Gene Simmons at the FIDF gala in Beverly Hills, Novermber 6, 2015.
(photo credit: NOAM CHEM)
A fund-raising gala in support of the IDF raised more than $31 million on Thursday night at a star-studded event in Los Angeles.
More than 1,200 supporters of the Israeli military attended the sold-out Friends of the Israel Defense Forces charity event at The Beverly Hilton hotel.
The FIDF Western Region Gala ushered in various A-listers, including Mark Wahlberg, Liev Schreiber, Antonio Banderas, Jason Segel, Jason Alexander and Israeli-born KISS front man Gene Simmons. The event featured a musical performance by the Beach Boys.
“For the past nine years I have watched this gala grow into the preeminent charity event it is today, and I am truly humbled by the funds raised yesterday, which are a testament to the importance of the FIDF organization and its mission. The overwhelming support from the Los Angeles community continues to amaze me,” said Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban, who served as the gala’s chairman.
Thursday’s program placed special focus on the IDF’s Lone Soldiers, who have left their countries of origin to serve as their families continue to reside outside of Israel.
Bereaved mothers of fallen IDF soldiers addressed the crowd, as did a US veteran who gave a presentation on the benefits of Israeli medical technology used in America.