The New York-based Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations and its 51 member groups on Friday sent an appeal to Raúl
Castro to release Alan P. Gross from prison on humanitarian grounds.
"Mr. Gross has long been an active and committed member of the Jewish
community in the United States. He has lived his life (fot2) following
the Jewish teachings of tikkun olam ('repairing the world'), as
demonstrated by the multiple humanitarian projects he has developed
around the world – from the Middle East to Latin America," wrote
Conference chairman Alan Solow and executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.
"His work has touched and improved the lives of thousands of people.
When Mr. Gross was arrested, he believed he was advancing his
humanitarian work in Cuba," the letter continued. "If his work had any
political implications this was something he did not, or could not,
The letter also says that Gross has lost 90 pounds and is suffering from
serious physical ailments and extreme mental stress and anguish.
"Mr. Gross was held in prison for nearly 14 months before being charged.
Should he be convicted in his upcoming trial, we hope that President
Castro will release him for time served," said Solow and Hoenlein.