Our Soldiers And Our Community

October 23, 2013
BY Charlie Levine

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) has just completed its fifth year in Baltimore. We are proud of our accomplishments, one of which is becoming part of our Jewish community’s fabric. And one sure way to be part of our fabric is to be an active member of our Baltimore Israel Coalition. As most of you know, we are all about the soldiers. Without our soldiers, the Middle East would certainly have a different look. And for that matter, so would the entire world.

So when our community supports FIDF, it is directly supporting the soldiers of the IDF. With our fifth annual gala just around the corner, we once again call on our Jewish community to continue supporting the men and women who tirelessly defend our Jewish homeland.

One of our gala committee members, Gina Millstein, sent an email to her friends and family, and we think she said it best:

“The FIDF is a humanitarian effort established to assist the soldiers of the IDF with all of the non-military assistance they so desperately need. These are young soldiers, boys and girls, no different from our own children and grandchildren, risking their lives every day for the safety and security of Israel and all her people. While we live in the U.S. and eagerly anticipate where our children or grandchildren will go to college, these Israeli kids know that once they graduate from high school, they are going to be putting their lives in danger protecting their country, our country, Israel, our ‘second homeland.’ “While these young women and men so bravely serve to protect Israel, and when their service is complete, the FIDF, with your help, works tirelessly to make sure they receive the opportunity to grow and succeed, which they have so admirably earned.

“FIDF offers academic scholarships, needed R-and-R weeks for units and battalions and basic needs such as food vouchers, furniture and appliances. And the list goes on. FIDF also supports families of fallen soldiers. What do we owe these kids … these young soldiers keeping Israel safe 24/7? Everything.

“I plead with you to help me support these amazing individuals who sacrifice years of their lives, perhaps even making the ultimate sacrifice while keeping Israel safe and secure. Please join me in standing up to say to our Israeli soldiers and their families: We are here for you. We support you. And we are united with you as one Jewish family.”

This year’s gala is chaired by Dr. Michael and Shari Cohen. We have planned a very special program including Risa Kelemer, a lone soldier from Baltimore, and we are honoring Shirley Cohen, a starch supporter of Israel and our Jewish community. Please join us on Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chizuk Amuno Congregation. For more information, visit fidf.org/mdgala or call 410-486-0004.

See related story, “Father To The Lone Soldiers.”

Charlie Levine is executive director of the Midatlantic Region of FIDF.

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