1 April 2014 – The prime ministers of Great Britain and Canada recently reaffirmed their nations’ support for the security of Israel. Since the United States has also long stood as a supporter of the Jewish state, the editor of 20th Century Aviation Magazine encouraged this writer to visit Israel and file a report.
It was during this period of time, spent with Sar-El, Israel’s leading non-profit volunteer organization, that I realized the importance of the Israel Air Force (IAF) and its goal of helping to ensure the nation’s survival in the face of determined enemies.
Watching the IAF aircraft soaring overhead, one sensed that Israel’s aerial arm needed encouragement and support from more than just those wearing IDF uniforms. Ms. Simcha Salach, the Executive Director of the Israel Air Force Center Foundation (IAFCF), graciously agreed to discuss this subject with me and thereby expound upon the organization’s works.
“The IAF Center in Herzliya supports the work of the Israel Air Force Center and the broader Israeli society through a combination of educational programs, advocacy, and social services,” said Ms. Salach. She added, “Our wide range of programs strengthens the Air Force, enriches Israeli society, and builds the next generation of Israeli leaders. This work includes educational and professional seminars for young officers through the National Center for Leadership and Character Development, strategic and tactical research in space and aviation through the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies, and retreats and social and welfare programs for families of fallen soldiers.”
On the subject of research, Ms. Salach explained, “The Israel Air Force Center Association founded the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies to develop cutting-edge research in national security policy, and international affairs. The Institute is bringing together Israeli Air Force specialists, policymakers and academics to develop solutions for a range of issues facing the Air Force and beyond.”
Ms. Salach discussed an upcoming IAFCF, which is approaching its 10th anniversary, Mission to Israel that will take place June 19-27, 2014, and commemorate the Centennial of Israeli Aviation. She said that the excursion “is always a remarkable experience for participants. Those attending get an exclusive view into Israel’s security establishment. They meet IAF personnel, cadets and other Israeli teenagers.” Regarding teens, Simcha noted that the IAFC is the hub for all Israeli Air Force Technical High Schools which educate, starting at the age of 14, future highly skilled technical engineers.
Suffice it to say, the IAFCF and IAFC are impressive. Therefore, I inquired as to how interested readers can become involved? “The Israel Air Force Center Foundation in the United States welcomes all who are interested in becoming a member,” Ms. Salach beamed, adding, “By joining the Foundation and supporting the IAF Center’s activities, you can strengthen the Air Force and enrich Israeli society.”
Ms. Salach concluded our interview by noting that the IAFC produces and distributes an electronic newsletter. Individuals may subscribe by visiting the IAFC’s online subscription page, which is located at the following Internet address: http://iafc-foundation.org/iafc-newsletters/
Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, once wrote that the country’s success would be judged “by the moral character it imparts to its citizens and the human values determining its inner and outward relations.” The IAFC is actively doing the foregoing, and, after meeting Ms. Salach, it’s safe to say the IAFC and IAFCF are in good hands.
The Israel Air Force Center Foundation is located at 120 El Camino Drive, Suite 110, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 and can be reached by phone at (877) 479-1510 (toll free) or (424) 279-9581.
The author sincerely thanks Simcha Salach and her Israel Air Force Center Foundation assistant John E. Carey for their cooperation and graciousness.