Baltimore’s chapter of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces will play host to the IDF’s Naval Ensemble next week as part of its mission to raise funds to support Israeli troops.
“We want a warm, wonderful Baltimore welcome [for the soldiers],” said Shelly Lohmann, the organization’s director of development. For each of the singing soldiers, it will be their first visit to the United States, and Baltimore is the group’s first stop before it heads to Atlanta for another FIDF event.
“It’s raising money and it’s raising awareness,” Lohmann said of the event. Having only been founded in 2008, the Baltimore chapter of the FIDF is, in many ways, “the newest kid on the block.”
This is the first time since 2010 that the FIDF in Baltimore has hosted an Israeli military singing ensemble.
The Baltimore fundraiser, in addition to featuring the performance by the Israeli Navy singers, will honor founding Mid-Atlantic FIDF executive director Charlie Levine, who left his position last year. Noah Abrams, who for his bar mitzvah hosted a basketball tournament over the winter to benefit the FIDF, will also be recognized along with local families of lone soldiers.
The organization’s hope for the evening, said Lohmann, is not only to raise money for the scholarships and other support mechanisms it funds, but also to provide families of local soldiers serving overseas with a network of other families who are going through the same experience.
The event, which organizers expect to attract between 400 and 500 people, will take place at Beth El Congregation’s Offit Auditorium on Tuesday, May 13. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets start at $36 per person.