17 December 2014
The following statement is issued upon hearing the confirmation from the White House of Alan Gross’s release
The Jewish Federation Of Greater Washington And The Jewish Community Relations Council Of Greater Washington Are Thrilled Upon The Release Of Alan Gross
Washington, DC – The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington are excited to hear about the release of Alan Gross earlier this morning, following five long years in a Cuban prison. Gross returned home today, accompanied by his wife Judy and several Members of Congress. As the Jewish people celebrate the festival of lights, we celebrate the release of Alan Gross from the darkness of the Cuban prison.
We applaud the efforts of the President and several Members of Congress in bringing about Alan’s release and extend our deepest appreciation to the Vatican and Canadian government for their part in securing Alan’s freedom. We admire Alan’s wife, Judy, and his sister-in-law, Gwen Zuares, who relentlessly sought Alan’s freedom and served as the most driving and dedicated forces behind the struggle for his release over the past five years. A special thank you to Alan’s lawyers, Scott Gilbert and Scott Shore of Gilbert LLP for their herculean efforts to bring him home, Rabbi Arnold Saltzman for leading JCRC’s vigils during the past four years, and the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington who joined the JCRC in sponsoring these vigils, ensuring Alan would never be forgotten.
We also express our outmost gratitude to the tens of thousands of Jewish activists, Jewish organizations across the country, including the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, as well as our interfaith partners who spoke out in support of Alan’s release. Every single individual who engaged in on-line petitions, contacting Congress and participating in vigils played an active role in enabling Alan’s release.
As Hanukkah commemorates freedom, the victory of the weak against the strong, few against many, we now celebrate Alan’s release – our Hanukkah miracle. We will be holding a celebratory event welcoming Alan home in the next few weeks (details to follow). In the interim, we look forward to Alan’s recuperation among his family, friends and community. Welcome home Alan!
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington is the public affairs and community relations arm of the Jewish community representing Jewish organizations and synagogues throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The JCRC focuses on government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is a community-building organization that cares for those in need, deepens Jewish engagement and creates connections among Jews locally, in Israel and around the world.