By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
New York, NY — October 6, 2014 … The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) has named two new senior executives to lead the charitable organization as it continues to expand. The FIDF named Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir as National Executive Director, beginning September 16, and Mr. Alan E. Scholnick as Chief Executive Officer, effective August 11.
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) raises approximately 85 million USD annually to support the well being of Israel’s soldiers.
The IDF is responsible for making sure that Israel’s soldiers are well trained and prepared to defend the Jewish state, but lacks monies for other basics. FIDF makes sure that the soldiers have warm socks, underwear and day packs to carry their essentials. They provide educational programs and entertainment to enhance morale.
FIDF’s Lone Soldiers Program supports IDF Lone Soldiers financially, socially and emotionally during their military service. FIDF follows these soldiers through every step of the process, providing a vast array of assistance and ensuring they know they are truly never alone. This includes Shabbat and holiday meals and a 24/7 call center to assist soldiers and parents in as many as five languages.
Israel’s Lone Soldiers are those whose families live abroad and who chose to leave their countries of origin to serve the State of Israel.
The two new FIDF senior executives will supervise this critical organization as it expands its fundraising infrastructure, building upon the strong foundation developed over the last 33 years, with the mission of supporting well being services and programs for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
IDF General Klifi-Amir joins FIDF following a 33-year Israeli military career, serving as a soldier and senior officer in the Paratroopers Brigade, as well as the Commander of the Givati Brigade. He held a wide range of commanding roles, including heading two IDF divisions, and serving as the Deputy Chief of the Ground Forces Command. Gen. Klifi-Amir was also the Military Secretary to two prime ministers, including to current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, acting as the special military and security advisor to the PM, and partner in national security decisions. Following his IDF service, Gen. Klifi-Amir worked as a security consultant, specializing in national security and strategic planning for governments and agencies worldwide. He founded his own security firm in 2012.
“I am honored to be joining FIDF, and to leverage my extensive involvement in Israeli life to lead this remarkable organization and reach new heights in supporting the brave men and women of the IDF,” said Gen. Klifi-Amir.
Mr. Scholnick has been a highly successful entrepreneur and real estate executive, with over 25 years of leadership experience that also includes notable achievements in the finance and aviation industries. He has been deeply involved in Jewish communal life as an active lay leader with multiple national philanthropic and not-for-profit organizations, including AIPAC.
“I am grateful to have this opportunity to bring my experience in strategic development, operations and fundraising to FIDF, and to lead this organization to new levels of growth and to inspire others to participate in FIDF’s essential mission,” said Mr. Scholnick.
The new senior executives will succeed National Director and CEO Emeritus, Major Gen. (Res.) Yitzhak (Jerry) Gershon, who has overseen over six years of unprecedented organizational growth.
“We are tremendously fortunate to be building this talented team with Gen. Klifi-Amir and Mr. Scholnick at the helm, as we further strengthen FIDF, and support the wellbeing of the IDF soldiers and Israeli society as a whole for generations to come,” said Nily Falic, FIDF’s National Chairman.
FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing and supporting educational, social, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for the heroic men and women of the IDF.
Today, FIDF has more than 120,000 loyal supporters, and 15 regional offices throughout the US and Panama. FIDF proudly offers its support to the IDF soldiers and their families through a variety of unique and innovative programs. These opportunities reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the State of Israel.