over 1,100 guests attended FIDF YL-LA’s SOLD OUT 9th Annual Roaring 20’s Old Hollywood Gala on March 12th, 2016 that honored the legacy of Zev Karkomi, former FIDF supporter. That’s right, 1,000! FIDF YL-LA’s most successful Gala yet, sold out days before the event and helped raise $500,000 in support of Israel’s Soldiers. The event took place at the historic Alexandria Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles that was generously donated by the Shomof Family. The night featured casino-style gambling, cocktails, and live entertainment, followed by a presentation from SNL’s Dan Ahdoot and a former IDF Lone Soldier from Los Angeles. Over $40,000 was raised in the Gala’s Silent Auction that featured Courtside Los Angeles Lakers Tickets, hotel stays, and Artwork by street artist Mr. Brainwash. A special thank you to Ari Ryan, our Gala Chair, our Co-Chairs, and incredible YL-LA Gala Committee, who this night would not have been possible without.     CLICK HERE TO READ MORE 


FIDF YL Annual Gala - "The Roaring 20's"" 

FIDF YL LA 2016 Gala from FIDF YL LA on Vimeo.

FIDF YL on "The J Report" 

Young Leadership Los Angeles Executive Board of Directors

  • Jennie Arad
  • Leeor Braude
  • Maxx Cohen
  • Aaron Leff
  • Robert Roig
  • Francesca Ruzin
  • Ari Ryan, Chairman
  • Tanya Saban
  • Dr. Slava Shut, DPT
  • Michael Spector
  • Melanie Wiener
  • Zach Zalben, YL-LA President

Young Leadership Los Angeles Board of Directors

  • Leeor Alpern
  • Dorielle Birnkrant
  • Celine Cohan
  • Susanna Davidov
  • Shar Edalati
  • Sherry Elbaz
  • Chantly Geoulla
  • Adam Grant
  • David Lebantal
  • Jacqueline Lowy
  • Danielle Moses
  • Melody Pakravan
  • Roxana Pourshalimi
  • Larry M. Schnaid
  • Jessica Shaouli
  • Jessica Shomof
  • David Sibelman
  • Joseph Simantob
  • Jon Steiner
  • Sheerly Tene
  • Ilana Uretsky
  • Jon Waterman

Young Leadership LA Co-Founders

  • Ari Ryan
  • Joseph Simantob
  • Larry M. Schnaid
  • Jon Waterman

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