April 14, 2024
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Reform, Conservative Leaders Visit Pollard In Prison, Call for His Release

(Combined Services)

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, long an advocate for Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel, arranged for Union for Reform Judaism president Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center director Rabbi David Saperstein, Rabbinical Assembly executive vice president Rabbi Julie Schonfeld and Rabbinical Assembly former president Rabbi Alvin Berkun to meet with the prisoner for two hours last week. As a result, they promised to intensify their efforts to bring about the release. Pollard has been ill for months and generally refuses to see visitors. He is incarcerated at the Butner Federal Penitentiary in North Carolina.

The rabbis said that Pollard’s release is long overdue, and as, representatives of the largest streams in the American Jewish religious community, they renewed their call for U.S. President Barack Obama to immediately commute Pollard’s sentence and release him from prison. Pollard has served 28 years—the longest sentence for any individual convicted of similar offenses in the United States.

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