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Posts Tagged ‘FIDF’

X-Factor Judge to Visit Israel and May Choose to Be a Jew

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The expected birth of a boy to Jewess Lauren Silverman and her Roman Catholic boyfriend and X-Factor Judge Simon Cowell has prompted him to plan a trip to Israel and think about becoming Jewish, the London Mirror reported.

He told the newspaper he wants to make a “more informed decision” before he commits to the faith.

Let’s not count on Cowell, whose father is Jewish, to undergo a conversion according to Jewish law, but at least he can be counted on to support the IDF. He donated $150,000 to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at its recent annual fundraiser in Beverley Hills.

The Mirror reported that Cowell, 54, previously has not expressed interest in religion, but a source said, “He is open to reason on the subject of religion and the faith in which his [expected] son is brought up.

Silverman, 36, has elected to undergo a C-section and her husband has booked a $20,000-a-night private hospital in the United States for the event.

60 ‘Friends of IDF’ Leaders Show Gratitude to Soldiers

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

More than 60 prominent Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) leaders from across the United States embarked on a unique seven-day journey to Israel, as part of the FIDF National Leadership Mission to Israel to show their appreciation and support for Israel’s soldiers. The delegation arrived in Jerusalem last Friday, November 1.

The special Leadership Mission, led by National Chairman, Nily Falic, National President, Julian Josephson, and National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, brought national and local community leaders from FIDF’s chapters across the U.S. together with the brave men and women of the IDF.

The group met with soldiers and commanders on various military bases across Israel, including the Gaza Division’s headquarters of Re’im, the Intelligence Corps training base, the Regional Division 36 on the Golan Heights, and the Tel-Nof Air Force base, where participants learned from F-15 pilots about the advanced technologies used in Israeli Air Force (IAF) operations. The group also participated in briefings by officers of both the Southern Command and Northern Command of the IDF.

“The Friends of the IDF delegation signifies the deeply rooted connection between the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the brave soldiers who serve to protect it,” said FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon.

US and IDF (American) Soldiers Celebrate 4th of July Together

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Thursday, July 4th, 30 North American soldiers and officers celebrated American Independence Day together with over 150 IDF lone soldiers who made Aliyah from the United States with the assistance of Nefesh B’Nefesh, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency For Israel and Tzofim Garin Tzabar. These organizations, along with Friends of the IDF (FIDF), fund events like the Fourth of July party to build relationships with the soldiers throughout their military service and to also provide them with personal and financial support.

The celebration took place at Gordon Beach in Tel Aviv honoring the classic American traditions, including a BBQ, beer, American music and much red, white and blue.

Players from the Judean Rebels of the Israeli Football League, also founded by immigrants from the United States, joined the party as well. There are over 600 amateur and professional football players in Israel, who meet every week in different locations throughout the country to play and enjoy the game they learned back home. The vast majority of the players are immigrants who came to Israel from North America through Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agency For Israel.

Erez Halfon vice chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh, said: “Nefesh B’Nefesh and FIDF wanted to celebrate this day with some of the soldiers who immigrated to Israel and left behind family and friends, but are still connected to the traditions and memories.”

US and IDF Soldiers

US and IDF Soldiers

American Friends of IDF Open up New Home for Lone Soldiers

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

A new home for Lone Soldiers in Israel was opened in Ramat Gan with a special ceremony marking the conclusion of the $5 million project launched by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, headed by Elias and Lila Kalimian and family of Great Neck, N.Y.

Thousands of young men and women from around the world serve in the IDF at any given time with no family or other support system.

The Lone Soldiers’ Home provides a place for the soldiers to stay during their time off. The Kalimian Lone Soldiers’ Home contains 42 apartments with four beds in each apartment.

The Friends of the IDF also sponsors Lone Soldiers’ Homes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Three generations of the Kalimian family joined “From Holocaust to Independence,” the FIDF delegation to Poland and Israel, prior to the dedication.

80 New Olim Celebrate Joining the IDF

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

A special event for 80 new soldier Olim who will be drafted into the IDF after Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), took place on Wednesday at the FIDF/Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Center in Jerusalem.

The soon-to-be Lone Soldiers hail from countries across the globe including Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Peru, Russia, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, UK, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, and Uzbekistan.

“I am so proud to see all these young men and women who made Aliyah with a personal mission to serve the State of Israel,” stated Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver. “These young men and women help guarantee the continued existence of the State of Israel, and so we must guarantee to their success and integration into Israeli society. I wish you all a meaningful and productive service and most importantly that you come home safe and sound.”

At the event, soldiers were awarded grants to help with their transition and enjoyed a barbecue.

“While the country is preparing for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, the most Zionist days of the year, we are honored and proud to celebrate with these 80 young future soldiers who are about to join the IDF,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh Vice Chairman Erez Halfon. “These brave young men and women are the future of the State of Israel. All of them have made Aliyah to Israel with one main cause, which is to protect the Jewish Homeland, and we all salute them, and promise that we will help them to go through their service successfully and to act as their family and home.”

“The FIDF/Nefesh B’Nefesh program has assisted me every step of the way towards fulfilling my dream of serving in the IDF and serving and protecting my country,” said Eziz Halykov, a 21 year old Oleh from Turkmenistan. “Where I come from I had to hide my identity and now I am proud to be able to protect our Jewish State.”

