The Friends of the IDF (FIDF) organization on Thursday night held its annual event honoring the IDF at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, where an outpouring of 1,200 people including numerous celebs showed their support for the Israeli army.
As is the case each year, the event was hosted by Israeli billionaire Haim Saban, who together with his wife Cheryl was able to invite Hollywood notables such as actors Antonio Banderas, Jason Alexander, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Segel, Liev Schreiber, singers Enrico Macias, David Foster, and Gene Simmons of the band Kiss, as well as several others.
This year no less than $31 million were raised for IDF soldiers at the event, which was attended by 15 soldiers, including several lone soldiers who were born and raised in the US.
Among the leading donators were FIDF president and founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who donated $8.4 million, Saban who gave $5 million, Florence and Serge Azaria who donated $5 million, and Paul and Morris Marciano who were among the founders of the company Guess and gave $2.7 million.
Saban, the largest private donator to the IDF, said that particularly at a time when there is a large call to boycott Israel, “we are here to show the amazing support of Hollywood elite and the Jewish community of the US for Israel and IDF soldiers.”
“Recent weeks have proven that the IDF and security forces are firm in defending the state of Israel from all threats, and we are here to give them thanks and support them in all they are required to do,” he said.