More than 1,200 prominent business and philanthropic leaders from across the country are expected to come together in solidarity in support of the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces, at the Friends of the IDF national New York gala dinner on March 10 at New York’s famed Waldorf-Astoria.

FIDF’s premier national event will be chaired by FIDF national board member Rabbi Peter Weintraub. In 2004, Weintraub established a sheet factory in the Erez work zone near Gaza, eventually moving it to the southern city of S’derot, where he employed 75 women, mostly single mothers. In 1992, he established Bristol Associates, a home-furnishings textile business, with offices in New Jersey, North Carolina, California, Shanghai, Karachi, and Mumbai. Weintraub, who specializes in rabbinic outreach, has been an avid FIDF supporter for 12 years and has sponsored academic scholarships for over 70 IDF combat veterans through FIDF’s IMPACT! scholarship program.

“These amazing young men and women of the IDF are protecting every single Jew in the world, including me,” Weintraub said. “Every Jew in the world holds their heads a little higher because we know these soldiers are there to protect us.”

Special guests will include 30 IDF soldiers of various ranks and military units, including 2nd Lt. Enbal, an educational officer in the artillery corps whose brother, 1st Sgt. Avi, was shot and killed in Bet Hanoun, near Gaza, during Operation Protective Edge this past summer. Most of the soldiers to be hosted at the dinner have received citations for their courageous efforts in a number of operations, including Operation Protective Edge and Operation Pillar of Defense.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7:00 p.m.

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