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Original Article in The JNS:

This Thanksgiving season, there are several opportunities to experience the legendary Rube Goldberg. The Rube Goldberg Cartoon Gallery features the cartoon “simple way to carve a turkey,” as well as many other classic whimsical inventions “for fun, laughs and inspiration!” Flip through the Merriam-Webster dictionary and discover an entry which defines “Rube Goldberg” as “accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply.”

So how do you “simply” carve a Thanksgiving turkey, Rube-Goldberg style?

“Put a bowl of chicken salad on the window sill, which causes the on looking rooster to become overcome by grief, which leads to his tears saturating a sponge, pulling a string, releasing a trap door, causing sand to run down a trough, into a pail. The weight of the pail raises a see-saw, which makes the cord life the cover of an ice cream freezer. The penguin standing there will feel a chill, think he is at the North Pole, start to flap his wings for joy, fan a propeller, and turn a cog that causes the turkey to slide back and forth over a cabbage-cutter until it is sliced!” In Goldberg’s own words, his zany contraptions became “a symbol of man’s capacity for exerting maximum effort to achieve minimal results.”

To see, experience and even touch life-size Rube Goldberg contraptions in person, head to Philadelphia this Thanksgiving, Chanukah or winter break for “The Art of Rube Goldberg”—the first retrospective exhibit in 40 years—on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History from Oct. 12 to Jan. 21.

Visitors will learn that Goldberg was a man of many talents and interests, which over the course of his 72-year career extended beyond whimsical invention cartoons to include sports writing; answers to stupid questions in his “Foolish Questions” series (first published in the New York Evening Mail in 1908); political cartooning; his satirical takes on fashion, sports, politics, gender roles and other aspects of modern life; and his work as an early ad man.

Museum guests will also see why Goldberg has been an inspiration for generations of aspiring scientists, engineers and inventors of all ages. In many ways, he could be considered the granddaddy of STEAM—the popular, school-based approach to learning using Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as entry points for student questioning, critical thinking and discussion.

Adopting a comic style (and some funny friends)

Goldberg was born Rueben Garret Lucius Goldberg in San Francisco on July 4, 1883, the second of four children to German-Jewish immigrant parents Max Goldberg and Hannah Cohen. Though he wanted to be an illustrator from an early age, his parents had other ideas. Rube’s father was a police and fire commissioner who was also involved in real estate, banking and politics. He pushed Goldberg to attend the University of California-Berkeley, where he studied mining and engineering, and wrote for the college humor paper.

He did not push as hard a few years earlier when it came to celebrating bar mitzvah. According to Dr. Josh Perelman, chief curator and director of exhibitions and interpretation, Rube’s parents were traditional Jews, but “Rube diverged with his father around identity. He refused to become bar mitzvah. He is not what we would call a practicing Jew.” Yet, Perelman points out that “there is a sense of Jewishness in his work.”

Perelman, who spoke with JNS at the Rube Goldberg exhibit, describes Goldberg as “a very observational cartoonist—he was a member of a minority community, he was on the outside looking in. He walked the line between feeling he was a minority and feeling he was an integrated member of society. And there was a social-awareness theme with political overtones throughout.”

Goldberg’s first and last job directly related to his undergraduate engineering training was with the San Francisco sewer company. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy there and was willing to take a big pay cut to become a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle. The exhibition traces Goldberg’s extensive and eclectic career, including his innovative early work with original drawings that reveal the beginnings of his comic style, then follows his steady rise to fame as a nationally syndicated presence in the 1920s and 1930s. Highlights include one of his earliest drawings, “The Old Violinist” from 1895, an original concept drawing of Boob McNutt and Bertha from the 1920s, and original artwork for such comic-strip series’ as Foolish Questions, Mike and Ike-They Look Alike and Boob McNutt (from the 1910s and 20s).

Goldberg was both influenced by and a participant in early film. He wrote the script for the 1930 Three Stooges movie, “Soup to Nuts,” designed many of the set pieces (chairs, tables) and even made a cameo appearance. His friends included the Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marks. His classic self-operating napkin sequence appears in Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” (1936). The exhibit also features a rare interview of Goldberg by legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow.

