This year, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region started a new outreach and fundraising initiative called FIDF Next. FIDF Next is committed to building a community of like-minded contemporaries, which includes supporters’ spouses and families, who stand together with the heroic soldiers of the State of Israel.

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces was established by a group of Holocaust survivors to provide for the wellbeing needs of the men and women who serve in the Israel Defense Forces - the same men and women who are shouldered with the immense responsibility to ensure “never again.” This concept is one of the fundamental ethos of the Israel Defense Forces. Never again will the Jewish people stand defenseless.

As the generation of Holocaust survivors begins to pass on, it is the responsibility of this generation, and the generations to come, to carry deeply in their hearts an awareness of our Jewish state so that it continues to be safeguarded and nurtured. At its core, FIDF Next is built on the concept that young Jews in the diaspora have a critical role in supporting the State of Israel and its security.
On September 28, 2016, FIDF Western Region held its inaugural event for FIDF Next at the Sunset Trocadero in West Hollywood, California. The reception, co-hosted by Paola and Emiliano Calemzuk, Ilana and Ariel Nishli, and Rebecca and Ari Ryan, brought awareness of FIDF’s mission to a new community of Israel’s supporters. The evening’s program included remarks by FIDF Western Region Board Members Emiliano Calemzuk and Larry M. Schnaid, the driving forces behind FIDF’s pioneering initiative, who expressed the importance of educating the Los Angeles community about the meaningful work of FIDF in its support of the soldiers of Israel. The night also included a speech by IMPACT! scholarship recipient Hagai Nir, who graduated from IDC with a degree in Law and Political Science, an accomplishment which would not have been possible were not for FIDF.
On Sunday, November 6, 2016, FIDF Next hosted its second event of the year, a family-friendly Sunday with Soldiers was generously hosted at the home of Sherry and Kambiz Naydavood in Beverly Hills, California. FIDF Next’s Sunday with Soldiers, co-hosted by Malissa and Simon Etehad, Dana and David Pogoda, Amy and Larry M. Schnaid and Thu and Jon Steiner, was a fun-filled day with great food and a lot of amazing entertainment for families, including an engaging musical performance by The BeatBuds. The event provided a unique opportunity for supporters of all ages to get to know 15 IDF soldiers, who represented various branches of the Israeli military.
For more information about FIDF Next, please contact FIDF Western Region at (323) 843-2690 or

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