National NY Gala Dinner Attendee Mickey Shefet, Shares His Thoughts on
the Evening

26 people from the Pennsylvania & Southern NJ region attended the National Gala on
March 13, 2012.   Mickey Shefet was one of them.  He shares his thoughts from that evening ...

I still have goose bumps from March 13th’s FIDF Gala, which Vered & I attended with LTC. Hagit & LTC. (ret.) Dani Shavit. Just picture a jam-packed room with over 1,300 people, who paid $1,000 each for a dinner to support FIDF. We were privileged to view a live satellite feed from the heart of Israel’s war zone, talking to Israel’s Chief of Staff, Lt. General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz. We listened to recorded video messages from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and freed soldier, Gilad Shalit. Their greetings and “Thank You” for our support of IDF were one of the highlights of the night.

The evening was not even close to being over; we watched a live video feed to one of IDF’s most elite combat units, “Magelan”, demonstrating a day in the field. We witnessed an emotional exchange between one of the unit soldiers, a “Lone Soldier” from Long Island, and his parents in the audience. When we thought we were done drying the tears from our eyes, we paid tribute to a fallen “Magelan” soldier from the second Lebanon War. His mother came from Israel to be a part of this magical evening and thanked us for our commitment to FIDF. Hearing from Yonatan’s, May He Rest in Peace, mother, crystallized how vital our goal is. And to think that she was thanking us…..

I can appreciate firsthand the impact that FIDF has. I served as a “Lone Solider” in the IDF and received support from the organization, while my family lived in Harrisburg. Even the simple act of assisting me in contacting my parents, during the First Lebanon war, went a long way. I must confess that I down played my involvement in the war to my Mom, over the phone. Let just say I did not go to Lebanon under a tourist Visa.

Later on, the evening shifted to high gear, and one by one, people of all ages stood up and pledged their support for the 2012 calendar year. What hit me the most was that kids as young as eight or nine stood up and pledged their Baby Seating savings, and kids of twelve or thirteen pledged their Bat/Bar-Mitzvah money. The donations were pouring in. Anywhere from eighteen dollars ($18) to nine and a quarter million dollars ($9,250,000). When it was all said and done, the total commitment for the night was over Twenty Six Million Dollars ($26,000,000). Wow!

Just a little over two months ago, Dani Shavit engaged and challenged me, to help him bring greater awareness of FIDF throughout the Harrisburg area. Our first FIDF meeting, on January 10th, was attended by nearly 50 people. We had the pleasure and the privilege of meeting and hearing from Col. (ret.) Pinhas (Pinky) Zoaretz, the FIDF Deputy National Director, as well as from Local IDF Delegates; Col. Eran Makov, LTC. Alon and Nurit Gal, LTC. Gadi Hochman, and LTC. Hagit Shavit.

LTC. Dani Shavit (ret.) introduced us to the FIDF and challenged us all to support the organization. In preparation to the FIDF Gala, I have set myself a goal of raising funds to cover two (2) IMPACT! Scholarships for the FIDF, of $8,000 (per year) x 4 (years), totaling $32,000. Thus far, I have commitments for $20,000, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank people for their support.

Many thanks & Shalom,
Mickey Shefet
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