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Jewish Federation of Winnipeg Welcomes Release of Gilad Shalit

Thoughts are very much with much with family of Fern Shawna Rykiss

Press Reelase-October 19, 2011

Today, after more than five years of being held hostage by Hamas terrorists, captured soldier Gilad Shalit has finally been released.

This poignant day is one for which our Federation has long joined inpassionate, untiring advocacy with Jewish communities worldwide. We also recognize that the utmost importance of Gilad's return led Israel's leaders to make supremely difficult choices in exchanging terrorist prisoners for his release.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lost his brother at Entebbe,wrote yesterday in a letter to family members of those hurt in terror attacks, “I know that you have a heavy heart and that your wounds have been opened anew these past days; that your thoughts are not at ease. Acknowledging that “the price is very heavy” for them, he also wrotethat he was “faced with the responsibility of the Prime Minister of Israel to bring home every soldier who is sent to protect our citizens."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 We celebrate Gilad's return to his family and his people, as our heartfelt thoughts and deepestempathy go out to those in Israel and elsewhere in the Jewish world directly impacted by terror. Our thoughts today are very much with the family of Fern Shawna Rykiss, a graduate of Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, who lost her life in a terrorist incident 22 years ago. We recommit ourselves tosupporting them as well as Israel's security. As always, our Jewish community is proud to stand with Israel in times of need as well as in times of celebration.

 Stories, photos and videos following Gilad's release can be found on Haaretz and Jerusalem Post.



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.