Nearly 60 young leaders and supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) from all walks of life, representing communities from across the U.S., joined the FIDF Young Leadership (YL) Mission to Israel this summer to show their appreciation for the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The mission, June 30-July 9, brought members of FIDF’s YL Division together with the soldiers of the IDF. Mission participants received briefings on Israel’s security situation by military officers, toured strategic IDF army, navy, and air force bases to get a behind-the-scenes look into the Israeli military’s activities, and experienced Israel – from mystical Safed to the beaches of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem’s Old City – in an entirely new way.
The group of FIDF leaders also helped support IDF soldiers during Israel’s first-ever national IDF Appreciation Week, during which they visited and heard firsthand from combat paratroopers guarding Israel’s border with Gaza, as well as Air Force soldiers and officers, and handed out refreshments and ice cream.
Joining the FIDF YL Mission were former Lone Soldiers from the United States Max Gordon, originally from Los Angeles, who served as a combat soldier in the IDF’s Givati Brigade, and Reeven Nathan, originally from Illinois and who now lives in Santa Monica, Calif., who served in an IDF special operations reconnaissance unit.
“This Young Leadership Mission brought our young FIDF supporters together with the brave IDF soldiers who risk their lives every day to watch over Israel and the Jewish people,” said FIDF National YL Director Bari Lovi. “It was an incredible opportunity to see Israel in a whole new way – and to forge bonds with soldiers whose well-being they support through FIDF.”