Close to 450 supporters of FIDF New Jersey chapter came together last week at Temple Emanu-El of Closter to show solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Israel Defense Forces soldiers on the frontlines in response to the October 7 massacre.
The evening had been scheduled as the FIDF NJ gala to celebrate Israel’s 75 years of independence, but it was transformed into a solidarity gathering. One hundred percent of its proceeds, along with all donations to the FIDF since the start of the war, are going toward the emergency humanitarian needs of IDF soldiers. So far, more than $30 million has been transferred.
Howard Gases, the director of FIDF New Jersey chapter, emceed the event, which kicked off with Hatikva and the Star-Spangled Banner, led by student singers from the Joseph Kushner Academy Middle School. Eric Lavitsky, the father of lone soldier, Jonathan, a reservist in the IDF Armored Infantry Corps, spoke about his son’s journey from Bridgewater to the IDF, which began in 2021.
“The brutal, barbaric acts of hatred committed against Israeli civilians are unthinkable, and IDF soldiers are facing an unprecedented and harrowing conflict, making our support for them more vital than ever before,” FIDF’s CEO, Steve Weil, said. “At the frontline of defense are Israel’s soldiers, bearing witness to heinous crimes and facing unimaginable challenges. They need to know that we, as a global community, are firmly there for them.” For information, go to FIDF.org.