Rachel Neiman
November 8, 2013, Updated November 11, 2013

Photographer Noam Chen returned this past week from Los Angeles where he was invited to take part in covering the October season of gala fund-raising events in support of Israeli causes.

Together with local photographer Orly Halevy, Chen took pictures at Jewish National Fund Gala, American Friends of Magen David Adom, the “Larger Than Life” fund, which organizes “dream trips” to the US for Israeli children with cancer, Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, Israel Cancer Research Fund and Friends of Sheba Medical Center.

As a native-born Israeli, Chen’s impression of American Jewry following his whirlwind tour is one of complete surprise. On one hand, the shock of encountering the luxe life of La-La land…

And on the other hand, discovering dedicated people with a heartfelt commitment to the work they do on behalf of Israel.

“To be a part of this and witnessing first hand the love and support the State of Israel receives is quite amazing… You truly see how important the bond with the US is to Israel.”

This being LA, there was a star element to the events with celebrities like singer Neil Sedaka and comedian Jackie Mason at the American Friends of Magen David Adom event.

Singer Lionel Richie and composer David Foster performed at the Friends of the IDF gala fundraiser led by media tycoon Haim Saban (R), seen here with impresario Simon Cowell (L).

Actress Sharon Stone was honored for her support of the Friends of Sheba Medical Center and the Larger Than Life event brought the talents of Israeli singers Roni Daloomi, Idan Amedi and the truly larger than life Dana International.

Chen hopes that his work conveys to his fellow sabras a bit of the positivity and power he encountered, saying, “I thought this is something that is worth writing about, letting people know because although you hear here and there about this or that event, you don’t ever see any story about all of these events; taken together, they have a whole different meaning.”

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