Jewish group wants Cuba to free Gross before High Holidays
By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
September 13, 2011 16:40
1 minute read.
A major Jewish group on Tuesday threw its support behind a new
petition calling Cuba to free a Jewish-American that has been jailed in that
country for nearly two years.
The Conference of Presidents of Major
American Jewish Organizations joined the initiative launched by the Jewish
Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington a few weeks ago calling
on Havana to let aid worker Alan P. Gross out of prison.
actions in Cuba were never intended to harm the government of Cuba, but rather
to help the island’s Jewish community,” Richard Stone, Chairman, and Malcolm
Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, wrote in a
press release. “In his remarks to the Cuban court, Alan said, ‘I do deeply
regret that my actions have been misinterpreted as harmful and as a threat
against the security and independence of Cuba. Surely, this runs counter to what
I had intended.’ ” Gross has recently been sentenced to 15 years in prison
undermining the state by providing cell phones to improve the communications
capacity of the Cuban Jewish community.
The Conference of Presidents has
called for his release based on humanitarian groups. Both Gross’s mother and
daughter are battling cancer and he has lost 100 pounds behind bars. The
organization said releasing before the upcoming Jewish high holidays would be a
The petition is online at www.jcouncil.org/gross