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FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES

Their Job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.

aka FRIENDS OF THE IDF, FIDF   |   New York, NY   |  www.fidf.org

Mission

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces transform the lives of the young men and women of IDF through empowering educational, financial, well-being, and cultural initiatives.

Notes from the nonprofit

FIDF works in partnership with the IDF to ensure the men and women of the IDF receive the education and caring needed to safeguard the security of the State of Israel and all its peoples.

Ruling year info

1983

National Director and CEO

Rabbi Steven Weil

Main address

60 East 42nd Street

New York, NY 10165 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3156445

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Single Organization Support (Q11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) is a non-political, non-military organization that provides for wellbeing of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), veterans and family members. Established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors, FIDF is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and is the single organization authorized to collect charitable donations on behalf of the soldiers of the IDF in the United States.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

IMPACT! Scholarship Program

FIDF IMPACT! Scholarship Program aims to ensure Israel’s on-going strength as a high-tech society, Israel's labor market depends on those with a higher education. However, for many of the young men and women of the IDF from lower socio-economic backgrounds, the cost of a college or university education following their military service is prohibitive. To enable a viable future and prevent a cycle of poverty, education should be accessible to those who have given selflessly to the Jewish homeland. Over 21 years ago, FIDF created the IMPACT! Scholarship Program. This unique program provides funds to cover soldiers’ living expenses while they study and gives them the unique benefit of direct contact with their sponsors in the United States. With the success of the program, over 10,000 alumni represent in nearly every professional field, and dozens are now donors themselves!

Population(s) Served

Today, approximately 7,000 Lone Soldiers serve in the IDF. Roughly half are foreign volunteers from more than 70 nations across the globe. The other half are Israeli citizens who lack family support. Many are from broken homes, and some have lost their parents. While most IDF soldiers can lean on their families for meals, clean laundry, and a warm and loving home to return to on days off, Lone Soldiers often suffer without this vital support. Prior to and throughout their military service, and even beyond, FIDF ensures their needs for met from warm welcoming lodgings, financial aid, and food vouchers to flights home annually to see their loved ones. Crucial to morale, over 800 Lone Soldiers visited their families abroad last year. This is probably the best way to raise spirits among these young people who protect Israel.

Population(s) Served

Seeking a technological education tailored for girls, in 2018, Israel’s Cyber Education Center, developed the Mamriot program. Mamriot is a unique initiative aimed at closing the gender gap in high-tech units of the IDF—and Israeli society by extension. Mamriot cyber and tech training is designed for teenage girls in junior high school and high school. Aligning with the IDF’s needs and requirements for cyber and tech units, Mamriot provides young girls, many from Israel’s geo-social periphery, a unique education. The curriculum, approach, and environment are designed to meet their emotional and developmental needs. The program serves as a springboard into IDF technology units, and eventually into high-tech careers. Currently, classes of 12-15 girls are in sessions across the country.

Population(s) Served

Thousands of soldiers who lacked high school diplomas have received their high school equivalency diplomas through FIDF’s Formal Education Program. In 2022, approximately 750 soldiers and veterans will participate in the Formal Education initiative. The program ensures that students are prepared for their final exams, gain confidence, motivated to pursue higher education post-service, and learn the skills they need to continue their studies independently. Formal Education is a five-month course offered two times a year to align with the Ministry of Education’s exam dates that enable soldiers to receive a high school diploma.

Population(s) Served

Recognizing a broad spectrum of interests and skill sets of recently discharged soldiers mainly from challenging socio-economic, FIDF has developed a variety of training courses to assist veterans in acquiring vocational and technical expertise. A range of programs will be available from high-tech to low tech: software development, network managers, development and automation, software testers, artificial intelligence and more. Other trainings courses essential for a smoothly running society will include elevator specialists, electricians, advanced autotronics, cooks, confectionery, business English.

Population(s) Served

Project Overcome strives to ensure that all Israeli teens, despite their socioeconomic background, are given the opportunity to serve in the IDF, maximize their potential, and set their course for the brightest future. To ensure that no youth is left behind, Project Overcome helps those who have been traditionally deemed “unfit for service” to gain crucial skills that will enable them to serve in the IDF. Despite their “at-risk” status, criminal record, history, or insufficient education, all youth are given the chance to successfully integrate into the military, complete their service and build viable lives. Project Overcome addresses the needs of at-risk youth with separate tracks for women and men to prepare them for military service, train their commanders, and help them gain the life skills they need for viable futures.

Population(s) Served

An urgent, multifaceted approach to low-income soldiers and their families with assistance in covering basic needs, FIDF’s Dignity Program allows soldiers to serve their country undistracted by worries about their families and helps their family members live with dignity. During 2021, FIDF provided such assistance to over 30,000 soldiers. The pandemic caused Israeli unemployment to soar to 25%, resulting a significant increase in the number of IDF soldiers seeking relief from financial distress. The program includes Food Vouchers that can be redeemed at supermarkets, pharmacies, and other stores throughout Israel; Holiday Gift Cards distributed before Passover and Rosh Hashana to help families in need to help cover the cost of celebrating these holidays; and Special Grants for those with severe financial difficulties requiring immediate assistance.

Population(s) Served

Israel recently endured a horrifying uptick in terror attacks, reminiscent of the frequent violence that tore through the country more than a decade ago. Coupled with a history marked by wars and military activity, Israelis know unimaginable pain, loss, and grief all too well. Currently, there are 9,000 bereaved parents, 4,500 widows, 19,000 orphans and 55,000 siblings of fallen Israeli soldiers. FIDF supports thousands of bereaved family members who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one during service, offering them support as they rebuild their lives and their futures. More than a dozen Bereaved Family Retreats are funded each year.

Population(s) Served

Big and small, FIDF sponsors construction projects that create special spaces supporting the soldiers’ wellbeing, where they can relax, stay in shape, commemorate, celebrate special days, and simply feel like themselves, in or out of uniform. This year’s major projects encompass the Lone Soldier Home, the Druze Soldiers Heritage Center, and Jerusalem Education Center, Rehavam, and the Panmats Haifa Leadership Auditorium. On a smaller scale, building and furnishing projects include base infirmaries, club and leisure corners, and gyms. Each project is designed to enhance a soldier’s wellbeing from education and social events to sports and relaxation. And they offer FIDF’s generous family of supporters unique naming opportunities.

Population(s) Served

Every moment of every day, the profoundly dedicated soldiers of the IDF are working tirelessly to maintain the security of the nation’s borders and safety of its people. The FIDF Adopt a Battalion program offers multifaceted support, lifting soldiers up to rise to the challenging mission of protecting Israel. Support benefits a full battalion of choice with funds dedicated to both their financial welfare and their emotional well-being, while simultaneously providing donors a unique opportunity to connect directly with IDF soldiers. This support will provide and bolster financial relief, holiday celebrations, training completing events, soldier recognition events, and unit spirit. Adopt a Battalion donors met the challenge in 2021 and adopted over 50,000 soldiers in 86 battalions.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

FIDFs mission is to transform the lives of the young men and women of the IDF through empowering educational, financial, well-being, and cultural initiatives.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

FRIENDS OF THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES

Board of directors
as of 03/25/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Morey Levovitz

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes