Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard departs US District court after a hearing with his wife Elaine in the Manhattan borough of New York December 14, 2015..
(photo credit: LUCAS JACKSON / REUTERS)
It was Jonathan Pollard’s first Passover Seder since entering prison in 1985, and it was a dream come true for the Israeli agent who thought until recently that he might never see the light of day.
Pollard was released on “mandatory” parole on November 20, 2015, after serving exactly 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit espionage without intent to harm the United States by delivering classified information to Israel in 1984 and 1985.
Due to his parole conditions, requiring him to wear a GPS monitoring device and obey a 7 p.m. curfew at his New York home or risk further imprisonment, Pollard was still limited during the Festival of Freedom. He and his wife, Esther, were alone at home for the meal, but those who have been in contact with him said he enjoyed the Seder.
“It was wonderful,” he reportedly said. “I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Pollard was not religiously observant before he entered prison, so it was his first Seder as an Orthodox Jew. He was very complimentary of Esther when asked about how the Seder went.
Pollard has purposely been keeping a low profile since he left prison, but ahead of the Seder, he went grocery shopping in New York.
The US District Court for the Southern District of New York has granted Pollard’s request to reopen his appeal against his parole conditions.
The court set a June 13 date for oral arguments on the case.
But Pollard’s lawyers have had to ask for a later date, because June 13 is during the Shavuot holiday.