Inaugural Four Stars Impact! Scholarship Society Donor Appreciation Event

The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Michigan Chapter held their Inaugural Four Stars Impact Scholarship Donor Appreciation event August 9th hosted by Teri and Mark Goodman and Enid and Gary Goodman at the beautiful home of Enid and Gary Goodman. 

The IMPACT!  program, which started in 2002, has helped more than 7,000 Israeli veterans graduate and join the Israeli workforce, with 3,300 more currently pursuing their degrees.

“We change so many lives in Israel because of people like you,” said Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, national director and CEO of FIDF. “Israel today really needs all of you, all the Jews of the world, to stay with one voice to support Israel.”

About 1300 applicants will begin their studies this year,  but thousands more are turned away.

“Our goal is to never have to turn down another soldier for this wonderful opportunity to continue their education,” Alon Kaufman, Chairman of the Michigan Chapter said. 

Attendees were honored to hear from a current Impact Scholarship recipient, IDF (Res.) Combat Staff Sergeant Matan Shamis, a student shared by Teri and Mark Goodman and Enid and Gary Goodman.  Matan, served in the Israeli Navy as a training commander for all infantry soldiers on a battleship. During this time, Operation Cast Lead began and Matan and his unit were sent down to Gaza to participate. Today, Matan is an active reservist studying law at the University of Haifa, thanks to the FIDF Impact Scholarship program and the Goodman families. 

Mark Goodman remarked, “Matan is a young man far older than his years might suggest. He is a combat veteran! He went from high school into the Israeli Navy. He was responsible for the lives of his squad, both men and women. He also had fun but not the same as our American children. Our kids are children during high school, during college and often many years after that. They really never HAD to grow up. Matan, because of his military service had to grow up fast, learn to make selfless decisions and learn how to lead.

Matan will be a success in the future as he is now because in Israel, military training is as valuable as a college education. The book, Start up Nation, reveals that because of Israel’s mandatory military service, they are second only to the United States in the number of startup companies in the world.

Matan, is a success to Israel and to his family! I am proud of him!”

The scholarships are $4,000 a year with a 4 year commitment. Donors receive an introductory letter and photo from scholarship recipients followed by constant updates on their academic achievements. Rick Bloom, treasurer of the MI FIDF Chapter said, “I should mention that although I am a donor I feel I am more of a beneficiary of the program because I’ve been lucky enough to get to know all of my students.  My life has been enhanced by the opportunity to know and to become friends with them.”

Barak Leibovitz, spoke about how he has been afforded the opportunity through his Dad, Arie Leibovitz, an Impact Scholarship supporter, to directly witness the “IMPACT” that these scholarships provide for these soldiers who would otherwise not be able to go on and achieve their dreams.”

Maj. General Klifi Amir was proud to call the names of the Michigan Chapter Impact Scholarship donors and officially present them with the Four Stars Impact Society “Pin”.

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