San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Extending from the wine country in the north down to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in the south, the San Francisco Bay Area region is home to a large, diverse Jewish community. Since the establishment of the FIDF region in 2008, the community’s ties to Israel and its support of the IDF soldiers have been rapidly growing.

With a reenergized board, professional staff and new office in downtown San Francisco, the region has high expectations and goals. The region’s first annual gala was held in December, 2012 and attracted hundreds of supporters. Innovative programming ideas include a family mission to Israel which connects teenagers and their parents with Israel’s soldiers, the Lone Soldier Family Network which forges bonds among families who live in the Bay Area and have a son or daughter serving in the IDF, and a burgeoning high-tech program which reinforces the connections between technological advances in the IDF and Silicon Valley.

If you are interested in learning more or coming to our events, please contact our office.


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 San Francisco Bay Area Chapter | San Francisco, CA | 415-547-8360 |

San Francisco Chapter Upcoming Events

Honor the Fallen Soldiers 

of the Israel Navy SEALs (Shayetet-13)

 at a private screening of: “One Night in Antsaria” 

followed by a military debrief

featuring guest speaker:
Nir Caspi (Shayetet-13 Warrior)


Articles & Past Events


Six Day War Event

On the 50th anniversary of the 6 Day War, we gathered as a community together with three heroes of the war! We were lucky to meet and hear from Haim Oshri, Dr. Itzik Yifat and Zion Karasenti, the paratroopers from the iconic Rubinger photograph who liberated Jerusalem in 1967. The men’s stories, coupled with the beautiful singing of classical Israeli music, evoked powerful emotions from all in attendance. Read more and see photos.


IDF vet who lost limb in '79 pedals through Bay Area

This weekend, IDF wounded veteran Adi Deutsch came from Israel to ride with a group of Bay Area FIDF supporters. Read the article about the ride.


IDF Orchestra Performs in Reno

The IDF orchestra which lifts the spirits of Israel's soldiers did the same for Reno, Nevada on November 7, 2016..  SEE MORE PICS


Bay Area Gala Raises Record-Breaking $1M

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 8 – Some 450 community leaders gathered on Sunday, Nov. 6, for the Friends of theIsrael Defense Forces (FIDF) San Francisco Bay Area Gala Dinner, raising over $1 million to support well-being and educational programs for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Sunday’s gala at the Park CentralHotel was FIDF’s largest and most successful in San Francisco since the chapter began five years ago..  READ MORE


Cycling across Israel — A daily journal

Day One: It’s Sunday morning in Israel and we are off on the first day of a six-day, 450-mile ride throughout the country with wounded Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans and 40 other riders from the US.

There are at least three reasons this ride is so significant. First, thanks to donations from Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) supporters, we are able to provide assistance to the wounded IDF veterans on the ride and others like them. What a meaningful way to thank these people who have sacrificed so much and help improve their lives.  


An evening with Deputy Surgeon General of the Israeli Defense Forces, Col. Dr. Tarif Bader

The Israel Defense Forces Deputy Surgeon General, Col. Dr. Tarif Bader met with Israel’s Consul General Andy David, Bay Area medical professionals and FIDF supporters on March 9th in San Francisco and demonstrated the IDF’s moral commitment to humanitarian efforts. Dr. Bader participated in Israel’s medical rescue missions in response to natural disasters in Haiti, the Philippines and Nepal and oversees the military’s life-saving efforts on the Syrian border.
At the March 9th event, he described how because of the country’s military preparedness, Israel is often the first to arrive with the largest delegation of any country in the world. A member of Israel’s Druze minority, Bader said he’s proud to help wounded Syrians brought into Israel. Under his command, Israeli soldiers have treated over 2,000 patients injured in the Syrian civil war. Dr. Bader also praised the FIDF for funding mobile dental clinics which provide needed care for soldiers on their bases.


Exclusive dinner reception held in Hillsborough to honor Major Gilad Pasternak

Major Gilad Pasternak of the Nahal Brigade was lauded at FIDF events in San Francisco, Sacramento and Davis last March. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Pasternak’s battalion fought off a surprise attack by Hamas terrorists despite suffering numerous fatalities and injuries. He told the audience the support they received from FIDF helped them carry on.

