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Las Vegas Society News  

Note: This is a past article from January 14, 2016
You can find the current Las Vegas Society News article HERE


FRIENDS OF THE IDF (FIDF) 5rd ANNUAL GALA

by DR. ADELE ZORN


Gala Chairs - Dana and Michael Werner

Gala Co-chairs Sandy and Stanley Mallin

Gala Co-chair Arlene Blut and Dr. Adele Zorn

A captivating evening gala for the 5rd Annual FRIEND OF ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES (FIDF) LAS VEGAS 2015 GALA was held at The Venetianís Grand Ballroom. The Gala was chaired by FIDF National Board Members, Dana and Michael Werner and Co- Chairs Arlene and Jerome L. Blut and Sandra and Stanley Mallin.


Rabbi Yocheved Mintz with Max and Joanne Friedland

Guests

Las Vegas Family of IDF Soldier

Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) help support educational, social, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for the heroic men and women of the IDF. These opportunities reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the State of Israel. FIDF also supports the families of fallen soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) job is to look after Israel and the FIDF job is to look after them.


Henry and Edy Kronberg with security guards

Guests

Guests

Because of recent terrorist attacks, security was tightened upon entering the FIDF Gala and also ID had to be shown. Everyone understood, but this created longer time for guests to enter the Gala.

The event started in the outer Ballroom with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Guests mingled, enjoyed cocktails, passed hors díoeuvres and had their pictures taken.


Guests and IDF soldier on (r)

(L) Art and Bonnie Marshall and guest

Haim Ventura (center) and wife Fran Fine

All were then seated in The Grand Ballroom for dinner and program. The Honor Guard entered and singer Joanna Petri sang both the Israeli National Anthem (Hatikva) and U.S. National Anthem. Joanna later beautifully sang Yerushalayim Shel Zahav. The evening program began with distinguished LV criminal defense attorney, David Z. Chesnoff serving as the eveningís Master of Ceremonies. He introduced the beautiful Dana Werner who welcomed and thanked everyone. Dana said we must stand with Israelís brave men and women in uniform. While they stand guard over the Jewish homeland, and Jews everywhere, it is our job to do everything we can to support them. Dana mentioned many of the distinguished guests who had come from far and near for this special event. She had specifically mentioned Peter Weintraub, FIDF National President who had come from New York and introduced him to give the opening remarks.


Master of Ceremonies - David Chesnoff

Dana Werner at Podium welcoming guests

Entertainment - singer, Joanna Petri

Peter Weintraub spoke about the fragile and unstable strategic challenges that face Israel and that Israel must be very strong and ready to face our enemies. He spoke about the onslaught of resurgent anti-semitism and of Israel receiving unwarranted worldly anti-Israel propaganda, even in schools and colleges. Peter said that Israel has to keep positive, and do what it has to do.


Peter Weintraub (Natl. Pres.) and wife with Dana Werner (Center)

Gala Chair Dana Werner with singer, Joanna Petri

Gala Chair Michael Werner with Dr. Adele Zorn

M.C. David Chesnoff thanked Sheldon Adelson for donating the Ballroom for the event. It was also his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelsonís birthday and Happy Birthday was sung to her.

The event was during Channukah and the 5th Channukah candle was lit.


Lighting Chanukkah 5th candle

Henry Kronberg, Stanley Mallin and guests

Guests

Dinner was next on the program. The Dinner Committee consisted of: Janet and David Boom, Arlene and Jerome L. Blut, Diane and Kenny Epstein, Helen and Bobby Feldman, Alexandra and Jonathan Gudai, Sandra and Stanley Mallin, Orly and Howard Perlman, Fran Fine and Haim Ventura, Lucille and Daniel Weinberger and Noam Ziv/TIVOLI.

Dinner Menu:

Steak House Salad Ė Baby iceberg wedge with eggs, marinated potatoes, green beans, teardrop tomatoes and creamy horseradish dressing

Entrťe: Stuffed Chicken Breast (roasted) with couscous and raisins

Served with Roasted Brussle Sprout, Rainbow Carrot and Thyme Chicken jus

Dessert: Parve Chocolate Cake

The Gala Honorees were Noam Gershony and IDF Lieutenant Enbal Grintzvaig. Many have paid the ultimate price for Israel to survive and both honorees have done that.

Noam Gerhony gave a very stirring speech. He was in a very bad mission with many of his IDF close friends who died. Noam was in a helicopter that collided with another, became uncontrolled and crashed 6,000 feet. His close friend who was the co-pilot died. Noam was so severely, injured breaking nearly every bone in his body, the doctors didnít think he would survive. He was in a coma and when he awoke he had no memory and couldnít speak. He fought to live and after a 6 month hospital stay and losing his leg and suffering many injuries he won his battle to survive. Noam persevered, learned to walk with a prosthetic, involved himself in sports, started skiing, cycling 35 miles, playing tennis and competed representing Israel and won the Gold Medal in the London 2012 Tennis Paraplegic Wheelchair Olympics. A video was shown of how he did all this and his admirable positive attitude was extremely inspiring to all. Noam Gershony said he focuses on what he can do, not what he canít do.


Honoree - Noam Gershony

Honoree - IDF 1st. Lt. (Res) Enbal Grintzvaig

Next Honoree was 1st. Lieutenant (Res.) Enbal Grintzvaig. This amazing IDF woman unfortunately lost her twin brother Avi as he fought in the IDF. She gave a moving speech about him and how they grew up together. She was so close to him and they both felt honored to be in the IDF. Although she is saddened by his loss, her desire to continue to do her work in the IDF has never changed. The FDIF audience did a moment of silence to honor her brother Staff Sgt. Avrham Grintzvaig.


Gala Chair Michael Werner with Son

Guests

Guests

A very large amount of monetary pledges were given to the FIDF by many of the guests and at the end, Sheldon Adelson said he would match the total amount of all the pledges with his pledge. This yearís FIDF Las Vegas Gala raised over $800,000 with Adelsonís help. Sheldon also invited 35 Chabbad students from UNLV to the gala with Chabbad Rabbi Tzvi and Rebitzen Rivki. The Adelsonís were also thanked for their generous contribution enabling the participation by 60 Las Vegas Birthright Israel Almni, CUFI on Campus and IAC to attend the gala.


(center) UNLV Chabbad Rabbi Tzvi and Rivki and their students

Nily Falic and Son

Meir Klifi-Amir, Nili Falic, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Dana Werner, Gila Klifi-Amir

Dignitaries, FIDF supporters from all parts of the country, and local guests attended the Annual FIDF Las Vegas Gala. Prominent FIDF leaders included FIDF National Chairman Emeritus, Nily Falic and FIDF National Director and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir. Others were; CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Sheldon Adelson, and his wife Miriam, Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo, NV Assemblyman, Stephen H. Silberkraus, NV State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, E- Alís former head of security Isaac Yeffer, Jewish Federation LV Pres. Todd Polikoff, UNLV VP Dr. William Bolt, LV Jewish Film Festival Director Joshua Abbey and FIDF scholarship recipient Sgt. (Ares.) Shai,

Over 400 guests attended this wonderful event which raised over $800,000. The funds raised at the Gala will go towards preserving the wellbeing of the brave young men and women who serve in the Israel Defense Forces.



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