Currently there are some 2,800 Lone Soldiers who made Aliyah without their parents, and are serving in a range of positions in the IDF. For these idealistic soldiers, the draft process is a challenging and intense experience that often involves a difficult process of adapting to both military service, and an independent lifestyle in Israel.

Visa Limits Force Miss Israel to Miss Out on US Event for IDF

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Yityish Aynaw may have a meeting set up with President Barack Obama when he travels to Israel later this week, but getting one with a U.S. embassy employee in Tel Aviv is a more difficult task.

Israel’s first beauty queen of Ethiopian Jewish descent was unable to attend a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces event in New York on March 12 because she could not get a visa on time.

“We had just three days to issue a visa,” an organizer was quoted by the Israeli news website of Yediot Acharonot as saying. “Bureaucratically, it was impossible.”

Congressmen Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ted Poe (R-Tex.) have drafted a bill that would waive visa restrictions for Israelis, but the legislation is currently stuck because of Israel’s relatively high visa rejection rate.

Israeli officials recently asked younger citizens not to travel to the U.S. unless necessary in order to reduce the rate of visa rejections.

Hotel Owner who Kicked Jews Out Hosting Anti-Jihadists

Friday, January 25th, 2013

In 2012 the Jewish Press reported on the successful lawsuit against the Muslim owner of a swanky Santa Monica hotel who, while exclaiming, “Get the [expletive deleted] Jews out of my pool,” had her employees do just that.  The plaintiffs had been at the hotel at a fundraiser they hosted for a pro-Israel organization, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).

The jury found the hotel and its owner, Tehmina Adaya, had committed “particularly reprehensible” acts of discrimination against the plaintiffs, and specifically, that Adaya had acted with “malice, oppression and fraud,” slapping her with punitive damages.

When word got out about what Adaya had done to the FIDF volunteers, members of  the Los Angeles office of the ZOA planned a protest in front of the hotel.  Adaya met that public relations protest by sending an underling to promise the activists she would host an event for them at her expense within a year in exchange for cancelling the protest.  They accepted the offer and called off the protest.

When the trial ended and the jury returned its verdict finding that Adaya had discriminated against Jews, she and the ZOA group issued their agreed-upon statements.  In hers, Adaya said she was opposed to anti-Semitism.  Adaya also claimed she had not done any of the things she had been accused of, or had been found liable for.  The ZOA LA statement included, “we believe that her statement exhibits the Jewish value of teshuva, repentance.”

As Miles Lozano, the Shangri-La public relations manager told the Jewish Press at the time, “the steps Adaya is taking are intended to address the Shangri-La’s public relations issues, whereas the court case dealt only with the legal issues.”

Adaya is still working with a bifurcated plan: on the legal front, she has appealed the ruling by the jury that she committed particularly reprehensible acts of discrimination against Jews, and at the same time, she is footing the bill for an event which is now a fundraiser for the new organization of the former ZOA director, Orit Arfa (Arfa was fired by the ZOA in the fall).  Strikingly, that event is headlining two of the world’s most renown and controversial anti-Jihadi activists, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs.com, and Robert Spencer, of Jihadwatch.com.

Geller garnered a great deal of attention over the past several months by running a series of ads in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. transit systems which state: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, choose civilized man.  Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Muslim groups such as Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim Public Affairs Council and others were outraged and pushed back hard.  In September, Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American activist, was arrested for vandalizing one of Geller’s posters in New York.

When asked how she felt about being hosted by someone who had engaged in such reprehensible acts of discrimination against Jews, Geller told the Jewish Press,

“The public renunciation by Adaya of one of the most egregious and monstrous acts of anti-Semitism in modern times is something to celebrate.  She is underwriting the cost of a gala costume ball honoring two of America’s leading critics of Islamic anti-Semitism, and at a Purim event, perhaps this is Haman avenged!  ‘Cause it’s the same hate, different era.”

When one of the plaintiffs in the case against the hotel was asked about the Shangri-La Purim party, the response was not as enthusiastic.  The plaintiff told the Jewish Press that she and the other plaintiffs found the response to Adaya and the Shangri-La Hotel by some in the pro-Israel community to be “deeply disappointing.”  Why?  The plaintiff gave several reasons:

First, despite what the ZOA director wrote at the time, there was no teshuva by Adaya – she is still claiming not to have done anything wrong and everyone knows the steps for teshuva are first, acknowledgement that one acted wrongly, and second, apologizing to the one wronged.  To this day Adaya and her hotel have not apologized to the plaintiffs.  But second, given that the FIDF was the wronged party, why isn’t Adaya having a fundraiser for the FIDF?  Instead, the Purim Gala is to help promote a new organization created by the former ZOA employee who falsely claimed Adaya had done teshuva.

There are other ways to divine the sincerity of Adaya’s gesture.  Court papers filed by her new attorneys on January 7, offered several reasons to justify Adaya being given a new trial.  Much emphasis was placed on the “fact” that one of the jurors hid that she was Jewish.  According to the filed papers, Adaya is claiming that one of the jurors “failed to disclose her religious background, Jewish,” during the jury selection process.  Two problems with that: there’s no legal bar to a Jewish juror sitting on a case about anti-Semitic discrimination, and Adaya’s lawyers never asked the juror whether she was Jewish during the jury selection process.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/anti-semitic-shangri-la-owner-hosting-top-jihadi-fighters/2013/01/25/

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