Bicycle ride in Israel supports veterans, active duty military

WALNUT CREEK -- Douglas Fish keeps a wooden box on his desk at his office. It once belonged to his father, who got it during his World War II service in Asia. Today, the box houses Fish's dog tags from his basic training in Israel.
The longtime Walnut Creek resident describes some of his impressions of a recent trip to Israel: the distinctively blue-green color of the Dead Sea, with its uprising salt pillars, hearing the sound of F-16s with an "eerie whistling,"the sound of exchanging gunfire, and taking a rest at a Crusader-era castle in the Golan Heights.      Read More 



Taking a ride for FIDF

Douglas Fish of Walnut Creek wasn’t much of a bicycle rider — in fact, he didn’t even own a road bike. But when Jonathan Bernstein, executive director of San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, last year asked him to represent the FIDF board (on which Fish serves) in the first-ever FIDF cycling tour of Israel   READ MORE

FIDF Gala Dinner - Lone Soldier Surprise

WATCH: The incredible moment when Lone Soldier Sgt. Havneh surprises his mom at the Friends of the IDF - FIDF San Francisco Bay Area RegionGala Dinner. We were left without a dry eye in the house -- what about you 

FIDF Gala Dinner - Lone Soldier Surprise

Asked to speak at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gala dinner in San Francisco on Oct. 11, Dvorah Feder was more than happy to oblige.

After all, her 20-year-old son, Havneh Feder-Haugabook, is one of approximately 3,000 young men and women from the diaspora currently serving as soldiers in the Israeli military.  Read More 

Alon Doesn’t Leave Lone Soldiers Alone

Palo Alto, CA, August 10, 2015…Members of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ San Francisco Bay Area Region thanked and praised outgoing board chair Ricki Alon at an event in her honor on August 9th in Palo Alto. Alon was appointed the first regional chair four years ago when the operation was launched. In that time, she was responsible for turning FIDF into one of the leading pro-Israel organizations in the Bay Area.

Read More 

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.

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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.

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View older articles & events

• Go on a mission to Israel.  Our chapter and others provide a special experience on your visit.

In The News

Remember the six days — and the soldiers — that saved us
Iconic Israeli paratroopers from Six-Day War to visit Bay Area
Iron Dome, up close and personal
Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund makes emergency grants for Israel
Napa teen’s bar mitzvah project helps him form a meaningful bond with a former Israeli soldier

Peninsula man now one of Israel's 'lone soldiers'
Solving crime all in a day’s work for Israeli techie
Bay Area gala to support Friends of IDF
Serving with love
Benefit in S.F. to salute those who look out for Israel
$26 million raised for IDF
Lone Soldiers: Bay Area Jews travel far to fight for Israel
Article in for the upcoming IDF Musical Ensemble on October 27th
Young Fans of Israel Soldiers form Group to Support IDF
Trip to NorCal a Nice Break for Hard-Luck IDF Soldiers
A day in Napa with the Israel Defense Forces

San Francisco Bay Chapter Board of Directors

Major (res.) Nik Wolfson, M.D. - Chairman Neal Newman
Ricki Alon – Chair Emeritus Karen Sager
Sloane Citron Sharam Sasson
Lisa Cohen Lev Tripolsky
Ross Dargahi Bob Zeidman
Mabel Delgado Ofer Zur
Douglas Fish  
Francine Gani  
Eric Horodas  
Robert Hudson  
Mark Michaels  
Jonathan Bernstein - Executive Director  



"The story of Israel’s Economic Miracle” as described in “Start Up Nation” by Dan Senor could not have happened without the important role of the IDF."

“Battlefield Entrepreneurs” The culture of leadership, risk management, innovations and team work is being taught and practiced from age 18 at the IDF. The role of the IDF provides inspiring insights into what’s behind Israel’s dynamic economy.
This is above and beyond the fundamental role of the military defense forces."

- Ricki Alon, San Francisco Bay Area Chairperson

"Without the IDF there would be no Israel!"

- Lisa Cohen, Board Member

"Israel is in very real terms on the front lines of a war against democracy and liberty by a fanatical and determined enemy. It is the men and women of the IDF who bravely protect Israel and by proxy the United States against the same forces that oppose our freedoms and way of life. It is our responsibility as both friends and allies of Israel to support her and the IDF against a ruthless foe bent on eliminating Israel and her people. Through its many programs directly impacting the lives of soldiers and their families, the FIDF provides the perfect vehicle to fulfill this responsibility."

- Ross Dargahi, Board Member

"As a former member of the IDF, I witnessed the impact of a contribution, a new basketball court, on the wellbeing of my platoon. It truly is a way for us here to help those that put their lives on the line. Our financial involvement touches lives and makes a difference that you can experience firsthand. That’s a special and very motivating opportunity."

- Amnon Rodan, San Francisco Bay Area Board Member

"I consider myself privileged to have had the State of Israel all my life, others have not been that fortunate. I feel oblige to contribute to Israel’s well being by doing all that I can."

- Sharam Sasson, Board Member

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