First FIDF Gala in Virginia Beach raises more than $200,000 for Israeli soldiers

December 10, 2018

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Some 300 Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) supporters gathered on Thursday, Nov. 29 for the FIDF Virginia Inaugural Gala at The Hilton Oceanfront, raising more than $200,000 for well-being and educational programs for the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Several IDF active duty soldiers and veterans attended, including one of Virginia’s own, Tidewater-native Cpl. Ilana Peck, who, during the event, surprised her parents on stage in an emotional reunion.

The inaugural gala, chaired by Emily and Joel Nied, showcased FIDF’s programs supporting Lone Soldiers—those who join the IDF with no immediate family in Israel—and the IMPACT! Scholarship Program, which grants four-year academic scholarships to combat and combat-support soldiers from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds.

“The FIDF’s inaugural Virginia gala was an opportunity for our Jewish and non-Jewish supporters to hear firsthand from brave IDF soldiers who directly benefit from FIDF’s programs,” says Alex Pomerantz, FIDF Virginia director.

Other distinguished guests in attendance were Israel Air Attaché to the United States Brig. Gen. Amir Keren; Dr. Gary Applebaum; FIDF Mid-Atlantic chairman; Cookie Blitz, FIDF Virginia president; Robert Cohen, FIDF National president; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir; Brig. Gen. (Res.) Gila Klifi-Amir; and Ari Dallas, FIDF Mid-Atlantic executive director.

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