Some 500 supporters gathered on Sunday night for the sold-out Belev Echad Annual Dinner in support of wounded Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veterans. The event was held at the Capitale in Manhattan and marked the 10-year anniversary of the Belev Echad Organization, which was started by Rabbi Uriel & Shevy Vigler.
The evening - which included a special Hanukkah candle lighting - raised $1.7 million to support for wounded Israeli soldiers and their families. Celebrities in attendance included Netflix hit series Shtisel star Michael Aloni (Kive Shtisel), Fauda star Moran Rosenblatt (Anat Moreno), and Dr. Mike Evans, a well-known Christian Zionist.
Jewish Music superstar Yaakov Shwekey delighted guests with a brief performance during the event.
One of the highlights during the gala was an award ceremony for 11 wounded IDF veterans who traveled for the event from Israel. The wounded veterans took part in a 10-day tour of New York City courtesy of Belev Echad, during which they attended the Brooklyn Nets game versus the Chicago Bulls and visited top New York visitors’ attractions, including Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero.
“Belev Echad aims to show the Jewish people’s gratitude to IDF veterans for putting their lives on the line to protect and defend the Jewish State,” said Rabbi Uriel & Shevy Vigler. “These soldiers have all made huge sacrifices by honoring that commitment and it has been my pleasure introducing them to grateful and admiring members of the New York Community who all recognize their heroism.”
Founded in New York City in 2009, Belev Echad established a global initiative to honor these brave warriors and their families, residing both in Israel and the United States, through a system of love, support and education. Through programs for wounded warriors, career counseling, scholarship funds, and social and educational events, Belev Echad makes a small, but meaningful, contribution towards repaying them for their service.