IDF Wine Event with Daniel Rogov

January 31st 2011

On this past Thursday evening, attendees shuffled into The Great Synagogue, one of central Jerusalem’s largest synagogues. This building, modeled after the 1st and 2nd Temple’s, seats over 1,000 people, and was surely grand enough to host the evening’s noteworthy event. This elegant fundraiser was held in honor of one extraordinary group of members in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). Today, there are 5,700 lone soldiers who serve in the IDF from around the world. These brave young souls join the army alone, without the support of their family nearby. The Lone Soldier Center is the only organization dedicated solely to meeting all of the physical and social needs of lone soldiers, and provides guidance and support before, during, and after their IDF service. Soldiers are provided with Shabbat dinners, one-on-one counseling, pre-army seminars, furniture, and more. As one soldier stated, “The Lone Soldier center is my home away from home”. The center is dedicated in memory of Michael Levin, a lone soldier from the United States who fell in battle in 2006.

This incredible foundation drew in numerous speakers to its event, including Daniel Rogov, Israel’s preeminent wine critic. Rogov spoke of the significant improvement of Israel’s wines in the past 20 years, and entertained the crowd with humorous stories of Israel’s early, humble wine production days. Claiming that when he first moved to Israel, he refused to have Israeli wine in his cellar, he proudly admitted that today, 30% of his wine cellar consists of Israeli wines. Rogov pinpointed the most “fruitful” areas to plant vineyards; the Galilee, the Golan, and the Judean hills.  Many of Israel’s finest wineries can be found in those regions and all of them warmly welcome visitors any time of year.

Following inspiring and engaging speakers, live music began to play as the crowds meandered over to tables laden with fine wine and cheese. There, guests mingled amongst the lone soldiers and enjoyed the rich cheeses and delectable wines featured from up and coming wineries such as Carmel, Dalton, Barkan, and Golan wineries. The Great Synagogue was the perfect setting to honor brave young soldiers and the organization that helps take care of them, while the lovely sound of violin along with delicious sampling of wine and cheese topped off the night with an elegant and tasty spin.