Jewish Agency for Israel Activities in North America Marking Kidnapped Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit`s 23rd Birthday on August 28th 

August 21, 2009 / 1 Elul 5769

On August 28th, Gilad Shalit, the captured Israeli soldier, held now for over three years in Hamas captivity, will turn 23. In communities across North America, Israeli emissaries (shlichim) , working through partnership with Jewish Federations and the Jewish Agency for Israel,  have organized communal and educational activities to mark this day. The campaign “Gilad Shalit: Everybody’s Child”, will be carried out in seven communities across the country:

1. Minneapolis- the Israel Program Center of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation will hold a community- wide solidarity event on August 26th- featuring public officials, a message from Orly Gil, General Counsel from the Israeli Consulate to the Midwest ,the screening of a documentary film about Gilad Shalit, Israeli singer Hanenel Edri and educational activities for children and youth.

2. Denver- a community wide Israel event on August 21-22 will feature an address by Shachar Azani the deputy counsel for communication from the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles. The address will focus on Gilad Shalit and the ongoing attempts to secure his freedom and will launch a petition drive gather signatures to be delivered to the American Red Cross to deepen its involvement in securing Shalit’s release.

3. Northern New Jersey- on August 30, a community wide event will be held in Teaneck, NJ. A documentary film about Gilad Shalit will be screened, followed by a panel discussion led by a local rabbi. A community wide petition drive will gather signatures to be delivered to the American Red Cross to deepen its involvement in securing Shalit’s release. Educational activities for children and youth will be organized, including the mass release of blue and white balloons, one for each day of Shalit’s captivity.

4. Tuson- On August 27th, The Jewish community in Tuscon, Arizona will hold a community wide event to screen the documentary film about Gilad Shalit, in partnership with Channel 10 in Israel. In addition, the city will grant honory citizenship to Gilad Shalit, an initiative will be advanced in additional communities in North America as well. (Moshe- I need more details)

5. Columbus- The Columbus Jewish Federation will hold a community-wide commemoration on August 30th focusing on the ongoing attempts to secure Gilad Shalit’s freedom - featuring public officials and the screening of a documentary film about Gilad Shalit, as well as a musical tribute from Columbus young people.  The city of Columbus will grant honorary citizenship to Gilad Shalit.   Participants will have a chance to sign a petition that will be delivered to the American Red Cross helping to deepen its involvement in securing Shalit’s release.

6. Phoenix- The community-wide activity in Phoenix will be preceeded by educational activities in both community camps, focusing on the book that Gilad Shalit wrote about peace in the Middle East when he was 11 years old. In addition, a community wide petition drive will gather signatures to be delivered to the American Red Cross to deepen its involvement in securing Shalit’s release. An exhibition about Gilad Shalit will be displayed in the lobby of the JCC.

7. Tulsa- Thee synagogues in the city, across denominational lines, will participate in special services for Gilad Shalit on August 28 and 29. Congregants will send postcards to the Red Cross and to the White House calling for Gilad’s release. In the same week, students in Jewish schools in Tulsa will focus on Gilad Shalit in their educational program, using the book that Gilad himself wrote as a child, and four mega-churches will participate as well. Additional efforts are being made to involve Tulsa’s mayor in these activities as well. 

For further information contact:
Michael Jankelowitz,
Liaison to the Foreign Press, Jewish Agency for Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6130220
Voice-mail: +972-2-620-2780
michaelj@jafi.org 
website: www.jewishagency.org

 


 

 

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22 Aug 2009 / 2 Elul 5769 0