‘Reintroduce him to the world’

Also on display are examples of children’s toys, hobby kits and board games inspired by Goldberg’s invention drawings. Goldberg had two U.S. patents, given in 1936, for the comic strip “LalaPalooza.” As the exhibit notes, his cartoons “shifted focus with political discord mounting in Europe.” Further, “he never shied away from hot-button social and political issues, and temperance and prohibition were recurring themes.”

Goldberg also offered early commentary on the Israel-Arab situation. In 1947, he sketched a black-and-white cartoon of two people walking in the desert on what seems to be parallel paths. One is identified as “Jews” and the other “Arabs.” The caption reads: “When will they find a meeting point?” Goldberg received the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1948. Later, he drew an editorial cartoon right after World War II that focused on the threat of nuclear war.

The exhibition ends with a survey of Goldberg’s work during his final decades and with a look at his lasting influence on popular culture. For example, Goldberg appears in advertisements for various cigarette, motor oil, gin, car and tire companies. His granddaughter, Jennifer George, reports, “The more I got to know him through his work, the more I understood how important it was not just to keep his legacy going, but to reintroduce him to the world.”

She and the exhibit have done a very commendable job. While Goldberg died in 1970, the official Rube Goldberg website notes that “Rube Goldberg lives on in pop culture, and is referenced daily in both print and digital media. His name is searchable, hash-taggable, and at best, viral.”

Fans and aspiring inventors can celebrate Rube Goldberg’s legacy by creating Rube Goldberg Machines™ in an annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

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Original Article in Jerusalem Post:

SECAUCUS, New Jersey – What a difference 30 years makes in the kosher food business! 

When Kosherfest, the first trade show of the kosher food industry was launched in 1989, there were 500 visitors, 69 exhibitors and an estimated 16,000 kosher products on the market. Today, the kosher food industry is a billion-dollar industry which boasts 12% annual growth. Nearly 250,000 kosher certified products bear hashgacha (kosher certification) from 1,500 kosher-certifying agencies around the world.

Kosherfest 2018, a two-day trade show that took place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, featured food, wine, beverages and industry supply exhibitors from more than 21 countries and many states across the United States, as well as sessions on the latest trends in the kosher food industry. The 7,000 visitors could navigate the show’s eight long aisles with a special downloadable exhibit app, pray morning and afternoon services onsite, and sample dozens of dairy and meat items. Each new product competition award winner, conference session and item on display in the exhibit hall told an important story of the state of the kosher food industry.

Menachem Lubinsky, CEO and President of Lubicom Marketing and Consulting, opened the show with the “State of the Kosher Industry” address, noting, “Thirty years ago, who could have envisioned this?!” He noted the first show displayed five kugels and six types of gefilte fish. “There were twelve kosher cookbooks. Now, there are 140.”

Lubinsky offered observations about the current state of the kosher food industry. “The OU offers kosher certifi cation in 100 countries. Companies have no choice but to have kosher certification – unless they are kosher, they are locked out of the American market – they can’t sell to Coke, Danon, etc. When I go to Trader Joe’s – I am floored – there are so many kosher products! And online shopping is beginning to take off.”

“Kosher consumers are loyal customers and will buy the store,” Lubinsky playfully notes. “We have 52 holidays before our first holiday,” he added, suggesting that kosher consumers buy flowers, prepared foods, baked goods, wine and more each week in observance of the Jewish Sabbath, before even taking in to consideration products purchased for Rosh Hashanah, Passover and other Jewish holidays.

For the second year in a row, Yarden Horwitz was invited to deliver the keynote address on “Strategic Planning Using Valuable Trending Information.” She recently left Google to start Spate (spate.nyc), a company which uses data science to predict the next big trend. She explains that her company “takes machine intelligence and identifies key words to see what is declining and rising.”

As an example, she explains that the top three food trends include keto (high protein, low carb diet), superfoods (foods mostly plant based and rich in nutrients) and bowls (food deconstructed and served in bowls). Horwitz demonstrated what she called “millions of online signals and data points” by noting a huge spike in kosher sales each April, just prior to Passover. Specifically, her company has observed an increase in people searching for “kosher (for Passover) beer.”

