THE NEW JERSEY chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) will celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday and honor current and former IDF soldiers from New Jersey at its annual tribute dinner on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe.
The chapter is often referred to as the “Lone Soldier Chapter” in recognition of those who immigrate to Israel without immediate family in the country to serve in the IDF.
The event, cochaired by chapter board members Annette Stern and Ellen Sokoloff, will also feature Sgt. Mikey, a former New Jerseyan who is now a “lone soldier” in the Pioneer Combatant Youth Reconnaissance Company. He also takes part in the IDF’s Operation Good Neighbor, which provides humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.
Other featured guests will be 2nd Lt. Sarah, who sustained serious injuries in a terrorist attack and later became a branch head in the intelligence corps, and Brig. Gen. (Res.) Ami Morag and his son, Lt. Col. Idan, the only father-son pair in IDF history to receive the Medal of Honor.
FIDF state director Howard Gases said the gala gives the community a chance to “personally thank the brave soldiers who risk everything to defend Israel — and Jews worldwide. This year we’re celebrating Israel for 70 years of heroes and hope, and invite all those who served in the IDF to join us as we honor you.”
Also attending the event will be Rachel Gordon of West Orange, a former lone soldier who recently received the President’s Award for outstanding service during a Yom Ha’Atzmaut ceremony at the home of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Another guest will be Racheli Avruch, recipient of a four-year FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship, given to combat and combat support soldiers. At the dinner Avruch will reunite with Shelley and Chick Paradis of Livingston, her IMPACT! donors.
Funds raised at this event will go toward FIDF well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers. The cost to attend the dinner starts at $180; contact HowardGases@fidf.org or 646-274-9650 or visit fidf.org/njgala.