On Sunday, Dec. 6, Temple Shalom’s Israel Connection Committee and Sisterhood co-hosted the evening, during which the role of the Friends of the IDF (FIDF), a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, was explained, followed by a sharing of the personal history and private moments from their lives by the two active duty IDF soldiers in attendance and accompanying the FIDF representatives.
Scott Kammerman, Texas director, FIDF in Houston, initially spoke about the aid directly provided by the FIDF to account for each soldier’s welfare and long-term well-being. Kammerman’s explanation of all the services provided by the FIDF clarified why its watchword is “Their job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.”
Sgt. Ze’ev Bar Yadin, 20, from Texas addressed the attendees. Sgt. Yadin made aliyah at age 15, by himself, and joined the IDF as a Lone Soldier at 18. Ze’ev particularly spoke about how the FIDF provides social and financial support to soldiers, like him, without immediate family in Israel. He is currently serving as a sniper in Orev Golani.
Captain Dor (last name withheld per IDF security protocol), 27, an Israeli, followed. He spoke about becoming and serving as an IDF jet pilot. Captain Dor is currently serving as an Israeli Air Force fighter pilot.
The program began with the celebration of the first night of Hanukkah with Rabbi Ariel Boxman and the two IDF soldiers lighting the menorah. A highlight of the evening was the Q&A when Scott Butnick of Temple Shalom moderated questions for the IDF soldiers about their reactions to the various perils they have encountered in defending Israel. Ken Glaser, a chair of Temple Shalom’s Israel Connection committee, emphasized the critical importance of continuing to support the State of Israel, the Jewish homeland, as testimony to the courage of these brave men and women soldiers. The evening concluded with the singing of Hatikvah and the salute, particularly by Captain Dor, of the Israeli flag.
The community will have another opportunity to thank and support the FIDF for what they do by attending the Temple Shalom Sisterhood’s Casino Night April 16, 2016, an event that has designated the Friends of the IDF as a beneficiary of the evening’s proceeds. Win or lose, attendees perform a mitzvah for Israel.
Submitted by Anita Warner on behalf of Temple Shalom.