Central Region Chapter

FIDF Central Region, established in 1981, is based in Chicago and incorporates the larger Midwest community.  The Chapter’s leadership is comprised of nearly 70 committed and engaged Board of Director Members who initiate the following year-round activities: the Annual Dinner, Guys Night Out, Women’s Brigade, Young Leadership and missions to Israel.  Hosting Israel’s brave soldiers at these special events and parlor meetings are integral to the Region’s activities.
The Central Region’s generous donors support the wellbeing of Israel’s soldiers by focusing on a variety of programs: Construction Projects, Adopt A Brigade - Paratroopers, Wounded Soldiers, Lone Soldiers, DIGNITY, LEGACY, and the most successful program, IMPACT!, which was initiated in the Central Region in 2001 and currently supports more than 900 scholarships for underprivileged combat soldiers. Nothing reminds these soldiers just how appreciated they are like the love and support they get from communities abroad.  We are grateful for your efforts!

Please contact the FIDF office to get more involved with Central Region’s programs and events or to make a donation.

Their job is to look after Israel.  Ours is to look after them. 

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Central Region | Chicago, IL | 312-372-8500 | chicago@FIDF.org

Central Region Upcoming Events


- Central Region Event Calendar -

Articles & Past Events

IDF Lone Soldier From North Suburbs Adopts K9 Partner

When K9 Roni was discharged following an injury, his partner's family was more than happy to take him in.
Unlike most Chicago area residents in their early 20s, D - a female Lone Soldier who is publicly referred to only by her first initial - is neither working nor in college. She is a staff sergeant serving in an elite K-9 Army unit in one of the world’s most dangerous war zones - what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) calls a “Lone Soldier,” a person who leaves his or her home, family and friends to join the IDF. She is no ordinary citizen.
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Central Region Annual Dinner an Inspiring evening Honoring Israel’s Brave Heroes in Uniform

E800 community leaders gathered last Thursday night for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Annual Dinner at the Hilton Chicago to support the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The evening featured wounded Israeli war hero IDF Capt. Ziv Shilon; wounded U.S. Army war hero Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Brian Mast; and IDF Staff Sgt. Danielle, a native of Chicago’s northern suburbs who immigrated on her own to Israel to enlist as a Lone Soldier in the IDF, where she serves in a special operations canine unit. Danielle (whose full name cannot be used for security reasons) and her dog, Roni – which joined her at the event – uncovered a terrorist weapons cache last winter; and Staff Sgt. Elle Shmuel who was one of the only woman combat soldiers to enter Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.        Read More


Brick Builders' Project Raises Bar

Eli Berk is a superhero in action, honoring his own super heroes, the children of the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces, with his Brick Builders bar mitzvah project.  Eli has built and sold more than120 mezuzah cases, one toy brick at a time — thousands of plastic bricks in all — to raise more than$3,000 for the LEGACY program of Friends of the IDF (FIDF).

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FIDF Annual National Gala

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) annual National Gala was held on March 10th at New York’s historic Waldorf Astoria raising over $24 million.  Several Central Region Supporters joined nearly 1,200 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country who gathered to demonstrate their love and support for Israel’s soldiers and FIDF.

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Young Leadership Professionals Cabinet Inaugural Event with IDF Hero: Noam Gershony

Noam Gershony, Israeli Paralympic Gold Medalist & Second Lebanon War Wounded Veteran shared his heroic journey from the IDF to the 2012 Paralympics at the Inaugural Young Professionals Cabinet Event last Thursday night at the Standard Club.
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Women's Brigade 2014
In wake of Gaza Operation,
FIDF Supporters from Chicago 
Honor and Support IDF Soldiers

Oct. 30, Chicago – Close to 1,000 prominent lay leaders and supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) from the Chicago area raised $2 million last night at their annual event in support of wellbeing and educational programs for the men and women of the IDF.

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FIDF’s Central Region Lends Timely Support for Israel’s Soldiers in Annual Chicago Fundraiser, Chicago - July 2014.  The Chicago Jewish community came together last week to support the men and women of Israel’s army, at the annual “Guys Night Out” event hosted by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).

