FIDF community hosts former IDF soldier and scholarship recipient success story
Two Friends of the IDF (FIDF) North Texas Parlor Meetings were held last month in support of a premier college scholarship program available to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
A former first sergeant and IMPACT! Scholarship recipient was on-hand at the intimate gatherings to relay the importance his scholarship played in shaping the trajectory of his life.
Dallas FIDF supporters welcomed Doron Gabay, former first sergeant of the Haruv Infantry Unit, with open arms at two Dallas-area homes. Doron first shared his story on Aug. 14 at the home of Debbie and Geoff Malafsky, the couple who put him on the path to success 20 years ago with the donation of an IMPACT! Scholarship.
Doron served during both the Second Intifada and the Lebanon War. His family was poor, and his father worked three jobs to make ends meet. Medical costs resulting from an accident that his brother was in, as well as treatment for his mother when she was diagnosed with brain cancer, drained his family of everything they had, crushing his dreams of a college education. Thanks to the generosity of the Malafskys, and the network of opportunities provided to him via IMPACT!, Doron graduated from Bar-Ilan University and today runs three successful businesses in Tucson, Arizona.
The IMPACT! Scholarship Program provides four-year college scholarships to veteran combat and combat support soldiers, enabling them to pursue higher education. This exclusive, one-of-a-kind program also provides funds to cover living expenses and gives recipients the unique benefit of direct contact with their sponsors. Scholarship recipients are required to put in 130 hours of community service, and benefit from an unbelievable network of graduates.
“Although we support Israel through multiple organizations, we felt there was a gap where we could directly and concretely help people who could grow and become strong productive members of Israel and the global Jewish community, and FIDF’s IMPACT! program fit our desire perfectly,” said Debbie Malafsky. “IMPACT! provides critical educational opportunities while fostering connections to deserving former soldiers who donors can have lifelong relationships with. It is rare to see such direct positive benefits, making FIDF’s IMPACT! program one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences for both us and our lifelong friend.”
The following evening, Doron was hosted by Grant and Heather Frankfurt at the home of Dena and Eric Frankfurt.
“Doron’s story exemplifies the power that an education can have — on one’s life, and also the lives of an entire family,” said Grant Frankfurt. “His college degree and work ethic pulled the entire Gabay family out of poverty, and none of this would have been possible without the opportunity for a college education, provided by FIDF. The ability to see and feel the impact of every dollar we give to FIDF makes me proud to be a North Texas FIDF board member.”
On Sept. 14, FIDF will host the North Texas Gala honoring local leader and philanthropist, Ari Susman.
To get further involved or to make a contribution to the IMPACT! Scholarship Program, please contact Janine Reutter at Janine.Reutter@fidf.org.