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Articles & Past Events
East Bay Jewish Community Leaders Visit IDF Base for Troubled Youth
On April 26, a group of Jewish community leaders from the East Bay visited the IDF base, Havat Hashomer. Havat HaShomer recruits disadvantaged youth from troubled backgrounds and provides them with extra training, coaching and remedial education so they can succeed in the army and contribute to Israeli society. The visitors learned how FIDF support is funding these educational efforts which provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds.
Israeli Paralympic gold medalist and wounded vet feted in Los Altos Hills
On March 11, 75 FIDF supporters cheered, applauded and hugged Noam Gershony after he told the Los Altos Hills crowd of his journey from suffering a debilitating crash as an Air Force Pilot to winning the Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair tennis. Today, he travels the world, sharing his triumphs with messages of encouragement, perseverance, and commitment, and serves as an inspiration to people everywhere.
At the event, Gershony thanked the FIDF donors whose support helped with his rehabilitation and recovery.
San Francisco Gala Dinner
View pictures from the San Francisco 2014 FIDF Gala Dinner which had a sold out room of almost 450 supporters. Guests heard moving testimonials from the girlfriend of a fallen IDF “Lone Soldier”, an IMPACT! student specializing in anti-guerrilla warfare and a wounded veteran who returned to service in the Special Operations Engineering Unit, defusing bombs, landmines and other explosives. Three Lone Soldier moms were also honored at the event. Please watch the Lone Soldier video followed by the mothers reactions and moving comments.
Fallen Soldier's Girlfriends Speaks at SF Gala Dinner
The 20-year-old girlfriend of an Israeli soldier from the United States who was killed in battle last summer gave an emotional speech at a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces event last week in San Francisco.
FIDF Gathers at Temple Emanu-El
On Tuesday, August 19, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gathered at Temple Emanu-El to raise funds for the IDF's wounded soldiers returning from Gaza. Keynote speaker Izzy Ezagui, a soldier who lost his arm in combat during Operation Cast Lead, explained how the support will help other wounded rehabilitate. Learn how you can support Israel's soldiers at www.fidf.org/sanfrancisco.
Consul General David Briefs FIDF
Israel’s Consul General Dr. Andy David briefed San Francisco Bay Area FIDF supporters on current developments in the search for the kidnapped teens in Israel and global events impacting the country in a conference call on June 27. Dr. David said how the abduction resulted from the unification of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and that Hamas was directly responsible for the kidnapping. He cited references from a Hamas-published Kidnapper’s Handbook, a 200-page book that encourages and instructs its readers to abduct Israeli citizens. Dr. David asked FIDF members to demonstrate their support for the captured youth and their families through public displays and social media vehicles and applauded the FIDF for its ongoing support of Israel’s young soldiers.
Wounded Soldier Event
San Francisco Bay Area Region leaders of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gathered on June 8 to hear the testimony of wounded soldier Roy Grilak. Roy sustained major injuries in the Second Lebanon War and now helps FIDF raise funds for the rehabilitation of other wounded soldiers. The FIDF San Francisco Bay Area Region has made it a priority to raise money to support these efforts.
Russian-African soldier finds herself in Israel
Eliza Okoulatsongo has experienced more upheaval in her 24 years than most people suffer in a lifetime.
Born to a Russian mother and a Congolese father, she fled a bloody civil war with her family in the ’90s and was shuffled through U.N. displacement camps before making aliyah with her mother and grandmother at age 9.
Tal, A Lone Soldier from San Francisco wrote a letter to the community
My heart was pounding against my uniform. Brushing my nervousness aside, I jumped from the plane into the open sky and readied myself to pull the ripcord on my parachute. I was a long way from my Northern California home.
Continue Reading Tal's Letter
150 members of the Middle East Information Council (MEICOR) of Rossmoor were treated to a talk with former IDF combat soldiers Nuriya Neuman and Tal Peretz on January 12.
Both soldiers, who are now pursuing their college degrees in the Bay Area, shared with the attendees their motives for servicing and their appreciation for the support they received from FIDF. MEICOR’s mission is to present positive factual information about the Jewish state for Rossmoor, a senior adult community in Walnut Creek.
Lone Soldier promotes diversity/personal development
Bay Area Lone Soldier Inbar Eliav who is serving in the IDF without any immediate family in the country was back in Northern California during December for a brief visit and while here was the featured speaker at dinner hosted by the Queen’s Club in Alameda.
Local East Bay former Lone Soldier Ilan Benjamin is as eloquent as he is brave.
On Thursday, December 12, 2013, he read from his personal collection of short stories about serving his adopted country of Israel in the harsh conditions that he faced during a winter of guard duty on Mount Dov. Benjamin was the featured speaker at Under One Tent: Contra Costa Jewish Book and Arts Festival in Walnut Creek. The event was co-sponsored by Friends of the IDF. In the face of these extremities, Benjamin’s rays of humanity and camaraderie that he shared with his audience were refreshing and invigorating.
San Francisco 2013 Gala
Watch a highlight from the gala dinner of Impact student Victoria Shlomo who shows her appreciation to her sponsors at the 2013 San Francisco Gala Dinner. Read about guest speaker, Lieutenant Anastasia Bagdalov whose skills and bravery saved the lives of many passengers on a bus during a terrorist attack.
The Family Mission to Israel was a chance for families with young adult children connect with Israel's young soldiers. They visited a base in the West Bank, learned about Israel's latest technological advances from pilots at Israeli Air Force Base, and met with residents of a community targeted by Gaza rockets.
On May 31, Friends of the IDF San Francisco Bay Area met with Yisroel Hofrichter, a leader in the effort to integrate the ultra-orthodox into military service. Mr. Hofrichter is the director of Joint Distribution Committee's “New Dawn” program that provides a religiously and culturally appropriate way for the ultra-orthodox of Israel to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
San Francisco Parents of Soldiers Serving in Israel Create Unbreakable Network
San Francisco, CA, May 22, 2013 – A new network for parents who live in the Bay Area and have sons or daughters serving as soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officially launched yesterday, Wednesday, May 22. An inaugural gathering was held by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at a private home in Atherton.
Coming together over high anxiety: New local support group to unite parents of soldiers in Israel
First thing each morning, Kory Zipperstein checks the news to make sure all is calm in the Middle East. After all, his son, Caleb, serves with the Israel Defense Forces. If hostilities were to break out, Caleb could find himself on the front lines.
Vallejo Jewish temple holds study, movie screening in celebration
Jonathan Bernstein, executive director of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, talks at Congregation B'nai Israel in Vallejo.Read More
Ricki Alon, Silicon Valley businesswoman, nominated to serve on the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National Board
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) nominated Silicon Valley resident and businesswoman, Ricki Alon, who is the Chairperson of the local FIDF San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, to serve on its National Board.Read More
San Francisco 2012 Gala Dinner
Watch highlights from FIDF San Francisco Region’s Gala 2012 dinner. Included in the video are Ilan Benjamin, cousin of Daniel Pearl; Miriam Peretz, mother of two fallen IDF soldiers. Watch the video
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Hosts IDF Musical Ensemble
This past Israeli Independence Day, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces was fortunate enough to host the IDF Musical Ensemble. The talented group of soldiers, along with Alona, an IMPACT! scholarship student, performed and spoke at a variety of venues from synagogues to Jewish day schools throughout the Bay Area. Read More
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San Francisco Bay Chapter Board of Directors
|Ricki Alon - Chairman
|Robert Hudson – Chair Emeritus
|Jonathan Bernstein - Executive Director