Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) is organizing thousands of synagogues into action on behalf of Jacob Ostreicher, a Brooklyn resident who has been held without formal charges in a Bolivian prison for more than 14 months. On September 1st (14 Elul), Shabbos Ki Teitzei, hundreds of thousands of Jews across America are expected to join in prayer and follow-up with calls and letters to elected officials.
“Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have spoken out for Jacob and two Congressional hearings have addressed the violation of his human rights, but Jacob seems no closer to coming home than he did a year ago,” said the Assemblyman. “Now matters have worsened as Jacob, who has been on a hunger strike for months, was recently hospitalized in Bolivia. When he arrived at the hospital, he was too weak to stand on his own two feet.”
The National Council of Young Israel, The Orthodox Union (OU) and The Rabbinical Alliance of America have all agreed to publicize Shabbos Ki Teitzei for Jacob Ostreicher to their rabbis, congregations and affiliates. Rabbis across America will be speaking about Ostreicher in their Sabbath addresses and leading special prayers on his behalf. Following the Sabbath, congregational membership will be encouraged to urge their Congressman to adopt Ostreicher’s cause.
“I believe Jacob Ostreicher is fully innocent of all wrong doings,” said Assemblyman Hikind. “Media reports from WABC’s ‘Nightline’ to The Wall Street Journal concur that Jacob is being used as a political football; his family, needlessly traumatized by this on-going nightmare. And now, as feared, Jacob’s very life may be in danger. I am proud that Jews from across the country and all stripes of orthodoxy will be demonstrating their complete solidarity in this urgent matter. We cannot rest while Jacob is imprisoned.”
Source: Press release