By Stephen E. Lipken
Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, in conjunction with Five Synagogues of White Plains and sponsors Lisa Borowitz; Lynn and Ronald Brian; Jean and Hank Rouda, celebrated the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Westchester/Connecticut Chapter on Wednesday, February 6th with an IDF Band concert, led by Major Sharon, Commander of the Orchestra, consisting of Privates Lior and Yan, vocals; Corporals Tomer drums; Roee, piano and Sgt. Netanel, trumpet.
Past Kol Ami President Hank Rouda welcomed the community and noted that his son Ben had joined the Magav, a heavily militarized Israeli Police border unit. “We then fundraised to build four shelters/leisure corners at the Magav base and had enough left over for an ‘Impact’ college scholarship to a former IDF soldier.”
Kol Ami Rabbi Shira Milgrom led a reading of a Prayer for Our Defenders from Entrances to Holiness and Everywhere, Siddur for Shabbat and Holidays; Cantor David Rosen led Hatikvah and National Anthem, then joined the IDF vocalists along with Interim Temple Israel Center White Plains Cantor Shoshi Levin Goldberg; Westchester Jewish Council shinshinim Carmel Mena and Adi Nulman, singing many Israeli favorites such as Yerusalem Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold); Bashana Haba’a; Oseh Shalom and a unique, beautiful rendering of Adon Olam.
What followed was unbridled line dancing and horas throughout the synagogue, enjoyed by the 150 audience members.
Present was Staff Sergeant Hila, who saved the life of Major Yehuda when his lung was punctured by a grenade in a border action on July 2018. Hila inserted a needle in Yehuda’s chest, releasing air and saving his life.
“We are honored to come together as a community to honor IDF soldiers and have with us the IDF Band. We are so lucky that we have so many people that love Israel and so many who are friends of the IDF,” FIDF Director Anat Chavkin concluded.