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Women's Brigade 2014Chicago Womens’s Brigade Annual Benefit For the IDF

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Central Region Women’s Brigade hosted the Women’s Brigade Annual Benefit on June 24, where over 130 women from around the Chicago land area gathered to raise $65,000 for the FIDF LEGACY Program. The FIDF LEGACY Program benefits families of fallen IDF soldiers. The event hosted IDF Wounded Veteran Ron Weinreich, and featured a silent auction...

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Evanston businessman organizes aid to Israeli soldiers

Richard Sincere has traveled regularly to Israel since studying in Tel Aviv in the early ’70s, but it was one excursion in particular that left a lasting impact on the Evanston resident and businessman.
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$212,000 was raised at the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Palm Springs Benefit for Israel’s soldiers on February 26, 2014 at the Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage, CA. More than 100 FIDF supporters gathered at the event, where they had the opportunity to meet and hear from keynote speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, Head of the Interactive Media Branch at the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
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FIDF Central Region hosted 44 legacy children

Earlier this month, the FIDF Central Region hosted 44 children of fallen IDF soldiers for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah trip of a lifetime. Through the LEGACY program, these children are able to enjoy a two week summer camp in the US alongside peers who have shared similar experiences.
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View older articles & events

Executive Board Members

Daniel J. Hyman - Chairman
Thomas Kane - President
Rob Selati - Vice President
Nancy Babendir - Secretary/Treasurer
Andrew Goodman
Lori Komisar
Benjamin Leshem
Jorde Nathan


Board Members

Michael Balkin
Robert Bernat
Craig Bernfield
Steven Blonder
Craig Bondy
Al Brody
Douglas Cohen
Lance Cutler
Medwin Dayan
Oren Dekalo
Dan Drexler
Steven Dry
Sig Feiger
Michael Fishman
Albert  Frank
Fred Friedman
Manuel Gliksberg
Michael Goldberg
Ari Golson
Robert Harris
Steven Hefter
Larry Hochberg
Adam Hoeflich
David Israel
Eric Jaffee
Donald Kirk
Larry Kugler
Dennis Lapidus
Michael Lavin
Hezi Levy

Israel Levi
Jonathan Markowitz
Gerald Mizel
Liora Mizel
Jennifer Newman
Louis Paster
Robert Polak
James Resnick
Joseph Resnick
Michael Rosenberg
Barry Rosenthal
Saul Rudo
Loren Schechter
Cary Schiff
Gregg Schneider
Mark Schneider
Edward Schwartz
Glenn Seiden
Richard Sheiner
Morris  Silverman
Richard Sincere
Ronald Sirt
Daniel  Stern
Noga Villalon
Gerald Weiner
Laurence Weiner
Al Winick
Joseph Wolf
Arie Zweig


Board of Trustees

Caryn Rosen Adelman
Melvin Berlin
Lawrence Glick
Buz Hoffman
Andy Lappin
Eugene Lerner

Annette Lidawer
Adi Mor
Jeanne Randall Malkin
Leslie Richman
Maurice Sanderman
Edward Zale


"While Israel's unyielding soldiers were risking their lives defending Israel, a land that is physically and symbolically irreplaceable, I was fortunate enough to be studying for midterms. Helping to ensure the comfort and well-being of these young heroes through the FIDF is the least I can do to say 'Thank You'."

- Adam Levy, Young Leadership Past President


"On my first FIDF mission, my true dedication to Israel was formed. I visited several Army bases, met several military officers and hundreds of wonderful, brave, and beautiful Israeli soldiers. I spent many hours in awe, in conversation, in study with these new friends, trying to grasp the true meaning of the need for the preservation of Israel for all of the Jewish people. By the end of this visit, I understood. I knew that I got it. As a result of that experience with the FIDF, my life changed forever .Since then, I do what I can to help the Israeli soldier, not as a charity, but as a passion."

- Mickey Sanderman, Central Region, Chairman Emeritus


"My involvement with FIDFand Womens Brigade comes from visiting Israel for the first time in 2006 a few days prior to the War in Lebanon.I was dumbstruck to learn of the soldiers training and commitment and was immensely impressed with their leadership and innovative technology. I had to get involved and show my appreciation in some way."

- Sari Klein, Women’s Brigade Past Co-Chair


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