Other sessions at Kosherfest included: “Maximizing Your Opportunities in Food Service,” “Newest Trends in Kosher Cuisine,” “Leveraging Technology and Online Grocery in Your Store,” “Using Technology to Upgrade Kashrus Supervision: New Challenges and New Opportunities” and “Building Your Online Presence: Effective Website and Social Media Practices.”

Glass display cases showed the new product award winners given in 16 categories, including Easy Onions by Bloom’s (diced, sautéed onions in a can), which was awarded Best in Show, Snack Delite Fruity Marshmallow Bars (Convenience breakfast), TropicMax All Natural Plantain Croutons (Savory Snack), Meal Mart’s Israeli Style Shwarma Sausage (Packaged Meats) and the ShabBulb, a Shabbat permissible LED bulb (Novelty).

How do we understand the winners and what they suggest about the kosher food industry in 2018? In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Lubinsky explains, “As you might guess, the change in the kosher community has been nothing short of a revolution. You might say that kosher grew from a food category into an industry. What the winners of the New Product Showcase and indeed the show indicate is the movement towards convenience, especially since there is a new breed of housewife chefs who live by cookbooks and weekly magazine supplements.

 “The onions are a good example of using foods that can be incorporated into upscale home food preparation,” he continued. “Another amazing movement is the millennials moving steadily toward healthier foods, seen in almost every category from natural and organic ingredients to healthier portion controlled snacks like veggie snacks. Yes, we are dealing with a much more affluent and younger kosher consumer who is willing to spend on upscale foods but at the same time is looking for healthier foods.”

Paula Shoyer, author of such cook books as The Kosher Baker, The New Passover Menu and The Healthy Jewish Kitchen, does cooking and baking demos across the United States and around the world. She is also a regular attendee at Kosherfest.

“The winners show that more and more every year, kosher people want to eat what everyone else is eating, which explains the popularity of the Korean sauces and the energy drink,” Shoyer said. “Israeli food is big, not just among Jews but in general in the US, so it’s smart to have shwarma sausage, date syrup marinade. Overall, I am happy to see international products among the winners. I am excited about the Korean sauces, which I have samples, and it allows me to create Korean food recipes for the kosher audience and not have to make everything from scratch, such as my tofu bibibop recipe in The Healthy Jewish Kitchen. I also love high quality pitted olives because I like shortcuts that do not involve packaged products.”

Yakov Yarmove, corporate director of ethnic marketing and specialty foods at Albertsons Companies, adds, “historically, we have migrated to national, non-kosher trends 30 years late. Now, Gen Z and millennials want it quicker. They work in the professional world and see it and want it. They want to know how they can do it as kosher. This is no longer your grandmother’s kosher!”

A walk through the aisles of Kosherfest reveals just how right Yarmove is. While old favorites like hot dogs, gefilte fish and deli slices are still available for the sampling and might be familiar to the generation of grandparents, there are many new and unique items which just may soon make it to the shelves of local supermarket chains and specialty stores.

The Rebbe’s Choice Herring offers a twist on the classic herring. Each flavor – including Jalapeño Matjes, Honey Mustard Sriracha, Smokey Zaatar and three others are “inspired” by such rabbis as Lelov, Kotzk, Reb Zusha and Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev.

Jem’s Beer Factory, produced in Petah Tikvah, has been in the United States for two months. Eight flavors include berry ale, wheat and an IPA. Their brochure notes, “For me, brewing beer…serves as a catalyst for bringing people together and celebrate life, while contributing to the development of the beer culture in Israel and the realization of my personal Zionist dream.” Dagim Fish Co. has expanded to include zucchini fritters, mushroom fritters, pretzels and waffles.

Several curious women passed the Wandering Que and asked, “What is that?” When they realized they were giving out samples of smoked meat, one remarked, “I’m not becoming fleishig yet.” Signs throughout the exhibit hall warned visitors that both dairy and meat products were on display. Brian’s five flavors of calzones are “certified vegetarian.” Some of David’s Cookies are now pareve. Bongja Ziporah Rothkopf, CEO of KOKO Kosher Korean, which makes Gochujang red pepper paste, kosher kimchi and other Korean products, is excited to soon open a Korean Kosher restaurant in Jerusalem.

