Saperstein: “We pray that at this time next year, Gilad Shalit may celebrate his 24th birthday as a free man, reunited with his friends, family and the people of Israel.”
Contact: Kate Bigam
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WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2009 – In recognition of the 23rd birthday of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
Today we honor the 23rd birthday of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, recognizing with sadness and anger that he is not free to celebrate with his family and friends. On June 25, 2006, terrorists broke across the Gaza-Israel border, killing two Israeli soldiers and taking Gilad captive in Gaza. Today marks Gilad’s fourth birthday held captive by Hamas and his 1,157th day in captivity.
We appreciate the Obama Administration’s determined and strong leadership to help achieve a peaceful, two-state solution and applaud the government of Canada for its continued strong support for Israel and the goal of a two-state solution. As we proudly support these efforts, we again ask leaders of both governments to remember Gilad’s plight and do everything in their power to help ensure his release.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Shalit family. We pray that at this time next year, Gilad Shalit may celebrate his 24th birthday as a free man, reunited with his friends, family and the people of Israel.
To write a letter asking President Obama to help free Gilad Shalit, visit rac.org.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis.