SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Lior Raz, the co-creator and star of the hit Israeli Netflix series “Fauda,” addressed some 700 prominent community leaders and FIDF supporters from across Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Michigan Annual Gala at Congregation Shaarey Zedek. 

The gala raised funds to support 36 new FIDF IMPACT! Scholarships, full four-year academic scholarships for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat veterans of modest means. Each scholarship costs $16,000. Funds raised will also go toward other FIDF well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers. 

“Fauda” focuses on the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from opposing perspectives. Viewers follow the riveting story of a commander in an undercover IDF unit trying to locate Hamas terrorist Abu-Ahmed, who has murdered 143 Israelis. 

Raz, whose experience as an IDF undercover counterterrorism operative inspired the hit show, said: “‘Fauda’ is a window for people abroad to see the conflict in Israel.” Netflix has said it believes “Fauda” will rival the success of the hit Showtime series “Homeland.” 

“We were honored to host Lior and to give our supporters the chance to hear his story and get an inside look into this incredible, complex show,” said FIDF Michigan President Gary Shiffman. “The dinner also gave us the chance to meet and celebrate the IDF’s brave soldiers and learn about the tremendous impact FIDF’s well-being and educational programs have on their lives.” 

The gala event was co-chaired by FIDF Michigan Chairman Alon Kaufman, FIDF Michigan Vice President Shari Ferber Kaufman, FIDF Michigan President Gary Shiffman and Lisa Shiffman. The evening also saluted Michigan’s Jewish war veterans, and Holocaust survivors and honored Brig. Gen. (Res.) Dr. Daniel Gold, who invented the “Iron Dome” missile defense system that protects Israel from short-range rocket and artillery attacks. 

Distinguished guests included IDF Sgt. 1st Class (Res.) Maor, whose college education was sponsored by FIDF’s IMPACT! Scholarship Program; IDF Defense Research and Development Directorate Attache Col. Amir Geva; FIDF Midwest Executive Director Tamir Oppenheim; and FIDF Michigan Development Director Paula Lebowitz.