Father’s Day campaign to raise Shalit awareness

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Father’s Day letter-writing campaign will urge President Obama to help bring home a kidnapped Israeli soldier.

Jewish groups have asked their constituents to send thousands of cards and e-cards on behalf of Gilad Shalit to Obama ahead of the June 21 holiday.

Shalit was taken hostage in June 2006 near Gaza in a cross-border raid by Hamas terrorists. He has been denied access to the International Red Cross during his nearly three years in captivity.

The goal of the campaign, initiated by the Council of Young Jewish Presidents, is to raise the issue on Obama’s priority list.

In his Father’s Day card to Obama, Shalit’s father, Noam, wrote “from one father to another, I ask you to please use the power of your presidency to free my beloved son, Gilad. Because to have Gilad home again would make every one of my days father’s day.”

Cards should be sent to the White house, or electronic messages can be sent to the president on June 21 to www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. Sample messages can be viewed at the CYJP Web site.

The campaign is being coordinated with a coalition of organizations: the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Dor Chadash, Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, StandWithUs and the Zionist Organization of America.

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