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Black Tie International:
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Western Region Gala Raises Over $33 Million
 
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and gala co-chair Haim Saban attend the Friends Of The Israel Defense Forces 2014 Western Region Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 6, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/WireImage)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and gala co-chair Haim Saban attend the Friends Of The Israel Defense Forces 2014 Western Region Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 6, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/WireImage)
 
Annual FIDF Gala Raises Over $33 Million

To Support Israel Defense Forces Soldiers
  

                                                  

Los Angeles, CA, November 7, 2014 -  Over $33 million was raised at the annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala last night, breaking all records at the event where more than 1,200 supporters from the United States and Israel gathered to support the brave men and women of the IDF. Those in attendance included respected leaders and widely-known figures from the Hollywood, business, tech, sports and political communities. FIDF National Board Member and major supporter, Haim Saban, and his wife, Cheryl, served as chairs of the star-studded Gala that took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

 

Notable donations made at the event included $9 million from Larry Ellison, co-founder and Chairman of Oracle Corporation; $5 million from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson; $5.2 million from brothers Maurice and Paul Marciano of Guess Jeans; $3.6 million from Cheryl and Haim Saban; $2 million from Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive Vice President of the New York Giants; $1 million from Leo David, founder of the Western Region of the FIDF; and $1.6 million from The Helmsley Charitable Trust. In addition, first-time attendees and donors Michael and Susan Dell gave $1.8 million to fund IMPACT! educational scholarship programs. These generous gifts demonstrate the overwhelming support for the FIDF.

 

"It is incredibly touching to see how advocacy for the FIDF has grown in Los Angeles," said Haim Saban. "The caliber of Gala attendees from Hollywood, tech, business and other walks of life especially a large contingent of people without ties to Israel or Judaism ? ultimately speaks to their admiration for the heroic men and women of the IDF and the incredible work that the FIDF does to support them. Tonight's Gala has become an event that the Los Angeles community looks forward to each year as a chance to honor the soldiers who defend the State of Israel."

 

"In my mind, there is no greater honor than supporting some of the bravest people in the world, and I thank FIDF for providing us with this opportunity year-after-year to celebrate and support these soldiers,? said Larry Ellison. ?These men and women come together with indefatigable purpose, to defend Israel and strive to co-exist in peace."

 

Mr. Saban continued, "On behalf of the FIDF, I am grateful to our donors, sponsors and supporters, whose generosity enables us to keep changing lives for those upholding the freedoms of the Jewish community worldwide."

 

The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a program emceed by bestselling author and political analyst, Monica Crowley, and featured unforgettable performances by Ricky Martin, David Foster and Friends and The Canadian Tenors. Among the many participants at the Gala were former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbra Streisand, Sylvester Stallone, Chris Tucker, Pamela Anderson, Kathy Ireland, Joanna Krupa, Avi Arad, Founder of Arad Productions Inc. and Founder and former CEO of Marvel Studios, and his wife Joyce, Avi Lerner, Co-Chairman of NuImage, and Ben Silverman, Founder and CEO of Electus, and his wife Jennifer Cuoco.

 

Now in its 8th year chaired by the Sabans, the Gala has become one of the must-attend events in Los Angeles, delivering increased resources for the FIDF and additional care for people that need and deserve its support. The funds raised at the Gala will go towards programs that address the educational, social, cultural, and economic needs of the IDF soldiers, as well as the families of soldiers fallen in defense of the State of Israel.

 

The FIDF national and local leadership present at the event included Nily Falic, FIDF National Chairman, Tony Rubin, FIDF Western Region President, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, FIDF National Executive Director, Alan E. Scholnick, FIDF Chief Executive Officer, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, FIDF National Director and CEO Emeritus, Leo David, FIDF Western Region Founder and Chairman, and his wife Ruth and Miri Nash, Western Region Executive Director.

