Westchester / Connecticut Chapter

The Westchester / Connecticut Chapter proudly spans between New York’s Westchester County and the entire state of Connecticut. The Chapter brings together those individuals in the community who are supporters of Israel and more specifically the Israel Defense Forces. Each year, the chapter holds many events so that people can show their support of the IDF and meet others with the same passions. Events include but are not limited to Parlor Meetings, Shabbatons, and the Annual Westchester and Connecticut Gala Dinners.   The chapter’s dedicated efforts enable us to raise over $3.5 million annually for Israel’s soldiers.

Westchester / Connecticut Chapter  | New York, NY

Director of Westchester/Connecticut: Anat Chavkin

Development Associate of Westchester/Connecticut: Jamie Sunkin 

Westchester / CT Chapter Upcoming Events




- New York / Tri-State Event Calendar -

Articles & Past Events

Westchester Gala 2017 Recap

aakov 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. Read more


Connecticut Gala 2017 Recap

Lior Raz , the co-creator and star of the hit Israeli Netflix series “Fauda,” and cast mate Yaakov Daniel , addressed some 300 Connecticut community leaders at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Connecticut Annual Dinner on Monday, Oct. 29, at the Stamford Marriott Hotel. Read more


Westchester Evening with the IDF Band

On Thursday, March 16th, Friends of the IDF together with the Israel Action Committee of the 5 Synagogue of White Plains partnered with over 30 other Westchester Jewish organizations for a concert by the IDF Band. Over 200 Westchester supporters came together for a night filled with singing and dancing, and heard the stories of three IDF soldiers. Thank you to our community partners, as well as those that attended the concert! See Photos


Westchester_2014Connecticut Evening with the IDF Band

On Wednesday, March 15th, Friends of the IDF together with over 20 other Connecticut Jewish organizations for a concert by the IDF Band. Over 250 Connecticut supporters came together for a night filled with singing and dancing, and heard the stories of three IDF soldiers. Thank you to our community partners, as well as those that attended the concert! See photos



Parlor Meeting with Avi Melamed

On February 7th, 2017 one hundred members of the Connecticut community gathered together at Congregation Beit Chaverim. The night included a lecture by Avi Melamed about the Ideological Roots of Radical Islam, as well as an emotional session with four IDF soldiers who told their stories of true heroism. Attendees had the chance to hear from four IDF active duty soldiers - Sergeant Shlomit, Lieutenant Rotam, Lieutenant Nir and Captain Avishai. The evening empowered the community to stand behind the soldiers of the IDF and ultimately, behind Israel. A special thank you to Liz and Avi Kaner for their leadership, and to Rabbi Wall and the Beit Chaverim community for hosting us.


Temple Israel Men's Club welcomes IDF heroWestchester January 2017 Parlor Meeting: A Night of Heroes

Sixty plus people gathered at the home of Liat and Peter Reisman on January 9th for a very special evening. A diverse crowd of donors, friends, and IDF soldiers spent the first 45 minutes of the night schmoozing and noshing as we waited for everybody to arrive. In attendance were co-chairs Hyla and Steve Ruby and Aram Rubinson, Ellen Weintraub, Phil Jacobs , Major General (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, CEO and National Director of FIDF and Brigadier General (Res.) Gila Klfif-Amir. The hors d’oeuvres were tasty and the company was impressive, but the true highlight of the evening was hearing first-hand stories from IDF soldiers. READ MORE




Temple Israel Men's Club welcomes IDF hero

More Tri-State Triumphs: Westchester/Connecticut Highlights 2016

See the Westchester/Connecticut highlights from 2016 HERE

A Record 350 Gather for Westchester FIDF Benefit

Th The Westchester Annual Dinner 2016 gathered a record-breaking crowd of 350 devotees for compelling stories from IDF soldiers, including local Lone Soldiers; an insider conversation with “Green Prince” Mosab Hassan Yousef; and the IDF Ensemble joining in a moving song of remembrance for fallen heroes. . CLICK FOR MORE

Connecticut Leaders Gather for FIDF Gala Supporting Israeli Soldiers

The Connecticut Annual Dinner 2016 highlighted FIDF’s lifesaving work in an inspirational evening featuring 1st Lieutenant Nir, who credited an FIDF-donated gym for the strength to survive Hamas attack, while celebrating courageous Connecticut Lone Soldiers. CLICK FOR MORE



Westchester_2014July 2016 Wounded Soldier Delegation

HEROS - a week with wounded veterans. Despite their injuries, their feelings are: "We haven't finished our duty"



HISTORY AND PRIDE: Three devoted IDF soldiers speak at the Harrison JCC - By Laura Rolnick

Three young IDF soldiers, Yonah,  Yotam, and Dor, shared stories of pride and commitment to Israel at the Harrison JCC, preceding an evening FIDF concert.  All three are currently serving as officers in widely differing units of the IDF, but each expressed with great emotion and perspective how their family backgrounds, Jewish history and anti-semitism played into their choice to devote their lives to protecting the Jewish homeland         Read More


FIDF Westchester/Connecticut Chapter's Second Annual Women's Luncheon on Monday

We would like to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for everyone who attended the lunch.
It warmed our hearts to have such a mixed group of women coming together - women from all over Westchester and CT - Bethel, Brookfield, Chappaqua, Cos Cob, Greenwich, Harrison, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, New Canaan, Newtown, Norwalk, Old Greenwich, Pound Ridge, Riverside, Scarsdale, Southington, Stamford, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge.
Lt. Ayelet, Captain Heli and Captain G (who wasn’t able to be photographed) join us by saying thank you all for coming from near and far to be there for the IDF soldiers.    


