Long Island Youth Raise Funds For College Scholarship


    Supporters attended the annual “FIDF Family Fun Day”

    Saddle Rock Park full of families enjoying the beautiful day supporting FIDF.
    (Courtesy of FIDF)

    More than 250 Long Island supporters of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gathered at Saddle Rock Park in Great Neck for a “Family Fun Day” carnival in honor of the brave young men and women who protect the State of Israel and Jews worldwide. There have been seven FIDF “Family Fun Day” events in the past but due to the COVID-19 pandemic a couple of the events were skipped.
    The “Family Fun Day” event is run by the FIDF Long Island Teen Committee each year. The teens work hard to organize the day to be fun for the whole family while supporting the IDF soldiers.

    From the left; Carnival Chair Maya Ben Josef, with fellow carnival committee members Jules Ahdoot, Michelle Wasserman and Vicky Sakhai.

    “Teens wanted to step up and own a project that they can coordinate on their own in order to raise funds and grow the Teen FIDF community,” said FIDF Long Island Chapter Executive Director Pninit Cole.
    The Israeli-themed event featured authentic Israeli food, complimentary music by DJ Billy Brown and generously donated workout clothing for sale from 90 Degree by Reflex at a makeshift Israeli “shuk” or outdoor market. Games and raffle prizes were available for kids of all ages.
    Proceeds from the event specifically go towards funding an IMPACT! Scholarship, which will put one deserving IDF soldier through four years of college.
    “We work with the Israel team to pick a deserving student who served as a combat soldier or is an immigrant and displays financial need to achieve their dreams of higher education,” explained Cole.
    “This event showed us that even a small group can make a big impact,” said Maya Ben Josef, Carnival Chair. “Organizing the carnival was an important way for teens, who are passionate about helping FIDF, to give back to the state of Israel and its soldiers.” Ben Josef is the daughter of FIDF Long Island Chairman, Ronny Ben Josef, who has led by example in his enormous contributions to the organization.
    VIP attendees included Mazi Pilip (District 10 Legislator), Jennifer DeSena (North Hempstead Town Supervisor), Dr. Dan Levy (Mayor of Saddle Rock) and Ronny Ben Josef (National Board member and Long Island Chairman). Young children to teens, parents and grandparents came to Saddle Rock Park to enjoy the day and support the IMPACT! Scholarship.
    “The event was a huge success as it not only generated funds but also provided an opportunity for the teens and supporters to get together and share a beautiful day giving back to the IDF,” said Cole. “[The event] also drew new community members that were inspired to learn more about the organization and hope to get involved.”

    From the left; Yehuda Friedman (FIDF Director of Community Engagement), Michelle Ahdoot (FIDF community outreach chair), Orly Maslavi (FIDF Women’s Brigade founder and member), Pninit Cole (FIDF Long Island Director), Mazi Pilip (District 10 Legislator), Jennifer DeSena (North Hempstead Town Supervisor), Dr. Dan Levy (Mayor of Saddle Rock), Merav Ben Josef (Long Island chapter member) and Ronny Ben-Josef, (FIDF National Board member and Long Island chairman).

    “We are grateful to the local community who supported us in our goal of raising funds for an IMPACT! Scholarship for an IDF soldier,” said Cole. “It’s an especially meaningful cause for our local Young Leaders who will soon be pursuing their own college journeys and understand the sacrifices that Israeli teens go through during their service.”
    More about Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF):
    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. Today, FIDF has 24 chapters throughout the United States. FIDF proudly supports IDF soldiers, families of fallen soldiers, and wounded veterans through a variety of innovative programs that reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States and the soldiers of the IDF. For more information, please visit: www.fidf.org

    —Submitted by the Friends of the IDF with additional reporting by Julie Prisco

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