The American Friends of the IDF organization (FIDF) branch in Los Angeles held its annual fundraiser in the Beverly Hilton hotel and raised a record number of $20 million for IDF soldiers' welfare.
Some 1,200 guests attended the event, among them successful businessmen, IDF top brass and Simon Cowell, the tough judge on shows such as American Idol, The X Factor and The Next Big Thing, who agreed to put his dignity on the line for a the cause by singing in public
- Soldier flying to Tajikistan to look for his mother
- New olim: IDF, here we come!
- Some 80 new immigrants to join IDF
According to the Daily Mail, the event's host, billionaire Power Rangers creator Haim Saban, offered to make a $1 million donation if Cowell sang the show's theme tune with him.
The 54-year-old British star, delighted the packed room of guests after he accepted the challenge. Midway through his performance of Ron Wasserman's Go Go Power Rangers, Simon jokingly offered to donate $100,000 of his own money if he was allowed to stop. Saban then agreed he could stop singing for $250,000.
Cowell was not the only star teased into song, and singer Lionel Richie gave a rare performance to loosen the attendees' purse strings.
The larger donations were given by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, who gave $4.5 million, by Haim Saban, who gave $2.3 million, and by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who gave $1 million.
The event was also attended by 15 IDF soldiers, two of which, brothers Adi and Tamir Lerner, lone soldiers who serve in Golani and in the Paratroopers, were flown in especially and supplied a heart-wrenching moment when they surprised their parents, who attended the event.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop