NEW YORK (JTA) — Gilad Shalit met New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall for a brief ceremony on the sixth anniversary of the day Shalit was captured by Hamas.
During Tuesday’s ceremony, which also featured City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Bloomberg showed Shalit an iPad photo of himself with Shalit’s parents, Aviva and Noam, and presented the former Israeli soldier with a crystal apple donated by Tiffany’s, according to The New York Times.
Bloomberg and Quinn actively pushed for Shalit’s release from captivity. In 2009, Bloomberg marched with Shalit’s parents during the Salute to Israel parade in New York and also sported a button demanding his freedom.
In 2011 Quinn, along with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, declared Sept. 7 to be Gilad Shalit Day and presented Shalit’s father with a collection of tens of thousands of messages of support that were submitted by people from the United States and around the world, reported Israel Politik, the political blog of the State of Israel.
Shalit, who is now a sportswriter for the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper in Israel, was in the United States this month covering the NBA championship series and was in New York for a brief trip on his way to the Euro 12 soccer championships being held in Poland and Ukraine.