Jewish Federations Hail Release of Alan Gross from Cuban Prison
Human rights activists across the United States are uplifted by the news that Alan Gross, a Jewish-American contractor, was freed from a Cuban prison after five years of captivity. The Jewish Federations of North America share in the joy felt by Judy Gross and her family, and thank President Barack Obama and his administration for working to free Gross, who was convicted of espionage despite consistently stating that he was in Cuba for no reason other than humanitarian ones.
Michael Siegal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, stated:
“This week, as the Jewish community celebrates the miracles of Hanukkah, we are grateful to celebrate the release of Alan Gross. We also remember that there are hundreds of innocents held captive throughout the world – many of whom are American citizens – and we hope they too are returned home to their families as soon as possible. Since the beginning of Alan's unjust incarceration, Jewish Federations has worked closely with Alan's family, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to bring about his release. Over the years - and as recently as this week - we have spoken publicly and privately to the very highest levels of the U.S. government - and with key influential players to advocate for his freedom. We stand in awe of Judy Gross' determined campaign to ensure that the world would not forget her husband. We are thankful to President Obama and Vice President Biden for their instrumental role in bringing about Alan's long-overdue return trip home.”
Linda Feldman, JCRC Director at the Jewish Federation of San Diego County remarked:
“On the first day of Hanukkah we are overjoyed with the miracle of Alan Gross being returned to his family. We are grateful to President Obama, Judy Gross and Ron Halber, Executive Director of JCRC of Greater Washington, for their perseverance in keeping this in the forefront of the national Jewish community relations agenda.”