Former Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel addressed the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Greater Miami Chapter Gala on Thursday, March 7, at The Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood. The event raised $2.2 million for FIDF well-being and educational programs for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

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Eshel, who led the Israeli Air Force from 2012-2017, delivered the keynote address to 900 Miami-area FIDF supporters. Co-chairing the event were Sam Moshe, FIDF National Board member and Greater Miami Chapter Vice President, and Paula Moshe. The gala honored former Young Leadership President and current Greater Miami Chapter Board member Brad Meier.

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Attending the gala was a delegation of active-duty IDF soldiers, including Second Lt. Maya, a platoon commander in the Air Force unit David’s Sling, who helped intercept two missiles launched by Syria toward Israel. The David’s Sling unit has been adopted by a supporter of the FIDF Greater Miami community, as part of the FIDF Adopt a Battalion Program. Other IDF soldiers set to attend are Cpl. K., a Lone Soldier – one who serves in the IDF without any immediate family in Israel – from Missouri, who is currently a fighter in Oketz, the IDF’s canine unit; Sgt. (Res.) Y., who, as a combat fighter in an Air Force Search and Rescue unit, helped save the life of Lt. I, who was injured by an explosive device that detonated near the Israel-Gaza border fence.

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The IDF Musical Ensemble also performed popular and traditional Israeli songs. Other distinguished guests included FIDF Greater Miami Chapter President Evelyn Katz; FIDF Miami Past President Shmuel Katz; FIDF National Chairman Emeritus Nily Falic; FIDF Miami Past President Oscar Feldenkreis; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, and FIDF Florida Executive Director Dina Ben Ari.

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“This gala was an amazing opportunity for supporters to connect with the IDF soldiers who fight for Israel and Jews worldwide,” said Ben Ari. “It gave the community a chance to thank them for their bravery and provide for them through FIDF’s well-being and educational programs, which have a tremendous impact on the lives of these young heroes.”