Friends of the IDF-Atlanta Region Welcomes New Chair, “This is my responsibility. This is OUR responsibility.” - Garry Sobel
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Atlanta Region is excited to announce our new Chairman of the Board, Garry Sobel, as he leads this growing organization to its next stage.
Outgoing Chairman Howard Wexler has transitioned to Chairman Emeritus. During his time as Chairman, he worked to position this young chapter as a distinguished cause in Atlanta and is now looking forward to seeing Sobel take the chapter to the next level.
Caryn Liss, Executive Director of the Atlanta Region, says Garry’s appointment as Chair is an indication of great things to come for this budding chapter.
“His passion to support Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers is contagious,” says Liss. “If you spend five minutes speaking to Garry about FIDF, you will have no question about his passion for the safety and security of Israel and the power of this great cause.”
Sobel, a New York native, has lived in Atlanta for more than 25 years and works in private wealth management. After a 1997 mission to Israel with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, he decided it was time to “get involved” in the Atlanta Jewish community. In 2007, during a business meeting with Chaz Lazarian, the two connected about their shared passion for Israel and admiration for the Israeli soldier.
“Chaz turned me on to something I didn’t know existed- an organization dedicated to providing for the humanitarian needs of the Israeli soldier,” says Sobel.
As a child growing up in New York, Sobel’s parents provided him with an education rooted in Jewish values. As an adult, these values and the mission of FIDF connected.
“The FIDF and its mission just resonated with me – it was a natural fit and an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these brave men and women of the IDF,” Sobel says.
Sobel feels the opportunity FIDF provides for Americans to support the brave young men and women who ensure Israel’s safety and security is imperative and unique. For him, FIDF’s direct connection to the soldier transcends politics and opinions; supporting the soldier is essential to Israel’s survival.
There is no other US-based organization that provides the broad-based support that directly benefits the soldier and/or their family.
As Chairman, Sobel is excited to see this distinguished national organization build its awareness, presence and viability in Atlanta.
Sobel feels it’s time for FIDF to share the stage in Atlanta with the more established Jewish and pro-Israel charitable organizations. We’re working hard to connect the Atlanta community to the Israeli soldiers – to embrace the Israeli community, the Jewish day schools and the synagogues, and to reach out to our friends in the Christian community whose passion for Israel is tremendous.”
His strategy includes identifying opportunities to work together with other organizations and create joint programming that will raise awareness for the vital programs FIDF provides.
As Sobel likes to say, “when was the last time you hugged a solider to thank them for their sacrifice while in the IDF. I want them to know we’ve got their back.”
FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors to provide for the wellbeing of the men and women who serve in the IDF as well as the families of fallen soldiers. FIDF initiates and helps support educational, social, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for the young men and women soldiers of Israel who defend the Jewish homeland. FIDF also supports the families of fallen soldiers.