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Friends of Israel Defense Forces (New York Director)

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Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors, under the leadership of John Klein z'’l, to provide for education and wellbeing of the men and women who serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as well as the families of fallen soldiers. Headquartered in New York City, FIDF is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation that operates 15 regional offices in the United States and Panama.

The strength of the IDF, which has been guarding the State of Israel since it declared independence in 1948, derives from the selfless determination and great capabilities of the young men and women who form it. At the age of 18, all Israelis are drafted into the IDF. Those who serve commit to uphold the difficult tasks of defending Israel’s borders and guaranteeing the safety of its people. FIDF is committed to providing these soldiers with love, support, and care in an effort to ease the burden they carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide.

FDIF offers educational, cultural, recreational, and social services programs and facilities that provide hope, purpose, and life-changing support for the soldiers who protect Israel and Jews worldwide. Their job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.


Thanks to generous supporters, FIDF offers a range of programs that address the educational, social, economic, recreational, spiritual, and cultural needs of the IDF soldiers as well as the families of soldiers fallen in defense of the State of Israel.

Education & Culture

Education and knowledge have preserved the Jewish people for generations. FIDF believes that education is the foundation for a better society and promotes a range of educational and cultural initiatives for IDF soldiers and veterans. FIDF’s programs broaden their knowledge, strengthen their Jewish identity, and invest in Israel's future.

The IMPACT! Scholarship Program is FIDF’s flagship education program. Established by FIDF in 2002 to help IDF veterans realize their dreams of a higher education, this program grants four-year scholarships to combat soldiers who have completed their military service. IMPACT! enables soldiers to acquire a higher education in one of many institutions across Israel, making a mark on the academic system across the country, and ensuring a more educated population.

Wellbeing & Recreation

Mandatory military service places tremendous physical and emotional demands on the soldiers. FIDF’s Wellbeing & Recreation Programs, which range from granting economic assistance to sponsoring much-needed vacations for combat battalions, seek to alleviate some of this stress.

Bereaved Families

FIDF’s LEGACY Program supports the widows, orphans, and other family members who lost a loved one during military service. Through an array of recreational activities and life-cycle celebrations in Israel and the U.S., FIDF stands by their side as they rebuild their families.

Lone Soldiers
Thousands of IDF Lone Soldiers stay committed to carrying out their military duty despite being on their own. By providing social and financial support to these brave soldiers, FIDF creates a nurturing environment that helps them navigate through various challenges.


FIDF sponsors various Medical Programs that help wounded IDF soldiers recovering from their injuries, and prepare military physicians for combat and non-combat positions in the IDF.

Construction Projects

FIDF builds, refurbishes, and maintains recreation and sports centers, cultural and educational facilities, synagogues, memorial rooms, auditoriums, and “soldiers’ homes” for soldiers throughout Israel.