The North Texas Chapter was founded in August of 2019, expanding FIDF’s reach across Texas, allowing more Texas communities to come together in support of the well-being of Israel’s soldiers. We are also very excited to be expanding our reach into Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, making an even larger impact on Israel’s next generation!
Since launching with a North Texas Gala on December 8, 2019, the communities making up our region of donated a record $2.5 Million for IDF projects & programs. Despite the struggles of the pandemic, our local chapter was able to hold exclusive events with renowned speakers including MK Avi Dichter, Ambassador Yehuda Fox, and Ambassador Danny Danon.
Thanks to Ari Susman and Gigi Gartner, one of our proudest accomplishments of the North Texas Chapter has been the $900,000 investment towards the wellbeing of all the canine soldiers of the IDF – a first time for our 4-legged soldiers. Ari Susman also supported financial vouchers for 1,000 pre-enlisted soldiers with financial difficulties, allowing them to purchase necessities. Thanks also goes to Candy and Ike Brown, who spearheaded a project for the IDF Education and Youth Corps, called Project Overcome. This project targets soldiers experiencing personal difficulties and challenges and provides them with tools to help them successfully complete their service.
Additionally, we are proud of the following esteemed accomplishments for FIDF’s Capital Campaign, including: the construction of a fully equipped gym for the elite Navy Seals on the Shayatet base; the Golan Regional Brigade Gym on the Arar base; and the synagogue for the soldiers at the Kala base sponsored by Paul and Victoria Sarvadi and the Nathaniel Foundation. The Chapter has also supported briefing rooms, leisure clubs, mobile gyms, and synagogues for soldiers all over Israel.
Kathi (Kat) Ravkind Sebastian retired as the Chapter Director on September 30, 2021. We are thankful for the work Kat did to create a successful FIDF Chapter. Janine Zaltsman Reutter is the current North Texas Chapter Director, and has a rich history of philanthropic Jewish fundraising, most recently as the Senior Advancement Officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas. We look forward to Janine’s visionary leadership for the Lone Star State.
Today, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) announced that its 2021 North Texas Chapter Gala, themed “ONE”, will be held in person on Thursday, December 2,