Westchester_2014News and Updates from FIDF's Westchester/CT Chapter

The New Year is a popular time for many across the globe to make resolutions and for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), that opportunity was not overlooked.Posting on Twitter, the IDF outlined five central resolutions for 2016, with the objective to provide security for the people of Israel as the first.

Read More

Westchester_2014Lone Soldiers are Never Alone

The FIDF Lone Soldiers Program supports IDF Lone Soldiers financially, socially, and emotionally during their military service. We wanted to share with you the gratitude of lone soldiers for the generosity of FIDF supporters.

Read More

December 2015 FIDF Shabbaton at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison 

On December 11th and 12th the JCC of Harrison’s community gathered for its’ first FIDF Shabbaton. The Shabbaton was filled with dinner, lunch, Shabbat services, speeches from IDF officers, and children’s activities. Thank you to Rabbi Hammerman and the JCC of Harrison’s community for opening their homes to the IDF Ensemble and IDF soldiers.   CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS

December 2015 IDF Ensemble Performances in Westchester/Connecticut 

In December, the IDF Ensemble came to the states to perform in communities across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in support of Israel’s soldiers. The Ensemble performed at the JCC of West Hartford, as well as Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, NY and Carmel Academy in Greenwich, CT.   CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS

Westchester_2014December 2015 FIDF Flywheel Event 

On Sunday, December 6th over 30 FIDF Westchester supporters came together in support of the soldiers for a spin event at Flywheel-Scarsdale. Thank you to our Co-Chairs Wendy and Maya Moskowitz.    CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS.

2015 FIDF Connecticut Annual Dinner at the Stamford Marriott 

200 prominent lay leaders and FIDF Connecticut supporters gathered on Sunday, November 1st for the FIDF Connecticut Dinner at the Stamford Marriott in support of Israel's soldiers. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this beautiful evening

To see pictures from the event, please click here.


2015 FIDF Westchester Annual Dinner at 42 The Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in White plains

On October 24, over 250 prominent lay leaders and FIDF Westchester supporters joined us for the Westchester Dinner at 42 – The Restaurant on top of the Ritz in White Plains in support of Israel's soldiers. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this beautiful evening.

To see pictures from our Facebook page, please click here.
Or to see our online gallery Click here.


An Evening with Wounded Israeli Veterans in Stamford, CT

Thursday, July 23rd - an evening with IDF wounded Israeli Veterans.  The Westchester/Connecticut community came together in support of Israel's brave soldiers and to learn more about Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).  We would like to extend a special thank you to Stephne and Kerrin Behrend, who graciously hosted us in their beautiful home. Todah Rabah to you!     Read More

Westchester_2014News from FIDF Westchester/CT Chapter

As the summer heats up, activities at many organizations quiet down - but not at FIDF! This summer, we're busy making sure that the soldiers who protect Israel day and night in the unbearable heat have all they need - from hats and Camelbacks and all the way to ACs and SPIRIT R&R weeks. As one soldier once told me: "We know how to train together. We know how to fight together, but we never have a chance to relax together!" Through SPIRIT weeks, FIDF allows soldiers to enjoy a taste of summer.   Read More

Paving the Way one Unit at a Time: Gila Klifi-Amir Forces Equality for Women in the IDF  -  By Laura Rolnick

Demure and feminine, one would hardly guess that Gila Klifi-Amir was the very first woman to participate in a Battalion Command Course in the IDF, as well as a Brigadier General and veteran of 30 years of military service. Gila relayed her formidable and fascinating career recently at the first FIDF women’s luncheon in Connecticut, attended by over 100 women.   Read More

Westchester_2014Friends of the Israel Defense Forces - First Annual Women's Luncheon

Click here to view photos from WCT’s First Annual Women’s Luncheon


Westchester_2014Friends of the Israel Defense ForcesWestchester/Connecticut Newsletter March 2015

It has been an action packed month, and we are excited to share with you a recap of recent events. From an emotional evening at the National NY Gala Dinner to the IDF Orchestra Concert, our calendar has been filled with meaningful interactions with IDF soldiers that marked a powerful show of support for our community.

Read More


FIDF Orchestra and Israeli Soldiers visit Westchester Reform Temple

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) and Westchester Reform Temple in association with the Westchester Jewish Council presnted a concert peformed by the IDF Orchestra.  Soldiers told their heroic stories before an attentive audience at Westchester Reform Temple on March 12th.