 

One of the most memorable moments of the night was hearing the story of fallen IDF soldier 2nd Lt. Hadar Z"L. His twin brother, 1st Lt. T., and 1st Lt. Eitan recalled their courageous efforts to save Hadar during Operation Protective Edge. The audience was profoundly touched by Eitan?s heroism and T.'s bravery in facing the loss of his brother. The program also highlighted the Heroes to Heroes program, which connects Israeli and American military heroes. Technical Sergeant Greg Grutter of the U.S. Marine Core recalled his trip to Israel and how it changed his life by introducing him to IDF veteran Zvika Comay who, having been through similar experiences as Grutter, has become a close friend of his and the two support each other as they navigate life after the military. Everyone in the room was delightfully surprised especially Grutter when Comay came out onto the stage and the two embraced.

 

 

About Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF):
 

FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing and supporting educational, social, cultural, and recreational programs and facilities for the heroic men and women of the IDF. Today, FIDF has more than 120,000 loyal supporters, and 15 regional offices throughout the U.S. and Panama. FIDF proudly offers its support to the IDF soldiers and their families through a variety of unique and innovative programs. These opportunities reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the State of Israel. For more information, please visit: www.fidf.org.

 

 

_____________

QUOTES FROM THE EVENT

 

Pamela Anderson

"Israel is magical - one of my favorite places to be... somewhere so old and so new - the people are very aware there. Worldly. Interesting - kids too. You can see they have deep soulful connections to world issues, art- freedom- music. Israel is somewhere everyone should experience."

 

Avi Arad, Spiderman Movie producer

"After spending my own time defending Israel, I know that now more than ever the soldiers of the IDF need our support.  This summer we experienced the worst bloodshed and devastation that we have seen in recent history. Our community of civilians has a moral responsibility to rise up and show our gratitude for these soldiers' bravery as they fight terrorism and defend our frontlines."

 

Monica Crowley

"In its brief, brave history, Israel has always faced profound threats to its existence, and today, those threats are the gravest they've ever been.  It's a great honor to be part of this event---and to support the FIDF---as we celebrate both Israel and the courageous men and women who protect and defend her every day.  They are on the front lines of freedom, and without them, freedom everywhere is in jeopardy. They are true heroes
 of liberty."

 

Michael Dell

"It's a humbling experience to be here amongst these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for their country. Susan and I are honored to be able to support their higher education through the IMPACT! Scholarship Program."

 

Larry Ellison, co-founder and Chairman of Oracle Corporation

"In my mind, there is no greater honor than supporting some of the bravest people in the world, and I thank FIDF for providing us with this opportunity year-after-year to celebrate and support these soldiers.  These men and women come together with indefatigable purpose, to defend Israel and strive to co-exist in peace."

 

Joanna Krupa

"I think people forget that Israel was created because the Jewish people were being killed in places like Poland which is where I'm from.  I've seen the concentration camps. It's awful. They escaped to this little tiny piece of land in the dessert and have built it into a beautiful country that is making big contributions to the world in tech, medicine and even fashion. They were the first country to regulate the weight of fashion models making sure they are healthy and above a certain weight.  Which is important for young women today entering the fashion world.  They promote women's rights, gay rights, animal rights ... all very important to me.   I haven't been to Israel yet but I hope to go soon.   This is a cause very important to one of my best friends so I am here to s
upport it.?" 

 

Avi Lerner

"The FIDF is dedicated to supporting the well-being of the soldiers who risk their lives defending Israel -- without them, our homeland would fail to exist. It is our duty to support these brave men and women through FIDF as they risk their lives defending a nation under constant attack." 

 

Steven Tisch

"The men and women of the IDF sacrifice so much to ensure that our history is safeguarded and our future is bright.  It is the least we can do to celebrate and support them here tonight."

 

Ben Silverman

"We thank the IDF for defending Israel so Israel can continue to fight anti-semitism and protect human rights, civil rights and democracy."

 

Barbra Streisand

"This event is always one of the most inspiring and emotional evenings of the year. The soldiers of the IDF deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for all that they sacrifice to protect Israel, the only democratic state in the region."

 

 

 

joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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