More than 450 members of the New Jersey Jewish community will gather on Sunday, Dec. 10, for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) New Jersey chapter Annual Tribute Dinner to support the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), including N.J. natives serving as “Lone Soldiers” — those who immigrate to Israel without immediate family in order to serve in the IDF.
The event, to be held at the Teaneck Mariott at Glenpointe, will feature a speech by Avi Issacharoff, acclaimed journalist and co-creator of “Fauda,” the hit Israeli Netflix series.
“Fauda” focuses on the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from opposing perspectives. Viewers follow the riveting story of a commander in an undercover IDF unit trying to locate Hamas terrorist Abu-Ahmed, who has murdered 143 Israelis.
Lior Raz, whose experiences as an undercover counterterrorism operative in the IDF inspired the hit show, which he co-created with Issacharoff and in which he stars, said, “‘Fauda’ is a window for people abroad to see the conflict in Israel.” Netflix has said it believes “Fauda” will rival the success of the hit Showtime series “Homeland.”
The dinner, to be chaired by FIDF New Jersey Region board members Annette Stern and Ellen Sokoloff, will also feature Sgt. Ziv, a woman combat paramedic treating victims of the ongoing Syrian civil war. Attending will be former IDF lone soldiers from New Jersey: Jesse Talmud of East Brunswick, whose parents, Shelley and Steve Talmud, are FIDF N.J. committee members, and Sgt. Avioz, whose mother Ronit is also an FIDF N.J. committee member.
FIDF’s New Jersey chapter — often referred to as the “Lone Soldier Chapter” — was cofounded by FIDF national board member Sammy Bar-Or, who moved to Israel from Iran when he was 13 and served as a lone soldier in the IDF’s Paratroopers Brigade.
“This evening will give the New Jersey community a chance to meet and personally thank the brave soldiers who risk everything to defend Israel — and Jews worldwide,” said FIDF New Jersey director Howard Gases. “They’ll hear from one of the world’s leading Mideast analysts, and from soldiers who directly benefit from FIDF’s incredible well-being programs.”
Distinguished guests will include Israeli Defense and Armed Forces Attache to the U.S. Maj. Gen. Michael Edelstein; FIDF national chairman Arthur Stark; and FIDF national director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir.
The evening will begin with a 5 p.m. cocktail reception followed by dinner and the program at 6:30. Funds raised at this event will go toward FIDF well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers. For more information or to support FIDF, visit fidf.org/njgala.