Haim Saban’s Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Gala Raises Record $33 Million

Barbra Streisand Haim Saban FIDF Gala
Tiffany Rose/WireImage

The ballroom of the Beverly Hilton was flush with pride at Thursday’s Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Gala, where billionaire media mogul and fundraising juggernaut Haim Saban inspired some of the biggest names in Hollywood and in the business sector to donate a record-breaking $33 million to the non-profit organization, which provides educational, social, cultural, and economic services for Israel’s soldiers and the families of fallen soldiers.

Barbra Streisand, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Avi Lerner, Pamela Anderson, Ben Silverman and Chris Tucker were among the 1,200 guests at the star-studded fete, which featured a gourmet three-course kosher dinner, spirited musical performances by David Foster, Canadian quartet the Tenors and Ricky Martin, and an emotional reunion between American and Israeli vets brought together through Heroes to Heroes, a philanthropic foundation that funds trips for U.S. soldiers to Israel to help them heal from the devastating effects of war. Evie and Stuart Steinberg, the parents of Max Steinberg, a Golani Brigade soldier from Los Angeles who was killed in the line of duty in Gaza this past summer, were also in attendance to lend their vocal and financial support.

“Year after year we are powerfully moved by their example,” Saban said of the heroic soldiers in the crowd. “Their example reminds us that what matters most is not what you have, but what you give.”

To wit, Oracle’s Larry Ellison donated $9 million and Guess founders Paul and Maurice Marciano donated $5.2 million during the fundraising portion of the event.

“In my mind, there is no greater honor than supporting some of the bravest people in the world,” said Ellison, “and I thank FIDF for providing us with this opportunity year after year to celebrate and support these soldiers. These men and women come together with indefatigable purpose, to defend Israel and strive to co-exist in peace.”

“This event is always one of the most inspiring and emotional evenings of the year,” said Streisand.

(Pictured: Barbra Streisand and Haim Saban at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Western Region Gala)

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  1. Palcanaan says:

    Nothing heroic about a marauding army that claims to be a defense force but ends up killing over 1500 civilians in Gaza including 580 children. A badge of shame will forever be attached to the Israeli army.

  2. Lorraine Dudum says:

    Were there any veterans from USS Liberty at that Gala?

  3. lonevet2008 says:

    This is just sad, the money should be given to Gaza and the food to the homeless. This is obscene.

    • reply says:

      Unfortunately Gaza is run by terrorists, the same terrorists whose goal is the destruction of Israel and all western culture, including that of the United States. Those terrorists will take any money and use it to fund more terrorism, not to better their country, which they have proven. There is nothing obscene about people supporting young men and women who risk their lives for the survival of their country and families on a daily basis. What is obscene is the ignorance of people like you and Brian Mulligan down there who spew hate and unfairly judge a country that is doing its best to survive amidst a sea of fanatics who want nothing less than its annihilation.

    • Gene Lemour says:

      What is obscene, are islamic terrorists firing rockets from residential areas that house civilians and then blaming Israel from defending itself! These same terrorists have homes in the wealthy Emirates and their families are safe from harm while innocent Israelis including soldiers die! that’s obscene!!

      • Brian Mulligan says:

        Gene, using your logic it would appear that a person being raped, who fights back and kills the rapist during the rape, is guilty of murder. Who is defending whom from what? Don’t you have the right to resist when you live under a constant blockade resulting in what some have called “the biggest open air prison in the world,” and have been subjugated for years by those who displaced you from your home?

        As for this event I can’t imagine a fundraising effort, to support the needs of a foreign nation’s military’s soldiers (social, educational or otherwise) being held for ANY other nation without more than a few protests.

    • Gene Lemour says:

      Good for them. Standing with Israel is a necessary thing to do, in light of the overwhelming pressure from those who want to destroy Israel!

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