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Gilad Shalit is a 23-year-old Israeli soldier that has been held captive by Hamas since June 25, 2006. He was kidnapped in a cross border attack from the Gaza Strip on the Kerem Shalom crosssing in Israel.

Hamas has continued to refuse a deal for his release and threatened that if Israel does not act soon, Gilad will suffer a similar fate to Ron Arad.  Gilad has been denied access to the International Red Cross and his family has been left to wonder about his health. International human rights groups continue to remain virtually silent on Gilad's fate.

The Jewish community has worked to bring awareness to the plight of Gilad Shalit and will not stop until Gilad is released and able to return to his family.

Birthday / High Holiday Campaign for Gilad Shalit

On August 28, Gilad will mark his 24th birthday - his fifth in captivity.  Two weeks later, the call of the shofar on Rosh HaShana reminds us all of our obligations and responsibilities to raise our voices and do everything possible to gain Gilad's freedom, and to offer strength to his family until they are reunited with their son and brother.

The Conference of Presidents is launching a new website,, to provide people across the United States, in Israel and around the world a vehicle to express their solidarity with Gilad.  Many thousands are expected to visit the site, where they can view a new video about Gilad's plight, write virtual birthday and/or Rosh HaShana messages to Gilad, access background information, read Elie Wiesel's recent message, view Congressional resolutions on Gilad's behalf, and find other action items.

The Conference is also working with the JCC Association, Magen David Adom and others to provide local "mailboxes" where people can drop hand-made and printed cards for delivery to the Conference of Presidents.  Please let us know if synagogues, schools or other institutions in your are are able to serve as collection points for  Each location will post a photo of Gilad and tell his story, further raising public awareness of his plight. The Conference of Presidents will collect all the messages and cards and deliver them to the International Committee of the Red Cross with the demand that Hamas allow the ICRC to visit and deliver the messages to Gilad in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Please post the following button on your organizational website with a link to to help meet the goal of collecting tens of thousands of cards.

For more information or to volunteer to serve as a collection point, please contact Hod Klein at (212) 684-9713 or by email at

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JCPA Endorses Resolutions Expressing Outrage at IDF Soldier's Continued Captivity


WASHINGTON - Nearly four years to the day since the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, resolutions calling for his immediate and unconditional release is expected to be overwhelmingly approved this week by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Shalit was wounded and taken hostage by Hamas militants on June 25, 2006.  For the last four years, Hamas, in contravention of international norms, has forbidden all humanitarian assistance and visits by human rights organizations wishing to assess his condition.

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JUF-JCRC of Chicago Help Gilad Shalit NOW!

This month marks four years since the terrorist group Hamas abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Israeli territory into Gaza. As a community we can take action. Together, we can show the world that Gilad will never be forgotten and that we will continue to fight for his safe return.

You can spread the word on June 25, the anniversary of his kidnapping.

To see how you can help, click here.

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Fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit - Yellow Balloon Campaign

It will soon be the fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit of the Israeli Defense Forces.   On June 25, 2006, after an infiltration and attack by terrorists near Kibbutz Kerem Shalom in southern Israel, two IDF soldiers were killed and four others were wounded.  Gilad Shalit was abducted and has been held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip ever since.  The International Red Cross has been denied access to Gilad, and his exact whereabouts and physical conditions are unknown.  A video of Gilad, released by Hamas in October of 2009, is the last his family has seen of him.  In an effort to keep pressure on the international community to secure Gilad's release and to raise awareness in our communities, the Youth and Young Adult Services Department of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has put together a Yellow Balloon Campaign to bring Gilad home.  By going to this site - - you will be able to email virtual balloons.  We urge you to send them to your own distribution lists and post them on social networking sites.  Once you send a balloon, you will be automatically directed to, which contains a number of action items, including a sample letter to send to legislators and background information on Gilad Shalit.

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Tens of Thousands March for Israel and Gilad Shalit in NYC

by Israel Advocacy Initiative

Tens of thousands marched down Fifth Avenue in New York on Sunday, May 31, 2009 before nearly one million spectators in the annual tribute to Israel, with a special salute to kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

In less than four weeks, three years will have passed since Gaza terrorists kidnapped the young soldier in a murderous cross-border raid at the Kerem Shalom crossing, where two of his comrades were killed and a fourth was severely wounded.

Shalit's parents, Noam and Aviva paraded with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the same time Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that former senior Mossad intelligence officer Haggai Hadas will take over the job of handling delicate negotiations for his release.

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