Friends of the Israel Defense Forces launched “FIDF LIVE,” a new philanthropic initiative that aims to take audience engagement to a new level in the face of ongoing limitations caused by COVID-19.

FIDF LIVE will provide an alternative to in-person experiences and bring awareness of FIDF’s cause and activities to a broader audience, according to a news release.

The FIDF LIVE show, hosted by American stand-up comedian and author Joel Chasnoff, will air 30-minute episodes on FIDF’s website every other week at 8:30 p.m. It debuted Feb. 17.

“In these challenging times, as we continue to face a global pandemic, it is our duty to find creative and forward-looking ways to engage with our FIDF supporters, who are also looking to safely engage with us,” said Steven Weil, FIDF national director and CEO, in the release. “By launching FIDF LIVE, we are enabling the members of our community to take their meaningful connections with Israel’s soldiers to the next level, while continuing to provide them with much-needed support.”

Chasnoff said in the release, “We have a great opportunity to put a face to the Israeli soldier and bring their stories straight into people’s living rooms. It’s a perfect way to engage with both longtime supporters and new, younger supporters and show them a little insight into what the IDF is really like. As a former Lone Soldier myself, I’m honored to be part of this project, and the one to bring this to them.”

In the late 1990s, Chasnoff, a Chicago native, served in the IDF Armored Corps. He is the author of the comedic memoir “The 188th Crybaby Brigade,” about that experience.

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