Apr 5, 2018

Federation Men Get Insider Israel Briefing with Peter Lerner, Former IDF Spokesperson

From all across Jewish South Palm Beach County, men of all ages who care about premium time together as well as helping the community shared a special evening with the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s Men’s Division. They gathered at the Waterstone Resort in Boca Raton on March 28 for an Insider Briefing with Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, Former Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson for the Foreign Media, following cocktails and dinner.

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For four years, Lerner led a staff of over 60 that communicated about the IDF to the world through foreign media. Following a 25-year IDF career on the forefront of crisis, controversy, and conflict, he now provides consultancy services in the fields of crisis communications, strategic communications, social media, and reputation management.

Speaking for his first time in South Palm Beach County, Lerner presented an analysis of security challenges facing Israel, including “terrorist organizations with arms and military capabilities beyond those of some actual armies.” He explained Israel’s continual state of preparedness on all fronts through intelligence, ongoing maneuvers, operational access, secured borders and advanced technology, and attested to the continued strong US/Israel relationship.

Lerner described Hezbollah’s Lebanon as “Israel’s most substantial threat, Iran’s front on the northern border” with, “detailed plans for attack and 120,000 rockets – compared to about 4,000 fired from Gaza in the summer of 2014.” He said, “Israel has never faced such a situation before.”

Lerner also addressed the civil war in Syria spilling over its borders, and the extent of Israel’s continual medical care and other aid to those entering the country. He also posited that Sinai may be “the next frontier, with jihadists operating and the only place ISIS supporters have increased.”

As for the Palestinian arena, he said Israel is destroying tunnels from Gaza and building a subterranean wall that will neutralize the tunnels in the next year. But the well-secured border is increasingly volatile and, for the longer term, he said, “How can you make peace when Hamas swears it will never recognize Israel?”

“Israel’s security is such a critical concern all across this community, we were thrilled to bring our men together to hear the insights of Lt. Col. Lerner,” said Ira Holz, who co-chairs the Federation’s Men’s Division with Ken Lebersfeld and Chuck Lichtman.

“Our Men’s Division fills an important niche for guys looking to connect with like-minded men for great times together while being part of something larger than themselves,” said Co-Chair Chuck Lichtman. “We’ve enjoyed evenings with major sports figures, sampled fine spirits, played vintage pinball, learned from global experts on vital Jewish concerns and even explored Cuba together.”

“As we bond together over common interests with the best of companions, our men also know they are making lives brighter for our fellow Jews right in our own backyard, in Israel, and across the globe wherever we are needed,” added Co-Chair Ken Lebersfeld.

Federation’s 2018 Men’s Division is generously sponsored by Sandelman Foundation, and the Insider Briefing was sponsored by BBT, Greenbrier, and HJ Sims. ESPN West Palm was the Media Sponsor, The Boca Raton Observer was Exclusive Media Sponsor, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is In-Kind Sponsor.

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