Dec 18, 2014
Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Leaders Welcome Release of Alan Gross from Cuba
We at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County rejoice with our entire Jewish family at the news that Alan Gross has been released after five years of incarceration in Cuba. His freedom follows extensive advocacy efforts by Jewish communities and others around the world, as well as diplomacy at the highest levels.
A resident of the Washington, DC area, Alan was helping the Jewish community in Cuba improve its internet access with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), when he was arrested and jailed. Convicted two years later, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges that his work undermined the Cuban government.
We are grateful to all who kept Alan’s egregious situation in the forefront of the hearts and minds of caring people, and among news media and decision-makers. Alan has described his gratitude for these efforts that gave him hope and strength to endure, and that surely helped lead to his release.
We join in the groundswell of heartfelt wishes as this man who endured such harsh conditions reunites at last with his wife and diligent advocate, Judy, his daughters and other loved ones. We pray for a full and swift recovery from the health issues that Alan, now age 65, has experienced during his harsh incarceration.
Alan’s unjust arrest and inhumane imprisonment are but one illustration of how far many countries have yet to go toward recognizing and protecting individual rights and freedoms. As we celebrate our freedom during Chanukah, may Alan’s release be a harbinger of other such positive steps in Cuba and beyond.
On his arrival in Washington, Alan began a news conference with “Chag Sameach.” And this holiday is truly happier with him free among us again.