FIDF Associate Director Olivia Lichaa



‘Our job is
to look after them.’
‘Our job is to look after them.’


Gilad Shalit, former IDF MIA soldier and Olivia Lichaa /Olivia LichaaThe Tri-State Region of Friends of the IDF (FIDC) was founded in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors who dedicated their lives to the heritage and memory of those they lost. Olivia Lichaa is the Associate Director of the Tri-State Region of FIDF (New York, New Jersey and Connecticutt) and also runs their real estate division. She was interviewed by The Jewish Voice by phone and email.

A Barrington resident and daughter of Jacob and Maybeth Lichaa, she attended the Alperin Schechter Day School and the Harry Elkin Midrasha Community High School, both in Providence, and Barrington High School, and says she didn’t get heavily involved in “Jewish organizations” until enrolled at Indiana University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, specializing in Middle East studies with an Area Certificate in Jewish Studies.

She earned a Master’s degree from the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, in Government, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. After moving from Israel to New York City, she worked in sales at America Online for a year and “it was a really wonderful experience but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. So, when a friend told me about the Associate Director position at FIDF, I knew it was perfect.”

Lichaa says she has not only had a very strong connection to Judaism, but also to the State of Israel. “My obligation as a Jew is to the State of Israel. I realize ‘having a connection’ to the very tricky and complicated State of Israel could mean many things to many people, but to me, it’s quite simple … It’s my country. I don’t have an Israeli passport, but it’s my country.”

FIDF initiates and helps support educational, social, cultural and recreational programs and facilities for the young men and women soldiers of Israel who defend the Jewish homeland. FIDF also supports “lone soldiers “ (soldiers without a local family connection) and the families of fallen soldiers. “Our tag line is: ‘Their job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.’”

For more information about the FIDF: contact New England Chapter Director Lior Zommer ( or Olivia Lichaa at or 646-274-9696.

Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles on local young adults who have left Rhode Island and con-tinue to serve in the larger Jewish community. If you, or someone you know, has left our area and serves the larger Jewish community, please contact Arthur C. Norman at anorman@