‘Fauda’ actor Yaakov Daniel meets couple who sent him to college, soldier reunited with local family at FIDF Westchester Annual Dinner

Click here to view photos from the event

PORT CHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 27 – Yaakov Daniel , an actor in the hit Israeli Netflix series “Fauda” and a former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier, met Art and Barbara Wernicke , the couple who sponsored his college education through the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) IMPACT! Scholarship Program, at the FIDF Westchester Annual Dinner last night.

The dinner, chaired by Hyla and Steven Ruby , gathered some 300 Westchester community leaders at The Capitol Theatre, and featured a keynote address by “Fauda” co-creator and star Lior Raz.

“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.”

One of the evening’s highlights came when Cpl. Ben , originally from Westchester and a Lone Soldier – one who enlists in the IDF without immediate family in Israel – who is currently serving in the Israel Border Police, surprised his family in an emotional onstage reunion. Before joining his parents, Ben failed to answer two simulated Skype calls from FIDF, making his sudden appearance even more startling.

“It is so incredible to see a family reunited, and I’m thrilled and proud that FIDF and our supporters were able to play a part,” said Mrs. Ruby. “The dinner 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.”

Distinguished guests at the dinner included FIDF National Chairman Arthur Stark ; FIDF National President Rabbi Peter Weintraub and his wife Ellen of Scarsdale; FIDF National Board Member Wendy Moskowitz and her husband Dan ; FIDF Westchester Board Member Bede Levinson ; FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir ; FIDF Tri-State Executive Director Galit Brichta ; and FIDF Westchester and Connecticut Director Anat Chavkin .

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