See Photos


Friends of the Israel Defense ForcesWestchester/Connecticut NewsletterJanuary 2015

We recently commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the passage of 70 years since the January 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet soldiers.  Sadly, two IDF soldiers were killed after an attack on their patrol from Hezbollah anti-tank missiles. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of the fallen soldiers. May their memories be blessed.

Read More


Westchester_2014News and Updates from FIDF's Westchester/CT Chapter

I returned last week from Israel as I took part in the FIDF mission to Israel with 150 other participants. It was a life transforming experience. We visited the soldiers in the Navy, Iron Dome, Gaza Division and Air Force and learned about their daily tasks. Is it hard to believe how such young men and women have so much responsibility on their shoulders. Inspiring.

Read More

Westchester_2014Unwavering Spirit and Pride: Injured IDF Fighter Pilot Survives Fatal Crash

Noam Gershony, 31, grew up in Tel Aviv in a strong Zionistic family, and dreamt of becoming a combat fighter, but “the army had other plans.” He was chosen for the Gibush program – a series of physical and mental tests that weed out the very few Israelis who will be determined eligible for flight school. A highly prestigious position, pilots are viewed as “sons of Gods” in Israel, as approximately 12,000 applications are received, 250 are accepted, and only 50 graduate.

Read More


Westchester_2014An Inspirational Evening at the FIDF Annual Community Event in Westchester

This Saturday, over 130 community members gathered together at the home of Mrs. Ellen and Rabbi Peter Weintraub in celebration and in support of Israel's soldiers at the FIDF Annual Community Event in Westchester. The evening, themed "One Big Event...One Intimate Setting" was filled with poignant remarks, emotional moments and overwhelming passion for Israel's soldiers.

Read More

An Evening of Celebration at the FIDF Annual Community Event in Connecticut

Yesterday, over 130 community members gathered in celebration and support of Israel's soldiers at the first FIDF Annual Community Event in Connecticut. The evening, held at the Stamford Marriott Hotel, was filled with poignant remarks, emotional moments and overwhelming passion for Israel's soldiers.

Read More

Westchester_2014Shana Tova. See what's been happening with FIDF's Westchester/CT Chapter

Ron Bolotin, a participant in FIDF's Strides program, joined the extended Levinson Family for Shabbat dinner in early September.  On September 5th, Lieutenant Amir joined the JCC in Harrison for Shabbat services and dinner. The community, who annually hosts an IDF soldier, is very passionate about Israel and FIDF and finds a deep meaning in connecting with young soldiers.

Read More

Westchester_2014Look What's Happening with FIDF in Westchester/Connecticut

It's hard to believe summer is almost over.  We have been busy. You have been busy - Israel and the brave soldiers have been the concern of so many this summer. Your love and support of the soldiers warmed our hearts, the hearts of the soldiers, and their families. We can't thank you enough.

Read More

Wounded_Soldiers_2014Israeli Mentality/Koach: Three Wounded IDF Soldiers Overcome Injury

Upon David Peretz’s arrival at Rambam Hospital, the attending physician circled the hallway and then asked David: “How well do you think I am walking?” Surprised at the question, David answered “fine” from his gurney.

Read More

Two Words: Thank You

Thank you to the thousands of donors who have kept the IDF soldiers in their prayers and who have been long time supporters of Friends of the IDF

Read More

3 Words: Am Israel Chai

Thank you for joining us on Tuesday evening.  The event was a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together in support of Israel's brave soldiers and to learn more about Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).

Read More

Lone Soldier Families from Our Community: Commitment, Pride, Reward

Having a child serve in the Israel Defense Forces is a source of both pride and concern for Israeli parents. And while such sentiments parallel for the numerous families of soldiers in our Westchester/Connecticut community, the volunteer nature of the service and the distance from home add an additional texture to this life changing experience.

Read More

Cellist Elad Kabilio Delights at Private Westchester Concert!

On Thursday, May 8th a group of Westchester/CT friends gathered at the home of Ilissa and Paul Warhit for a special private concert by acclaimed cellist Elad Kabilio. The performance was donated by Kabilio as part of the raffle from the 2013 Westchester/Connecticut Gala.

Read More

Coffee and Conversation: NYC Breakfast with IDF Soldiers!

Rather than a bagel and coffee on the run, a group of NYC supporters sat down with IDF soldiers over breakfast on May 2. The event, title “The Many Faces of the Israel Defense Forces:

Read More

View older articles & events




"The brave young men and women of the IDF protect not only the State of Israel but Jews worldwide. It is of utmost importance that we support their needs. They will never ask but they greatly appreciate everything we do for them to make their lives a little easier. It is a tremendous feeling knowing we do all we do for them. Get involved – you will forever feel the satisfaction!”

- Jeffrey Markowitz, of Westchester, NY

"By helping to initiate and build the Westchester/CT chapter of the FIDF I have been able to share in the exhilarating experience of supporting the young men and women of the IDF who sacrifice and fight for Medinat Yisrael and make the Jewish State a reality....We have had a chance to put a human face on the IDF and Israel as we work here, in the U.S., for our dream: Medinat Yisrael, in peace and prosperity, a beacon of light to the world.”

- Phillip Jacobs, of Westchester/CT chapter

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