(JTA) — The Jewish Federations of North America is holding an online rally for Evan Gershkovich, the Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia on espionage charges, the latest in Jewish community advocacy on behalf of the young journalist.
The rally to take place on Monday will include remarks from Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is a Democrat from New Jersey, Gershkovich’s home state.
It will solicit signatures for a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken “urging him to take every step in his power to bring Evan home,” a release said.
Blinken and the Biden administration are already committed to securing the release of Gershkovich, who is 31, saying the charges are bogus and are part of the U.S.-Russia escalation stemming from Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The rally extends a substantial Jewish response to Gershkovich’s detention that began shortly after he was arrested, when his colleagues appealed before Passover for Jews to leave a place for the reporter at Seder tables. The gesture echoed a symbol of the movement to free Jews trapped in the Soviet Union, who included Gershlovich’s parents.
Nothing in the charges so far have suggested that Gershkovich being Jewish was a factor in his arrest. But a number of prominent Jews have recently been prosecuted on security charges in Russia, with the former chief rabbi of Moscow, who left under duress last year, raising alarm about what he says is a pattern.