The Long Island Chapter of FIDF was founded in 1986 by Jerry Kaplan who served as the Long Island Dinner Chairman for more than 20 years and led the Chapter’s support of Israel’s young men and women of the IDF. Edeed Ben-Josef, his successor, served as chairman for several years until he handed the torch to his son Ronny Ben-Josef who continues the tradition.
Our Chapter is comprised of a North Shore and South Shore/Five Towns division, each of which hosts its own galas and conducts its fundraising efforts on behalf of IDF soldiers. In addition to annual galas we host many parlor meetings, school visits with soldiers, concerts with the IDF musical ensemble, and other community events across Long Island.
Our Chapter is a proud beneficiary of the generosity of the Iranian American Jewish Federation of NY (IAJF). IAJF supports FIDF’s Formal Education Program, which allows soldiers to earn their high school diplomas while serving their country. In addition to supporting several battalions such as the Haruv Battalion, Netzach Yehuda, and Squadrons 114, 118 and 210, members of our community also enjoy making meaningful connections with IDF’s soldiers on their trips to Israel. Our incredible teens also created their own fundraiser to support their brothers and sisters in Israel.
The Long Island Chapter had a very successful 2020. Despite the fundraising challenges that the pandemic brought, several of our donors stepped up as they knew many of our donors could not be as generous as they normally are.
We, the Long Island community have a rare opportunity to transform the lives of some of Israel’s bravest soldiers from Yahalom, an Elite Combat Engineering Unit, by sponsoring the construction of a synagogue on their base.
Yahalom is a classified unit and most activities are not exposed to the public, but we do know that Yahalom’s missions include counterterrorism, demolition, defusing bombs, landmines, & searching & destroying tunnels.
The Yahalom Unit was recently relocated to the Julis base in Southern Israel. Julis base does not have a synagogue! The high stressors that the Yahalom soldiers face and extended time on base lead to increased emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Every base needs a synagogue, every soldier deserves to pray in a synagogue! Please help us show our support and gratitude for our brave soldiers and represent the deep connection between the LI community and the people of Israel. The Yahalom unit is counting on us. We cannot and will not let them down. Project will include a donor wall with different levels of naming opportunities.
Donations may also be made in honor (birth, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, birthday, wedding) or in memory of loved ones.