British community sends Schalit birthday message

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the representative organization of Anglo-Jewry, have sent birthday greetings to kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who is spending his 21st birthday in captivity in the Gaza Strip. "The Board of Deputies of British Jews, on behalf of the British Jewish community, sends its warmest wishes to Gilad on his 21st birthday," chief executive Jon Benjamin said. "It must be a terrifying and lonely experience to spend a second successive birthday in captivity, without any contact with family and friends. But Gilad and his family are in all our thoughts and prayers, particularly on his birthday. "Our birthday wish for him, is the hope that the coming year brings release from his terrible ordeal, a swift reunion with all who yearn for his return and that his 22nd birthday will be celebrated in freedom. In the meantime, we will continue to campaign for the release of Gilad and the other kidnapped soldiers - Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser." Gilad Schalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel in June 2006 and Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were captured by Hizbullah in northern Israel in July 2006.