Vered Ben-Sa’adon, marketing and visitors center manager for Tura Estate Winery in Rechelim (Samaria), Israel, proudly points out, “There are not many religious women working in wineries!” A few booths away, Shay Fishbein, an engineer and teacher by training and his wife, explain how they began using the abundance of passion fruit plants on their moshav, Ein Iron (between Tel Aviv and Haifa) to bottle passion fruit liquor for family and friends. They now bottle and sell 15,000 bottles of Flora per year.

Perhaps the two exhibitors who traveled the furthest distance came from Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Audrey Peiris of PS Kosher Food Works in Sri Lanka explains that Sri Lanka exports coconuts, tea and spices. Peiris and Malaysian colleague, Mrs. Kalsaba, director of Bhavani Foods, maker of Uncle Saba’s Popadams (sitting at the next table), explain that they both learned about kosher when approached several years ago by the Star-K kosher certifying agency. They have been under their supervision ever since.

Christine Salmon, Kosherfest Show Director, proudly sums up the show and the kosher food industry.

“Some people don’t realize how diverse the kosher industry is today,” Salmon said. “Our exhibitors are showcasing some of the most innovative products in the world, and we are proud to provide a platform to introduce these products to the marketplace and connect professional kosher buyers and sellers to help move the industry forward. It’s incredible.”

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Original Article in The Jerusalem Post:

PHILADELPHIA – If you want to get to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, go to Independence Hall to see the Liberty Bell, then grab a kosher falafel and tehina shake at Goldie’s, climb the “Rocky Steps,” see the Rocky statue and take a selfie at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Museum, take in a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center, then take two SEPTA trains to the Fifth Street and Independence Mall Station. Pass through museum security, take the elevator to the fifth floor and you will be treated to “The Art of Rube Goldberg,” the first retrospective exhibit in 40 years, celebrating the groundbreaking art of Rube Goldberg. Sound complicated? Rube Goldberg would be proud!

Goldberg, who lived from 1883 to 1970, built his distinguished career on making the simple complicated. By age 48, as the exhibit points out, his name was part of the lexicon and was added to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. Rube Goldberg, now an adjective, is defined as “accomplishing by overly complex and humorous means what seemingly could be done simply.” The exhibition opened on October 12 and runs through January 21, 2019. It begins with one such contraption that visitors can manipulate and proceeds to show – through cartoon strips, puzzles, board games and video clips – the many sides of Goldberg, including sports writer, political cartoonist, ad man and Pulitzer Prize winner.

Docent Paul Woolf repeatedly laughed out loud as he read and re-read cartoons mounted on walls throughout the gallery. “His imagination is just incredible. He takes simple things and makes them so complex – or stupid, like his “Foolish Questions” cartoons. Goldberg’s first Foolish Questions cartoon was published in New York’s Evening Mail in 1908 and became an “instant hit.” Woolf humbly notes, “There are some aspects of his life people don’t know about – I didn’t! People know about his inventions but not his other works. He had 50,000 things in print in his lifetime compared to Charles Schultz (of “Peanuts” fame) who had 18,000. And he popularized the term ‘Baloney!’”

Goldberg, the third child born in San Francisco, California, to traditional German- Jewish immigrant parents Max Goldberg and Hannah Cohen, wanted to be an illustrator from an early age. His father, described as “flamboyant, a former cowboy and a political operator,” had other ideas. Goldberg studied mining and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he wrote for the college humor paper. He took his first job with a San Francisco sewer company – and took a big pay cut when he left to become a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

GOLDBERG NEVER swayed from his true love, continuing to write and sketch works that included “Boob McNutt,” “Foolish Questions” and “Mike and Ike: They Look Alike.” His distinguished career included to a brief stint in Hollywood with friends the Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx. He wrote the script for the Three Stooges movie, Soup to Nuts, designed many of the set pieces (chairs, tables) and even made a cameo appearance. Goldberg had two US patents in 1936 for the comic strip, “Lala Palooza.” As the exhibit notes, his cartoons “shifted focus with political discord mounting in Europe.” In 1947, Goldberg sketched a black and white cartoon of two people walking in the desert on what seem to be parallel paths. One is identified as “Jews” and the other “Arabs.” The caption reads, “When will they find a meeting point?” Goldberg received the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1948. He drew an editorial cartoon right after World War Two that focused on the threat of nuclear war in which the words “Atomic Bomb,” “World Control” and “World Destruction” appear in capital letters. The exhibit explanation says, “[Goldberg] never shied away from hot-button social and political issues, and temperance and prohibition were recurring themes.”

