Thanks to the generosity of the San Diego community and Friends of the IDF, over $500,000 was raised in support of the numerous programs of the FIDF.

On January 19, 2013, the San Diego Chapter of the Friends of Israel Defense Forces held its Annual Gala Appreciation Dinner at the Manchester Grand Hyatt honoring IDF Air Force for their devotion, courage, sacrifice and honor to the State of Israel.
In attendance were over 700 guests including many prominent lay leaders, National representatives of FIDF, U.S. and Israeli military officers from all branches of the Services and a caring community.

We were privileged to hear Major General Avi Mizrachi's assessment of the current events transpiring in the region since the misnomer "Arab Spring". The keynote speaker, Brigadier General David Barki shared with us his insight on the effectiveness of the Iron Dome defense system and its critical role in the saving of numerous lives in the recent escalation and continuing threat from Gaza and the Sinai and the events in Syria, Jordan and Iran. Both the Major General and the Brigadier General spoke of the special relationship between the FIDF and IDF and the State of Israel with special acknowledgment to the San Diego Jewish community for not only their financial support but love and caring for the IDF soldiers.

Lt. Noa C, a female F-15i fighter pilot in the IAF, shared her personal journey to become a pilot in the IAF and her commitment to honor the memory of her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.

Izzy Ezguai, a Lone Soldier volunteer from the United States, gave a moving account of the events surrounding his being wounded in combat, the long and difficult road of recovery and adjustment to his wounds and his incredible courage and determination to overcome his injury to resume his service to the State of Israel as a combat soldier in the IDF.

Throughout the evening program, the IAF Music Ensemble entertained the guests.

A special thanks to our amazing Gala Co-Chairs, Jenny Josephson and Herb "Moshe" Weiss, for their dedication and commitment.
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