May 20, 2024
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Kaplen JCC Patron of the Arts Program Collaborates With FIDF

(Courtesy of Kaplen JCC) Since its inception two years ago, the Kaplen JCC Patron of the Arts program has engaged our community in meaningful cultural arts experiences. To expand its offerings in new and exciting ways, the Patrons program is now collaborating with the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) to offer a new avenue for cultural programming at the JCC that will include ongoing concerts, performances and speaker engagements throughout the year.

The collaboration will launch on Tuesday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m., when one of approximately 20 existing IDF music ensembles delivers an evening of popular and traditional Israeli songs. These active-duty members of the IDF perform in full uniform in any and all locations where IDF forces are stationed, as well as on a voluntary basis for civilian populations. Each ensemble is composed of highly talented singers and musicians, all of whom are blessed with great skill, charisma, and stage presence. Many of the most celebrated Israeli singers and musicians are alumni of these IDF musical ensembles.

“We are thrilled to offer this exciting cultural experience to the broader community,” said Nina Bachrach, director of Arts and Culture Development at the JCC. “We are so proud to be bringing these talented soldiers to the JCC. They will have the audience singing and dancing in the aisles, and equally important, they will inspire our shared, unwavering commitment and admiration for the IDF.”

“I am thrilled that the JCC and FIDF are collaborating to support the well-being of the IDF soldiers,” added Howard Gases, director of the NJ Chapter of FIDF. “Together we can assure that the soldiers are provided for. As our motto states: Their job is to look after Israel, and our job is to look after them. Every year, hundreds of active soldiers audition for these military ensembles, and only a select few are chosen. It’s highly competitive, and with only one opportunity a year to showcase their talent and ability, these soldiers put their heart and soul into gaining a spot and then give their all at every performance.”

The second event in the JCC Patron of the Arts/FIDF series will take place on Thursday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m., with Dr. Tal Becker—deputy legal adviser at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and senior member of the Israeli peace negotiation team.

FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to 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 more than 150,000 loyal supporters, and 20 chapters throughout the US and Panama. It proudly supports IDF soldiers, families of fallen soldiers and wounded veterans through a variety of innovative programs that reinforce the vital bond between communities in the United States, soldiers of the IDF, and the state of Israel. For more information, please visit: www.fidf.org

The JCC Patron of the Arts program provides the community with access to the cultural arts in new and exciting ways through performances, community discussions, intellectual exploration, cultural experiences, film, art exhibitions and literary events. It also offers corporate patronage, which provides unique opportunities for local businesses to increase their exposure and raise their profile in the community.

Support of the program allows the JCC to enrich the lives of more than 25,000 individuals each year—and helps provide scholarship assistance at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music, dance school and performing arts school.

The new Patron of the Arts/FIDF series is open to the public for a modest fee of only $10 per event. Its presenting sponsor is Maggie Kaplen—The Kaplen Foundation. For more information or to register for a JCC FIDF event, visit www.jccotp.org/fidf.

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