Approximately 700 supporters from the Baltimore area gathered on Oct. 23 for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Baltimore Annual Gala at Martin’s Valley Mansion, in Hunt Valley, Maryland, to salute the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Baltimore FIDF Chapter.
The event raised more than $750,000 to go toward programming that benefits IDF soldiers.
In attendance at the gala were local Baltimore-area “lone soldiers,” who formerly served in the IDF without immediate family in Israel. There was also a delegation of local Holocaust survivors at the event.
“The gala was an amazing opportunity for our supporters to learn about FIDF’s well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers and to meet and hear firsthand from the brave young men and women who benefit from these programs,” said FIDF Baltimore Director Henry Rosenbaum. “And, most importantly, this gave our community the chance to celebrate 70 years of Israeli heroes.”
The evening’s program featured several Israeli soldiers, including Capt. Or, the first female soldier to command a Patriot Battery. Or employed an advanced air defense system to shoot down a Syrian airplane and drone that invaded Israeli airspace on July 2.
Hanan “Bean” Sibel, a well-known and respected Baltimore Jewish community leader, chaired the dinner, and the distinguished guests in attendance included FIDF National Board Member Bill Fox, who co-founded the Baltimore chapter; FIDF Baltimore President and Chapter Co-Founder Mitch Gold; FIDF Baltimore Chapter Co-Founder Ron Eisenberg; FIDF Mid-Atlantic Region Chair Dr. Gary Applebaum; and FIDF Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Ari Dallas. FIDF National Director and CEO Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir was also in attendence.