During the last several months, Hadassah and its coalition partners have been advocating for the release of Alan Gross, a Jewish American from Maryland arrested during a humanitarian trip to Cuba. In February, Hadassah joined the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in urging Cuban President Raúl Castro to release Gross. Since then, Gross has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for "actions against the integrity of the state" and has lost his only appeal opportunity.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has reached out to the greater Jewish community for support. Below is an alert from JCPA, including additional information about Alan Gross and a petition being organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
Hadassah encourages its Members, Associates and supporters to sign the petition and to share it with friends and family.
Help Free Alan Gross
We need your help to release Alan Gross.
Alan Gross, a resident of Potomac Maryland, was arrested in Cuba in December 2009 while on a humanitarian mission to help the small Jewish community there improve their internet access and to create an intranet for them. He has been incarcerated ever since, languishing in prison for over a year before being convicted by a Cuban court of "actions against the integrity of the State," and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He subsequently appealed his sentence to the Cuban Supreme Court and the court reaffirmed the sentence, exhausting all of Alan's legal remedies. His only avenue left is commutation of his sentence by Raul Castro, President of Cuba.
Alan and his supporters have fervently rejected all accusations that he did anything, or intended to do anything, to harm the Cuban government. Quite to the contrary, his work in Cuba was only to help to improve the Cuban Jewish community's ability to use the internet. The President of the United States, senior Administration officials, Members of Congress, national leaders, and newspaper editorials have all called for his immediate release.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington has organized a petition urging Alan's immediate release on humanitarian grounds. Since his incarceration, Alan's eldest daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone a double mastectomy, his 89-year old mother is suffering from inoperable cancer, and his wife Judy has undergone surgery for an undisclosed medical issue. Alan has lost approximately 100 pounds since his arrest and is suffering from several ailments.
Sign the Washington JCRC's petition for the release of Alan Gross.Date: 8/31/2011