The annual evening of tribute for IDF soldiers took place in Los Angeles on Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with approximately 1,000 guests from the United States and Israel.
The event, at which a $29 million donation (NIS 101 million) was raised for the benefit of IDF soldiers, was held in memory of the late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).
Sgt. (Res.) Amit Kadosh, who was part of a special operation to eliminate a top Hamas terrorist, was one of the IDF representatives present at the event. Following his IDF service, Amit was awarded the IMPACT! scholarship, and studied computer science and business administration at Tel Aviv University. During the event, Amit surprised his girlfriend of seven years, Talia, by asking her to marry him from the stage.
Additional IDF soldiers who took part in the event were: Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Izzy Azogi, who immigrated to Israel from the United States, joined the IDF, and returned to service after he was seriously wounded by a mortar shell; Lieutenant Jerusalem, a soldier of Ethiopian descent whose vision impairment didn't stop her from enlisting in the IDF and becoming an officer in the Northern Command; Lieutenant N., a Druze fighter in an elite unit in the Paratroopers Brigade, who joined the IDF despite the opposition of his family; Corporal Eden Elena, a singer in a military band and the winner of the reality show The X-Factor; and Sgt. Y., a lone soldier from the United States serving in an elite unit.