March 2017 -- Adar-Nisan 5777,  Volume 23, Issue 3

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Women FIDF Supporters to Visit Israel and IDF Soldiers

Shoshana Bederman

Thirty leaders and supporters of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF} from all walks of life and from across the U.S., including Shoshana Bederman of Scarsdale, will arrive in Israel,  March 3, to join the first-ever FIDF Women’s Mission to Israel, getting a rare glimpse into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and showing their solidarity with and appreciation for Israel’s brave soldiers.

 

Bederman is the co-founder and President of Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism {SPACA}. She was born in Israel and holds a BA from NYU and a JD degree from Cardozo School of Law, serving as a prosecuting attorney for New York City.

 

For the past 20 years, Bederman has been an activist and advocate for the State of Israel and is a founding member of the Westchester and Southern Connecticut branch of Jewish National Fund. As president of SPACA, Bederman educates, supports and empowers high school and college students to stand up to anti-Israel campaigns and anti-Semitism on campus.

 

The March 3-10 mission will bring women of FIDF’s 15 chapters together with officers and soldiers of the IDF. Mission participants will receive in-depth briefings by senior military officers, meet with state leaders, including former Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon and members of the Knesset, hear from Israeli women inventors and trailblazers who have changed the face of Israeli society, tour strategic IDF bases to get a behind-the-scenes look into the Israeli military, and experience Israel in an entirely new way.

 

Co-chairing this inaugural FIDF Women’s Mission will be FIDF New England Board Member Sharon Mishkin and Brig. Gen. (Res.) Gila Klifi-Amir, a 30-year veteran of the IDF who served as the chief of the general staff’s advisor on women’s affairs and handled all matters relating to women’s service in the Israeli military.

 

“This first-of-its-kind mission will allow our supporters to forge even deeper bonds with the brave women of the IDF,” said Mishkin.“These soldiers risk their lives protecting the State of Israel and Jews worldwide. This is an excellent opportunity for FIDF supporters to witness and experience the impact of their life-changing contributions to the well-being of Israel’s soldiers, and it’s a wonderful chance for us to personally thank the IDF soldiers for their service.”

 

“As a woman officer, I often found myself trying to break the glass ceiling. When I was serving in the IDF, it felt as though this ceiling was made of concrete. But I was able to break through and open the way for future generations of women,” said Klifi-Amir. “Up until 20 years ago, women in the IDF served in a narrow range of administration and support roles. Today, 95 percent of all jobs in the IDF are open to women, who serve as pilots, infantry soldiers, artillery combat soldiers, electronic warfare specialists and anti-aircraft and naval officers – and as many as 11 percent of combat soldiers drafted every year are women. In the last five years, due to increased motivation of women to join combat positions, this number grew by 400 percent.”

 

FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of offering educational, cultural, recreational, and social programs and facilities that provide hope, purpose, and life-changing support for the soldiers who protect Israel and Jews worldwide.

 

For more information about the mission visit: http://www.fidf.org/womensmission