At the end of the exhibit, Goldberg appears in an advertisement for a gin company and for Lucky Strike cigarettes (1940s). It notes that he was an early ad man, penning content for Pennzoil Motor Oil, Goodrich Tires and Volkswagen. In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Dr. Josh Perelman, chief curator and director of exhibitions and interpretation, playfully noted that his granddaughter Jennifer George said, “He never smoked a single cigarette in his life.” Goldberg was a lifelong cigar smoker. Goldberg’s work has universal appeal and has been credited with contributing to the rise of interest in helping students develop STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) by problem- solving. Yet, as Perelman notes, there is “a sense of Jewishness” in Goldberg’s work.

“He was a very observational cartoonist. As a member of a minority community, he was on the outside looking in. He walked the line between feeling he was a minority and feeling he was an integrated member of society. And there was a social awareness theme with political overtones throughout. This comes out of his formative years.” Perelman also noted there was something particularly Jewish in the “slapstick nature of his cartooning.”

Perelman sees great potential in exposing viewers to the full world of Goldberg. “For people of all ages, he was so well-known as an adjective. We have an opportunity to help him gain his due as a noun. A whole generation knows what a Rube Goldberg machine is, but they don’t necessarily know who Rube Goldberg was as a person.”

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Original Article in The JNS:

They got the billing right. The headliner of a charitable evening in Midtown Manhattan on Oct. 17 featured 30-plus Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers and officers—donned in uniforms and berets representing various military branches and units—on hand for “A Night of Heroes: A Spectacular Celebration of Israel and the IDF at 70.”

The event, sponsored by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National New York Gala Dinner and held at the New York Hilton Midtown for a crowd of 1,200, raised more than $32 million to support the well-being of and educational programs for Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Capt. Amir Guttman, the naval attaché, came to New York from Washington, where he represents the IDF to the Pentagon and the Coast Guard. He was not permitted to disclose details of his job or his exact place of residence. Cpl. Idan Bakshi of the IDF musical ensemble was pleased to represent Israel and the IDF, and was enjoying his first trip to New York. “It is nice to know that people chutz l’aretz [‘outside of Israel’] value what we do,” he said.


An overview of the FIDF National New York Gala Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown on Oct. 17, 2018. Credit: Shahar Azran.

Sgt. Eden Hadassi from Emek Yizrael serves in the Maglan unit as an instructor of special equipment. She movingly told JNS of her great appreciation for the Friends of the IDF. Thanks to them, she attended Camp Ramah in Ojai, Calif., when she was 12 years old, as part of the Legacy/Moreshet program.

“My oldest brother was killed in the Second Lebanon War when I was 10, and I was invited to go to camp with others in the same situation as me,” she related.

Hadassi recently returned from serving as a counselor on a trip to San Francisco for children who lost a sibling while serving in the IDF. “I wanted to be there 24/7 for those kids. I can understand them.” She noted that “FIDF does so much for us—for wounded soldiers, lone soldiers and more. FIDF donated a synagogue building and classrooms, and an excellent gym on my base. And there is a special memorial room with a picture of my brother and information about him.”

Honored guests included a staff sergeant and paramedic who had been involved with treating wounded Syrian civilians along the border with Israel as part of the IDF’s “Operation Good Neighbor.” Maj. Or Ben-Yehuda, who served in the Caracal Battalion—one of the only co-ed military units in the world—and her mother, Professor Dina Ben-Yehuda, shared their story of heroism passing on from generation to generation. Attendees viewed moving videos of Dr. Ben-Yehuda, who served in the IDF during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and Or, who in 2014 single-handedly fought off a group of terrorists and was awarded for her courageous actions.

