JCPA to Cosponsor Vigils in New York and DC Calling on Cuba to Release Alan Gross
Together with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, The Jewish Federations of North America, the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, the New York Board of Rabbis, and the Jewish Community Relations Councils of New York and Greater Washington, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs is cosponsoring joint interfaith vigils in New York City and Washington, DC calling on Cuba to release Alan Gross, who was detained two years ago during a humanitarian mission to bring internet access to the Jewish community there.
“Since his arrest, Alan Gross’s health has deteriorated and he has been unable to be with his wife, daughter, and mother who have suffered health problems of their own,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “Pleas for Alan’s release from the President, administration officials, members of Congress, and many other influential figures have been rejected. Now, having exhausted all of his legal options, Alan will be forced to serve the remainder of his 15 year sentence in a Cuban prison cell. We are gathering with Alan Gross’s family and interfaith leaders this Friday to let Cuban officials know that this is not acceptable.”
“Alan should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds. That is the message we will bring directly to Cuban officials,” said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles. “We appreciate the leadership, in particular, of the JCRC of Greater Washington and Executive Director Ron Halber whose tireless work has kept Alan’s cause alive with US officials as well as the tens of thousands of individuals across the country who signed their petition demanding his immediate release.”
In New York, the vigil will take place outside the Mission of Cuba to the UN, and in Washington at the Cuban Interests Section. Members of Alan Gross’s family will attend both vigils.
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 14 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.