Among the speakers was a Stamford native who followed in brother’s footsteps and volunteered for Israeli paratroopers
STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 20 – Some 250 leaders from the Connecticut community gathered Sunday for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Connecticut Annual Dinner at the Stamford Marriott Hotel to salute the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
With expert guidance from Master of Ceremonies Avi Kaner, the evening brought supporters and IDF soldiers together for an unforgettable celebration of personal commitment, sacrifice, and solidarity for Israel and for the Jewish community worldwide. "We really are one family with an unshakable bond between our countries. These young soldiers: they don't relish war, they don't crave combat, but they do what needs to be done. Tonight, this is the most special place as we thank them for their sacrifices."
It was with greatest pride that we welcomed home two courageous Lone Soldiers from our own community. Both originally from Stamford, Sergeant Sherri now serves with the Oketz Canine Unit while Sergeant Harry was proud to train hard for his red beret and follow his brother's footsteps into the 890th Paratroopers Brigade. As Sergeant Harry told the adoring crowd: "Knowing that you have our backs keeps us going through difficult times."
First Lieutenant Nir shared such a harrowing tale of overcoming adversity and how our support provided a lifeline for survival and recovery: "...in that mission, when Hamas buried us under the clinic... what saved me was all the training I did at the FIDF-donated gym on my base: my body could endure small amounts of oxygen and my lungs were so strong they could endure the smoke. Because of that gym, because of people like you, because of people who care, I'm here standing in front of you. I'm still alive."
Sarit Gomez, widow of fallen pilot Captain Daniel Gomez z"l, told her story and then brought her son, Aviya Daniel, to join IDF Ensemble musicians in a shared song of remembrance.
The evening's tremendous success could never have happened without our devoted Connecticut Dinner Committee and chapter leadership.
On behalf of the heroic men and women of the IDF, we applaud you for your steadfast support of Israel's soldiers.