Or, who lives in Kiryat Ono, spoke with JNS about how she has personally experienced FIDF’s impact. “I visited a lone soldier in my company in his apartment. It was cold; there was no closets, no kitchen stuff. I called the FIDF and when I came again, it was all there!”

She further reports, “When I was wounded at the Egyptian borer and lingered in the hospital, FIDF gave me a box with all the things a soldier could need: shampoo, food, etc. I was most proud of a letter inside from a couple who didn’t even know me. They said, ‘We appreciate what you do!”

Distinguished guests included Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon; Consul General of Israel in New York Dani Dayan; Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the United States Maj. Gen. Michael Edelstein; FIDF acting chairman Peter Weintraub; FIDF chairman emeritus Arthur Stark; FIDF acting president Robert Cohen; FIDF national director and CEO Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir and his wife, Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Gila Klifi-Amir; radio personality and voice over artist Valerie Smaldone, who presided as master of ceremonies; and FIDF tri-state executive director Galit Brichta.

On a lighter note, Israeli singer and actress Shiri Maimon, who recently starred as Roxie in “Chicago” on Broadway, performed several Hebrew and English songs.

‘Strong IDF, strong bond between Israel and America’

Highlighting the unique cooperation between the United States and Israel, Brig.-Gen. Tal Kelman, head of the Strategic Division of the IDF Planning Directorate and former Chief of Staff in the Israeli Air Force (IAF), discussed working together with U.S. Air Force soldiers during the Juniper Cobra joint military exercise earlier this year. He was joined on stage by Cpt. Or, the first female soldier to command a Patriot Battery, who recently employed an advanced air-defense system to shoot down the Syrian airplane and drone that invaded Israeli airspace this past July.

“Since its birth 70 years ago, Israel has continuously fought for its right to live as a free country in the Middle East. A true ‘Start-up Nation,’ Israel not only survives but thrives, with accomplishments and innovations that greatly contribute not only to her own citizens, but also to the rest of the world,” said Klifi-Amir. “The success of the State of Israel is rooted in many factors—most importantly, resting on two pillars: a strong IDF—one of the best militaries in the world, with the highest moral and ethics—and the strong bond between Israel and the great United States of America.

“Standing together is the most powerful way to continue to thrive, flourish and face the challenges yet to come,” she continued. “We were honored to have so many highly distinguished guests join us at this momentous annual gala, as we celebrated 70 years of Israel and saluted the heroes of the IDF.”

IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot was scheduled to speak at the event, but had to return to Israel due to recent security developments. “He was on his way from Washington to New York at 9:30 p.m. when he was called back by the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Weintraub. “We therefore need to show solidarity and support or the IDF. We can’t forget the thousands on the ground protecting every inch of Israel, as we speak.

“The miracle called Israel has continued to exist as a strong and thriving country over the past 70 years, and it will continue to exist thanks to the heroic soldiers of the IDF, who put their lives on the line every day to defend the home of the Jewish nation,” he said. “I am proud to chair this extraordinary event and salute Israel’s soldiers for their countless sacrifices, historic victories and commitment to our people.”

Notable among the donations was a $5 million Planned Giving gift. Or Lachayal pledged $2.5 million; FIDF national vice president Marc Perlman pledged $1.6 million; Nefesh B’Nefesh pledged $1.3 million; FIDF Young Leadership New York pledged $1.2 million; FIDF national board member and New York Real Estate Division chairman emeritus Ofer Yardeni pledged $1 million on behalf of FIDF New York Real Estate; Brothers for Life pledged $1 million; Genesis Philanthropy Group pledged $700,000; and the Iranian American Jewish Federation pledged $550,000. Weintraub’s granddaughter pledged $180 for each of his 14 grandchildren.

Funds raised at the gala will provide much-needed and well-deserved services such as academic scholarships to combat veterans; financial assistance for soldiers in-need; support for “lone soldiers” throughout their service and upon release; crucial aid for wounded veterans and the families of fallen soldiers; weeks of rest and recuperation for entire IDF units; as well as educational, cultural and recreational facilities for all soldiers.

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