Jewish Agency Emissaries at Federations Across North America Plan Events to Mark Gilad Shalit’s 23rd Birthday

August 25, 2009 / 5 Elul 5769

Events are scheduled in nearly a dozen cities this week for the captive Israeli soldier

Federations and other community organizations across the North America, working through Jewish Agency for Israel emissaries in their communities, are planning nearly a dozen local events this week to mark the birthday of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was abducted by Hamas in Gaza over three years ago. On Friday, August 28, Shalit will turn 23 years old.

Events will include formal declarations on the municipal and state level calling to free Gilad Shalit, appearances by local elected officials, artists and Israeli diplomats. Participants at the events will be asked to sign post cards to the Red Cross asking that Shalit receive the full rights of an abducted soldier under international law and that the Red Cross work for the soldier’s release. A similar online petition is being launched on the Jewish Agency website, at and on

The Jewish Agency will distribute in communities copies of the Hebrew book, “When the Shark and the Fish First Met,” a short children’s story Shalit wrote about peace in Middle East when he was a boy. Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky will appear in a video calling for action to release Shalit. At many of the events, a documentary film, “Gilad Shalit: 2 years in captivity” which was produced in Israel last year and documents Shalit’s abduction and captivity, will be screened.

Events are being held at communities, including:

  • Minneapolis, MN, Wednesday, Aug 26 – a community-wide event with a mayoral proclamation of solidarity with Shalit, attended by officials, including Congressman Keith Ellison.
  • Teaneck, NJ, Sunday, August 30 – a community event which will include presentation of a joint resolution from the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate calling for Shalit’s release.
  • Tucson, AZ, Thursday August 27 – a community event during which the City of Tucson will grant honorary citizenship to Gilad Shalit.
  • Columbus, OH, Sunday, August 30 – a community event, including a musical tribute, in which the City of Columbus will grant honorary citizenship to Gilad Shalit
  • Denver, CO, Friday, April 21 – a community event with Israel’s Deputy Consul from the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles.
  • Tulsa, OK, Friday-Saturday August 28-9 – Special prayer services at synagogues in the city, and a special focus in Jewish schools on Shalit.
  • San Francisco, CA, Saturday, August 29 – The Jewish Film Festival will screen the documentary on Shalit, and Bay-area synagogues will mark birthday with special prayer.
  • Phoenix, AZ – exhibit on the captivity of Shalit at community center; educational activity in summer camps, schools
  • Miami, FL, – a solidarity day was held earlier this month during which 1,000 children released balloons to symbolize Shalit’s hoped-for release; North Dade Jewish day schools will hold a solidarity rally at the beginning of September.

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 




Share           PRINT   
25 Aug 2009 / 5 Elul 5769 0