Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Celebrate Military Heroes

FIDF Central Region Announces 2013 Annual Dinner for 1,000 of Chicago’s prominent leaders

The event is open to the media upon RSVP to:

Chicago, IL, September 11, 2013 – Two very special guests will reunite at the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) Central Region’s Annual Dinner taking place on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the Hilton Chicago. Larry Goodman, Chairman of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundation and FIDF supporter, will join Maru Gete, a medical student whom Goodman has supported through the FIDF’s IMPACT! Scholarship Program, at the FIDF Central Region Annual Dinner.

The Annual Dinner, FIDF Central Region’s largest annual fundraising event, will honor Mr. Goodman and bring together more than 1,000 business and community leaders, along with IDF soldiers and American Armed Forces members.

“It is a great privilege to be honored by the FIDF’s Central Region and to join Maru for this important celebration,” said Mr. Goodman. “The Israeli military heroes protect our homeland on a daily basis. It’s organizations like the FIDF that help protect these heroes and their families. I’m honored to play a role at this year’s dinner.”

Mr. Goodman has dedicated his life to strengthening Jewish life in Chicago, the United States and Israel, as well as supporting secular organizations that address education, hunger issues, and the prevention of drug abuse. As part of his contributions to FIDF programming, he has supported many students through the FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship Program at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. 

Maru Gete, a scholarship recipient whom Mr. Goodman has sponsored as part of the organization’s IMPACT! Program, will also attend the Annual Dinner as a special guest. Originally from Ethiopia, Maru served as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces and will soon begin his residency at Soroka Hospital in Be’er-Sheva, Israel, becoming one of only a couple dozen medical doctors of Ethiopian descent in the country.

 “I’m very excited to come to the U.S., and especially thrilled to get the opportunity to thank Mr. Larry Goodman for his support during my medical studies,” said Maru. “Thanks to him, I could finish my studies and a few months from now, after I finish my final exams, I’m going to be a doctor.”

The FIDF IMPACT! Program provides former combat soldiers, who have completed their service in the IDF but cannot afford the cost of higher education, with academic scholarships to further their education and pursue the next chapter in their lives. After serving their country and risking their lives on the frontlines, IMPACT! helps soldiers reach their fullest potential so they can pursue their goals and continue to give back to the community in Israel. The program requires all IMPACT! students to complete 130 hours of community service for every year of their scholarship.

Tickets for the dinner are available at J.B. Pritzker, Managing Partner of The Pritzker Group will be the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

WHAT: FIDF Central Region Annual Dinner

WHEN: Thursday, October 24, 2013

WHERE: Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue


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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 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 U.S. 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. For more information, please visit: